angsty post #4534645756868 this week

this is why knowing someone too well is not good: when you are not supposed to know them anymore you feel so near and yet too far, that you are imposing familiarity. what with this distance it seems so obvious, and soon you will be asking me what i mean. what do you mean, you will say, when you say this? or say that? will there ever be a difference? the black amnesias of heaven should swallow me whole just about now.

this is why naming your child after a past lover is not advisable: a reincarnation, perhaps, your child as your lover. an incestuous beginning to begin with, if there was ever a beginning; you’d never love your child as your child anymore, would you? and would your spouse know? that deep down you still hold a torch for someone who is not them. unless of course, you both love the same person- and the same person loves both of you. talk about menage a trois. haha.

olympics is over and i will be 21 when it comes back. when you come back i will be 24. and when you come back (if you ever do) i will be 26, 27, 28. and perhaps by then i will be gone. and i will look back over my shoulder as i go away and see the plea in your eyes that things should never have been this way.

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IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

eyes half-closed and still your brain keeps on working overtime. this is what a 5am night does to you, if you can call it a night, if only i could call it a day. i ask myself why and realise there could be no other way. pages and pages and pages and more handwriting. literature and history; the kind of things that can tear you apart and put you back together again all in one page.

so much easier to be weak, eh.

and what would you say if i took those words away?

am too tired to write now. there was a time when i could churn out words but now i seem to have lost it. words are like shit sometimes, if you don’t drink enough water they just kind of come out in plops. i think i just need to sleep when i find myself comparing words to shit.

and something from a very long time ago because i have the habit of digging things out:

“i’ve never slept with a girl. i couldn’t. i wouldn’t want to. that’s abnormal and i’m not, although you can’t be normal unless you do what you want and you can’t be normal unless you love men. to do what i wanted would be normal, unless what i wanted was abnormal, in which case it would be abnormal to please and normal to do what i didn’t want to do, which wasn’t normal.

so you see.” (joanna russ, the female man)

how nice to talk in circles and still be understood in a straightforward sort of way. bob geldof’s great song of indifference, the 1960s, free love. what a lovely song! (send a social engineer, and i don’t mind at all) soon the machine will stop and we will all be swaddled lumps of flesh in honeycombs. i love bob geldof!

see right, this method of verbal catharsis is not getting anywhere. it’s not working, because it’s not.

now i have neither the time nor energy nor inclination to write a long letter, because like all the long letters i have written i have never sent them out. they are all still in between the pages of my notebook- and they will remain there possibly till i decide i’m tired of keeping things to remember and throw it away. to examine the entire year past and analyse what went wrong like i was writing an essay (which i did do once upon a time) haha, like some kind of post-mortem after a big project. it was in a way a big project, i’ve never had to handle anything like this before. ah, youth!, to borrow sharlene’s phrase.

ruimin says she has had 2.5 boyfriends and i asked her if the third one was gay. keefe concurred, and it just occurred to me she never really answered why the last one was only 0.5.

giggling schoolgirls? my nails are impossibly long. i bought a new yellow hairband!

i hate the way you put down my school. i may not love it like i should but the way you remind me constantly that i should have gone somewhere else is getting greatly on my nerves. yes perhaps i made a wrong decision- who knows; but don’t keep telling me they have more students that get awards than us. do you seriously think i cared when i decided to come here?

but pain too is like love, it does not wait for you to say yes.

weird searches that lead us all to here:

– his eyes looked me up and down, meaning…

– amputations with a table saw

remember only thy last things on earth and thou shalt not sin for ever” ecclesiastes 7:40

death, judgment, heaven, hell.

50

points of view

‘she’s as mystifying to me as you are,’ i said.

don’t think i never noticed. i heard you coming in through the lt doors and while i was standing there facing the seats i saw you sitting there, among the throng of people, talking and laughing, your laughter ringing clear into the air. you went off first and i was late, and i saw you later, and we sat for a while talking about things that never really mattered and never really talking to each other. and i remembered how some time ago your laughter meant something to me.

today shuki asked you a question and you could not answer it for fear you might find out the truth. and you sat together outside the wushu room facing the trees that stretched down faraway and thought to yourselves what a great place it would be to just chill out and stone before you realised you had to go back for class, and that you were late though burge was even later, and it was a good way to avoid talking about things that should not be talked about–

(–keith, we have pw to do.)

love is gentle, love is kind. love looks not with the eyes but with the mind- and therefore is winged cupid’s eyes painted blind. tonight i can write the saddest lines.

you teased me smilingly in a million ways and i wondered if i should have felt pained.
you wanted silence but i could not give you that.

i had a dream last night.

i was in a war-torn country that was not here. it wasn’t the kind of war where people carried guns over their shoulders and raided houses and all the things they like to show on tv, it was the kind where people carried knives in their jacket pockets and flashed them into you before you could defend yourself. the kind of war where the tension hangs in the air and everyone is still peaceful outwardly but you never know when you’re going to get killed, or who is going to kill you. the silent kind of menace, the kind that scares the shit out of me. i was running with someone and i fell. i tried to look unobtrusive by the side of the road, hiding what i had, waiting for my someone to come back and get me and go to the airport, because you could still fly away if you wanted to. another someone came and he was looking for chinese to kill. i debated walking away and hiding behind a wall. i debated staying put and turning my face away trying not to look like i was scared. and in the end i walked to the back of the wall and i changed my mind and i walked back to the road and i walked back to the wall and back to the road. and then i was so paralysed by fear i could not move. after he went away to my great relief the taxi came. in my rush i hurried into the car, only to drop (of all things) my calculator into the drain in front of the road. it was a small hole, and you couldn’t see much beyond the darkness. but it seemed so precious to me, and i climbed down into the hole with the fear of never being able to get out again, got my calculator. but it broke in half when it dropped and i couldn’t find the part that flipped open. i searched in the murky depth of the drain but i couldn’t find it. and there was no time, they were coming, they were coming, and i was going to get shut in here or get stabbed. i was going to get shut in here or get stabbed. i think i would not mind dying if it was not so painful to die. and that was what i thought, all the way in the safety of the cab, driven by someone i knew in my dream but cannot remember now, all the way to the airport, still getting chased, getting chased.

