The Grand old man’s wife new JAGUAR C X16 and the man who remembers

June 30, 2013

“The farmer looked at the car and at the woman in red again in the Planter’s driveway – she wore matching laced gloves and with her big curls, she looked exactly like a billionaire proprietor of a bird nest trading house – a look of expectancy hung all over her like a heady perfume that curled around the man like a serpent.

The man she was good in seductive. Even better at prying open his weaknesses like a stainless steel can opener. The man ran his fingers along the silken bonnet – he could just make out the enlarged intercooler and knew instinctively this beast would have absolutely no trouble negotiating the tight hair pins and straights even at overdrive. None whatsoever. The man knew – it was the way the car sat that suggested to him this would drive exactly like a boxer and a hint of a Lamborghini on the straights. With every passing seemed as if the car was calling out to him….titilating his eyes with it’s voluptous lines and suggestion of raw power. Calling to a man somewhere in the farmer who had seemed to be in a spell. All the while the woman in the red dress looked on with an expression of sublime satisfaction.

From time the farmer would look up at the woman who leaned seductively against the car – he wore a look bordering on fear and fascination – as if even he must have known this have been an elaborate trap. But something dark was drawing him deeper and deeper….the man remembered another life. A life where he would come alive in moonnless nights and tear through the streets in Singapore.

“Yes, I remember him….that man who always slipped away like a thief in the night on a moonless night. While his wife pretended to sleep. As she knew there were certain things to the man she married who will never see the light of day.”

The woman in red looked at the man – she realized the delectable concoction of poison she had brewed for the man was slowly and surely beginning to take effect – she had once remembered as an apprentice to the grand old man.

“Men have only three weaknesses, money, liquor, women. There are easy to undo. There is another sort of man. He is like the legendary warrior in the martial discipline of Hon Kuen we call the dark characters – these men can only be brought down by the men who they are all trying to run and hide from. And here comes the secret. And usually these men still reside in the folds and memories of these men – they’re always there lurking in darkness. Bring this man out and you will have him eating from the palm of your hands.”

The woman in red recounted those words in a reverie – when she looked up, as the man who looking at her was now a different man – this wasn’t the shy, reserve and ramrod farmer – there was something different in the man’s eyes, the cadence of his slow movements and cool demeanor suggested he must be a man who once knew about racing cars.

Somewhere between the distance of the wing mirror and the tail lights – the man must have succumbed to his temptation for fast cars.

“Get in!” The woman hesitated. Partly, it was due to the brusque tone. But when the man said, “Get in! I am hungry and I need to cook!” She got in. He couldn’t help it. He had tried to push aside that urge, but it just got the better of him – that’s how its like with all opiates – at first one resist and the harder on tries to mine whatever morsel of resolve that’s still left to resist. Then failure has to be nothing short of glorious – when the engine growled to life – the man scanned the dashboard. He liked the way, the clutch sat close like a Masserati – liked even more the almost spartan through bred feel of the cabin – at that moment, the woman in red registered his look of immideacy that spoke of a primal man wanting a thing. She looked nervous.

Till then, she had always believed – he was under his spell. But man is different. Maybe he sees through my plans to undo him. Perhaps this mysterious stranger will be my undoing instead – who is he, the woman in red thought to herself as she beamed at the man.

The man grabbed it and looked at it for a while, then at her again and finally his eyes came to rest on the beast.

When the man strapped himself in, the woman in red looked pensive – she noticed he brought his harness full across his shoulders and she did the same, though she didn’t know why. It even felt right when he brought her seat forward with a smile. He mentioned it had something to do with weight distribution – and in that very moment when the man placed his hands on the steering wheel and powered up the beast – it was as if, he had been reborn into yet another man – a man long dead till now. Suddenly revived by the concerto of pistons and cylinders firring a symphony of grunts and pants that can only come from a car that the woman knew instinctively, the man seat next to her that day would split wide open like fire wood.

She had seen that same look in men before. A look she could never ever place no matter how hard she tried – a distant look where the man recalled the faint memory of another life, another man who often drove a black Ferrari in illegal races in Singapore – that man never lost a single race – it was another man. A man who was part of the city as the city was part of it – at one point, when the man set the rear view mirror straight. He caught his own reflection – in that instant – even the woman could sense the heady images of the past storming into the cramped cockpit of the sportscar – she could tell he had done all this before, the way, he had inverted his Rolex submariner into the inside of his wrist so that he could time the rev – the way he tightened his right driving glove till they looked like skin and how he had left the other loose for the corners. And through it all, it seemed to the woman in red the man seated beside her that evening was someone who see had never seen before – not this side of him at least.

All that remained now as they both sat in the purring sportscar was the faint sepia image of the man who once race cars for money in the streets of Singapore along with the lingering fumes of octane –  with these thoughts, the man suddenly smiled at the slightly nervous woman in red and as they both blasted into the sunset.

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