The cup slammed on the table, spilling over some teh tarik on the square aluminium table at the corner of the mamak stall, instantly killed the conversation between the party of three. The night had obviously heated up especially it is 1am in the morning. He is furious, over a remark based on the oversimplification of assumptions made by the society. He felt judged not only by the other party but simultaneously placed under the pressure of the social conventions forcefully. And we all know how assumptions led us into a generalisation of things around us, allowing us to think less and process less information. But this is usually the answer to all the hate and anger all over the places. He wanted to allow his emotions to take over but took a deep breath in time and held back for a moment.
He stood up and attempted to leave this ugly place, leave this shallow conversation and most importantly leave this ignorant and irresponsible person. His other friend on his left pressed him down to his original seat, trying to calm him down regardless the consequences. He shrugged both of his friend’s hand off his shoulders and only to realise that almost a quarter of his teh tarik was all over the table, threatening to flow down the edge of the table anytime. His friend quickly took three, four pieces of the tissue paper of the tissue box on the next table behind him and stopped the stream of teh tarik flowing towards both of them. He pushed his chair backwards by a couple of inches, crossed his arms in front of him and laid back on the metal chair, signalling an obvious “I disagree with whatever you said” body language to the rest of the audiences.
He still cannot believe for a second that his once “friend” actually said that.
He looked over to the quiet street, avoiding glances from everyone in the same table and shook his head in disbelief for a moment there. The moon was very bright and the night sky was clear, a perfect time for a gathering of friends a la the Malaysians style. Yet, there were only 8 cars in the parking spaces which explained the small crowd in the mamak stall despite located right beside the city center. He took another deep breath in and shifted his seating position, crossing his right leg over his left. He decided to give the silent treatment for the rest of the night until they all decided that this conversation will not go anywhere and head home respectively. Or rather until, the other party apologies, whichever comes first.
“That’s rather harsh, don’t you think?” his friend spoke up while taking a sip of his cup of teh tarik. “But it’s the fact!” The opposition finally spoke for the first time after all the drama originated from his remark. He swings both his arm open while giving a puzzled look on his eyebrows and took big gulp of his cup of teh tarik, taken back over the direct confrontation from both of his friends, trying to mask his nervousness while leaving his drink barely over half left in the cup. This clearly was not going to end there and then, the other party did not expect any of this to happen.
He sighed. He could not stand it anymore and broke his vow to remain silent the rest of the night. He swiftly pulled his chair towards the table and glared at the other party intensely. “Not on this sort of subjective matters, no.” He pointed at the other party’s nose with his right index finger when he said that. “Just because you believe so, doesn’t mean the rest of the world have to believe the same damn thing!” he raised his tone and slammed the table the second time with his right palm on the corner of the table. He almost screamed but managed to control his raging emotions.
He was mad at himself for not being able to control his emotions with the fist he was clenching so hard but he was still even angrier for the narrow viewpoint from the other party demonstrated through the statement just now. He took a quick sip of teh tarik and placed the cup nearer to the center of the table as a precaution to avoid any potential spilling hazards due to the unstable emotional state of his. His friend who is still sitting right next to him quickly gave him a pat on his shoulder, even though he knew it for a fact that it might not work at all to calm his friend down given that the personality of his friend being short tempered but never, ever, unreasonable. It is true that even if the majority in the society perceive life and the connotations behind everything else around them do not prove or justify it as the ultimate truth. Assuming the rest of the world works in such a simplistic manner is just being ignorant and irresponsible or even naive, to begin with. On this very table, the concept of the majority simply just do not work.
“That’s like saying all birds can fly, no?” His friend quickly added to the conversation will end up in an argument and will result in damaged friendships not to mention it will not solve any problems at hand. He leaned forward and added “Yeah, try convincing gay people that they are actually straight because they are confused at that moment in life.” sarcastically and rolled his eyes. He and his friend by his side both held their teh tarik up at the same time and drank a mouthful down his throat.
“This is absurd, these are completely different cases!” it seems like the other party could not hold it any longer too. Something is definitely in line and his friend can smell the pungent gunpowder in the conversation now. When both parties are submerged in emotions like anger, no one wins in the end. It is not like his friends had never seen this before and he is always the one trying to fix this. It is almost habitual and he will never understand how these two people with such distinct differences in the perception of life could be friends for the past 10 years. It just does not make sense at all, but it is right in front of his eyes and it is going to happen all over again. By then, both of them had already stood up and yes, it is going to happen all over again.
“Stop it, you two!” His friend stood up immediately and took over like a referee. For the effort of the continuous diplomatic relationship between the conflicting parties for the past decade, his friend could one day possibly be nominated for the Nobel Peace Award. “He got a point, now sit.” his friend pointed at the chair and he quietly followed the instruction. “But that does not mean that you are right. You, sit down,” his friend pointed at the other chair, instructing the other party to do the same. “I don’t believe this, seriously. How many times had we been through these and you guys are still arguing over the same thing over and over again? Don’t you guys feel sick and tired over these?” His friend buried his face in his left palm and shook his head in disappointment. “Can’t you guys tolerate and come into a compromise? You know arguing won’t take us anywhere and this is not the first time for all of us,” his friend added and glared at both of them. He took his cup from the table and drank. “But you know about the compromise: they never solve a problem, they merely an approach to temporarily dissolve conflicts at hand!” he said and continued to sip on his teh tarik.
“It’s not like we would ever come into a conclusion or be able to justify which of the alternatives are valid.” his friend added while looking over to the other party, attempting to obtain agreement. The other party said nothing and nodded because he knew the consequences of the statement he made all along, yet he let his ego take over the conversation, thus leading to this pointless and heated conversation. He knew for a fact that perceptions differ among people but he believes strongly in the appeal of the populations. He still insists on the greatest number of acceptance being the greatest possibility of fact since if it wasn’t true, acceptable or believable, no one will adopt the same perceptions or vantage points. In fact, the trigger of the chain of events is so insignificant right now and it is all fueled by the egoistic mindset of a human being, escalated by the narrow observations and ignorant assumptions made by oneself. Ego blinded the people and everyone is trying to be the right one – to be the one in power. The other party wants to be in the right and he insisted that he himself is right backed up by the power of the majority. But it is true that it does not have to be a staple for everyone else in the world as it is a matter of choices and being responsible with the choices you had made or about to make.
He leaned back to the back of his chair. He knew that there is no potential methods or evidence to justify the premises in order provide a valid conclusion to please both parties. It is almost like proving the existence of God to resolve the argument between the Christians and the scientists. He knew that this is just a futile attempt, trying to go against subjective opinions like these. But he just could not tolerate people like his “friend” acting all so arrogant and denying all other possibilities. He realised that he essentially argued because of the personality of the other party, not due to the arbitrary topic itself. By the end of the day, the clock stroke three and he extended his hand to the other party. All of them lifted their cups and downed the rest of the content. They had apologised to each other and left the mamak stall with arms over the other two friends’ shoulders.
And the three empty cups are left on the table at the corner of the mamak stall.