what an incentive to run.

so. what’s been happening lately? what’s always happening lately?

am here now at this time of the night because i can’t sleep- i’m not insomniac, there are just too many things on my mind.

ahaha i have so many things to say but there’s never a safe place to say them, is there? always you talk about the mundane things, the things you do with your life, in your life; what i did today and what you did today and all sorts of stupid things like that that no one’s really interested about. and you just write in the words to fill up the silences, which are heavy and would be awkward without even a smile to wedge between the spaces, because the distance between you and me is so far. so, a girl could love someone desperately behind bars clawing with broken nails on a ceiling desperate to get out. a girl could kill someone desperately behind bars in an attempt to hide her lies from anybody. a girl could leave you here to die if she was desperate enough to get somewhere else. a girl would cross six thousand kilometres of ocean if she was desperate enough to see someone. desperation, desperation. we all get creative in desperation.

back from behind the curtains of stage left, where i finally paused to breathe after a night of running. my whole body was aching from stress and yet it all fell away when it ended. i nearly cried because this was all ours, all of ours, all 14 of us, so beautiful. i nearly cried when they played a beautiful song for a bandmember with a forced breakup and i thought someone had died, or something- i nearly cried when it was so beautiful and i nearly cried even harder when i heard ‘sweet potatoes’ because i couldn’t figure out whether to laugh or cry. and in the end i gave in and started laughing when it all overcame me and conan looked over at me and i just broke. shuki&ruimin signalling me to ask them to stop. ah well. (:

and i– a lump of warmth building in my throat– would be smiling back

because people remember things, even if you don’t. little things, like the back stage walls cool and dark and away from everyone, running on tiptoe behind the psychorama trying not to make a sound, running back and forth trying to set things straight, trying not to go crazy by sheer force of will. the weight of responsibility on your back, the fear of having to go it alone, though help is just a phone call away i was always too proud to ask. running, running, always running, trying not to explode, trying to placate people, explain to them, running again. i used up half my phone battery in one day, when usually it takes me three. so many things left undone and yet thank god everything went okay, even our techrun-less litwing item which the judges said should’ve won instead! the roses, one red and one yellow, one from huixuan and one i stole- i hope you don’t mind, that i put down in words, how wonderful life is, now that- it’s over. i loved it for all the nerves i had throughout yesterday, and drawing strength from others. yawp2005! this cannot die. i hope for everyone’s sake that yawp continues but not in the fashion of an old fogey institutionalised tradition that has to be kept going because it has to be kept going, (that’s if hwachong doesn’t close us down after this year) so at least if it finally loses its meaning, at least we bow out gracefully. (and it’s always about the endings with you, isn’t it)

am proud of everyone, every single litwing member who’s contributed to yawp- dear dear dawn and joel who got everything together and who kept me from going crazy. i don’t believe i’ve ever seen joel so solid even when he’s so far away. thank you to han, who kept going even though he didn’t know what the fuck was going on sometimes, being handed last minute scripts, lights here and there and cue when the words come out, stage wash backlights floodlights spotlights. shuki and ruimin, for being great emcees and tweaking scripts whenever they could; samfong and chengyi and penny who ran back and forth ushering; bernie! and chit! and xuan! for doing us proud, and frantically trying to get people to donate and take a programme. (talking about that i lost mine! anyone got extra?) wilson for buying us dinner, anthony and gavin for logistics and ushering performers backstage- without them i would’ve gone mad. there were only 14 of us but how big we made this. claerly we r teh pwnage! =D

oh and! thankyou to zarine&yange, conan&jy&weiliang&HUIZHEN for helping all of us out by agreeing to perform; thank you hongyi, for donating ten bucks even though you already donated (:, and thank you jinwei&pak, for coming down to support us!

euphoria never dies down that quickly, EH.

i will write tonight. tonight i talked and laughed with people i hadn’t seen in a long time, with people i’d never talked to before in my life though i’d known them so long, people whom i’ve talked to so much but known so little about. huixuan, han, hongyi, mark, gracetan, jem au. after rounds and rounds through the endless bridges and walkways and passing endless couples seeking their privacy in front of a railway track (belonging to malaysia, hongyi helpfully supplied) we finally got there, though i stopped in front of a bridge mid-sentence talking to hongyi and just stared at the block of flats in the distance, simply because it was so far away.

i cabbed home after supper with mark and arrived on my front porch forgetting my keys and looking up at the sky in despair. to my surprise the sky was clear and the air was clear and the stars were out though they were small and hard to see. whenever i think of stars i will think of mongolia and the black night and yange, and ian playing bridge in the dark with a green lightstick i could from so far away. i need a boyfriend, i said, to watch the stars with me. what a turn things take.

