A Makcik Cleaner was cleaning the windows when I was in the studio this afternoon. Aside from moths and other metaphysical inhabitants, we were alone. And being a typical cleaner, she murmured how dirty we were and how she would teach us to be hygenic and for the 5 minute of her constant blabbering, I nodded fakely and re-emphasized her knock-out statements. And after that 5 minutes (I keep my time when it comes to this sort of things. 5 minutes layan. 10 minutes too much!) I was getting more interested with whatever that comes out from her mouth. I guessed she noticed this and prolonged her duty in the studio.
She told me that she's from Boyan. Boyan? "Itu pulau di Timor Jakarta itu." Oh Boyan.. and she told be she had been in Malaysia for 25 years and had worked various domestic jobs. Stories of marriages popped out from nowhere and subsequently stories of her children.
I was in awe with her flow of words; depicting her misery in a casual manner, as if it was something all of us had gone through in life. 3 marriages, 1 dead child, a cheating husband, long journeys and affairs in one scoop of cold cucumber soup. "Hidup makcik ni senang ja dek.." she would say in between stories. "Makcik mau kerja halal!" My heart skipped a beat.
It was courageous of her to travel without assurance but she had made it a point that Patience is the key to almost everything and that doesn't include her first husband. And somewhere along her confessions, I 'clicked' with her, both of us have negative notions towards Kelantanese. "Orang Kelantan tu mana mana pun pelat, dia ingat kita faham cakap dia. Gedebe kunun.. Dia tak sedar.. Ini KL!"
By the end of the day, we met in front of the elevator, I grinned out of empathy and courtesy. She was no longer a Makcik Cleaner but Makcik Hazura and I, Apik.