Monday, July 23, 2007

Wrote this last Monday. I'm posting it anyway.

Something's slightly different these days. I can't be explicit about it because it's personal, but if you think I look different (could be for the better, but more likely the worse), you're right. And I think I'm happier this way.

It took me five years to stop doing this, and I just did it all of a sudden, overnight. I think it isn't technically a big deal, but because I know why I started doing it in the first place... well it's a big deal.

Sorry to be so cryptic. I can't say! I am embarrrrrassssed (I decided a while back that I would give up trying to spell that word).

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The last time I wore the exact same attire was six years ago. Or, to be down with the details, it would mean six and a half years have passed since the last time I wore this and carried a shoebag. I can’t remember when was my last touch rugby training, but I think I got the date about right.

We had our second badminton office thingamahjig today, and I grabbed the only other shirt that I do sports in (rather unwilling to don the dri-fit sleeveless stuff for a rough-and-tumble event). I made the mistake of not bringing another, and that is how I found myself going home from Somerset on the MRT, wearing the PE attire from JC which I used to wear with such regularity six years ago.

I didn’t realise the faux pas until I left the center and faced the eyes of the public. I’m sure the majority didn’t really care or look, but I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them had no problems believing I was 18.

GQ said I was greedy, that I was asking for a hefty six-year discount.

The trip home was one of the most surreal experiences I have ever encountered. I had put on the most effective mask, the most complete costume I had at my disposal to fool public perception.

And I think I could’ve fooled myself.

How easy it was, to look at my own reflection, and imagine that I was 18 again. I almost didn’t have to pretend, I could feel it. It felt very real, it didn’t feel like a farce.

Of course, my hair is thrice the length now than it was back then. I have at least five extra kilograms on my frame, and a hell lot more scars on my legs to boot. I know I couldn’t fool myself to think my look hasn’t changed, but I could deceive myself into feeling the same – the way I felt when I was thinner, with shorter hair, nicer legs, and a helluva lot more energy.

I walked out of the station and waited at the bus stop. It was a combination of public perception (I believed what people believed about me), and pure emotive nostalgia. I can’t get anymore specific than that, but its just how you assume the role that you associate with that particular uniform/attire.

And just closing my eyes, I let myself believe it. I was on my way home after a long day at school. I would call Nick the moment I reached home and find out where he was and if he needed a morning call the next day. I would have to unpack my bags later, because I no longer kept proper notes on homework and I always ended up forgetting. I would sleep late again, ICQing no doubt, and the next day I would be late for school and have to stand at the side along with all the other punctuality-pariahs.

It felt good. It felt familiar. And then you open your eyes, and its as if someone hit the fast forward button, and all the things that have passed since then filters into your mind’s eye at breakneck speed. People and places, things and faces.

At this present moment, this very second, this is the furthest I could possibly be from that 18-year-old self. And I suppose, every minute that passes will make it more and more difficult for me to play pretend.

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Speaking of time. I met someone from my 12-year-old self.

I never latched onto Facebook because of how Friendster left a (very very) bad taste in my mouth. But hey.

Victoria Noreen Langton.

We were in the same class from Primary 3 to 6. I can't remember much anymore. My memory tells me that I believed she was one of my best friends, in the way that a 12 year old would classify friends, anyway.

I don't remember much about what we did. Well, at least not the details. I remember being prefects together, going to her house (to do what? I can't remember). I memorised her house phone number till i was about 16, and now I can't recall it any longer.

She was exotic because she was the first girl I knew who was eurasian. I remember she got into an argument with our teacher about homework because her parents didn't believe in her doing all those assessment books.

I remember we labelled her as the wild child. She had boyfriends before I was interested in boys. I remember a lot of judgements being passed.

I remember we had a lot of fun.

And I remember seeing her again about three years ago, standing in Orchard Library and watching a performance. I don't know if she had seen me, because if she did she sure did a good job of pretending she didn't. I didn't say hello. I had nothing to say to her.

Strange, because now, i really really want to talk to her.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I passed I passed I passed!!!!

Finally.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ho Weng Hin’s excellent column in ST today:

“...the publicity and fanfare that has surrounded the
impending demolition of the stadium, makes me think of a
grand and protracted funeral staged for a person who is still alive and kicking.”


As quoted by Tym, Alfian Sa'at's play, Homesick:

"How can we build a national identity if we keep tearing down everything with the word 'national' in it?"

And as I said a year ago... well, read it here.




Friday, July 06, 2007

Pardon the angst

Been on an angst rampage of late, and although there is a long list of reasons, I'd much prefer to just not talk about it because hey, guess what, its better now.

The importance of maintaining status quo aside, there's just too much scattered-ness in my head to write anything thematic.

I do have to do a half-hearted shout out to ask if anyone is looking to adopt a kitten?

I sent out an SMS appeal about a week and a half back. A couple of interested ones, but none who could take it immediately.

I found her, as how I seem to find all my cats, on my way home and completely by accident. My mother received a phonecall from the resident cat lady who asked if we could go take a look because she wasn't free, and I had a small ball of dread in my stomach because i just knew what was going to happen.

And really, this one didn't leave us any choice either. Hiding in some corner under a table and trying to stay away from the claws of the resident cat (who's very cute and all but quite a monster).

I didn't know what to make of this one. Her ears are too big, her eyes are too "not cute" and after her bath and meal - she was too hyper and I now wake up in the middle of the morning because of her constant bouncing-here-and-there-and-everywhere and she usually lands up on my face during a couple of those leaps.

The two cats are now used to her, it's been almost two weeks after all, and I didn't make the mistake of SHOCK AND AWE like I did the last time (with very disastrous results).

The main problem now is I don't know how to talk about them because I don't have proper names for them. I can't use the Big Cat/Small Cat dichotomy anymore. Small Cat is now Fat Cat. So now we'll have Old Cat, Fat Cat and New Cat. They're all my bitches.

Fat Cat is still extremely wary, and prone to stupid hissing-then-running. Old Cat, no doubt learning from past experience that the young 'uns are not worth her energy, have been playing it quite cool. I love her.

So yeah, she's been with us too long and I think I just may be able to keep her without the parents kicking up a fuss.

But just in case, does anyone want her?

New Cat

I had a camera phone pic of her that I used to try and "sell" her to my colleagues. They asked "do you have a nicer pic? Where she looks cuter?"

Ok, I'm not letting her go to anyone who adopts kittens based on how "cute" they are. I'll tie a fucking ribbon in her hair, how about that?

New Cat

I love Fat Cat too, but I think she's a bit stupid. This is what I call the Blank Stare.



This one? Oh she's above criticism.



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Two days after Ishi's death, my Mom came home and started to tell us (again) about a colleague of hers. A year younger than me, incredibly fucked up life as far as fucked-up-lives as concerned. My mom's at her wit's end, and it seems no amount of talking is doing any good. Relationship problems, personal problems etc etc. I suppose my mom's just worried because no one should be able to live like this, and many people choose not to, after a while.

And I didn't know what to tell her. And I went to sleep.

I'm not thinking about Ishi because I don't know what to think. I don't know him well at all, and I guess I just didn't want to think about it. Mental resistance.

I went to work the next day and wanted to listen to a song that I had heard in bits and pieces elsewhere but didn't know what it was. I searched for it on youtube, and I just think it's fucking ironic how things turn out sometimes, because the song was this one.

And I listened to it and read the lyrics.

And then I went online and searched and searched. I wrote down a long list of hotline numbers and phone numbers and addresses of places that offered free counselling services, and I went home to give it to my mom.