Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Day in the Life

I had just simplified a very complicated insurance policy document. My brain was screaming and I needed a break. Of course, I fully intended to get back to work, but in the meantime I needed to skive off.

Anyway, my pal Mary, who had been sojourning up North for the past six weeks was back in town and I hadn't seen her yet. So I called to see if she was free for lunch (she wasn't, this woman has a hectic social schedule) and we decided to meet for tea instead. In the meantime, I finished that document, sent it to the relevant people, packed up my stuff and was out of there.

There was some vague idea of bringing the laptop along in case I wanted to do some work (yeah, right!). Anyway was feeling very tired when we met. We discussed a few situations desultorily, sat down to a coffee and cinnamon bun (OK we had two, and not we, but me) and they were very good indeed.

Then I got a call from my colleague who was off his meeting and already in town to party. We were all supposed to be attending this farewell cocktail tonight.

"Do you think we should bring a gift?" I asked idly, examining my fingers with a negligent and languid grace.

"Um, no, no, I don't think so."

"Oh OK. Speak to you later. I'm with a friend now."


"Huh! Having coffee and cinammon buns."

"You skiver!"

"Better believe it!"

Not 20 minutes later, Chris SMS-ed me. Seems that he checked with the boss, and yes, we should get a present for the dear boy, good idea, and he's given us a budget and could I please do the needful.

Energy shifted. Suddenly I had a mission. I paced up and down the bookshop we had repaired to, purposefully, hands behind my back, forehead furrowed in concentration. Mary looked expectant. Considering that the function was due to start in like a minute, it was obvious that this would be a mad rush around to get the needful. One of our crazy adventures, so to speak.

Remember the search for the cookie cutter? Or finding Skoob? Or (OK I can't remember what our other adventures were, but I do know there are many, scattered among my archives).

"OK, I'm thinking a book, a bottle of wine..."

"Check with the boss first. I mean would that be corporate enough?"

"'re right."

I called the boss: "Hey K. I'm getting the gift. Does Jeff drink wine?"

K: "Yes, yes, I think he does,"

Me: I was thinking wine and a book.

K: Oh good idea, thanks Jenn.

Which is why when Chris called me 10 minutes later to say he was at the Royal Selangor Pewter and a pewter plaque may be a good idea, I could ixnay his idea quite comfortably.

OK, there is only one wine worth getting, if you're buying for a big cheese nice guy kind of person. Cape Mentelle. Cabernet Merlot. Problem is, there was none at Bangsar Village where we were at. And they didn't even have the book I wanted: Shantaram, which I'm sure Jeff would love (now he's moving on to do his own thing, surely he'd have time to read).

No problem. We charged into the car and headed for Bangsar Shopping Centre in after work traffic. I knew for a fact that there was Cape Mentelle at the bottle shop and they were even having a special on the Cape Mentelle Shiraz.

So I clattered in with Mary and we bought the CMCB (Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot, in case you were wondering) and asked the nice lady if she would kindly wrap if for me. She put the wine in a wine box, attached a ribbon and suddenly it looked suitably festive.

Mary (as we were hurrying towards the bookshop upstairs): "But the lady said there is no Shantaram in Bangsar.

Me: Aiya, she was talking about MPH. This one here is Times. You must know these things.

Not that it availed much to "know these things". Seems Times the bookshop was short of Shantaram too.

Lady at counter: I don't know what it is about that book. I keep ordering it and it keeps selling out. Old book some more.

I closed my eyes in exasperation. No hope for it, if I were thinking of getting that book, I'll have to go to MegaMall. Problem was, I was already late. The cocktail was supposed to start at 6.30. It was already pushing 7.

We walked around for a while looking at wine glasses. At the wine shop, they had samples of nice ones, which were out of stock. I didn't really want to get the cheap glass ones.

Royal Selangor: Because of the pewter stems a pair would cost RM450. A leetle over-budget. In fact, a lot.

Jeanine's: Only tacky glasses available.

Crown Crystal: Malaysian china unashamed. Very ugly Malaysian china. And the horrific red wine glasses cost RM980 a piece. We lingered not. Leave these ugly expensive monstrosities for the Datins, who would, er... "appreciate" them.

So we headed out for MegaMall. Mary suggested I call the boss to let him know where I was since I was now horribly late already.

I did. Boss said OK no problem. And thank you.

I pulled into the carpark at MegaMall and St Jude got us a place like pronto. On the right floor. Where we got the pair of wineglasses we had been eyeing lustfully at the wine shop, at a bargain basement price. It was on sale.

