Log 18-07-13

July 18, 2013

Birdhouse: 1935 is when the birds return to roost – from what I have been able to make out, there are not too many so far – nonetheless, it’s a respectable start considering it’s less than a year. Most birdhouse owners don’t even get any birds visiting their houses – the super species of swiftlets I spotted the other day have not decided to commit to stay and breed in my bird house. Not yet at least, I need to spend more time to observe them.

Things I need to do

(a) 4 giant fiber glass ponds need to be strategically placed around the bird house to encourage insects to breed – the more insects there are around the BH – the more birds will be come. I need to identify the location of these sites tomorrow.

(b) Roof to collect rain water needs to be constructed – as one tank will be within the house, if my water supply is sabotaged or poisoned.

(c) I need to get fishing nets and string them up to prevent the owls from attacking the swiftlets – this is not a priority. I will consider this only after November.

(d) Gardener needs to spray the entrance of the bird house every morning – I am not happy with the general state of housekeeping – I will need to talk to him and his wife AFTER Ramadan – I do not want to discipline my workers during their holy month.

Moral of workers: I fast alongside my Muslim farmhands as during the month of Ramadan, they have a tendency to slow down. I have deliberately asked Vun and his wife to cook for me during this month – as my real intention is to gather daily intelligence on what they eat to gauge their quality of life. From what I am able to make out, they seem to be tightening their belts.

The food I get will be the best. As the farmer is considered the master. If the quality of my own food has only a few pieces of meat. Then what are their wife’s and children eating? Even then I can tell with very little difficultly, they are careful with their expenses – this is understandable as this year has been the worst year for the oil palm industry. The double whammy of decreased yield due to El Nina and depressed commodity prices means many harvesters will have a bleak Raya.

I need to create jobs for them – I will speak to Vun tomorrow and tell him to paint the birdhouse and metal works as a means of supplementing his income.

Siti – the young Malay girl who washes and irons my clothes and fetches provisions from the village has been sacked – when I told her parents they asked me why – I told them, surely you must know – they nodded their heads and said the girl is in love. They have known this for a long time. I simply replied, I am a married man. A man old enough to be her father. Inshallah, that she will get married to a man who shares more in common with her – I did not share with them Siti placed her hand on my shoulder and asked, “what is wrong with you master.” I feel it is wrong that my servants touch me – I need an imaginary line to separate me from them always – discipline must be maintained even if everyone in the village believes I only have an imaginary wife.

I will miss Siti. As when a woman loves a man. Everything that she does for that man is perfection onto itself. As she puts her heart and soul into it – my clothes are perfect, my bush jacket well pressed, shoes polished, she even goes through the bother of cycling to the coconut groves to select the youngest and freshest coconuts for me daily – but it is dangerous for her to be close to a man who is slowly dying of some incurable disease. I must work on the assumption, I cannot or should not trust myself in this present state of mind. I do not know how bad the deterioration will be and since this is the first time that I am going through this. It is best if she goes away.

I have be cold, distant and indifferent. Discipline must be maintained.

Village gossip: Now that the whole village knows the imaginary wife of the farmer who stays on the hill will not attend the annual school dinner again – no one believes I am a married man any longer – I do not go to the village any longer – only the driver and the kitchen hands go there – even my attempts at imposing some form of seclusion does not prevent the young school teachers to request field trips for their classes to see how oil palm is harvested – I oblige these visits. But increasingly I find these young teachers to be more brazen in their teasing and their suggestive comments – in truth there is a side of me that relishes this sort of attention as I am a man – and I want to remember how it feels like to be with a man with a woman again – it has been so long, that at times I feel like one of those crusaders who have been away for so long from home that they can hardly remember the sweet repose home offers any longer.

Mental Health: I am deteriorating rapidly. Lost another kg. Soon my body will begin to cannibalize muscle to sustain life – I must make an effort to eat regularly and drink more water and smoke less.

Even my alpha dog who guards me when I sleep can senses that I have been mortally wounded – he has begun to stop other dogs from coming close to me – he always alert in combat mode – Praetoria knows. Dogs can smell grief and sadness along with impending danger – they can pick it up. Praetoria fears that the other dogs will bully me. As the pack always goes for the weakest – this is the politics of how canines see the world.

Imagine the irony of it all. All these years of fighting and being away from home. All the risk I have taken – I cannot even remember how many times I have faced off with the men my enemies send to harass me.

Yes. It may seem there is some redemption to my constant sacrifices and sufferings. My lands are worth millions. I do not need to worry my wife and children will not have enough money when I am gone.

It matters little to me whether they appreciate it or not. I have gone beyond that – found resolution in the belief – I have accomplished by goal. Whether they care enough is no longer important to me any longer – beside the vapidness of just wealth – what else do I have to show for all these years – a dog who mulls and worries over me. Surely such a man has to be a joke to everyone, especially himself.

Life is indeed cruel. Not just plain cruel, but sardonically cruel. There is an elegance to this barbed repartee – and I am glad that I can still laugh at myself.

But I am wallowing again in self pity again, am I not? Asking myself the same litany of why along with was it really all worth it.

– I must stop this gyre. Before this overwhelms me. Maybe it is best, if I dress now and go out for a morning patrol with Praetoria.

It’s after all a brand new day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: