A tale : post-modern fairy tale.

He was born in a land of the poor. Food was just enough to feed everybody. Clothes were plain and life was banally simple. Since young he admired the rich country across the sea where the sun rises everyday. He always stood for hours looking towards the rising sun. He hated his present situation and wished to have a rich and happy life. He yearned for abundant food, and gorgeous clothes make of silk.

One day, he gathered enough courage and swam towards the rising sun. His strong wish and will kept him going. When he reached the shore, he collapsed on the beach. The sight of the white silky sand filled his heart before he lost consciousness. A wealthy philanthropist saved him, offered him work on the condition that he agreed to be his adopted daughter. For this, he had to go through sex change and become his wish. She adorned new clothes and was served abundant food. She was reborn. She learned new language. She learned how to walk gorgeously. She learned how to eat gracefully. She had become a citizen of this rich country. She was exalted and joyous. She felt new. She felt life.

Many years had passed. All she had done was the right decision, until she met the workers of the philanthropist. They were all deformed people adorned with silky clothes. One had horn on his head; another had extra long ears; yet another had four hands; yet another had hands attached to his feet. They were all people from the poor countries. She asked them how did they become this? They stared blankly into her eyes. They replied, ‘He has the power of spoken language, he described us and we became what we are.’

She was shocked. She realised how long she had not looked into the mirror since he had became her. She saw a stranger in the mirror. She realised she would never be the true citizen of this rich country. She would never be his daughter. She could never conceive a child when she is married. Who would want to marry her? His voice called out to her. She was split. She now yearned for the return to the banal simplicity, to be him again. She plunged into the sea and swam westward. The crews of a fishing trawler saved her. She recognised the owner was his father from the land of the poor. He called out to his father; however, his father would not recognise this son of his. She stood as a hybrid of the lands of the rich and the poor. Where does she belong? She is a lost identity!

He was sleeping on the couch, dreaming, he thought the dream was weird. He woke up. His eyes were still closed when he saw himself waiting at the gate of her school. He waited patiently like a thief waiting for his prey. He had become a thief only very recently. He did not intend to become one. Her uncontrollable need to kiss man brought about his transformation.

They met under the same circumstances of her need. He found her obsession incomprehensible. He had delved into it but found no acceptable answer. Eventually he had to accept her being, and his own too. This was contrary to his believe and his being before her. He had this part of her being to thank too, for without which, he would not have the chance encounter to explore deeper into her. When she first kissed him, his lip was tight. With her searching and insisting tongue, she pried into him, he could not resist, he touched hers. He went for her lips, initially shallow, eventually they were smooching each other’s tongue passionately. A strange feeling rose, he experienced something different, a certain sense of unrestrained, excitement, and freedom. She unlocked his confined freedom. That chilly late winter after he fell for her lips, he became a liar.

Strangely, he was unrepentant and not sorry for breaking his vow, this holy truth of conduct, which he had worshiped for a long time. He was to live life honestly according to the truth of absolute morality. Before, he could not accept something that had no reason. Now, where had truth been? Reason has met irrationality. He smell death.

He had felt no guilt. After many days, he still felt no guilt. He was amazed and found himself a complete stranger. He often looked up to the sky, as if seeking heaven for an answer to this sudden appearance of his quaintness. There was no truth descending from this twenty-first century’s dreary blue sky. Perhaps his God was dead, or perhaps he was beyond redemption and his God could not have an answer for him, perhaps his God needed more time to ruminate, or perhaps he should be looking for a new God, a God that could provide guidance in this century and who ruled this century, if only, there was one. There is bound to have one, otherwise, create one. Are not we human the creator?

He woke up one morning and he scrutinised the mirror for hours, searching for this strange part of him. He saw an older man in the mirror. There were white hairs in a mess. There were rivulets and guilds written on the edge of his eyes, on his forehead and between his eyes and his nose. They formed an interesting image of him. He was intrigued looking at time writing clues on this face. He took photographs of this face. He posed and adjusted the face for the digital camera. He immediately checked the photographs and readjusted the face until he finally had what he wanted. He spent hours looking at the image and did not stop admiring them for their strangeness, quietly searching for an answer.

He sent it to his wife as if to inform her of his discovery or perhaps his fall. The photograph was evident of this change in him, beneath this frozen time, he saw a liar in himself, a liar without guilt. If only she scrutinised these photographs he had sent her, she would have noticed these changes, however, she was too engrossed in chasing recognition for her hard work, her preoccupation. She had missed this glaring evidence in the photographs. Somehow, he was rather disappointed that he was not found out. He felt unwanted and lonely. However, what would be the consequences if he was to be found out, in fact, this was a blessing in disguise. Why he could not tell her? He could if he needed her attention immediately, but he decided otherwise. He wondered if he did, what would come out of it.

A tale : post-modern fairy tale.

Meng Foo Choo

Joined February 2008

  • Artist

Artist's Description

Discovering horror of loosing oneself. Gender transformation and the lost of identity, of being ……

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