(In case you want to come visit now, do. It's the Malaysian Shopping Festival. Or Great Sale. Or some such thing)

MPH was next on the list. We struck paydirt. Caressing the golden covers of my newly acquired Shantaram I knew my long tiring quest had succeeded. (OK fine, I only checked four other bookshops, maybe five, but it FELT like a long tiring expensive quest)

I wanted to write a message in it. I wanted the message to be literary and profound. In fact, not like my company at all (though the message was on behalf of them).

Me: What did that Omar Khayyam fler say about a bottle of wine, a book and thou ah? Considering my selection of presents it would be particularly apposite.

Mary: Wasn't it a flask of wine? And I'm sure there was a loaf of bread in there somewhere.

Being in a bookshop we decided to investigate and found the Edward Fitzgerald translation:

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

So I wrote the message in the book with a few well-chosen words of my own.

Mary wondered whether we should buy a loaf of bread, to round off the selection. I thought yes but no but yes but no but yes but we didn't have the time.

Now I had to find professional present wrappers. I was already an hour late.

I wondered briefly why everything I did had to be such a production. Drama queen tendencies. Malayalee blood. What to do.

We rushed towards Jusco, which I knew provided professional gift wrapping services for its customers. Mistake. Even if you bought the gift wrappers from there, they wouldn't wrap your presents. But they wouldn't tell you that right away. Oh no. They would wait until you had been in line for 30 minutes and had worn a hole in the floor with all that impatient foot tapping because the line was 100 people long and there was only one subhuman genetically deficient girl with NEW STAFF emblazoned on her bosom, doing the wrapping as if she were competing for the Slowlympics, to tell you.

So we were off at a run once more. I was leading and Mary, who was carrying most of the stuff (because she insisted), a brave second. When what should meet our blighted eyes but a gift shop directly opposite Jusco.

The two nice girls there dealt with my gifts professionally and I emerged with two very tastefully wrapped presents in black and gold with gold ribbon. Of course, it cost the earth, but since the boss was paying anyway...let us be elegant or die!

Now it was time to rejoin the car. Problem was I kinda forgot where I parked it.

Mary: No, this doesn't look like the right door. It had a glass window remember?

Me: It must be, it must be, hey! Weren't we in G? This is H.

So we ran the length of MegaMall, loaded with gifts, and found the car. I asked Mary if she would mind gatecrashing. After all, she had helped pick the gifts. Followed me all over creation to do so. Carried them most of the way.

"We don't have to stay, but I don't have time to send you home now. Come on, you'll love it."

"But I haven't been invited!"

(She is very proper about these things. I gatecrash anything quite cheerfully)

I called my boss to say I was on my way and asked if it was OK for me to bring a friend as she really helped in the whole gift-buying thing. He said, it's a she? Then sure, of course.

Although it was not his party, really.

He SMS-ed me a little earlier: Where are you? Party looks like it's gonna end soon. I need to leave.

Me: Can you hold on? Please? Nearly there.

Anyway, there was the usual Friday jam in Bangsar so we inched forward sloooooooowly. It was not good for my blood pressure, so I took deep breaths and tried to calm myself.

Once we hit the railway station, traffic thinned out and I could hurtle along like a maniac. I took one wrong turn (because it would not be legit if I didn't take at least one wrong turn). Finally made it to the carpark of Hotel Maya.

A colleague called: "Eh where are yoular? We're all waiting. Hurry up. I want to go home already."


"I'm in the carpark, be up in a minute."

Mary was panting after me as we hauled all the presents up. That and our own two heavy bags made for a lot of stuff. We took the wrong lift up and found we were in the wrong place.

What did that Murphy fler say again? And wasn't he an optimist?

I called Chris: "I'm on the 13th floor and I can't see you!"

"Wait, I'll come out and look for you."

He did.

Called me: "I don't see you anywhere. Can you describe where you are?"

"Yeah, there seems to be offices all round."

"Aiya, you're in the office block lar. Come down to the lobby. Cross over to the hotel side. And get one of them to take you up to the Sky Lounge."

We did.

Finally, finally, finally. I was there. In one piece. Mary hung back and asked me to go on ahead with the gift-giving ceremony. I presented everything to Jeff and the bro, being a little squiffy, caught me up in a clumsy hug and insisted that one of his guests, with a digital camera, capture the moment. With my zit and all.

Oh dear.

I smiled gamely anyway.

