Today is May Day
I said to my father via phone call
“What is May Day?” he asked
It’s a day off for workers dad
It’s a day off for you as a worker,
I replied. He laughed.
“What? Really? Oh dear, you must be kidding me
when could a worker have a day off in his life?
Perhaps when he is getting sick or about to die.
Workers meant to work everyday to earn income
and to sustain his life
Just look at me my dear
Since I was a teenager I had learnt to be a worker for a lifetime
learning one skill to another skill and grow with it
from being a farmer in your grandparent’s rice-field
then a young military boy for gun-keeping task during 1970s of our country’s resistance
learning to become an electrician, a builder, a repairman, a servant
then learning to become a tailor.
Today I am a tailor while at the same time owning a small clothing business
with the profits only enough to afford your education
and a bag of rice for everyday’s meal.
But you know what, I love tailoring the most, my dear
I love how my hands cooperates with the sewing machine
and turn the textile to a school uniforms
isn’t that a magic, my dear?
As I sell that magic for $10 to $20 US Dollars each
people keep coming ordering the magic I create
they said they loved it so much when they wear it
and now I have so many orders stuffed on the table at my tailoring shop dear
how could I take the day off my dear?
I am not a fancy office employee like you, my dear,”
I sighed, dad is laughing.
But dad, please, do take a day off
you deserve it you know, I insisted
“Alright darling, but after I finished the orders”,
my dad replied and the phone call ended.
Today is May Day
is it really a day off? For workers ?
Dili, May 1, 2020.