First-timers?

You’re new here. You look like a first-timer, bewildered and confused. I know you are – a first-time visitor that is – because I don’t get that many readers here at all. And there are more than usual.

The occasional searcher comes but seldom a proper reader.

In any case if you’re here for the first time, please let your tools of sight wander to the right and settle on this lovely link called “hello world“.

And read it.

Au revoir.

No you

You.

Come nightfall, I wonder where you are, what you are doing now. I know you’re not a person who can just lie in between your silky sheets and wait for Sleep to approach. You’ll be busy at night, I’m sure.

Because I’ve read you long enough and you’ve me too.

My mind, at night, wanders. And tries to imagine what have you been up to these past two years (has it really been two years? I cannot remember clearly but somewhere somehow, contact was broken and you lost, cast out to the unfathomable depths of ¬†Memory). It twists itself, coils around the substanceless you, ethereal. Tries to flesh out an image of you. I see it slowly taking shape. Slim, slender-limbed, petite…and poof, it all disappears as doubt tears it apart.

Doubt. I don’t for a second try to imagine you too hard. I don’t want to set you in stone. Not because I don’t want to but because I can’t. I have nothing to remember you by. Except your words, crawling in that dark space. White fonts set against a black background, millions of microscopic light bulbs against a vast plain of darkness. Comforting. But even that was defaced, vandalised as you sold out and another took over. Created an entirely new being, which/who? was even stranger than a stranger for me.

And now I only have your words and worse, memories of your words. I try to conjure you out of alphabets but they don’t seem to fit each other properly like Lego bricks do. A doesn’t insert into B that well and there’s nothing that can fill C up. Your words have become a marker of your empty grave, one that I dug for you. Even though you’re not dead.

Sometimes, at nights like these, I wonder where you are. Have I passed you in the streets? Walked by each other without knowing? Bumped into each other accidentally?

I wouldn’t know. Because I don’t know you and you haven’t come to me yet.

But one day you will. I’ll meet you along the streets and we’ll do this all over again.

The hollowness of words

Photo: Loreleistar

The sun sets quickly in Singapore. Just like many other words, twilight doesn’t exist here. The word rings hollow whenever you say it. Other such words that I can think of are houses, love, freedom. And the ilk.

“Have you seen the twilight today! It was brilliantly beautiful.”

The words conjure up ghosts of faraway lands, we/them/us trying to be somebody/everybody/someone, trying hard, fitting a square peg into a round hole.

Was that why he, that man/boy, step inside that Starbucks and ordered a double-shot espresso? Was he trying to recreate a European coffee culture, this Anglophile? Why did he fish a thick novel out of his bag and sat down, facing the road (again, the European-ness), and just started reading? It was incomprehensible. He probably like reading a lot to do it in the middle of a crowded cafe that was packed with rowdy teenagers. How could anyone do proper reading amid all that noise, that banality?

But that loneliness. Everyone around him was seated in tables of two or more laughing and chattering, fleshless laughter as crowns, heads thrown back with napes wide exposed for the cutting.

I was probably right. He was lonely, sitting in a cafe, reading, sometimes pretending to read, sometimes observing the crowds. At times he would just stare out into the roads. Was it comforting for him to be around people, so near and yet so far from them? Amongst them and yet untouched?

An absent mistress

He wakes up to another Sunday, one more on top of the 65 or so Sundays.

All spent, alone, in between his sweat-covered sheets. The Sun pours relentlessly into his room, an unwanted intruder looking for an absent coy mistress.

He had spent the previous day strolling around the city, plodding through the cold, cemented streets. Alone. Threading a line, weaving, through the noisy crowds. The sun was out but there was no warmth.

And unwittingly, he came across a few corners of the city that smelt of the past, a cyst that he thought it was already incised from the healthy tissue. Memories returned. But they had never really left, had they? he mused to himself. That traffic light at Upper Cross Street. Where he first held her hands. The first date. First taste of love. Salty.

He clearly remembered they parted not on good terms. And he was more than happy to leave, to shake off the chains. Yet why is he reminiscing about the painful past now? He remembered them flashing with painful pride, her stubborn eyes. Everything else about her was a blur now. What is she doing? Where is she now? And more importantly, is she happy? He sure hoped so.

Time soothes over the sharp edges like a masterful carpenter. And leaves only the polished, gleaming edges. Beautiful masterpieces that he cannot recognise.

Cosy in noisy

A new cosy corner I’ve found

To do my writing and reading

Right smack in the middle of town and traffic

With all the right music playing

The passers-by passes behind me

Moving cars sandwich me

As I filter out other chitter-chatter

And speak my mind on paper

After sleep

The blurry of sleep was sharply sliced through by the cold.

It had just poured, giving me a million more reasons to stay in bed. I usually do. But today, it’s easier to deceive myself.

The sheets are exceptionally cold after the rain. You don’ feel the humidity nor the heat at all. I want to wallow in my sheets a little longer, to bury myself in this illusion of temperate weather. How soothing Sleep is. It crosses my mind that life is really not worth living. When you’re awake you just want to sleep. And when you sleep you don’t want to wake. What the hell.

In Singapore, sleeping means you boil in your own sweat. Unless you have a clinical air-conditioner on at full blast or a wobbling fan, yes I do stew in my own juices. Over here, the sheets are wet for a different reason. Continue reading