Hello Cruel World
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Written for the candlelight vigil in opposition to the death penalty in Singapore.
2005-05-09 - 10:40 p.m.
It was a little after I had my lunch when I heard the knock at the door. When I opened it, a polite man greeted me and passed me an envelope. Please collect the body within 24 hours, or it will be cremated. There was no room for shock. The whole week I had prepared myself for this. I did not let my hands tremble as I accepted the envelope
... Inside the envelope was a letter. There was also my son’s pink identity card. I put the letter to one side and stared hard at the I/C. So this was what a dead man looked like. There were shadows under his eyes. There was something far away in his expression, a face not prepared for the snap of the camera.
There was his name.
My name also. Separated from his by the word ‘Bin’.
Date of birth.
Country of birth.
On the back, his I/C number.
Our home address.
But what absorbed me the most was a little hole that had been punched in his I/C. It was there to say that the I/C could no longer be used...
I had seen the way a credit card is destroyed, with a big pair of scissors slicing it into two halves. Why couldn’t they do the same with this I/C? Why this clean, straightforward hole? I felt my anger burn, first on my skin, through the flesh, like a droplet of acid, right into my bones. My son was no more...
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