I told Jeff that I had a friend along and asked whether she could come. He said, yes, by all means, the more the merrier.

Mary, who was on the phone with the Old Girl when I went to get her, joined the party.

Someone shimmered up to us with two glasses of red.

I took a sip.

And exhaled.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Pimple on the Nether End of History

I have a giant zit in the middle of my left cheek. It's purple and looks like a bruise. Like someone hit me. Or something.

At least that's what everyone is telling me:

"Is that where you fell?"

"Oh dear, what's that on your face?"

"Have you tried Body Shop's blemish stick? You should. Contains tea tree oil."

"Aiyo girl, put aloe vera on your face lar!"

(The last, in case you're not family and have never met her, is from my Mum)

Sort of takes me back to adolescence when I lived with such a persistent pimple problem that everyone who saw me (and I mean everyone) would pull me aside to give me advice.

"Do you wash your face with Kao Biore?"

"Regular soap, you know just regular soap is enough."


"Eh, that Oxy 10 is goodlar."

The most memorable of course was the mad guy at church. There weren't enough seats so I was standing outside with some family, when mad guy approached, stared hard at my face and declared in a loud voice that I should try charcoal for the pimples. As I tried to surreptitiously sink into the ground, my uncle laughed, gave him a dollar and sent him on his merry way. Everyone was amused. Everyone, that is, but me.

I now wear large zit proudly.

Excuse me while I heat the needle.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Drive Back

The alarm goes off at five. I patter over and switch it off. Disable. Not Snooze. Then crawl back into bed. It's a cold morning. It has been raining heavily in waves, throughout the night.

Finally at six I unclose an eye. Maybe I should think of waking up. Oh dear, I'm gonna be so late for work. Mum is up. She is doing her morning prayers. I go brush my teeth in her bathroom.

"Someone needs to bolt these windows," she says.


"What do you mean why? Because I'm coming back with you."

"Aiya Ma, no needlar. I can go myself."

"If anything were to happen to you..." (and let's face it, plenty has already).

Come to think of it, would be nice to have Mum along for the ride. Keep me from falling asleep at the wheel. Unfortunately, it will also keep me from...

"JENNY! Slow down. Police cameras around. You never know! Was that guy flashing you? OK, I think there must be a police check up ahead. Slow down! 110 girl. Eh, you think I cannot see ah? 110!"

And so it goes, and so it goes until we get to KL. I have minor panic attack because my wallet is not in my bag (for toll-paying purposes) and if I left wallet in JB there will be one hell of a stink. But my wallet has merely fallen out of my bag in the car. Comes from my habit of leaving bag gaping open.

Now we're both at home. Mum made coffee and we had it with banana cake (genuine JB coke-fired old-fashioned oven JB banana cake). I tell Mum maybe I should take the day off and she says no.

Go to work!


So of course I decided to blog instead.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Evil Eye

I've had a series of accidents lately. The latest was tumbling down the stairs and hurting myself (ouch) so it's difficult to drive. In fact, as I write this, am still in JB recuperating.

Now in the West, I'd probably get a thwack upside my head and told to be more careful. In the mysterious East, however, it's another matter. One accident, maybe two, could be because I am clumsy.

But four in the course of a month, well, that's another matter. It's obvious I am experiencing the inclement influence of the Evil Eye. Who's evil eyeing me? Well, that depends. Relatives. Acquaintances. Strangers. Assorted ill wishers, so to speak.

But the latest of the series is of course the fortune teller with the specs and long white beard.

Picture this: It's a balmy afternoon. I'm sitting in the air conditioned inner sanctum of our mechanic (no, not Phuah Chu Kang, but the car servicing mechanic whose name I don't know) reading my book. Mummy insists on sitting on an uncomfortable chair outside, right in front of the car being serviced, because she doesn't trust no workman, she wants to see EXACTLY what he's doing.

So there I am flipping pages when I hear voices. Mums is talking to someone. I see a benevolent looking charlatan chatting her up: "You are a very good lady. I can tell from your face. A very good lady. Your luck will change. Good luck is coming to you, coming to you."

I hiss. Indrawn breath. Mums was a teacher. Surely she will not be taken in by this. But Mums is preening herself, at being called "very good lady". Oh dear. He gives her the usual patter - luck, good, very good person, evil influences to be removed soon.

Then Mums calls me out to meet benevolent charlatan. As I emerge, benevolent charlatan bends a kindly eye at my glowering visage. He realises that he's not gonna get spare change from me. So shifts his attention once more to where it will be most profitable.

