Life and the Prisoner

 

I went to hospital the other day. And the morning after, I got bitten by a scorpion. In that moment, my mind deluded myself that I was going to die. But hey! It was just a baby scorpion, Tiktok! Don’t be such an annoying drama queen!

OK! I am not dying. And the first half of 2016 has passed. 52% of UK voted Brexit. Horrible violence is spreading everywhere. Bill Gates commented on Thailand’s messy wires. Military Junta and our BELOVED PM are doing really FINE (because they hold on to GT200, I guess). And someone has just walked away from my life, and I felt really great.

OK. Here comes the drama queen part.

Well… He’s not a lover. His name is Kaye. He once was a prisoner, an due to my current work, I have to deal with prisoners and also villagers in the Northeastern Thailand. Kaye was one of them. He was about to get out of jail when we met. It was my second day at work, alone, in the far far away land. I lived in the temple at that time. Every weekday, around 9 o’clock, 20 prisoners would arrive at the temple and use their skills to construct a new & temporary prison, well, in the temple area. Kaye worked at the kitchen, where I visited quite often (of course). He called me as “Pi Tiktok” since we first met, which means “Older Tiktok”. I am still curious until these days about how he knows that I am older than him.

I can’t say we were close. Also I can’t say that we created strong friendship bond. I was just working in the temple (and villages), and Kaye was just working in the kitchen, waiting for his last day in prison. Sometimes I was mad at what he said to me and I would be silent for a while. Many times he and his technician skill helped me fixed my 6-year old motorcycle. No need to talk about food. His cooking was excellent. And he was a good listener. And then one day he spoke up that he would be out of jail, soon. “Tomorrow”, he said. “Tomorrow?” I repeated. At that time I have moved out to live in the nearby village, and rarely hang out (work, actually) in the temple anymore.

So it means, “tomorrow” was the last day that I could see him.

On that day, I rode motorcycle, hoping to go to temple. And then the villagers I know asked me to stop by. I visited their house. They served the dessert. We talked for a while and I totally forgot about Kaye. Then one motorcycle was passing by, and Kaye was on the back. I didn’t even recognize him, but fortunately enough that he did. Kaye shouted out my name, “Pi Tiktok”. He waved goodbye from the back of the motorcycle. And then I asked him to stop by.

“Are you leaving?”, I said. He nodded. I didn’t even know where he came from.
“Where do you live?” was my question. He mentioned some place which I never heard of. And then, in the very last moment of goodbye, I gave him cash as a goodbye present. Not much, but enough for his journey home, I guess.

“I am fine.”, he refused to take that cash.
“Take it. It is a gift for your new journey. And please do not revisit your old path.” Actually, I didn’t even know what kind of crime he committed in the past.
“I won’t. Someone contacted me to become the drug dealer again, but I have denied. I won’t go back there.” I think it was not a promise to me, it was a promise to himself.

Then Kaye left. Gone. And that was a month and a half ago.

In life, I know some people who were out of jail and then committed a crime, many crimes, and walked to the prison again. Real life is not simply easy. We all know that the world is not a perfect place full of equal opportunity for everyone. And in the word of my friend; “Not all can be wise.”

I know nothing about Kaye’s life.
But I hope, that I won’t see him again.
It might sound a bit mean, but I seriously hope to not see him again,
…as a prisoner in the temple, where I currently work for.

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