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Decepticon and dementors

This is what I wrote on 21 November at 5.14pm:

I’m incredibly sad today. And there is nothing I can do about it. Except to tell myself I’d be awesome again.

Which I am. Obviously. But it will take a while.

What happens when someone you think the world of breaks your heart over and over again?

You try to be as understanding and accommodating as you can because this is the person you have invested so much of your feelings with.

It’s 28 November today – exactly a week since I found out about the unpleasant truth.

I have asked her so many questions. I have asked myself even more questions. Every waking moment gives me more time to cause myself even more pain.

More often than not, people are most likely to deceive the person who loves and trust them most. And the person who tends to love and trust these people most tend to think that their lover would never lie to them. Fool.

You see, discovering that someone had not been very honest with you is pretty devastating because the deception destroys trust and it leaves me very vulnerable and tormented. I keep thinking: Why? What did I do wrong? Why didn’t I see this coming? How did this happen to me? I thought I was a good person? What else have you been lying about? I thought we have been through this and you said you’d be honest with me from that day onwards? What about us? Why?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. I tried answering them but I wasn’t happy with any of the reasons I came up with. Sadness. Anger. Denial. One by one, the emotions came like waves over me. Then nothing. I become numb. This was much more than the day a bit of me died inside. This was even more wrenching than the “Silent night” (private journal) I wrote on 30 July. No, wait, nothing can be compared to that. It took me months to get over it and now this happens.

What do I do now? As if anything I do would accomplish anything. Perhaps I could laugh at myself for being so naive and foolish. For thinking that you don’t hurt someone you love.

I guess this finally explains the drastic mood swings, unstable emotions, the confusion, the occasional detachment, the endless contradiction, and the displays of affection followed by the lack of endearments.

But the weirdest thing is I actually think I understand the other person’s point of view or what she might be going through.

What I’ve learned so far is it doesn’t pay to be honest and to be the best you can for someone because even if you have been faithful the entire time, you will always be hurt in the end. I mistrust every single thing now. I no longer feel safe now and it is a very frightening feeling because I can feel myself slowly changing. It’s not safe to tell the truth any more. It’s in my best interests to protect myself first. Most probably.

2 Dec 3.43am

Maybe I’d stop harping on everything if you have been honest with me the whole time and instead of thinking you have to hide everything from me because this is not a game. Yes, I think that’s definitely it.

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I’m on the top of the world

When it comes to post-sex cuddling for many couples, singing children’s melodies while gently patting a lover’s back is not an obvious choice that comes to mind.

But late into the evening on a lazy Saturday in a suburban part of a city still recovering from the Diwali public holiday’s hangover, a devoted lover was singing a medley of popular children songs at her lover’s request.

Who would have thought a 1970s Carpenters tune would turn up as both, with legs intertwined with one another’s on a huge comfy bed, cheerfully started singing with gusto into the cool air-conditioned air?

“I’m on the top of the world,” she sang. There was a slight pause as she struggled to remember the next line. Her lover looked up from the lazy slumber she was drifting into under the gentle kneading on her aching shoulders and carried on from there. “Looking down on creation, and the only explanation I can find, is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around. Your love’s put me at the top of the world.”

And last weekend, the lyrics just about sum that 24 hours up. Maybe even the last six months.

How do two people stay in love and be ridiculously happy with each other? Perhaps it’s having fun when spending time together.

Lying in bed posing for random shots together and watching video clips they made together for each other over and over again that day, the lovers were laughing uncontrollably at how silly and adorable they are around each other.

They still talk about themselves, their past, their present, the future, their likes and dislikes or things they watch on TV. They still have long conversations online and over the phone about their day, sometimes during work hours or into the wee hours of the night. There is always so much to talk to each other about. They are beginning to share more of their worries, their fears, and even their secrets. They still laugh a lot, sometimes at one another, but mostly together at random things in life.

Whenever they catch each other’s eyes now, they would reach out for a kiss on the lips, instead of looking away shyly.

They would spend too much time looking at their photos, reading their emails, thinking about the days spent together and the hilarious things they would do that make them grin stupidly. Most of all, they would look forward, sometimes impatiently, to see each other.

