Haritu aku lepak dekat nasi lemak bangsar. We were smoking and eating and drinking until then he brought up a topic about the end of the world. He was telling about how the mayan calendar which will stop on 20 December this year. Basically the Mayans wrote that the world is created in cycles and we are in our fourth cycle which will end soon. And these cycles are called Baktun.
To which I replied, “Heh?”
You see my friend is an atheist and me, I’m a believer in general, so most of the time when we talk, he’s mostly about “I don’t believe in God, I believe in science” to which I would reply I too believe in science… well to a certain extent.
He asked me… whether or not 20 December 2012 is a credible date for an ending. He didn’t believe it much mostly because you know “Discovery Channel…” so… whether or not December this year could be an end… is pretty remote of a possibility. I think for most Muslims it’s just anecdotal in a way, like we would laugh it off… Like we believe that no one knows the date for the end of the world, so in not knowing the date then that means the Mayans can’t know the date. Which means, December this year CAN’T be the date. But then again in defining not knowing the date, one must also not be able to know when is not the date… so saying that December could be… you get the drift. He didn’t.
And then we went on talking what would I do… you know trying to imagine say… the final moments of our lives here… I am not very good at imagining things. I don’t know why I was reminded of the stray dogs at that point. Masa aku kecik dulu aku selalu pergi kelas agama which happened weekly. Every week I had to go through a back alley with many stray dogs straying which eventually became one of the many excuses to skip classes. One day I was confronted by my Ustaz on why I always missed classes who at the end of his lecture gave me a short prayer to protect myself from the dogs. The following day, with vigour I walked through the back alley and long story short the prayer didn’t work as I expected. When I told the Ustaz about the incident, his answer was that I did not believe enough and he also managed to tell me not to ask too many questions. The dogs in alley were gunned down a few weeks after – I guess the prayer did work – to a certain extent. The dog story was pretty much what was in my head when I tried imagining about the end of the world.
I said to my friend, but then again… the end of the world would depend on the definition of both end and world. To which he replied… “heh?” yea its true you know… I’ve met someone who claims her world ended when her boyfriend dumped her so that means the world means relationship and an end means a full stop in the journey of the relationship. No? He said… “yeahh… maybe, but you know I’m not into all this philosophical bullshit and stuff”. I remembered when I was a kid, I saw my mother crying when my father passed away… I thought at that point… it could possibly be an end to our world. But over time, I guess like what the ,mayans wrote, it’s an end of a cycle.
After that, I think we went on arguing whether God exists or not… to which we agree we are not imposing each other which only means the argument had no ending. Suddenly atas meja tu, one damn lipas crawled on it, we both screamed, fuck that was embarrassing and then we decided to go off.
That night I couldn’t sleep, thinking about the end of the world and then I started stuffing pills. Zolpidem, Mirtazapine, Benzodiazepine and even cough medicines but I was still awake. Lepas tu masa aku sibuk menguap dan periksa muka aku dekat cermin, I made two observations… one aku rasa muka aku dah tak simetrikal, second my hair is falling off. I’m going bald.
And then instead of worrying about the possibility of the world ending, I started worrying about my hair. So as usual, when I’m worried, I would call my mom. Mind you it was 3 in the morning, so our on conversation was pretty brief.
“Hello, mak, rambut orang nak botak dah, how?
“Mana ada botak… you have high forehead, Chinese people think you are smart, you ikut your father tu”
“Oh okay… mak do you believe it when people say this year is Kiamat?”
My mother then laughed and said “Don’t think so much, drink water and go to sleep, if you’re not I am, Assalamualaikum”
And then she puts down the phone. I sat on my bed for about 5 minutes. And then I remember my friend asking me… Imagine the world is ending and you have about 5 minutes… what would you do? Well I guess… Most likely… I’ll write a monologue. And it will be called “How I learned to stop worrying about the end of the world and love my mother…”