Heman Chong


Its too warm outside she said, I'm going to wash my hair, Is there anywhere you would like to go to, she asked. Not especially, I replied, as casually as I possibly could, wondering if she was asking for the sake of asking. Sometimes she does that sometimes. The hairdryer comes on in the next room, Is the new face wash any good, she asks. Quite, I replied, it makes your skin feel really tight. Oh, she said, and nothing else.

You have to stand by the window and feel it, she said, it's incredible how the heat sears through you. I place my book down and stood up and walked to the window, it is indeed very warm. We don't have to go anywhere, lets just stay in for the day, after all, it is the weekend, I said. No, no, lets go somewhere later when its cooler, she said as she sat down to check her email.

The cats are asleep. Inside our capsule, it grows quiet, only the sound of keys being typed and the whirring sound of the fan remain. She stares at her screen for the next hour without speaking.

Did you manage to find the formula for boysenberry? We need it next week to launch the new flavor, she said. Yes, I've managed to buy it from a DNA supplier in San Francisco, I said, No problem, we can go ahead with the replication in the lab tomorrow. Yes, we have to do it tomorrow, she said, or else we'll never make it for Friday, it is important for us to not fail our customers, she said. Yes, I agree, we have to, I said, while opening the refrigerator to reach for a bottle of water.

What do you think of this piece of music for the YouTube trailer for boysenberry? She played a track from her laptop, the sound concurrently rewired to the speakers within the capsule. Hmmm, I think it lacks the punch we need for the flavor, I said, It doesn't say boysenberry to me, more like banana and vanilla or something. Or worse, horlicks. You're probably right, she said, Let's dive deep into the expired copyright archives of Universal later and pull out something which might work.

She fixed dinner and hummed a familiar song while the eggs were frying on the pan. We ate in, mostly. I'm thinking of writing a novel, I said, something about the two of us. I don't want to be in a story, she said, it'll be a sad story.

That night, we dreamt of nothing but the taste of boysenberry sorbet lingering in our throats.

© Heman Chong, 2007

Domestic Production

As John walked away from his car, he noticed that the sky had turned dark and it was threatening to rain again. It is the third time this week, he thought to himself, as he quickened his pace and hurried to his home down the street.

He managed to avoid the rain today, unlike yesterday or the day before. Something's got to be done about this. It's not possible that it rains every single evening, he thought to himself again and picked up the voice compartment and dialed up Domestic.

"You have reached Domestic. How can I assist you today, Mr Chong?" said the voice over the line, with extra enthusiasm.

"Yes, I would like to make a complaint about the weather," said John, "I've been soaked in the rain for the last couple of days when I got home. I'll like to find out why. It's supposed to be summer and we never get that much rain in the summer, especially in the evenings."

"Well, Mr Chong, Production is trying out a new generative process and this requires for an increase of moisture in the atmosphere. Just to inform you, there'll be a lot more rain coming in the next few weeks. If you'll like, I can connect to you to Production for a complete step-by-step expla"

He hung up before the voice could finish its last sentence.

There was a message on his voice compartment from Sylvia, someone whom he had dinner and slept with from time to time. He listened to her message and then deleted it before it ended.

He poured himself a whisky and sat next to the window, wondering if it was going to rain for the whole night, just like the other nights.

© Heman Chong, 2007