The nights and days become precious as they find little pockets of time to spend with each other. When they part, it was still with a smile. But filled with much longing for the next time that they should meet again.

Life has remained charmingly comfortable as their lives intertwine. Spending hours at the local grocery store where everything was priced at $2 was something they both enjoy doing together. Or they would make lists of the food they want to eat and fix dates to do just that – eat. Sometimes it was desserts, sometimes, it was a local delicacy, sometimes it was a snack. Recently, it had been Sri Lankan crabs soaked in salted egg yolk gravy.

The sense of comfort they have with each other was again something hard to put a finger to. Maybe the stars really did align their thoughts long before they even knew each other.

Then one day, on a whim, she decided to send a bouquet of flowers as a surprise. They were going to see each other during the weekend and she knew it was going to be another awesome time together. She sent a note along with the flowers that said, “I E T T Y A T S A E O E V M!”

A message that still lingers true from the first time she cracked the code in someone’s diary entry, “I T E T T H A T E A S O E”.

Were two people to stay happily in love, would it be because they have found someone who make them laugh all the time, who keep them warm in bed, who enjoy sharing a meal, snacks or even secrets with them, and who are comfortable spending time together?

Is this bliss?

Because… I’m on the top of the world, baby. I hope you are too.

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Dear Future Me

Dear Future Me,

Before you carry on reading this letter, please do me a favour and take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Yes, this is important. For the love of ourselves, just do it and stop giving me that “raised eyebrow” look.

Done?

If you have managed to retain your youthful good looks after the last couple of years, you’re welcome. After all, I had invested quite a bit in an expensive facial regime five years ago – starting from those branded facial products and regular treatments. Not smoking anymore was another brilliant idea. So is purchasing that gym membership, which should have been keeping you lean and fit ( if you have been attending classes religiously).

If you look a bit rough around the edges now, what the hell?!

Please tell me you’re at least fabulously wealthy. If not, you better step up on it. Your PCI (perceived cuteness index) has been declining since 2010 and this is SO not the time to procrastinate on maintaining our good looks. We depend on our looks to succeed in the line of work we do! Like duh.

Also, I am sorry for inflicting you with short curly hair in 2010. This hairstyle has managed to split opinions right down into two camps – It’s horrible and you should fire your hairstylist – and – It’s so nice and you look good with this refreshing change. Well, needless to say, there are more vocal members in the first camp.

I have been trying to avoid getting caught in photos so there won’t be any lasting memories of this tragic incident. I will not be impulsive and think I can pull any hairstyle off again. But you have to admit, this hair does look good at times but only when I am alone with no one to verify its awesomeness. Sadface.

Listen, you’re not crazy. Yes, you think way too much at times and yes, you should probably go run it off or talk to someone. Or go out more often and take many short breaks. There is only so much you can do all by yourself.

Trust me, I know what you’re going through right now. I am currently swamped with work. UP to my neck, no, MY HEAD, I swear. I can’t even see the distant light in the tunnel. The last three months have been rough on me, I’m sure you’d remember.

I just sent the freelancer an email filled with a certain amount of angst and dejectedness because I can’t believe someone can be that daft. I have six interviews to transcribe. I have 20 pages left in the print magazine to fill by myself before 16 November. I have at least 18 online stories to write for next week. I have over 100 profiles to proof read before next week as well and I rather write a letter to you. This is the level of procrastination I am facing.

How I wish to get away and run to somewhere cool and sit outside a cafe, drinking hot chocolate and people-watch. Yes, many have asked if I am on the verge of screaming and running away. I mostly reply with a smile, “Not yet, just doing one thing at a time” because I don’t think it’s nice to add on to other people’s burden or that anyone really cares. Are you still as cynical like me? Or have you become a much more approachable person?

But all in all, 2010 has been a good year for me so far.

Starting today, I have officially clocked three full years in my first job back in Singapore. I never thought I’d last so long at something. Then again, I have always been loyal or rather, steadfast in staying put when I am comfortable. If I’m correct, you have been using the same hairstylist for the last few years, hung out at the same places you have always frequented and use the same products you have always used. Rain or shine. Things or people may change. But you just don’t. Unless of course, you see something better. Hahaha!

