This is a web log about waking up too early, before the sun has a chance to rise, before the chorus of birdsong can begin, before the graveyard shift workers have a chance to hit the sack. It is about discovering that the whole house, no, the entire neighbourhood, is exceptionally quiet. And when you step out of the house in a rare effort to buy that McDonald’s breakfast you were yearning for the previous night you realise that it is one of those rare moments – like those in the dramas, where the nine planets (depending on whether you still believe in Pluto) are in perfect alignment – there are no cars on the road and this Singapore we’re talking about, the “futuristic city” that is ranked 22 in issue 15 of Monocle. You can’t help but think that the traffic lights are in perfect alignment that day. And you make a wish because this moment is rarer than catching a shooting star. “I will become a writer.” And you’re lucky because not one second later, a torrent of cars roared down the streets, destroying the serenity, made more precious because of it lasted for only a brief moment.
This is a web log about that rainy afternoon in the house, with no one around you to disturb you because your folks are out and your Napoleonic siblings are ensconced in school. It is the perfect time to finish that article due tomorrow noon because you’ve always find rain inspiring. Rain is probably the most inspiring thing in the world, next to a lover. You try to finish that article because if not, your editor is going to be pissed and pissed off editors may result in the end of your freelance writing career. But you find that you’re thirsty – not water-thirsty but just thirsty – so you decide to make a pot of Marks & Spencer’s extra strong Ceylon tea. You take out the Royal Doulton 1940 English Chintz tea service which has been hiding away in a corner of the cupboard, waiting for a damn long time to be used but there was never an appropriate moment which warranted taking out a $300 tea service. To placate your inner self, you argue that there will never be such a moment anyway – no point in keeping it in mint condition. And screw that article for now. You’ll work through the night if need be. Finally you settle yourself next to the window -imagine a table set next to a glass window with the tea service in the middle and the aroma of hot Ceylon tea wafting through the air. And as you sip the tea, letting the warmth gently in your stomach, you look out of the window. There is no view because of the rain streaming down the glass in sheets. Strangely, the refracted view is a soothing one. You feel like all your troubles in the world will be washed away by the pouring rain. You can’t help but snuggle deeper into your chair and hug your knees, enjoying the rain concerto.
This is a web log about staying up late when the entire forsaken world is already tucked in bed. To be exact, until four in the morning. You stay up to write because a flash of inspiration hit you when you were getting ready for bed. And you stay up even though you have an appointment in the morning. Perhaps this web log is really about inspiration, about that moment of eureka that occurs during the long train ride. And even though you’re stuck with passengers who stink of sweat early in the morning, it is about that whiff of scented shampoo that you suddenly smell. Mmm, apple and grape extract. And you realise the source: the beautiful petite lady standing next to you. How in the world could you have missed it? Must be the brutes.
But maybe this web log is also about style. About writing in your own style without caring for a limit (there’s no carton size to worry), about having to verify and double-check facts. But since you believe in yourself, you continue to write this way whenever possible.
Because through words, I emote.
And these are my stories.