A Man Called Reverse

1.

Reverse thought, talked and did everything reversely.

Reverse, my childhood friend, was a nice lad

But he could also be a bit too confrontational.

Reverse was a stubborn lad

Who was kicked out of the house by his dad many times.

 

2.

Reverse never finished high school, never worked,

Never made a living.

His mother once talked him into working on a ship.

On another occasion, Reverse went to the country

And stayed in monkhood for three years.

 

3.

One day, Reverse got lost and arrived at my door by accident.

Reverse, wearing a t-shirt and a hat backward, said

He was going to do some business.

 

4.

I knew Reverse very well.

In those days, he hung out with Up-Side-Down

Playing guitar and doping together.

They got involved in a bar fight.

Reverse was arrested and put into jail.

 

5.

Reverse liked to have his long hair hanging loose like a woman.

He wore jeans and studied spoken English.

He said he studied English because he hated British colonialism.

 

6.

People were not impressed by what Reverse did.

And Reverse wasn’t impressed with things that impressed people.

Reverse followed reverse thinking.

 

7.

Reverse’s parents advertised in a local newspaper

That Reverse was no longer their son and heir.

I heard Reverse married the ex-wife of a sailor.

Then I heard he divorced her.

 

 

 

8.

I ran into Reverse in a downtown teashop.

He said he didn’t want to be rich or successful.

He was selling betel in a new town.

 

9.

I met Reverse again at a beer pub.

He was then the frontman of the pub’s band.

Reverse’s parents had died and left him a fortune.

 

10.

Driving his Prado, Reverse came to see me.

He had a short haircut and was wearing shorts.

And a cellphone in his hand.

Reverse borrowed some English books from me.

 

11.

Reverse became a literary critic named ‘Mr. Reverse’

And wrote for magazines.

He also did abstract paintings and organized an exhibition.

Reverse occasionally appeared at diplomatic parties.

 

12.

Then people lost track of Reverse.

It was said he rented a room at a luxury hotel and lived there.

Reverse was spotted going out with a blonde model.

 

13.

Reverse never came to see me again.

In the domestic market, his novels became bestsellers.

He even recorded and released an album.

He wrote and sang all of the songs on it.

 

14.

Reverse directed and produced a film.

In Reverse’s film, Reverse was the only character.

In Reverse’s film, there was no dialogue.

 

15.

Reverse was now a well-known and respected man.

But amid fame, Reverse vanished out of the blue.

Rumor had it that he set up an apparel business in France.

 

16.

Reverse wrote a book in English and distributed it

In the international market.

Reverse named his book “The Art of Reverse Living”.

I heard the book sold well competing with Harry Potter books in the market.

 

17.

I received emails from Reverse.

In one of those emails, he said, “The world now spins reversely, buddy”

And asked me if I was still taking truth to be truth.

 

18.

Reverse founded Reverse Foundation all over the world.

Reverse Institute produced scholars who never graduated.

Reverse Lovers Society gave out the International Reverse Awards

Which were as prestigious as Nobel Prizes.

 

19.

CNN’s Larry King interviewed Reverse.

Larry asked, “What is it that you want to do now?”

Reverse replied, “I don’t want to do anything anymore.

What I want to do now is die.”

 

20.

Reverse thought, talked and did everything reversely.

Reverse, my childhood friend, was a nice lad

But he could also be a bit too confrontational.

Reverse was a stubborn lad

Who was kicked out of the house by his dad many times.

 

Min Htet Maung

Translated from the Burmese by Maung Day