i found my old notebook hidden somewhere under the stack of papers that’ve accumulated on my desk. i could trace each love from here, each passion for each thing and each person. in it i found quotes from books and poets, traces of work, flights of fancy, tributes to friends, one-lined thoughts, cries of despair. it is funny how the mood changes across the pages, marking time, i ended with the last page on the 31st of december, and the last sentence being ‘how much will remain the same is the scariest question’- so much has changed, now, and if it were up to me perhaps it would never have been that way. be strong, you told me, don’t depend too much on people. but it depends on who. and i think i will always be dependent on you more than you will ever know. it’s nice to see you caring for other people, finally, as if you’ve accepted, or if you put it in a worse way, as if you’ve acquiesced. but perhaps someone else can open you up, make you as happy as you make them. that’s what friends are for. perhaps you just care a bit more about some. (: have a little faith-

do you want me to come- tonight? han says, you need to get laid, (insert name). han says, i need to get laid. lysistrata screams, we need to get laid. conspiracies abound, and i am strangely drained. rhett butler: i thought of him because something in scarlett o’hara’s situation reminded me of something. i’m not a marrying man, he says. i’d only marry a woman if there was no other way to have her, he says. and then, frankly, my dear, i don’t give a damn, and he walks out the door. tomorrow, scarlett says, tomorrow i will get him back. when everything is okay, and she is stronger than yesterday.

it still aches to talk to you, sometimes.

yawp tomorrow, 21 august. please come. tchs drama centre, 7pm. admission is free.

hc litwing welcomes you, and we promise, it’ll be fun.

i got cornered by steven lim today on orchard road and conned into wasting five minutes of my time to get my eyebrows plucked which do not look any different from when they weren’t plucked. i feel cheated of my time. pleh.

anyway. how remembering is like oranges

oranges

if you left me one day

i would be obliged to give you an orange.

an orange, a fruit. not any other trinket,

for its taste never leaves your mouth.

it is not goodbye until you open it

peeling the scarred marks off my skin.

it is not goodbye until your fingernail breaks it

the slow membrane that lets the juice flow

a stream of curses like tears, down your hands.

when you spread its sections apart and eat it

it will be memory dribbling down your chin.

this is how i occupy you, through your stomach.

my presence the seeds you do not know you swallow.

not your mind, where i am too easily found out.

your memory of me will be nowhere

where your body does not know the touch of an orange.

in that vague way i would quarter you

till you were four and no more

in that vague way the smell of my memory

never ever leaves your hands.

she got shot, six holes in a row.

random lines.

have you heard? probably not. no one knows but me – and i’m sure he doesn’t think about it anymore. there was a time i thought i understood him, at least a little. i do not fit inside your back pocket. are you looking for a lover, or a fan? are you looking for a lover, or a sign? are you looking for a lover or is it really worth the bother? is it really worth the bother to be mine? for no better reason than that it pissed you off to see yourself contained, to love your container. (the last time his lips grazed my neck and i wasn’t afraid) you lean into me as if i were the wind. you weave goodbye with every breath. it’s all about the endings with you, isn’t it. a voice like lust, like trust, like love. where are you coming from, as if love were a place, as if you wore its face. tennis game. adolescent: love – fifteen. metal is a stalwart thing, yet forever makes it rust. passion’s a fashion, wonderboy, and tomorrow you’ll just be another dog pissing in a tree. just remember it takes two – to screw. attraction, reaction, the body in traction. twinkle, twinkle, here we are: harry pilgrim, draco star. i imagine that if i fly straight up eventually my heart will explode and all of this pain will end. now let’s see you find a rhythm of your own to bastardise.

in dialogia, i am talking to you. i have measured my life out with coffee spoons, each second a cup of tea, poured down my throat. i am drinking time like i would drink you, soul and all, into me. into me.

i decided that i hated the world about five hours ago but i realised (as we always do when we are foolish) that i was being a complete fool about it and that things (as they always do) should go on as they are. it is not like one can help them, anyway.

i found my twentieth century short stories finally, so that is one thing to be happy about.

it’s funny how some people’s opinions change so quickly. i say this at the expense of sounding caustic and uppity and generally unpleasant. but it’s true. how words can change themselves so quickly, one day it’s friends, another day it’s enemies, and snapsnapsnapSNAP i think one day we’re just going to explode. we’re all waiting, just wait and see. someday someone will blow and everyone will follow.then again if we all said what we really thought about other people all the time, we might as well just lock ourselves up in a beehive cell like in e.m.forster’s great story since that’s what we’re effectively doing anyway. it’s like sending yourself to coventry. haven’t used that expression ever before, think i first saw it in an enid blyton boarding-school type book.

i don’t know what there is left to talk about this, because we’ve gone over this at least a thousand times. all this lack of courage, lack of daring, the slow acceptance that you too will never have the courage and the daring. all these things don’t matter till you come to a crunch- after that anything is substitutable. but only after. is it possible that i’ve been beset by apathy only a year after actively saying whatever i wanted to say?

sometimes i wonder if singapore is less like a home and more like a hotel. it’s clean, it’s beautiful, it’s well-managed (though open to debate) and efficiently-serviced, but it’s not the kind of place you want to stay in for long. you could go out forever into the world and come back only when you’re exhausted. perhaps we only stay in it because though it’s a hotel it’s still our hotel. anything’s possible. and sometimes i wonder if singapore would be less like a hotel and more like a home if the policy we adopted right from the start was not multi-racial. at the risk of sounding blasphemous here, for while i think multi-raciality is a perfectly good thing i can’t help thinking that a jack of all trades is a master of none. for all our lamenting about a lack of culture perhaps this is why. radical paradigm shift, this is. am hoping to generate discussion here.

