I stand very close to the ATM screen. I don't want the people behind me to see the number on it. Bad news: the cheque still hasn't come through.
I'm rooted until a "Hello?" from the woman behind me jolts me. I'm embarrassed. I apologise and walk out. I'm thinking of all my unpaid bills when I hear "Hello!" It's a different voice now; it's masculine and familiar. "Hello brother!"
"Adrian," I say.
I haven't seen Adrian in months. He has many important things to do with Culture and this requires him to disappear sometimes.
"Where did you disappear to?" he asks. Of course, I tell him that I am not the one who travels often. In fact, the last time we met was ... Then a bulb comes on. He bought some of my old records (he likes old things) but only paid half. He said he would pay the rest the next time he saw me. Which happens to be now. Which happens to be about RM300 I can really use.
"Let's go for a drink," he says, bringing me to a stall nearby. I wonder how to bring up the RM300. He orders a burger but I decline (I can't afford it). He talks about Culture, like he normally does. He eats with relish; the tomato sauce and mayo end up all over his chin, which he laughingly wipes off. "The only way to eat it, brother!" he says.
"How's the music?" I say. This is pretty direct for me.
"Which one? Eh, I gotta run. Catch up with you soon. Don't worry, it's all on me!"
"If I knew that, I would have ordered food," I say.
"Haha, what a kidder you are, brother!" he says, and a few minutes later waves at me from inside his Volvo. I wave back, saying silently: 'I wasn't kidding.'