It’s almost 3am and something just exploded with a loud bang on the street right behind me. A silver Myvi drives off. The bird that has been flying about making a strange sound is intensifying its calls. Everyone at the late night shisha makan stall stands up in a startled panic. We are craning our necks, and I imagine all of our hearts suddenly beating in a shared rhythm. Extra loud. There is a cloud of smoke that is dissipating in a thin smell of something metallic.

Did the car just drive over a firecracker? Or did the driver drop one out of the window as they drove away?

Everyone starts to leave. I overhear a guy tell his friend that he is paranoid now, and worried about walking alone to his car. What if something explodes there?

It’s an unnerving space to be in, when explosions are automatically reacted to as having a violent seed and intent. But this is the space we are in right now.

I wait for 2 minutes, and put my headphones back on. Take a deep toke from my shisha. And continue working.