His name is Epy.
There is this extreme positivity in him so absurd it makes me want to puke.
He quits medic school in his clinical year, for he could not stand the sight of blood.
Which begs the question, why did he start anyway?
Epy is the random combination of things, or combination of random things. He could be so random, unpredictable and at most times, unpredictable. And he is my new colleague, replacing Fahim.
I love being friends with positive people. But extreme positive; NOT.
So here’s the history: Budak MRSM, excel, masuk PASUM, sambung medik UM (sumpah pandai gila!) Then tahun keempat medik, dia berhenti sebab tak tahan tengok darah.
“This is not like those stuff you see on TV. This is real shit. Accidents and people bleed. Man, I almost fainted having to stop a patient from bleeding” So he said.
Then he took mechanical engineering at UiTM. And now here he is, my colleague, a mechanical engineer. You know, doing one degree is hard enough, let alone doing two opposing disciplines; medicine and engineering. This man deserves a medal.
He’s 29, born in ’86. I’m 26, born in ’89. He’s a passionate person, one with too much energy he’s burning everyone else’s around him at the same time.
So there this one instance, when we were talking. And suddenly he laughed.
He moved closer to me, then very softly, he slapped my left cheek, repeatedly, as if caressing his cat. “Comellah kau ni!” then while he was still laughing, he left me; dumbfounded and disoriented.
Comel is the first word in his vocabulary to explain everything funny. Like that one time I struggled and carelessly trying to park my car while he sits next to me. “Comel doh kau!” and he laughs while giving me directions. Now I know calling people comel is just a way to express his glee.
There is this one instance right in front of our boss. I was eating my lunch from a Tupperware, and he came to me.
“Wey nak sikit.” He begs.
“Wey, sorry weh dah nak habis. Aku tak tahu kau belum makan! Ambeklah ni apa yang tinggal!”
The next second, his hand was on my chest, grabbing my boob. Yeah you read that right. He grabbed my boob. In front of our boss. At the workplace. Like it's high school all over again.
“Epy, depan boss pun?” and he walks away, laughing. Now I know “Nak sikit” means he wants to touch my boob (or rather, man-boob). Luckily our boss is open-minded enough to simply smile, shake it off and do not take that as sexual harassment.
See? He is that random.
“Saya tak pandai sangat, tapi saya ada teknik belajar.” He exclaimed to me, rather, y’know randomly. He is one of those guys who sometimes called himself ‘saya’, and other times ‘aku’.
“Sekarang bagi saya sepuluh benda.”
“Sepuluh? Benda? Apa-apa je?” I know this sounds very cliché and cheesy, but I shit you not. This really happened.
“Apa-apa je. Things. Sepuluh.”
“OK…” I stuttered, trying to think. First of all, I think this conversation is simply uncalled for. And random.
“Hmm rumah. Batu. *rumah batu. Geddit? Geddit?* Besi, hmmm, tiang. Roda.”
“Roda?” he asked.
“Haah. Roda. Kenapa? Tak boleh ke?”
“Sekarang kita dah nombor berapa?” I asked him after I lost count.
“7. Bagi saya sepuluh”
“OK, lampu kan tadi? Daun.”
“Cukuplah kot. Ok sekarang saya boleh bagitahu balik semua benda tu, ikut turutan. Nak dengar?”
“Rumah, batu, besi, tiang, roda, signboard, lampu, daun.”
“And kalau awak tanya saya hari Isnin nanti pun, saya still boleh bagitahu semua benda tu ikut turutan.”
So he taught me how he could remember things that easily while he’s now driving.
“I’m not genius. I have friends who are genius themselves but I am not one. I just have this technique. Now you imagine ‘rumah.’ Can you imagine it?”
“Yeah I am”
“Now imagine batu.”
Naturally, I imagined ‘rumah batu’.
“I know you’re imagining rumah dengan batu bata. Don’t embed those two things. Remember them separately.”
“Now here’s what I did. I bayangkan benda tu in animations. I bayangkan satu rumah, then atas bumbung rumah tu ada satu batu yang sangat besar. Now could you imagine that?”
“Yeah, I’m envisioning it.”
“Then lepas tu dekat batu tu ada besi yang membentuk tiang. Dia ketuk-ketuk batu tu sampai batu dengan rumah tu terpelanting.”
I was smiling because it was silly.
“Lepas tu rumah, dengan batu besar tu dia terpelanting, then dia berpusing-pusing menjadi roda.”
“Lepas tu roda tu lalu satu signboard. Dan bila je dia lalu signboard tu, signboard tu menyala macam lampu.”
“So that’s how I remember things” – he concluded.
“To be honest, I regret quitting medic school. It was fun. Batch kitorang semua bukan skema.”
“Now you tell me. Dekat UPM orientasi berapa lama?”
“Dekat our fac, 3 bulan! Kena masuk kolam, kena ragging semua. Imagine, masa dalam lecture hall senior kitorang masuk dewan ramai-ramai, lecturer keluar. Senior kitorang tak bagi angkat muka sampai 3 bulan. So all the time masa jalan kena tunduk tengok tanah. Kalau jumpa senior you have to tell this “My most awesome super duper senior. I am your most humble fumble mangkuk hayun junior Epy yada yada *pardon me, I don’t remember the exact words. I’m not trained to recall things like he did hewhew*”
“Teruk sangat sampai ada yang call parents sampai dekan dengan TNC kitorang tahu. Tapi dekan kitorang backup senior. Dia kata “Saya dulu kena lagi teruk!” medic school mental kena tough. In the future kena lagi teruk. Benda ni semua train kita jadi kuat!”
And perhaps, that gave him his randomness.
“Tapi lepas 3 bulan tu, memang kitorang bonding gila. Senior tolong belajar semua!”
At some point, all his stories kind of put me in my place. He’s the window to a world I would never experience myself – or rather, the one that I chose not to pursue. I would quit medic school the first day, if not the fourth year like he did.
Then he talks about girls and smoking and whatever they do in medic school to give them the strength to keep going. Really, I never thought medic school could be that sexy. Well, but I’m saving that story for another time.
So now you know, the doctor who quits medic school and became an engineer. I befriended one.