Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Alison's Wonderland Chapter 4

The Other Side of the grass---Mooing it!

The day was sun-tanned.For the soothing shade of the trees and plants that embroidered and enveloped our neighbourhood in a tranquility rare to this metropolis were but enhanced in their effect on our gratitude as the sun was galloping fast uphill.And it did seem as though the neighbourhood was taking a new hue in the wake of the screened and partly filtering sunshine.Two children were seen ambling on a boundary wall between two houses,each victim to the children's regular fiascos,not just externally as at this moment,but also,internally,
for they were the respective hearts of the two families that lived inside.
Both of the little girls were flushed from running and laughing.One of them was me, pale and curly haired ,a little on the dangly side,while the other one,my best friend,was the one with the long-flowing hair,brown-eyed and shapely.
"You know what, we should try bird noises!" ,she proposed.
I nodded my head knowledgeably,and added,"Yes, of course,but we must start with the crow as we can see them more than the sparrows,plus crows are braver than the sparrows,the sparrows fly away before you can see the color of their underside.I want to be like the crows one day."
This only got me odd look from my comrade.
"I know!But the sparrows are cuter!"
We had only accidentally succeeded in imitating a cow,which was loitering the fields beyond the high way,where we had secretly retired to,and only when we had given up on this feat.Stressed and frustrated,we had begun making fake crying sounds in our throat,one of our many falsehoods to get our parents do something when they refuse to,and that was actually merging with our original style of crying.The entire combination obviously produced the nearest sound akin a moo,which in turn however only galvanized the creature and we had to flee from the site,however not without the joy we had gone there for.Suddenly my best friend,became Agent001,which I can perceive in her pricked ears and popping eyes.
"He's here.Or she." Agent001 whispered.
Ok,I on the other hand was completely lost now.
"What?Who's here?"
"The one who did things to our playhouse,remember?The person was here!"
She spoke in a breezy whisper,that sent my ear-drums ringing.
But then I saw it too.There were marble paper dolls on our window,and loose paper littered on the grass below it.Basically our playhouse was the little annexed little room built to keep dad's motorbike,and his old bicycle,but now that we had bought a car,all of them went into the garage a few blocks away.It was not completed,and had the openings for doors and windows but that was about it.
Agent 001 and I crouched behind the bougenvallias,and I sneezed as some creatures even smaller than us scurried up my nose! We were in the backyard on the lookout for the mysterious guest who painted our playhouse in the night and disappeared with the crack of the day before we could show off our etiquettes.
"Nearing the crime site,I repeat,nearing the crime site.Prepare your men." Agent 001,Sonai as was her nickname, murmered into her hand-made (literally!as in made with her cupped hands) walkie talkie,making crackling noises every few words,that was beyond me.
"Why you keep making that stupid sound!?" I demanded,for a moment feeling aggravated by the sound again to follow up the ant-y sneeze with another one. "Hush!We're on the crime scene!"
I opened my mouth to say something...but thought better of it.
"I said prepare your men!" She repeated.
" I know."
Sonai looked at me reproachfully. "That's a command,not a moo.You have to do it!"
"And where do I get men? Only man I know is Daddy and he's at the office with his men."
"Pathetic!Get Mr.Banana and Mr.Coldsneeze."
I suddenly turned stone cold and offered an involuntary shudder as a response.
"What!?" Sonai practically spat at me. "He could be around any minute and I can't have my people acting like the tail of a cow."
That was a very strong provocation for a grin,we had furnished a more or less accurate research of the behaviours of the various parts of a cow and the explanations behind it,its stupidity ,manifestly being but a renovated form of higher intelligence, but resisting the temptation I bit my lips and looked away,waiting…
I knew she'll come around.
And apparently she did,and she ,coming around, looked into my face with an apologetic smile and patted my back.Mr.Coldsneeze had only suffered a rather tragedy of a premature death---precisely, prosecution ,beheadment for crime yet unknown--- at the hands(sorry,paws that is) of Sonai's kitty Pepsi (don't ask,I'd insisted time and again to change that dumb name!) and we had had a ceremonial burial of the headless thing.The head was found laid to rest in peace among the plant roots in Ma's flower pots,for which Sonai had offered apologies as also doubts as to whether
the people at the pet store had cheated her by passing on her a dog for a cat.
Pepsi's parental origins are yet to be detected.
But I was still left tender in that bereavement and domineering as she might be, my best friend was compassionate about it. She loved him too.And his ever cold damp plastic nose.
Currently I cheered up.And deciding it would be foolish to seek more attention than I needed,I plunged into the procedurings of the entrapment of the mysterious guest to our dumpling of our playhouse.
We soon gave up on crawling,not because we thought it irrational,which it was no doubt,but because the ants and more horrible creatures of the earth encroached upon us,worshipping us and getting into our ears and noses,not to mention marching up and down celebrating independence day all over our body.
And we thought it best to resume being bipeds again and pretty soon we became so tired of not doing what the playhouse was meant for that we gave up and forgot about the masked hero and engrossed ourselves in playing with our new waterguns.Getting wet and messy always gave us infinite pleasure and just why grown-ups contradicted us on that never quite penetrated me.
The sun was up at the zenith and we felt too drenched and drained at the same time,and decided to take a break.
We went into our playhouse which was becoming more of a restroom than anything—a colorful one---thanks to the masked hero whom I just recalled.
I was reclined on a beadbag,and Sonai was curled up on a rainbow stripped mat on the floor.The history of our many such idle days laid in a corner in a heap of crunched up empty packets of potato chips,cheeselings,Little Hearts,and almost every brand of junkies that had ever came into being.And in there laid the stories of many a day of fights over the turn of licking the inner sides of the packets,of wasted Cheeseballs that was either fated not to succeed in our aims of throwing them into each others mouths or creating an entire circus of them…or well,absolutely anything that can possibly be done with flat fragile objects and soft spheres.Consider that everything.