could singapore ever grow into singapore without a truly singaporean identity? i don’t mean the “let’s all sing together in multi-racial harmony” type identity; i’ve come to realise with increasing horror that almost everything about singapore is a rip-off, and it’s not just the game/tv shows and the accents; it’s the things that bind us at the core of our being. things like identity. culture. language, perhaps even. the thickly tangible things that you can’t see at all. i mentioned to someone that perhaps we’d start being progressive about culture and identity maybe after we actually got one. and if everyone around here stopped sticking to themselves and started intermarrying so it wouldn’t make a difference what race you were because you were everything. and like in singapore you’re nothing if you’re not everything. so there you go- the perfect epitome of our society. so singapore could eventually be this wonderful mish-mash of chinese+malay+indian+foreignexpat blood and we’d have this great rojak culture with practically everything thrown into it. wouldn’t that be great? we’d be known as like the great rip-offs or something. i mean, that’s a better thing to showcase every time you go overseas as a student on some exchange programme than the present multi-racial theme. first you wouldn’t have to run around finding different costumes. second people’d recognise a singaporean seeing only one costume and not all four. third you wouldn’t have to explain to foreigners why our national costume looks vaguely like china’s and india’s and america’s and indonesia’s. i mean it sounds a bit sit-on-the-fence to me; our politically correct answer to everything is to say we like everything.

just in case you wanted to know the ending to that anecdote, my friend told me this would never happen because things are so nice the way they are already.

highly irreverent and insensitive 1am talk because i needed something to think about, and i know it’s bound to infuriate some people’s delicate sensibilities but so be it. just never occurred to me till now, but it’s just a thought. if you think i should be shot because i’m an intolerant bastard, then shoot me where i can be shot in sight. how unsatisfying to kill me here, no one’s here to see. okay now that i’m done with my disclaimer i’m going to sleep. econs tomorrow!

something i found quite amusing while looking at my msn list

bao: my brain is a dam

nurul: when we break down, it all breaks down.[thirteen][rafflesian]

keith: IT BROKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

my neighbourhood has barely recovered from the previous storm when another one comes again. i can hear the thunder roll past just about now. the air is yellow like in the sars-days, and i only call it that because the first time i saw the air ever being yellow was during that break. and i can’t tell the difference between the rumble of thunder and the car engines, the rain is so noisy. my window is open to let the air in, so for once in a long time during this digustingly hot summer in a perpetual summer i don’t have to switch on the fan or the aircon or anything. no, there’s no rain coming in. there’s a shelter over my window which kindof defeats the purpose of having a window but who am i to argue with architectural design, these kinds of things aren’t up to me to decide. it’s a nice sleepy sunday after the mad rush of yesterday, i literally went up and down singapore at least 3 times. i hate running about like crazy, and was quite glad i didn’t go to chijmes after the whole thing after all, though i wanted to go at first. dropped dead on the bed the moment i came home, i think it’s quite funny how i’m like this every time i see edward, he probably thinks i’m some kind of perpetual zombie.

all in all jazzup was great even though we didn’t sell enough tickets there were still quite alot of people. the performances were wonderful and people were getting up to dance all the time. i don’t think the dancers were planted in the audience. sure jiekai brought them in but i think they’re all swing enthusiasts and would’ve danced either way. perhaps your illusions about love were shattered then but the enthusiasm was still there, and they loved every minute of it. and i think it’s a little hard not to fall in love with your dance partner just a little bit. went crazy with shuki trying to dance and not look like idiots and twirling around like fools- ian was so shy! haha (: going to go back one day and take pictures. arts house is a really good place to take pictures, i realised. the thomson swing band’s version of norwegian wood is really nice!! ahhh.

i think all mothers are mad. they are, i swear they are. they ask the weirdest questions ever and they smirk at you as if they know what’s going on all the time. it’s infuriating! i suspect my mother and cousin are in cahoots.

i think there must be some point at which stupidity reaches a maximum level. i don’t think the ludicrousness of the situation could get any worse, and if it does i’m not sure if i’d laugh or scream. i think there is a point where anything that’s funny is so funny it’s not funny anymore. ah well.

there’s been an inordinate number of weekends this year. i mean three long weekends three weeks in a row is getting to me, though i can’t explain my complete lack of attention in school and the periodic idiocy that comes with pure exhaustion on my part when i’ve been trying to get as much sleep as possible. today, for example, i slept from 5.30 to 9.30. i think it’s kind of a sign that i’m going crazy that i typed the word ‘inordinate’ just now and immediately forgot what it meant- i had to go to dictionary.com just to check that i was using the right word, which, if you think about it, is really rather sad. haha. and i need to study (!!!!) argh. scrawlings on math lecture notes, if that ever really helped. i’ve been scribbling stuff everywhere i can find now, which is really weird and not totally out actually. shuki is probably quite amused/pissed with me for vandalising her math tutorial and tys and both sets of lecture notes (: mainly because ian wouldn’t let me write on his hand or his notes. humph.

remembering is like oranges. (my litwing assignment, haha) i think it’s the idea that everyone will have changed without you and they won’t care that you didn’t have any part to play in it that makes leaving people so difficult. how far is france anyway? very far is not just my answer. you forget the immeasurable depth of the seas. the green of the trees. the cold winters that will never touch our faces. the soft sun through the windows (if you’re lucky). the choirs of the angels. the walls that separate the seminary from the rest of the world. you are so far and yet through love you are so near. remembering is like oranges because though you may or may not like it you never ever forget how it tastes like.

