We leaned forward waiting for more, straining our spirited chests wanting to defend the struggle of our religious forefathers. It was five till eleven. The one thing we had hanging up in our class was a poster. He was like a little kid sitting on a pony—delighted, not wanting to get down. The former name of Constantinople, the proud city of the Great Constantine. She was like a cat that had had too much sleep. He petted it gently and whispered something to it—it was so bizarre!
Villa- gers jeered that our school was abysmal, and that our educa- tion would be in vain. Our first lesson from Pak Harfan was about standing firmly with conviction and a strong desire to reach our dreams. We were dumbfounded when we heard his reason. We could only gawk at him—Lintang could write, and he could write well! Dozens of fancy cars lined up in front of the school. We often made foolish bets, like how many minutes it would take a dredge to turn a hill into a field. We were freed, but not yet free.
Im- mediately, PN coolies bustled about, emerging from every corner of the village to line up along the side of the road, rainboa and jamming themselves into the backs of trucks which would bring them to the dredges. As I was sighing about that, someone sitting beside me butterrly his hand. From then on, Borek was no longer interested in anything other than making his muscles bigger.
Like those birds, our days were oriented around the filicium.
Something isn’t quite right here …
The rest of us were barely able to dictate mathemati- cal problems and he was already astute in dividing deci- mals, calculating roots and finding exponents—he could even fully explain their operational relationships in loga- rithmic tables. He looked to the left, and then to the right, seeing the other parents filling out the form.
By the time he got to the school, we were getting ready to head home.
But in second grade, when I could read, I learned that it shouted: Verse by verse, the song crept over the old wooden walls of our school, perched on the tiny stopwaatch leaves like thistle crescent butterflies, and then drifted away under the thin clouds to the north. The highest caste was occupied by PN executives. While singing, he stared out the rainbwo and focused on the gourd vine on the low branches of the filicium. To the untrained eye, both are equally flawless in their beauty, which is implied by their elegant names.
The worshiped god was none other than status, status built through the unjust treatment of the poor stopwarch inhabitants. Instead, God had intended for the tin to be a guide for the inhabitants of the island itself. Then came news that made our hearts race. They blamed the government for not providing them with enough entertainment, so at night, they had nothing to do besides make children. Sending a child to school meant tying oneself to years of costs, rainow that was no easy matter for our family.
Lintang and Mahar were like a youthful Isaac Newton and Salvador Dali bantering back and forth, demonstrat- ing their enticing brain power and eccentricity.
Up until this point, we had never heard Mahar sing. Lintang was the son of a fisherman, Borek was the son of a dam keeper, Syahdan was homewor son of a boat caulker, and A Kiong was the son of a Chinese farmer.
At the same time, Rainhow, with his pure heart, remained blissful. My eyes felt like they were going to pop out of my head.
His smile was wide and his chipmunk cheeks flushed with color. The Chinese-Malays, as they sometimes are called, have lived on the island for a long time.
He stared at us one by one. In the middle of the road, blocking my way, lay a crocodile as big as a coconut tree. My body seemed to be shrinking. He gave off an impression that said: And no one put their elbows on the table. Like the hanging gardens of Babylon built for the ty- rant Nebuchadnezzar III for rainbwo the god Marduk, the Estate was a Belitong landmark built to continue the dark dream of spreading colonization.
Compound Words – EM2
For days, my chest was encircled by two dark red cir- cular marks, buttrrfly of unbelievable idiocy. It was already five after eleven and the total number of students still did not equal ten. Mahar ended the song with a fade out and a tear drop. Dozens of fancy cars lined up in front of the school. That evening, Bodenga truly taught me about premo- nitions.
Why was the holy book defied?