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Sunday, October 11

Tanah Airku

In this country, the land is as fertile as a young virgin, it is richer in color and thicker in texture. The hills are like your mother’s bosom and the rivers like the veins on your grandmother’s hands. The fruit is swollen with honey and juice, it is ripe, ready to be picked all year round and a palette of a million shades of green grace the leaves, the trees and the grass. The air is hot and heavy, its breath is warm and moist like your lover’s. The harsh sun has bled the sky dry of all color, it has inhaled in all the shades of blue and left it a blinding white.

In a particular village on a particularly strange Friday, an old man in a field got his cane stuck in the mud. A week later it was two meters taller and sprouting frangipanis of which the old man had died under, still standing upright, one hand grasping a branch, in his blangkon and sarong. The thick white sap of this tree had seeped out from the cracks of the wood and dripped on to his body, melting into his skin, completing full rigor mortis. His body was so solid and heavy, the villagers couldn’t move it, they tried, and they tried, they pried his hands away, they found it had taken on the texture of the tree. Over time, the old man solidified, his features molded into the bark. Perplexed after waiting, because waiting is what the rest had done best, the people congregated in front of the old man’s corpse, because congregations are important, especially in perplexion. They brought offerings and threw rice, they prayed with their hands in the sky, they touched the man’s branches and picked at his leaves, put them in their purses and left feeling relieved. They chattered away like monkeys, musing at his vegetation, it is the lushest green, the most vibrant flower, was this an omen from above or an abomination?

During the 7th ceremony of the fifth day of his funeral, the old man’s first daughter received news of her inheritance, her late fathers’ austere, colonial-dated estate in the city. It was the last deed on his family name and he was the last of its sons. It was a home guarded by two canons and infested with spirits. Guards paraded the facade, shooting at barren women who came to ride the artillery to be blessed with fertility, the dungeons beneath shook under their feet, rooms whispered their histories and shamans were called but no medicinial plants could avenge the bloodshed of that house of dead.

The first daughter called for her dayangs and packed her belongings, she sent them ahead, to prepare her arrival. Sawah, the oldest of them. Rempah, the most passionate and wild, Darah whose skin was as black and thick and smooth as the stroke of midnight, dressed in their finest lace kebayas they were an impressive procession walking down the street, everyone stopped to stare, they stared at hints of flesh flirting through their lace kebayas, they stared at the black shadows drawn on their temples and red painted lips, at their proud tall backs, carrying bundles and bags filled with red onions and chilies and turmeric to hang on the doors, at the scissors in their sashes to place beneath their pillows and the surety of their stepping, their precision in their gait. They walked on, they walked on.

On the roads leading into the city, the juice of stewed rubbish drips slow heavy drops from the rusty trucks. The gaudy graffiti on the windshields tell of a prayers from a mother, some return promises of sexual fervor. The drivers hands are stained black and wherever they walked, their intrusive stench burned the insides of everyone within their proximity. The closer to the city, the blacker the air.

The first daughter observed her surroundings. Accustomed to open fields of her village, she had slept outside every full moon and now found how tight and narrow streets could be. She had been spoilt, like a fat pig on a roast she had been fed well by her dayangs and they had bathed her every night for three full hours five minutes and seven seconds. Now her skin sagged with age and the omnipotent creases of the folds of her fat hungrily sucked in the delicate fingers of her dayangs slim hands, none wanted the task of oiling her body with coconut milk after her long bath. She leaked fat from her sides yet still the men came to her.

Dark men came some with cocks so big and some with cocks that tasted like spices and reeked of hot vices, white men came, their repression driven crazy by the heat of the seven suns, men who’s eyes had been slit by the devil himself, that’s what the locals said, they came, the city was coming, everyman came. The country became known for it’s skilled and insatiable lovers and hot blooded and irrational politicians.

She fucked and she fucked, she sold her soul every night, that fat bitch’s thighs didn’t tremble, they thundered. the fat smacked together and made a terrible sound, but the men always went down. When her appetite was not satiated, she sold Sawah, the men bid to bone the virgin, their tongues salivating with spit. Sawah screamed and she cried, it was the same night the forests burned to dust in a fire. The house became an ongoing orgy, a rotation of musical beds, it was rife with violence.

When her greed was not satiated, she sold Rempah, who, of war-like exhibition, burned the house down with her hot fiery breath,. The fucking spread to the streets like a fornicating virus, it was rife with disease.

When her lust was not satiated she sold Darah, who was made to stand over an old pedophiles face without her garments of lace. She did so willingly and as he looked up her legs, her lips squeezed out one drop of thick black oil. He grabbed his new wife, he’d fuck her all night, til every last drop of that hot oil could be got.

In the city, the land is hidden, concrete has sucked all life from the soil and manifested in erratic building upon building amidst row upon row of metal frames and plastic coated everything. It is a dirtier, messier, cheaper, Chaos theory exemplified. In the city there is a street, one long street from a phallic shaped tower with the nation’s wealth burning at it’s zenith, ending at the largest congregation of expensive vagina, as the locals referred to it. It is the longest, hardest, straightest street, it’s buildings are all made of glass and they glint in the sun as they reach to pierce the sky. In these sensible cubicles little people are hunched, over their screens, wondering where has all the life gone?


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