i was talking to ian the other day and telling him how i have been bleeding the whole week. not just in that sense, but in about three different places which is kind of worrying if you think about it. people should not be allowed to bleed this much. and i wonder if everyone’s blood tastes different? or do they have different tastes by blood type? like all a-type people taste one way and all o-type people taste another way. how absolutely fascinating. i tasted blood in my mouth yesterday and blood dripped all over my pillow while i was sleeping the day before. then of course there’s the obligatory bleeding that gives girls the excuse to have moodswings. then again bleeding is quite common; your pen bleeds ink. your brain bleeds knowledge. your heart bleeds love. goes on and on. i haven’t had a nosebleed in years.

je suis le vent- talking about that i suspect i will never get through gone with the wind because 1) it is so damn thick and 2) it is so damn draggy. the font is entirely too small and margaret mitchell goes on and on about the smallest things! no wonder they called it an epic novel, i wonder if all epic novels are like that. i suspect they are because while homer’s odyssey is quite interesting it has too much unnecessary information in it. like i know it’s a romance! what do i care if scarlett o’hara married charles hamilton or loved ashley wilkes or played around with stuart/brent tarleton?! give me rhett butler! now! and then spend the next 300 pages explaining to me why she loves him and he loves her and why he must go off to war and she must pine over him (!!!) the back cover reads ‘the most popular novel in existence’ and that it’s sold about 28 million copies but i suspect that’s just because everyone bought it just to see what the hell the book that vivian leigh (i can’t remember who the guy was) dramatised was about. ah, marketing skills. managerial economies of scale! .. i don’t think that had any connection. gah.

there is no love that does not pierce the hands and feet. love is not like death, though love is like death. asking myself why i’m still here and it’s probably the latte i had just now with my brownie dinner at the esplanade. dimsum dollies was good, in a singapore sort of way. upsize my coke indeed.

for aloysius

————–

when you leave there will be no trace of a sound. you will leave, that night, without anyone knowing. you will have known there will be a million people praying for you, wishing you well, hoping you are safe. you will request specially to be alone though i will ask you what time your flight is going to be. and you will fly away to a place halfway across the world leaving love behind, stalking your questions like answers. in the air you will ask yourself if this is the right way. when you touch down you will board the train to lyon and ask yourself again if you have made the right decision. when you reach where you have been wanting to go you will realise that these questions you have been asking yourself is not due to a lack of faith, or a presence of doubt, or a temptation of the devil, that it is merely to reaffirm the fact that one love could be greater than another. when you leave these questions will fill the silence when your room is choked with memories and your voice cannot speak. when you leave you will make no sound.

when you leave there will be people crying. you will have become used to this in the way that everyone who leaves experiences sorrow. you will have learnt that boys don’t cry unless there is good reason to, and that night all the boys who are going to cry for you have loved you before, still they love you. when you leave you will remember the girl you spoke to on the telephone for two hours on a saturday night, wondering in the haze of your pain whether or not to press the ‘x’ button, even while her heart whispers ‘i love you’ and yours whispers back. when you leave there will be people crying and one of them will be you. your tears will roll down in fat drops as the sliding doors close behind you, as you walk through the immigration like your stairway to heaven. though they are transparent you will be opaque forever, and though they can still see you perhaps you will never love like them again.

there is no love that does not pierce the hands and feet. you will learn the meaning of this when you leave. you will have learnt that seven years in the desert is not easy for anyone to bear. you will have learnt that leaving is like being crucified, though you are not the one hanging on the cross and it is through no sin of yours. you will have learnt that though your calling is like a blank wall being dropped on love and though a flood of tears can threaten to drown you in their concern that things do not end when you leave. love is not like death and you will not disappear when you are gone. and my dear cousin many waters will not quench love.

when you leave i will love you for real. too often i have never said this and we understood each other through our silences and the connection that god has given us. i will remember those times i walked with you on the esplanade and around singapore, driving around in your car. i will remember the experiences with god you gave me, i will remember going to church with you always. i will remember that maundy thursday mass where i saw my first message from god and it was you who brought it to me. my dear cousin you are like my guardian angel and you have loved me in ways that no one else has because you have known me for ever. i have watched you grow up and you have watched me grow up. i think it’s about time i fell in love with you and when you leave this will happen. when you leave i will cry because i cannot help it. when you leave i will hold you like i will not have the chance to hold you for the next seven years. when you leave for love you will remember that there is love everywhere, everywhere. and i will have loved you like i never have before. and it will have been you who has taught me how.

beware jealousy, you never know how it may use you

come then, my love, come as you will along this haunted road. we should be as close as lovers should be but i know that when you speak of those you love you no longer remember me. i never meant this for singapore but for some other people, i never meant this for singapore. there’s a terrifying sense of loss i think. today i read somewhere in an inane book that the most unbearable period is the morning after a breakup. it was not true, i said to myself. for me the most unbearable period would be the night itself, the slow silences that stretched between the words of yes and no that created a chasm so wide we could not cross it even if we wanted to, trying to talk about something out of nothing. now due to unforeseen circumstances i have half-lost two of my dearest friends. it was never supposed to happen this way but nothing was ever supposed to happen this way and we live and die according to time still who does not relent.

orchard road is empty on a national day, pak said. i can remember exactly what i did a year ago on this day and it both surprises and pains me how much i have lost and possibly how much of a similar day the person i spent it with is having. fireworks, now. i took pictures today too. the difference was this year i refused to go to the esplanade for fear everything might start coming back. i am not as strong as i used to be and all these are better left for anecdotal reminiscing ten years down the road, it is too early to be calling back those memories now, i think i might just crumble. andi i remember watching ndp at your house and looking at the fireworks through the grilles of your window and watching beauty and the beast with synyi afterwards. i was sunburnt that day i remember.

