For Lukas [23.04.06]

Car doors slam. Brisk footsteps echo through the floor, across bitumen, silence.
“Sure this is the place? Certainly doesn’t look it.”
Feet that jump up the steps several at a time, hasty glances at a watch.
“Yeah, especially the spastic children part? I know, I know. Hope we’re not late”.
The footsteps quicken. Then a short wait up the lift, a shorter wait in the toilet. Heart ecstatic, beating. To the end of the corridor there’s fluorescence, pale white light that illuminates. A far cry from the rank darkness of previous floors. Posters all along the sides, freckled partitions and glass. Then a door, with that welcoming sign on it. Knocks, opens the door.

The room is brightly lit like the corridor outside. Eight rectangular tables adorn most of the space, on the left a computer, various paraphernalia on the shelves. Brochures and leaflets on table. In front an ominous clock, menacing whiteboard. Some people already seated, seemingly strangers silent. The person in charge on the left speaks, says You can sit anywhere, go ahead. Move awkwardly into the room and then take a seat, one each. Looks around. Room disturbingly sterile.

Later when the papers are distributed a quick glance through them proves true — it’s something familiar. Person in charge drawls instructions. He doesn’t understand, but he does. Oh I know how to do this, here let me show you, you do see the connection do you? Yes? No? Oh okay, hope you get it. Hope you see the connection. Pencils are passed around, one guy behind, cocky confident confides that he needs another pencil, two perhaps. Then two girls come in. One of them unremarkable, the other head-turning attractive. The examiner guy having asked previously to the early ones to put their identity cards on the table asks the two girls the same. Head-turner says she didn’t bring hers, she’s fifteen though. The unremarkable says she can vouch for her, she’s taking her PMR this year.

Then the writing on the paper commences. Quick scribbles, rough alien empty paper that’s quickly filled. Flips through the booklet, first question second question third. A breakneck pace that slowly but surely grinds to a halt. During a lull in the sprint a look to the left, reveals he’s on the same question, perhaps two questions more. Pages turned. A glance to the left; the girl, the mature-for-her-age attractive one has given up. There was advice given saying that the questions got progressively harder, not to look at the 36th question first. She’s looking at it, probably out of hope lacking.

As the minute hand ticks to synchrony with the hour one, papers picked prudently. He leaves the last few questions unanswered, looks at the 36th one nonchalant. Then a few more question-answers from the person in charge, a walk back to the car park.

Nothing much is said. To the wide expanse of car temporary placement that seems refreshing, clearing soothing after the long hour or so of stress and mental facilitation. He winces, he starts the car. The journey back is silent, but they don’t have much to say anyway. Brains aching from words lacking.

 

 

 

 


Lukas Lim Xia Wei is twenty. Or was twenty on Sunday, but I hadn’t finished writing this thanks to writers block. We went to Mensa Malaysia to have our spatial-logic levels assessed. Thirty-six questions that got progressively harder, a maximum IQ score of 180. You had to be in the top 98 percentile to get in. We got our results a day before his birthday on Saturday — and what did we get, you ask? I obtained a 92 percentile and Lukas 97 percentile, but as for the exact score? Do your math. Or ask us nicely.

He leaves in September, and I guess I’ve never really bothered to acknowledge his birthdays for the most part, so this would be a kind-of compensation for the past two decades, although I’m sure I’ve only known him for one and a half. I’ll miss him when he’s gone, and probably will write another. But I digress.

As to the piece you just read, it jars when you read it grammatically, but I thought I’d do an e. e. cummings and try it anyway. Still doesn’t make sense? Try reading it while adding the words “we”, “they”, “him” or those other descriptive-noun whatever things they call them in English. Inversions and other circumlocution abound, but for effect’s sake.

Happy Birthday, Lukas.

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2 Comments on “For Lukas [23.04.06]”

  1. Lukas Says:

    hey there… thanks for the blog dedicated to me. very honoured!

  2. Owen Says:

    You’re welcome. :D


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