A contemplative story of lady life in solitude by the rice field in Thailand..
|Leila is my name. It was a usual afternoon in August. I was sitting by the window on the third floor of my home, gazing at the long railroad next to the rice field in front of me..
It was raining. I was all alone in my big house. Actually, I was always alone in that house. The sky had turnt totally pink and purple while the sun was sinking down into the horizon. It was a magical, almost surrealistic view.
Yes, my name is Leila.. and it means the 'dance of God'.. And my life has been pretty restless and chaotic, eversince I was born.
I lost both of my parents at a very young age. I don't have much memory about family life. I don't have any family now.
And I was born in a noble family.. which has kept me apart from those 'other' classes working out there in the rice field or in the world 'out there'... I own this big house, and several other houses and farms for rent.
Yes, I am alone here, very alone..
I was alone then on that afternoon in August. I was even lonely..
The farmers were working in the rice field. In the swamp by the rice field, some local men were working on the fish net. They were very focused on their work as always. I called that swamp 'Walden' of Mr. Thoreau, just to entertain myself, imagining him living somewhere by that swamp, contemplating deep into nature.
It was at that moment, that the bell rang. I ran downstairs to welcome the unexpected guest, any guest, with much surprise. People really do think that rich, young lady would have a lot of friends, but actually, they are wrong. Not many people want to get close to rich, young lady, fearing that others would get any wrong ideas about them. And so, here I was, very lonely, during my early thirty.
A little boy was standing there, with a bouquet of roses in his left hand. He was grinning..
"Please buy this bouquet of rose for someone you love," he smiled cheerfully, "to support my education, Miss, please buy my bouquet of roses."
I was hesitating.. I felt the pain of loneliness piercing through my heart, and I forced a smile, "dear child, but no one live here but myself, I have no one to give these flowers to."
"Oh well," the boy still smiled, " then I could find someone to give these flowers to for you, Miss, some lovely, lucky guy, wait.., I know just one. He's a patient in that hospital overthere. He's hit by an unknown car while walking by the street the other day. My uncle saw him lying there and took him to the hospital. He's still quite unconscious..," he winked, "sounds pretty romantic and cool, eh.. , let's do this together for the sake of the young man and for the sake of my education.. He'd be pretty surprised and happy.."
I was interested in the story, not on the romantic possibility of it, but more on the headline news part of the community,"so how is he, exactly? Does he has any relatives? And who's going to pay for the hospital expense."
The boy shrugged, and simply told me of the cost, "twenty bahts for a bouquet, cheap, eh? I planted these roses myself. I'd checked on your patient for you, if you'd like, and maybe you could send him more roses."
I was feeling a bit resistant, "hey! I am a lady, young boy, I could not go around giving roses to young man, no mater how unconscious and lonely he'd be at this moment.. it's none of my business... so if you'd like to give him these roses, fine with me, but give them in your name.. Here, I'd pay for it."
I gave him twenty bahts, and turned back to the house, leaving the boy at the gate. And he shouted, "his name is Dharma.. a beautiful name, isn't it? And he's kinda cute too," he grinned when I turned back to wave him to go away. I heard his whistling fading away while he moved on along the railroad towards the train station, looking for more clients.
I believed that the boy was lying. He was quite a good story-teller though. For a moment, I felt desperated, learning how lonely I must have been in his eyes, and he knew exactly what to say to a lonely young woman living alone surrounding by rice fields. A rich, lonely lady..
I went straight upstairs to bed, lying there, crying for this strange sad feeling. 'I really should go out tonight,' I told myself. I could hang out with friends, and I did have friends, just like everyone else did.
I got up slowly, finding dress for the night from my closet. I could feel clearly then how I did not want to see any of my friends, any of them. I did have a lot of friends, like most rich young lady would do, but I did not like any of them that deeply, at least, not for tonight. Somehow, our relationship were still very superficial. I did not feel that connected to any of them, and I had a dozen of them since kindergarten.
I put on the red dress, and I was thinking of hanging out at Kao Sarn Road, a street where backpacked tourists loved to hang out, and where you could really meet 'strangers', especially foreign strangers. I did not care what people would take me for. I just want to talk to someone like a person. I needed to get down from this tower to the street.. and lived.
For the first time in my life, I felt trapped, eventhough I was free as a bird, and living all alone, having the whole place and my whole life to myself. I felt so lost and trapped, like a caged animal. I lied down on the bed, all dressing up in the new red dress. I did not know exactly where to go, and why. I searched for any intuitive flash, but none had come into my mind.
'So let's go for a play,' I told myself. (to be continued)