I hope you have been taking care of your lower back, neck and shoulders. No doubt, I didn’t do you much favours by sitting 14 hours straight in front of the computer everyday the last three months. Once we get through to December, I promise to take better care and not let them turn to chronic aches. Ok, I am straightening my back now. See!

Are you a better presenter or speaker on stage now? Do you still get stage fright from facing over 600 people? You can be quite eloquent when you try. But please remember to not try to be funny. Sometimes you tend to overdo it and it makes people awkward. Wait, do you get invited to speak at events now? That would be an interesting turn of events. From statue to star!

You have always been a planner but your plans tend to fail quite spectacularly. I hope you’ve learned to take things easy. Things were hard for you the last few years and you have gotten over them now. Have faith that all good things will come to you naturally. There is no need to overplan or even think desperately about what you want. Just relax. It’s going to be smooth sailing from now.

It’s ok if things don’t turn out the way you want at times. Not everything is such a big deal. (It will always be a blessing in disguise!) It’s ok you’re getting slightly older now. (But thankfully, you’re never boring!) You still laugh a lot when you stop thinking about work. You still make many people whom you’re close to laugh. You’re still enjoyable to be with. And almost everything I wished for has come true for you.

I hope to hear from you soon, Future Me. I’m sure we will have loads to catch up on. For now, go out and have some fun. You deserve it.

Love,

Present Me

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The orange eye in the sky

It’s the day after Halloween and ironically, my parents’ wedding anniversary and someone must have drugged me because I fell into a deep sleep and I was struggling so hard to wake up. Maybe this is how Sleeping Beauty felt the entire time she was waiting for someone to wake her up. Oh, and I found this unpublished post dated 22 Oct around 2ish am:

So I looked really fancy and well-groomed today. I want to add I smell fabulously delicious too but then again, I always do.

I am SO FREAKING PUMPED UP about the good vibes I am getting and the freedom from deadlines I am enjoying that I am typing as fast as I can now before my thoughts jumble up and escape me.

Some highlights of my awesome day:

Saw a salted egg yolk hanging in the hazy sky this morning on my way to the usual bus stop I walk to for work and smacked my lips, thinking: “Salted egg yolks are delicious.” I then caught myself licking my lips. Which was quite embarrassing because there were other morning commuters walking by.

I am much better looking than that eye in LOTR

Finished my work for the day which means I have the weekend to mull over the week that was. (Usually, this means I will sleep but I have issues to think about.)

Wonderful dinner! There was seafood fried rice (I really love rice), fried pork chop in onions and tomato sauce, deep fried pork cubes and two types of leafy green vegetables. Ok, I am beginning to sense that I am enamoured by fried stuff. Or pork.

Hot lemongrass tea with honey. Seriously. You have to try it. Sweet refreshing awesomeness in one cup. And I had two!

If you can tell me a better way to spend a really late Thursday night than having a great time out with mates at a cozy joint until your eyes are closing but the conversation is too good not to continue and then going home and climbing into a big comfortable bed with damp hair and smelling yummy all over while reading the day’s news, I don’t want to know about it.

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I’m alive

Haiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii…… No, this isn’t some weird Lolzcat speak for “hi”. This is a really really really long low monotonous DUH sounding sigh that if you were in front of me, the impact would knock you over because it’s still echoing through my mouth.

Which means…… I’M ALIVE! I’M ALIVE!

After sleeping less than four hours the last two days in an awkward sitting position because I dozed off halfway punching out a 2,500-word feature and 800-word column, I thought I wouldn’t survive past the today’s deadline.

My neck and shoulders are creaky but I musn’t complain. Because I can finally move on with the rest of my life. Only the rest of my life consists of putting out three more print editions before this year ends. I wept two nights ago by the way. I had to face the public with my left eye way smaller than the right next day. THE ENTIRE DAY! Oh god, the amount of self consciousness that I had to keep at bay.