in other news i have andre gide’s fruits of the earth, jm coetzee’s disgrace, james joyce’s portrait of an artist, and i am vaguely satisfied. joel owes me woman on the edge of time and nadia owes me island and i, lucifer and andi i think you owe me the picture of dorian gray from a very very long time ago. i am too tired to go and track down who owes me what but if you think you owe me something please return it, my books are as precious to me as my love and my life and it would cheer me greatly to see them returned. thank you (:

it is amazing what church can do for you these days. today i went for a church retreat in cantonese and was surprised to find that i could follow it pretty well despite my horrific chinese/cantonese translation. god works in his own mysterious ways i think and i suppose all these things happening to me have some purpose and that it was probably for the best that you gave me the best of you for a year and disappeared shortly after that because though i don’t like to think so perhaps i was never much of a person to begin with.

i drove for miles and miles and wound up at your door

the eagles are coming to singapore. the eagles, haha, so many years ago, that was. coming right behind you, swear i’m gonna find you. getcha baby, one of these nights.

on the eve of national day

singapore: you are not my country (sa’at)

but through all these years of my existence i have known you, i have tasted the quivering flesh of your soil and drunk your murky river water, i have inhaled your psi-indexed air and fed myself through the machines of your system. through all these years of my existence four of them were spent intensely hating you as you must have hated yourself in those early years, for you too were young once like all our parents and grandparents before us, and incomprehensible in the way that the young can never understand the tribulations of the old.

i remember each national day as if it was a landmark in my life. and in a way it probably was. i remember tracing your vague stars and crescents, and filling in your reds and whites- makeup on a blank face. i remember standing up for singapore during those times when the guard of honour saluted and the band started playing our national anthem. i remember peering through the sky for a spark of a firework. i remember memorising your past lives and inking circles around question numbers and the joy i felt when i scored full marks. i remember linking arms under the great sun in the amphitheatre, trying to hide from the heat, singing the same songs each year and feeling them exactly the same way.

i have thought often about leaving you behind, this tiny island when the world is so big, i have thought often of flying away and never coming back. there was a time where every article on the news was an excuse for me to stab you in the heart, right at your heart from a person you nursed so close to your being, and like a million others my words were like knives in defence of my principles that somehow contradicted yours. i am not saying you do not have faults, though you are not my country and by right i should not care. i am still not happy with the way you conduct your affairs; secretly, clandestinely, while you pay your many mistresses to stay quiet. i am not happy with the way your citizens are silenced by the blanketing of creativity (for want of a better word) the moment a noise is made; i am not happy with the way i am becoming like you. my dear singapore you have been soft and hard for a long time and one wonders if you have to step on others in order to rise, like the gracious citizens of your land you despise so much in campaigns and yet cannot afford to lose. i have hated the intensity of your national day parades, the way you use fireworks to draw crowds, the little flags waving in the sunlight while red tshirts explode in the streets. i have hated the way this only happens on one day every year. i have hated the people who live in your hdb flats and sit in your parliaments and despised the way you have wriggled your way out of answering questions that must always be answered. i have hated the way you repeat the same things over again, as if i were a child, as if i am not a child, as if i am a child. and i have hated the way you cannot make up your mind.

when i leave this place it will not be easy to remember. i will forget, for example, the way your people never spit on the streets. i will forget the fact that even chewing gum is banned. i will forget that legalising bar-top dancing is your idea of freedom. i will forget that you are willing to chase a foreign pink dollar at the expense of your own; i will forget that your teachers are given their year-end bonuses according to the grade they score- i will forget your campaign slogans: indeed learning never ends. speak mandarin, it’s better. save water, every drop is precious. low crime doesn’t mean no crime. i will forget the way you have to punch holes and use string to put a poster up on a pillar in order to have it hung. i will even forget the weight of three different textbooks in my hands as i walk down the street fearing that all i have absorbed into my mind will fall out in little pieces and plop onto the road.

but i will remember the way the trees arch overhead as i walk home in the night, the voice of my own rising clear in the night because there is no one else around to hear. i will remember the poems i have written in defence and attack of myself, of you, of myself, of you. i will remember the night sky being brighter in certain places than others. i will remember the loves you have nursed for my heart, the smiling faces of the people you have brought closest to me. i will remember the weight of distances, the smell of a room when i walk into it. i will remember unnecessary details, like the colours of shirts and the length of skirts; i will remember the streets that never sleep when my stomach is in need of entertainment. i will remember driving past christmas lights, and my cruelty on a particular christmas eve. i will remember each poster on the walls of my classroom, the scrawlings on notebooks. i will remember the feel of a hand on another, a kiss on a forehead. i will remember the comfort of a mother’s words in the way that there is a pain only mothers can soothe. i will remember a moderate patriotism for a country that is not my country.

singapore when i leave this place i will have bled red and white for your glory before. i will have loved and hated you in ways you have not imagined. i will have left and come back in the way that only a singaporean will be drawn back to this place. i will have missed you in ways that have nothing to do with your soil or your buildings or the people who take care of you. i will have missed you in the way that remind me of what i have left behind in order not to have left anything behind. and singapore when i leave this place you will no longer matter. singapore you are not my country but you are a magnet for my iron-covered heart; singapore you are not my country but you are my home. and yet when i leave this place time will have travelled far and long into space and curved back a million times and one, and this is how time does not relent; when i leave this place we will have drifted so far away when we should be as close as lovers should be; when finally i leave this place i will have known that when you speak of those you love you are no longer remembering me.