He writes something on a piece of paper. RM30, RM50 and RM100. Asks Mum to pick which one she would prefer. At this point her answering smile becomes rather strained. She realises that the benevolent stranger did not just come up to talk to her because she had "good lady" written all over her face. She wonders what to do.

"What is the money for?"

"So I'll pray for you...for good luck."

(See the thing with these people is that you're not supposed to engage with them. When they come up and speak to you, turn away, and ignore them. Say you're not interested. Over and over. Until they leave. The moment you engage, or answer, you're done for)

Mums doesn't know what to do. (I should have intervened here and told the guy we were not interested. Instead I went back to the little room in disgust and continued reading my book)

I hear Mum calling me. She says the benevolent charlatan has offered to do a "reading" for me. For free. (Mum has kindly informed him that I am broke). "No thanks," I growl. And scowl. Distinctly.

"Nolar, no charge, come Jenny."


The man does character sketch anyway. "Yes, yes, your daughter is also a good woman. But her mouth, sometimes, not good."

Fuck you, asshole!

Anyway, he pockets the 30 bucks and leaves. I go out and try to get Mum to come in to the comfortable room. But no, she wants to stay watch the car. I tell her the guy was a conman. She says, no, he guessed a number she thought of.

(Have you ever played this game? Think of a number from 1 to 9. Thought of it? Fine, now multiply it by 9. Done that? OK now add the two numbers in the result and see what you come up with. Done that? OK now you minus 5 from the number. And the answer is (drumroll please!) 4. Am I psychic or what?)

Anyway, she was embarrassed. She hadn't expected the guy to ask for money. His preamble didn't seem to suggest that he had stopped to talk to her, merely to ask for money. He really didn't seem the beggar type. He wasn't. He was the benevolent charlatan type.

In case you didn't know, we Malaysians tend to be confrontation avoiders. If in an unpleasant situation, we prefer not to engage in an ugly confrontation to get out of it. So we pay up. If you get us to the point where it's pay up or risk ugliness.

Anyway, who should stroll up not 20 minutes later but another (less) benevolent charlatan. Who went into the same preamble. Mums looked at him with some surprise. Surely they didn't think that even she was dumb enough to be gulled twice.

"I already spoke to one of your group," she said rather sternly.

The guy who owned the mechanic shop went: "Auntie please go in, your daughter is calling you."

Second charlatan made tracks to hawker centre across the street where he went from table to table. The guys there knew how to handle him. They simply waved him off. I was glad second charlatan came along. It disabused Mum of whatever lingering belief she may have had in first charlatan.

That night, I tumbled down the stairs.

Mum, in between administering Deep Heat, comfort and soothing clucks told me I should not have been angry with the fortune teller. Obvious that I had attracted the Evil Eye.

I sighed.

Mum's the word.

Things ridiculous!

OK it's one thing to go tumbling down the stairs. It's another for Mum to blame it on crazy fortune teller giving me the evil eye.

So I tumbled last night. My feet wet from the bathroom slipped on the edges of the stairs and thump, thump, thump, Mums felt the reverberations throughout the house. Once I stalled, I came down crying (OK, fake crying, but still) and Mum rubbed Deep Heat where I said it hurts. (Mostly my left shoulder and my left elbow)

Then I watched Borat and laughed immoderately. Then I watched White Chicks and ditto. (because laughter is the best medicine and if you don't believe me ask Norman Cousins). But I tossed and turned in bed yesterday and woke up in pain.

No way I was going to be able to drive back to KL. So I called in sick.

I thought I was only accident prone in the car.

Now car is nicely serviced and fixed and washed (I washed it last night and also scrubbed Maggotty again because he went under Ivan's car and got grease stains all over his pretty self) and I look a little worse for wear.

Julie said aiyo, aiyo, aiyo and she thinks I should rest.

I think so too.

As for crazy fortune teller, I'll tell you the story some other time.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Still Believe

I was reading Robert Olen Butler's book and he spoke about how all great art captures the yearning we all feel. He said if you haven't successfully captured this great yearning, your work has failed.

I was listening to I Still Believe from Miss Saigon and got caught up with the yearning in her voice. There was a connection and whoosh, I was swept away.

The great yearning we hide deep inside, the one we never expose to the unforgiving light of day or the mockery of the sensible ones, the ones we cover with a haze of depression, a blanket of negativity.

The kind of yearning Yeats was talking about when he said:

I have laid my dreams under your feet,
tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

And still, the sweet longing bleeds out of her voice and I want to take her gently by the hand and tell her: "...let go of the dream, let go, let go, let go."