I honestly doubt if I can survive this Darth Vader-like “force choke” work pressure by myself because good staff are hard to find these days. After the issues I had with, not one, but two irresponsible young former employees this week, I am mentally scarred. The weirdest thing is when I relate my traumatising experience with bad staff to people I sort of trust, they understood my point of view. I’m very relieved to know I’m not the one who needs a hard knock on the head. Say what you want about fair employment, I am already forming some very discriminating thoughts about what I don’t want to see in the next hire. Bite me.

My goal this weekend is to watch tv, sleep, clean my room, watch more tv, exercise, nap, watch even more tv. Oh and eat! Mustn’t forget about sustenance, especially since I’ve stopped eating regularly the last two months. Silly, I know. I can be overly ambitious at times.

What I learned about myself is I am kinda ok slogging through work and I obviously want to do the best I can but I rather spend my time creating a well-oiled efficient army of minions to carry out my commands. How else am I supposed to rule the world?

Let me interrupt you reading here for a second. I have to say this before I forget. Glee is hilarious! Ok, done.

Well, there are 10 more days before October ends. Sometimes I wish I have someone to call and just talk about what’s really bothering me. Or even share some random interesting and amusing things I see daily without worrying if I am overdoing it. Maybe I think too much because I am secretly idealistic because I have issues about the past because I am just a … Maybe I need to go sleep now. But I’m free from deadlines which means I can sleep properly! At least for the next few days! Yay!

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Absolutely dashing rockstar

I came home feeling dejected with how things are going at work. I genuinely love what I do but staring at the never-ending pile of work I have to do myself and having to force myself to proofread crappy copy is giving me a throbbing headache everyday… oh god, I don’t know how long I can hold onto my sanity for. Even my appetite ran away in disgust.

At this rate, I am doubtful to say I won’t break down any time soon because I am really gripping myself every time I open a word file and the incompetence I see is wearing down my willpower. Fast. Is there another word for “help” because somehow I don’t think the word sends you guys enough urgency about how much angst and fear I am buried under? HELP? Save me? Put on my best devoted face and trust that the skies will part now and angels will descend to shower me with perfumed petals and serenade me with their sweet melodious voices?

Ok, I waited a full minute. If the miracle didn’t happen, it’s only because I lack faith and positivity, right?

What?! It’s only Tuesday. Let me be. October is only halfway done with me before it spits me out like a tasteless rubbery piece of gum. No, seriously. I feel so drained even alcohol wouldn’t be enough to give me that irrational zest of life you get from drinking too much.

So I came home and looked through my old Moleskin diaries to find a life list I wrote four and a half years ago. Instead I found this self portrait sketch I drew when I was bored one day at work and I was feeling pretty awesome about myself that day. Like, what’s new right?

Absolutely dashing.

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i carry your heart with me

I might write for a living but I know nuts about poetry. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it. Once in a while, I do read poems and I love how they make me feel even though I don’t exactly know the prose structure or why some rhyme and some don’t. So I will never attempt to write one.

But I do have a few favourites like Robert Frost, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, T.S. Eliot, and now, e.e. cummings. I know. I am a sucker for love poems. Laugh at me all you want but if you can tell me a better way to express how I feel for this special person than dedicating a beautiful poem to her and quite possibly, climbing into bed with her afterwards, I would love to hear it.

Seriously. Nothing?

Ok, I will just go right ahead and recite this poem to her. I will update you again. That is if she hasn’t laughed to her death at my cheesiness.

Oh, and remember, I might talk about poetry tonight but tomorrow I could blog about really mushy scenes of us kissing.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

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Our fingers are great assets

Or they'd rot

This lorry drove past the cab I was in yesterday and I have no idea the type of business the vehicle is working for but, “Our fingers are great assets. Preserve them from harm”?

Right on, you savvy little lorry. You’re onto something wise.

I was completely exhausted from a long sleep-deprived day at work but let’s just say if you knew me well, you’d have seen the smirk on my face after reading the well-crafted message.

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The picnic that never was

So, my random surprise.

I have to say it is not working out so far. I planned for a secret picnic lunch today and I have all the ingredients there waiting to be made into something special. The weather was lovely this morning. There were clear blue skies and a slight hint of breeze. I had a trial tasting session with the food first, just to be on the safe side. The food was OK and I was happy with the results. So I waited.

