on my way home from school the sky was pregnant with rain, or rather the threat of imminent rain, because though the floor was dry there was not rain the air was so warm so viscous with such humidity i think i couldnt even breathe properly; it felt like if you were to walk any slower it will catch up with you and swallow you whole, then spit you out in a sweaty slimy mess. i sought refuge in the shoppingcentre because i’d forgotten how intimidating singaporean weather can be sometimes. i believe i was genuinely terrified.
in the shoppingcentre i saw a woman and her daughter having a heated argument, nothing atypical of your everyday parent-child skirmish. i wasnt paying attention because i was trying to get my mrbean set a (which tragically does not exist anymore, you can no longer get riceballs and soyabeanmilk and taohuay with the mrbean biscuit and so i was telling bert i am ripvanwinkle) but far as i could hear in my unintentional state the mother didnt know what the daughter wants to go and the daughter obviously doesnt want to follow the mother. after an exasperated « so what do you want ! », the daughter stalked off in the other direction, leaving the mother obviously astounded. at which point i felt like grabbing the Idiot Daughter and flogging her for absolute rudeness and disrespect but strangers do not discipline another’s kid so i didnt. then the mother followed the quickly disappearing trail of the daughter. by the time the mrbean aunty went behind the counter for my riceball-taohuay-soyabeanmilk awesomeness i could only see the back of the mother- a resigned, sad, sad figure from the back. a fannypack around her waist, a sleeveless green shirt, bermudas, shoulderlength hair, and did i imagine it?, sad, sad shoulders like shes perpetually heaving a sigh, she was hastening her steps and craning her neck to keep view of her Idiot Daughter im sure, because next i check, after id paid, she’d disappeared into the crowd. that left me sad for a long time; i thought of that story in the secondaryschool textbook of the father’s back at the train station.
there are many sad and angry things happening around us all the time, we are very small creatures.