"I'm bored." I complained.
Sonai blew out a low sigh in acquiescence to it.I followed suit and blew a longer and shrill whistle-like sigh.And immediately sat up.
So did Sonai.
It was a breakthrough.It was more than a breakthrough!It was a god-gifted moment of realization of our dreams.The momentous accomplishment of many a long day of hard exertion.In just one second.
"Oh my god!Do that again!" Sonai shrieked.
We had made fools of ourselves on the streets,at homes,at school,even at important places like our parents' offices and in the presence of significant guests,and even more so, perilously significant guests,namely the old female aqquaintances of our families who liked nothing better than to criticize the younger generation ,especially when the children were not their direct grandchildren.Well,grandchildren are technically grand and the rest are ungrand,in other words,total waste of Earth's natural resources.Even I knew that.
And hated them for it,and hated them more for it was to be scoffed at that Ma
subjected me to the painful process of being shampooed to the utter displeasure of feeling like I was being de-eyed,as the foam kept getting into the holes,and it would've eased the agony had I not kept them wide open as if to see the face of my tormentor as I cursed her with all sorts of curses I could come up with,and that fear permitted me, anointed my face with lots of cream on my face,that made me sweat like anything and which I tried to lick off as far as my tongues could exercise their elastic limit and I looked like a oily rat with
watery eyes,and worst of all,made me wear a dress.
Nonetheless,all these efforts and pain was for quite a while now,unheeded and buried under the façade of my futile attempts at whistling which I took to out of sheer boredom,being compelled to sit there and listen to drawls,and during which each time I failed,I rewound my face ,sucked in enough breathe to last me an hour underwater,and with crimson ears,cheeks puffed up and blew out with the all might I could ensue to the ordeal.But results---1)intonation of nothing less impressive than a baby banshee 2) Extremely unpleasant guests and 3)Even more unpleasant parents to deal with later on.
But that never dissuaded me nor Sonai,with respect to the corresponding incidences at her abode,from persevering in our Whistling efforts.
And currently,this slight,this 'slip of tongue',this accident,and the conjugation of
Incidences that qualified it for a monumental phenomenon for us,little earthlings,put a happy end to our days of furious struggle with Element Wind.
But the thing with accidents was that it simply refused to repeat itself.It happened once and no measure of praying could budge it to happen again.
But,no worries ,for now we were on the track,the right track,and instead of distorting our diaphragms to the threatening extents of permanency,we now knew it was a subtle act of making the smallest slit with the lips,the tongue and the teeth.While I tried to recall how it felt in my mouth to whistle,Sonai assisted by her visual memory,of what she had seen.
But the sun was now riding down from its zenith and pretty soon,our respective moms yelled us to lunch and we had to part,but very happy children we were who parted.
At lunch I nearly choked to death,with a fish bone,while I showed off my newly gleaned ability.
Mom looked at me with a mock shocked look,but with a smile playing in her big black eyes. "Hey,did Sonai teach you that?"
"Nope,I did it,first by accident,then Sonai helped me out.She's pretty good with looking at things."
And,I sat up,spine erect,and commenced upon the story of the legendary discovery.
When I had finished with a dignified air,Ma looked at me with an affectionate smile and said, "See,if you could only do your 15s tables and spellings like that,all by yourself,you wouldn't have to get all the ear-boxings!"
I stared at her with a blunt look of bewilderment."But I didn't do it all by myself,Sonai and I did it together,hap hap." That was my half-half.
Ma gave me another affectionate squeeze of my shoulders and charged towards the kitched,wherefrom I could smell something burning for sure,while my mind charged towards making a list of other things we still had left to accomplish.
Swimming---Sonai would teach me that---,standing on our toes---we needed each other to hold onto---,making animal noises beyond moos,mews,and barks,---we could together make a cacophony of many animals at the same time,we could start performing at talent shows,become famous,make lots of money and then we could buy the latest model of Mindostorms Lego ---,spelling words backwards----I had already perfected my name as also of others around me,but Sonai had been nagging me to teach her,and…
I spat out the fish bone and slightly surprised but happy nonetheless,found that I had at least accomplished the completion of this lunch.
Washing my hands, I made a mental memorandum to ask Papa to lend a really large sheet of paper.
I needed to jot down the things to together...Sonai and me.And it was going to be one long list...
I pondered for a while,grinning ,however complicated things we come up with,accidents will probably shine our way...just like it happened with the cow...just like it happened with our whistle...and a a bungle of unfamiliar emotions suddenly effervesced deep within just below my throat,complicated for my seven year old mind,...I couldn't quit comprehend it,but looking from now,it probably was something like the rest of the questions regarding the 'accidents'.....the accidents ....just like it happened with our meeting....who decided that we had to be friends...who decides we have to succeed in whistling that particular day...who decides we have to be happy that we could whistle this very day?
I didn't know the question then,but,now that I do, I still dont know the answer.
But I did know even then---I have got to get that paper and quickly write down the 'things to be done' before Ma comes and imposes the dire torture of midday naps!
To Trisha on her 9th Birthday!

When you are with me,
I feel happy,
When you are with me,
I never feel alone,
When you are with me,
I have someone to moo with,
When you are with me,
I can never quietly sit,
When you are with me,
I can run and compete,
But never win,as we run together,
You always run by my side,
Never back,never before
When you are with me I feel,
So very versatile,
And though mom said
I cant use that word here,
But I'm so happy,
And it sounds nice to hear,
And just like that,
I know you understand,
When you are with me.
I can do all I wish,
When you are not with me,
Everything else I want to miss.
------Alison Johanus.(edited by Ma)


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