Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Burger

Three weeks to go before New Year’s Day…
It’s that time of year again and while I pretend not to care,
soon, I’ll be a year older…
Even the Dunkin doughnuts box, now hung limply from my hands,
bear the usual greetings and wishes.

I’ve never made any resolution before…
So I guess, it’s the same for this coming new year too.

For some reason, suddenly I feel like eating burger…

***

“What time is it?”
“5 minutes to 12”

The three of us sat, huddled around the television…
this was 13 years ago…
one warm night, I stayed up late to join the “big boys’” crowd...
and their ‘plan’.

“What time is it?”
“Same as last time”, Brother snapped.
“It won’t be long now…”, Brother Heri said,
checking the clock on the wall.

“10, 9, 8...3, 2, 1! Happy New Year!”,
said the woman on TV.
Chorus greetings broke from all the little people behind her.
I don’t remember us joined in the countdown,
but I’m pretty sure that,
in secret, we’ve all did that night.

“How about you? Want one too?” Brother Heri had asked me.
Brother was making himself busy around the kitchen.
He took out several frozen burger from the fridge…
Untied the bread wrappings…
…spread onto the counter…
the tomatoes, cucumber,
chili sauce and a bottle of mayonnaise.

I just nodded.
“Okay”.

Half an hour later, we ate.
I remember watching Brother Heri ate his.
He took three big bites of the burger and it’s gone.
I was so amazed at this – large glop of mayonnaise and chili sauce,
steadily went unnoticed, dripped from the burger side unto my hands.

Back then, I just licked myself clean…
oh, I wish I hadn’t…

I contributed to the plan too…
Although I felt a little sorry towards my Sister…
but I was the one who ‘exposed’ her autograph book.
We spent a good laugh on it…
Reading through the pages…analyzing Sister’s heart-pours on each corner
while I ran the commentary post –
giving extra explanations and pointing out facts regarding her psyche.
We were like a bunch of hyenas…
hooting and shrieking with laughter
in the dead of night.

***

We’ve grown apart over the years…the three of us.
I guess, ‘life’ happened to us and then, ‘adulthood’ comes in tidal waves –
washing away the innocence clean.

Both Brother and Brother Heri are married now and…
both are blessed with a daughter.

What’s left is just Raya celebration…the only time in the year when
I can see them.
Sometimes I wonder…do they still remember that night?
The night when we spent cooking and laughing together…
Just a bunch of kids, having fun on New Year’s Eve…

Herm…what should I do with these six Bavarians?
My appetite for them has diminished somehow…
I can see a burger stall up ahead…
I know what they say about hawkers and street food…
…when I said ‘they’, I meant Mom and Dad…

But I must admit that I like them…
something about its cheapness and imperfectness…
too many sauce, too little mayonnaise…
patty’s too thin, charred bun…
there’s something unique about them which I find myself craving
after too many KFC’s, McD’s and Pizza Hut’s…

Kind of remind me of that burger 13 years ago…
Burger made by my brother, a cousin that I like and me…
Back then was still an innocent girl,
who was amazed at how Brother Heri
gobbled down the burger in threes…

2 comments:

ERMAYUM said...

I like burger :)- at certain place it is so good - the right sauce- the right amount of mayonis the salad the righ cook- hmm it beat any other expensive burger

moonshin said...

so true!! the ones at my college beats McD's!