never put chewy sweets anywhere near me they’d disappear in a jiffy! keith can testify (:

am happy these two days and probably tomorrow as well though my mum has been incessantly naggy and i have an annoying ulcer in my mouth but the weather’s fine and my bed’s comfy and everything’s generally in a fuzzy mood. went window shopping today and saw some nice stuff! kino is having 20% off till tomorrow! and that’s always an excuse to buy books; you can never have enough. went out with dear ruimin today and generally was very stoned and talking alot of rubbish whining about the absence of cheap snapple and waving the singapore flag about! saw alot of nice photos i could’ve taken but! i didn’t bring my camera! i think i should bring my camera and pen and paper wherever i go, you never know what you might come across that gives you inspiration. oh yes. (: dinner with pak last night was very nice indeed! haven’t talked to someone like i did in a such a long time, it’s times like these that you wish you still had your friends around. and nadia we’ve been saying we’re going shopping since last year and it still hasn’t materialised yet! oh noes. we have no money. anyway if anyone is nice enough to remember me for christmas here is my booklist! note the excessive use of exclamation marks! heeheehee. =D booklist!

1 art & lies, jeannette winterson

2 madness & civilisation, michel foucault

3 sorrows of young werther, johann wolfgang goethe

4 peter camenzind, hermann hesse

5 hard-boiled wonderland, haruki murakami

6 an anthology of odes, pablo neruda

7 an anthology of rock&roll and poetry

8 herland, charlotte perkins gilman (i actually found it in kino today!!!)

9 brave new world revisited, aldous huxley

10 the power & the glory, graham greene

11 the autumn of the patriarch, gabriel garcia marquez

12 the black album, hanif kureishi

13 the curious incident of the dog in the night-time, mark haddon

14 the dreamers, david&leigh eddings

15 just above my head, james baldwin (still can’t get over how beautiful this is)

JOEL TEE: you owe me my book from 2385739486 years ago!

and because i’m bored, so i koped this from mellie:

1. name: risse

2. single or taken: hm.

3. sex: f

4. birthday: march 87

5. siblings: none

6. hair color: dark brown.

7. eye color: dark brown.

8. shoe size: i have no idea

9. height: 161

f a s h i o n s t u f f

1. where is your favorite place to shop? this says fashion but i’d say kino (:

2.any tattoos or piercings: two, though i used to have three

s p e c i f i c s

1. do you do drugs?: nup

2. what kind of shampoo do you use?: organics! =D it’s like $1.90 per bottle or sth haha

3. what are you most scared of?: haha i wouldn’t really tell you.

4. who is the last person that called you?: my mum

6. where do you want to get married?: somewhere cold and warm at the same time (:

7. how many buddies are online right now?: 8, though they’re all ‘away’ haha

8. what would you change about yourself?: my inactivity

f a v o u r i t e s

1. color: white.

2. food: most things (:

3. boys names: they always ask this and i can never answer; julian, justin, adrian, joel, aloysius

4. girls names: adrienne, luciene (!), andrea, jolene

5. subjects in school: lit

6. animals: i think my favouritest animal ever is my (now dead) dog

7. sports: run. runrunrun esp at night

h a v e y o u e v e r

1. given anyone a bath? yup. denise choong ai-wen! haha. in p2or3, i can’t remember.

2. smoked?: nup

3. bungee jumped?: mm yeah

4. made yourself throw up?: no

5. skinny dipped?: no

6: ever been in love?: yes. it screwed up q badly though

7. made yourself cry to get out of trouble?: possibly not

8. pictured your crush naked?: uh, unfortunately, yeah

9. actually seen your crush naked?: fortunately not.

10. cried when someone died?: yes

11. lied: i could possibly lie for a living

12. fallen for your best friend?: not really (:

13. been rejected?: .. actually come to think about it, no

14. rejected someone?: yes- it was q painful

15. used someone?: haha (: besides the obvious, i probably have

16. done something you regret?: of course

a r e y o u

understanding: i try

open-minded: i like to think so

arrogant: possibly

insecure: mm-hmm

interesting: that’s not up to me to say

random: you should see me high on coke

hungry: this question should not even need to be asked

smart: possibly not

moody: hell yeah

hard working: i reserve my comments

organized: that would depend on what

healthy: never!

shy: oh terribly, when it comes to some things

difficult: too often

attractive: nahhhh hahaha (:

bored easily: of course

messy: my table is a dumping ground

obsessed: not really. it takes too much effort

c u r r e n t

clothes: tshirt and shorts. what else do people wear at home?

music: def leppard

make-up: none

smell: i smell of me, i suppose

favorite group: my friends (?!)

picture: black&white of a bridge i took against the sky in japan

book youre reading: good omens, the powerbook

cd player: star box, x japan

dvd player: waterboys

color of toenails: blue, because it’s too cold

l a s t p e r s o n

you touched: my mummy

hugged: mummy!

you imed: probably pak

you yelled at: keith, for wanting to pon school =p

you kissed: hm. i think it was my mum

w h o d o y o u w a n n a

kill: oh no, too personal

slap: ian (:

get really wasted with: nadia

look like: a better version of myself is good enough

talk to offline: nadia

talk to online: nurul

f i n a l q u e s t i o n s

1. do you like fillings these out?: mellie’s right, they fill boredom

2. gold or silver: silver, though it tarnishes after a few years

3. what was the last film you saw at the movies?: troy haha (:

4. favorite cartoon/anime? samurai x

5. what did you have for breakfast this morning? beef noodles

6. who would you love being locked in a room with? neek, possibly. or nadia. or ian. or joel.

