A mute woman rushed up to me to let me know that I was wearing my cardigan inside-out last Tuesday. She was gesticulating wildly but I was too focused on her face, a face which looked like it was made out of wax and had melted to one side. Her dyed bob was framing her face in such a way that her features appeared like they were narrower than they should be. It only dawned on me a full minute later that she was mute because of the badge on her polo shirt which read “The Silent Society”, or something strangely poetic along those lines.
The thing is that I had known that I was wearing my cardigan on inside-out. Even earlier on, my arms had found a difficulty in sliding into their respective sleeves in the darkness of the car but I was too sleepy to even care that I looked off-kilter. But maybe that’s an excuse; perhaps I wasn’t too sleepy but the problem lies in the fact that I simply don’t care enough about little things when it would do me a lot of good to simply care more.
An embarrassed wave concerning the dire need for more self-humility washed over me as she walked away when I finally picked up the message. The thing is that I had seen the mute, Chinese woman at KL Sentral on a previous morning before. Surrounded by throngs of people, I felt slowly sure that that was a face I had once seen before many, many mornings ago when I functioned as a spectator at the train station. She probably felt like she was doing me a necessary favor, and she had. Yet I walked away that morning disconcerted by the fact that she had taught me something deeper than being more wary about putting my clothes the right way ’round.