Photograph by Ray Ng KT
Life is strange because we cannot predict what will happen in the following couple of minutes. Maybe life itself needs a strange person to cooperate, to construct an alluring scenery.
The questions are: What makes a person look eccentric? What is the definition of “unconventional behaviour”? Things that most of the people do are considered as convention. To be honest, it is not a fair phenomenon but it is really a mode that is embedded in everybody’s mind.
I do not know whether I should categorise him as the most eccentric person, but in the eyes of his classmates and friends, he is.
He is my best friend since I was a child. We lived in the same flat in our hometown. What a coincidence it is that we were born in the same year and on the same day. Furthermore, we were classmates throughout our study life. I always think that he is special because he has a dual personality. Most of the time, he is introverted, enjoys silence and prefers to be alone, whereas to a certain extent, he enjoys speaking and giving renditions.
I still remember when we were in primary school, in an art lesson, the teacher asked us to break some eggshells and paste them on a drawing paper in order to form a picture, and then coloured it. He used three weeks to complete that homework. Everyone was shocked when the teacher put his work on the board because he had smashed the eggshells into the tiny pieces. Of course, he got the highest mark for that piece of art.
When he was in secondary school, he used to wrap his things such as pencil case and calculator in plastic before put into his bag. According to him, he wanted his things to be preserved all the time. After his stuff getting older and older, he realised that nothing is immortal.
He and I went to Kuala Lumpur after Form Six to further our study in a college. Gradually, he spoke more in the class and became more silent while he was in his room. He stayed in a dormitory for four years until his graduation. During this period of time, he immersed himself into a sea of books. Every day he woke up at 5:30 a.m. to wash his clothes and clean himself up, I think he was the earliest resident in his level of dormitory. Different from others, his door was always closed and his shoes were kept inside the room because he believed that the room was his castle and things that out of his sight were not safe.
Although almost all of the students like to chat at mamak stalls at night, he was not on the fad. He only went out once a week for amusement like watching movies and shopping to release his pressure. Furthermore, he seldom went out with friends.
It is worth to be mentioning that his college individual projects were done by using typewriter, since he did not bring his computer to Kuala Lumpur. His lecturers and classmates were astonished. He was the only one who used an “antique” to produce the contemporary works.
Now and forever, I think he will be my best companion. He has been living deep inside of me. Every day I meet him in the mirror. When I comb my hair, he will comb his hair; when I grin at him, he will grin at me.