7. could you live without your computer? i think so

8. would you color your hair? yes, but not now

9. could you ever get off the computer? when i have something better to do

10. habla espanol? i can’t.

11. how many people are on your buddy list? 142

12. drink alcohol? yeah

happy birthday singapore, i whispered to myself along the street, though for the better part of my life i have been saying singapore you are not my country (sa’at) but singapore is still a magnet, no matter how iron-hearted we are.

so let us all be weak- i don’t remember her name anymore.

i have not felt like crying as i am in such a long time. i don’t want to ask myself if i know anybody at all. these things it’s easier not to think about, let me be happy that way. maybe they’d stop ringing in my head eventually. it doesn’t hurt to remember anymore i told somebody a few days ago but it doesn’t mean you don’t remember. and i’m not entirely sure if it doesn’t hurt at all. it is 1.07 in the morning and what does that tell you? nothing. time tells you nothing if it can and then it goes on without you or me and we’re left at the opposite ends of life.

i walked by the subway today and i wondered how it’d be if i did that too, some indian guy videotaping a blind man busking. i wonder how it’d be if i violated your trust like that. it’s sort of like raping a blind girl. or a handicapped one. haha. i wrote a paragraph on this before and i never want to remember it again.

i’m not sure what i intended to say but it came out like this so i will leave it. you want so badly to let go but you just can’t. switching allegiances. running in circles coming up tails heads on a silence apart. nobody said it was easy- no one ever said it would be this hard. and guess what’s playing on winamp now: all we are is dust in the wind.

it saddens me how fast the year is slipping away. but like some poet said (i really can’t remember who) time does not relent.

it occurs to me to recall the events of the past 7 months in my mind and it occurs to me again that i’m doing alot of reminiscing these days, it doesn’t seem to be too healthy but i can’t help it it just happens. am sort of in a daze now but i feel like i have to get this out.

it also occurs to me that some things don’t just go away like you tell them to. it saddens me sometimes but like frodo says (and i can’t believe i’m quoting him) you can’t always be torn in two, sam. it is scary how things have changed. i wrote something in my notebook awhile back and i think to this day it still holds true. i don’t know if i should feel guilty about it still holding true today but i will try not to think about it. anyway these things are impossible to turn back and it’s always better to concentrate on what you have now instead of what you don’t. haha. time, the eternal excuse, i quote joel. how true it rings.

talking about ringing, YOU! ANSWER THE DAMN PHONE!

i think one day we shall all drop dead. i must work harder, says boxer, who eventually turns into glue at the end of the day, the kind that gets eaten off the fingers of kindergarten children, who don’t know better.

i think the person whose handphone number is 97862603 is quite pissed off with me because i keep sending messages to whoever it is, accidentally. it comes from remembering people’s numbers and typing it straight into your phone when you send messages, and yet after i did that i realised how closely two people’s numbers were linked to each other and how this strangely showed that i could still absently type in the first half of your number even though you’re not even here and type in the other half of your number which is sad and tells me that somehow i can be thinking of two different people at the same time.

i think there should be more in dialogia type poems around so that more people can read things like this and feel fuzzy at the general feel of the language even though it hurts so much, these crazy things, poetry and love. my only complaint is that it’s too long, and yet when you read it it seems too short. and anne sexton’s version of cinderella is too funny and painful and has brilliant turns of phrase. hearts like blackjacks. hollow spots like soup spoons. that’s the way with amputations, they don’t just heal up like a wish. the other sister cut off her heel but blood told as blood will.

let the people who never find true love

keep saying there’s no such thing:



their faith will make it easier for them to live and die. (szymborska)

i think it’s true that you never know what to give the people closest to you for presents. it’s like how you don’t say anything because you don’t know what to say and you don’t give anything because they have everything. what do you get for the people who have everything? i saw some makeup thing at topshop a few weeks ago that said ‘queen bitch’ on it and i immediately thought of you. it doesn’t sound too flattering does it but i suppose it would’ve been better than a pink nightgown you’d probably never wear. funnier, maybe, in a warped sense. though you’d probably look at it on one of your down-days and throw it out of the window. i remember how people think of you and think of giving you a book on unpleasant ways to die. and for you i’d probably just get you a new shirt or something because your wardrobe needs to slowly expand or i’d start predicting what you’re going to wear soon, like i did for some other people. though possibly i might end up buying you some weird thing from toys r us because you’re crazy that way and for all my protesting i’m really too nice to say no. though i don’t know what in hell you’d do with it but i suppose you’d figure that out yourself. though chances are that if you’re like me it’d just go into some cupboard in your room and you’d never see it again for the next three years till you go overseas and pack up your room and unearth it from underneath your pile of things and remember i gave it to you three years ago. oh and i vaguely remember scrawling in my notebook about a million times how sixteen days together with you overseas would be suicide. i was nearly right. it almost was.

the reign of terror, 1793. random date i remember from a long time ago and now i can’t remember anything else. french revolution, i need to study!, and all the other things i promised myself i’d do and then i didn’t. and in remembrance of dates i shouldn’t be remembering because they hold no relevance to me anymore: happy birthday to sheryl syl tan shuqin, whose full name i even remember, my best friend from primary1-3 whom i used to exchange babyGs with during recess; and thank you j for the ray of hope you gave me on this day a year ago, when i was feeling terrible and you were there like you always have been and to this day your words shine like candles in my heart.

let’s watch the trocks in action!