It’s evening now. I will probably pack the picnic food for breakfast/lunch tomorrow. Maybe my hints were too weak. Perhaps I should have said something more but I didn’t want to push any further.

I should be getting ready for dinner now. The restaurant options these days are overwhelming. You start on one dining review and it will lead to you to another review and another because you will always think, “Is this really the best restaurant? Could there be a better one with better service, better ambience and better food? Could anonymous reviewers really know their stuff?”

The answer is maybe if there are more than 100 reviews for a restaurant. Why 100? According to the scientist whose name I can’t remember, the margin of error decreases as the sampling group becomes larger. So if a restaurant gets 1,000 good reviews, it should be good, going by the majority’s consensus.

Except I don’t feel comfortable trusting these anonymous reviewers who must think their opinions are valuable to me. But let’s see. Maybe one of them might just get it right.

Anyway, I found this draft written on 18 September after another incident. The details are a little fuzzy now and I no longer feel as much as I did nine days ago because it seemed like a small matter after my fifth tequila shot. That’s right, baby. I went from “Oh, I’m gutted.” to “Fuck it, let’s drink.”

I am now truly convinced that alcohol is the perfect anaesthesia to numb and silence the annoying thoughts that usually screw your mind. I have yet to find another better formula. But you can try.

Then I ended up staggering home after I threw up all over the hotel bar’s immaculately clean washroom. The toilet looked like a monster exploded all over it and I hope they never find the culprit.

Before that, I was giggling non-stop in a low monotone which kinda freaked everyone out. Evidently, I had to stop giggling after the bartender kept serving me shots. He said to me, “You need to get drunk. Otherwise there is no point to drinking.”

At that point, my head was pounding and I vaguely remember vomiting all over the grass field near my place one hour later. Lucky grass. Getting a great nutritious meal of deep fried snacks and vodka in the middle of the night.

If you’re in a relationship and you still feel alone, then maybe you shouldn’t let them waste any more of your time.

I read that off a Facebook status few days ago and thought, “Omg, that is quite true.”

It was like having cold water splashed across my face. While I don’t expect someone to be there for me all the time, I would prefer not to be an option.

I want to be someone’s priority, instead of a backup where plans involving me could be cancelled to suit your new schedule.

Or at least let me feel that you’re considerate towards me. Give me ample notice. A simple “Hey, I might need to meet some people for dinner because they will die the next day and it’s important to let them see me before they go. Is it ok if we meet after that?”

Or “I need to have dinner with some friends but I won’t take long because I want to see you after that, not because I need to go home to my dog. Maybe we can do something together, if you’re ok spending time with my dog too.”

I’m pretty sure a nice explanation before rescheduling is only polite even if it’s between friends. Obviously, you could say I’m demanding blah blah blah. Piss off because this is about me.

Anyway I’m pleased to share that I no longer feel as much as I would have three weeks ago. This is the new me. Outrageously understanding and calm, I have learned this the hard way. There is no point in wanting to spend as much time as possible with someone if they don’t feel the same way.

Before: I want to spend all my time with you so fucking bad because I think of you all the time and you are important to me.

Now: Well, I like you still but maybe there is no longer a need to think of you all the time or even see you often even though we already hardly do.

You’re better off taking everything with a pinch of salt. Even the “I miss you” texts. Because action speaks louder than words and reality is such that you have to live life with yourself first. No one else should come close.

I have 11 more days to get through to October and I can’t bloody wait.

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Another day in paradise

Driving into the sunset

I was on my way to meet you a few weeks ago when I took this picture. It was a Tuesday and we were going to see each other after being apart for almost close to a week. I was running late so I took a cab because every minute saved on travelling is another minute I get to spend with you. We were speeding along the expressway when I saw the sky covered in a golden sheen. It was nearing the end of the day and I was going to see you in a few minutes’ time. But you were still on my mind and this was a perfect moment to show you why.

I know I was born and raised here but there are still times when new malls keep sprouting up and most places remain unfamiliar to me. Now that I have finally settled down in Singapore permanently for the last three years, moments like this make my heart soar when I see how beautiful this city can be at times.

I am enjoying my life here, and it’s not just because of the free laundry and cooking services I get at home. This finally feels like home. I know right.