Fri 5 Dec, 2008
As a teacher, he was used to suppressing his ego in favor of his students’. If a student raised a self-evident question, he would compliment him for depth of thought. When another blurted out something she imagined was smart, he had to pretend it was thought-provoking. As pathetic as it sounded, that was one of the many ways the school managed to absorb and grow its students rapidly.
Getting through to Yin May, on the other hand, humbled him irrevocably. Each call on her would invariably go through a screening, performed by her faithful roommate. He would need to identify himself first, then be notified on whether she could afford the time to speak to him. This typically took five to ten minutes, depending on what Yin May was engaged in at the point in time, which could range from learning English to presiding over meetings to attending to other male followers. While he waited, he would be subjected to the noise of her roommate’s nail filing.
He saw himself in white hospital gown, holding queue tickets and staring at the display board that kept skipping over his numbers.
When he did reach her, it was salvation. Yin May would be sincerely apologetic over the waiting, inquire sincerely about his day and share her myriad of accomplishments that day with effusive charm, often in sheer bra and underwear. In a matter of minutes, though, he would be subjected to another incoming event. There he would be forced to wait, blood trickling, while she weighed its relative importance. Sometimes the call would be cut off, leaving him staring into blank space.
The moment he stepped into the consultation room he was thrown out by the collar in favor of a limping chihuahua.
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