First Day at Work
The planets do not deviate from their courses, and nor
do the buses from their routes. 21, which struggles to appear
in the morning (and then in threes all at once), still takes
me to my first day at work. A lady shows me to my four
false walls. The technicians double-lock
my laptop and set two passwords. "Got public holiday or not?"
"So old already better to die." "Die also don't die like that,
better die at home lah." I try not to think about my own,
but about his – the tubes, the pain of breath, bare cognisance
of the fact of living, a hardwon city fading and the wires
of time melting. A half-century yawns, stretches its belly
of secrets and sprints. They give me a staff pass and a jacket,
and tell me that the air-con is sometimes a bit too cold.
By Daryl Lim Wei JieQLRS Vol. 15 No. 4 Oct 2016