Because you will anyhow.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lavender Mist

I'm sitting in front of the computer screen downstairs in JB. Mum's in the hall in front of the tv. Ivan is upstairs, either playing on his computer or reading. The doggies are resting. They had a bath today and Maggotty, being the naughty boy he is, ran away.

Some things never change.

I watched The Hot Chick for the nth time. I dunno why, I dunno why, I just love Rob Schneider as a hot chick. Before that, we watched the Longest Yard which I liked too. Surprisingly. (So we did the Adam Sandler-Rob Schneider thingy)

The drive back to JB was really pleasant. It was balmy, nice music on the radio, just me and the open highway, a few heroes on the road, but altogether OK. I actually think I like driving alone. Despite my recent bad record in the accidents department.

Mom took one look at my injured car and called Phua Chu Kang. We drove over there today after breakfast at Kerala Restaurant (I had one pal appam and one roti canai and nobody need ask why I put on a hundred pounds every time I come back to JB) and Pasar Tani (aside from mangosteens and chopped up chicken and garlic, the Big M bought an orange rose plant).

I didn't tell Moms I was coming back. I called her after I passed the Senai toll.

Moms: Jenny ah? (She could see the name on caller ID) Where are you?

Me: JB. Just passed the toll.

Moms (screeches!) You're here already? (already, though she didn't know I was coming) Aiyo! I didn't get the room ready for you! What you want to eat ah? I have to call and ask Ivan to bring something.

Me: Anythinglar. What are you guys eating?

Moms: Roti canai.

Me: Ok roti for me.

Ivan brought kueh teow instead. Mom screeched again because it has her favourite kueh teow that he had been promising to bring for a long time. So we ate kueh teow and watched the last part of Constatine. I said, but, what's happening? I don't understand. And Ivan tried to explain as we went along.

My press conference was cancelled by the way. Our partners bailed on us cos they're having a media blackout at the moment, what with listing and SEC rules and all. I sent out a press release instead. We got relatively good coverage and even appeared on the International Herald Tribune courtesy of AP. I think I love AP.

I'm listening to Mom's birthday CD and singing along to Save All Your Kisses For Me. It reminds of halcyon days of childhood before school came along and ruined my life.

Kisses for me
Save all your kisses for me
Bye bye, baby, bye bye.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Where Time Goes

Each blossom still blooms in its field; each child still clutches your hand; each friend still lingers in your heart.

And that, dear Jennifer, is where time goes.

Forever young,
The Universe

Home, James!

Something happened today. I felt all muddy and frazzled because it happened.

And then I took a hold of myself and said if cracked spine guy can be positive enough to walk out of hospital on his own two feet after sustaining injuries that should have turned him into a veggie table for the rest of his life, I should be able to weather this tiny stormlet.

Deep breath.

It's going to be OK.

Deep breath.

Got told off by my boss for sending him too many SMS-es when emergency arose.


Deep breath.

Felt rotten.

Deep breath.

Rewrote press release and speech to suit new circumstances.

Deep breath.

It's 6.34 and I'm all done.

Home James, and don't spare the horses.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Kisses and the consequences thereof

I fell asleep at the wheel and my car kissed the car in front of me. There was a tense moment. The grey-haired guy at the wheel swivelled round to glare at me. Stunned, I allowed my car to continue kissing his car for about a minute before I cautiously put it in reverse and slid slowly backward.

We were in Jalan Sultan Ismail and it was rush hour traffic.

Note to non-Malaysians: It is always rush hour on Jalan Sultan Ismail.

Which meant he could not get out of his car and investigate the damage. I swallowed once or twice, grinned at him feebly, managed a weak wave as if to say, hey, it's not so bad, you know (actually I did none of the above, I just stared stonily ahead, stunned out of my customary somnolence).

He inched his car forward in the traffic, until he had escaped the snarl, got out and examined his back bumper. Kissed is right. There was nary a scratch. Shooting a killer glance my way, he moved off to another lane and sped out of there. I made sure I was at least a mile behind him during this operation.

A trifle shaken I made my way back to the office. I had been out on a jaunt, checking out hotels (or rather, one hotel) and the very enterprising salesperson treated me to a mega mega mega lunch (don't you think when there's too much food you cease to enjoy it?) which is why I was sooooo sleepy. Soooooooooooo sleepy.

Which all goes to show.

Lunch should be a simple sandwich.

The Coffee Bean Chipotle Chicken comes to mind.

Nadia (Din Din) has declared me a menace on the road. Since I've known her, I've hit a motorbike (stationary), a wall (stationary) and now a car in front of me (stationary).

She said I should mandi bunga. As in bathe in flowers. As in to remove whatever curse clings to my car.

I think I should get some sleep.

Good night.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Robert de Niro's Waiting

It is 3.27 in the afternoon and I am sitting at my desk feeling rather pleased with myself.

The office is a sleepy dream. But my ears are plugged to my iPod and I'm singing along to The Temptations, My Girl.

I've written a speech, a press release and now I have to edit a website as a way of rounding it all off.

Cool, no?

I want to kidnap my colleague Chris and get him to drive me out and have tea. He's red-eyed and practically comatose from having watched golf all night. I didn't know you could do that; I mean stay up all night to watch GOLF!

Maybe I should get back to work now, hey?

Yeah, maybe.

Robert de Niro's waiting...

talking Italian.

Addendum: OK I managed to get Chris to go out for tea. We actually went to Decanters and had the yummy banana pancakes with caramel syrup. Can I just say, to die for?

I am in a ridiculously good mood today.

I thought I should share it as you usually catch me (or rather, I usually write) when I am a pale shade of azure...haha. A colleague (who glories in the name of King, yeah, no kidding) caught me singing out loud and told me I should be on Malaysian Idol. I grinned at him and winked. So what if he was being a tad sarky. I mean, I actually finished doing the edits I was worrying about.

You know what that means? All three items on my agenda for today, completed, completed, completed.

Now is that a reason to celebrate or what?

(What do you mean, what?)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Now Silent

When you cease to resist them
all relationships become precious

The voices
calling after me
calling out to me
calling me...

now silent.

I turn away
I turned away
I am turned away.

now silent.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Different Music

full of wine
night comes
falling blossoms
fill my robes
still drunk
but getting up
I wade
after the moon
when the birds have gone
and people are few

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Somewhere Only We Know

Someone died. Someone I only really met once before and yet I was really, really sad. You know, you don't really think about them when they are out there, continuing to exist, but then one day, you pick up the paper, and there's a whoosh inside, like something falling, like rain in a dark place, and you think, o simple thing, where have you gone, I'm getting old and I need something to rely on...

We moved office today. I dragged Julie's suitcase to the old office and stuffed all my things, books, magazines, papers, documents, stationery, and lugged it to my car and thence to the new place. I got myself a little corner, anti-social, not that easily accessible. Nadia (Din Din) is sitting next to me...she likes the whole corner concept as well. She crawled under her desk and told me...hey Carol, it's comfortable, I could go to sleep here.

Someone asked me a terrifying question. I didn't know what to say, so I stammered and stalled and changed the subject.

A perfect day
A perfect night
tell me all those perfect lies
and lie back in the garden till it's light

And then I drove to Megamall to watch a movie but there was a jam and I was really terribly tired so I didn't join the jam but went on ahead, drove home and gave my father some fudge cake a colleague had made and the boss' PA had given me to take home since I liked it most.

Then I had some lunch and fell into a deep deep sleep. It rained. My father knocked on the door to tell me something. I didn't really hear what he said because I couldn't come up to the surface.

Julie came home. She knocked on the door. She took my key and moved the car.

I slept on.

Slow motion.

The streets are full up every night
with people buzzing round the lights
and waving at the taxies driving by
no tomorrows here today
and yesterday's todays just fade away

Sometimes I feel like I'm moving through amniotic fluid.

So tell me, are you happy?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

River of Dreams

Ignore me.

It's OK.

I still exist.

I breathe. A voice pushes through my throat.

Thin, reedy, but still a voice.

Maybe it is all a dream.

And then I'm at Hyde Park in Perth and it's midnight and an old doctor is telling me about his conquests at the nearby gazebo.

His conquests.

It's cold. I listen, a receiver of memories.

A blank slate, an empty page.

A park bench in Fremantle, I listen some more. She is telling me about her childhood in Ceylon and cruel husband.

I listen, I breathe.

A receiver of words.

They carve out their stories on my bones.

Ignore me. I'm not really here.

I'm floating on that leaf, wondering why beer smells so uninviting, watching the busker swallow fire as her words rise and fall.

Like fingers on a keyboard, light taps, and then silence.

Ignore me. I don't have a story to tell.

I'm here to listen.

A ghost you meet along the way.

I exist.

But I don't.

I don't.