Friday, June 27, 2008

I Saw My Life Flash Before My Eyes (But It Was Only A UFO)

I dragged Mary to Backyard last night. I was buzzing, buzzing, buzzing and she had an early bus to catch this morning for a wedding on Saturday, which meant early to bed - was there ever anything so inevitable?

Anyways, there we were, me digging into my mutton varuval and Mary chatting away when who should rock up but Mark's Victor...who joined us. We didn't mind him so much - he's very much the strong silent type (though not so silent with us) and we chatted about gigs and Chianti and bounced cheques and new rulings by Bank Negara and other subjects of similar potency. He was struggling with his first glass of stout. Then he struggled through his second glass of stout. Finally he struggled through his third glass, at which point, we left.

Although it was later and later, we stayed on - and then this real creep - large ugly Indian thuggy looking guy with a posh Brit accent, to say nothing of snobby demeanour - joined us. Now, we don't like this guy. The only time I had shared a table with him, he hit on my friend Michelle-Ann, and continued to hit on her through the night until we decided to leave. A noxious bastard with pretensions to grandeur.

However, he unseated my bag (which was parked on a chair) and sat down, purportedly on his way out. And didn't leave. So we had to. He was contemptuous about my coffee table book. Nuff said!

Anyways, on the way back, Mary and I are at the BSC traffic lights chatting, when the Skoda in front of me starts backing up...alarmed, I honk. He keeps backing up until he bangs into me.

I mean to say what?

This red-faced man (he was drunk, not embarrassed) gets out of the car, waves his hands around a bit and asks if we are all OK. I say...what was that? He says, sorry, I put the car into the wrong gear. I checked out my front bumper - there wasn't any visible damage.

So I got back into my car. Mary said, that guy was drunk. Did you see how red his face was? I said, really? She said yes.

So we thought about how surreal everything had suddenly become. There we were, on an ordinary night, at an ordinary traffic light, making ordinary small talk, when suddenly a Skoda backs into us.

At work this morning...early. There's a staff meeting. Mary is on the bus, sleeping.

My colleague Nik is next to me, checking his facebook.

My life is constructed of all these strangely disparate moments. (Hope Zafrul, who is already 18 minutes late for the staff meeting he called, keeps it short. N'am saying?)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Journeys of the Heart

I've picked up 12 copies of my coffee table book (OK I had to pay for them, but still...) I picked up five free copies (one for me and four for the people I interviewed) and have spent most of today (OK, after lunch, before lunch I was head down, bum up, working) delivering the copies and catching up with people. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it feels to reconnect with these amazing people.

Halfway through I was hungry, so I headed off to Lucas's place for my bacon sandwich (that's real bacon and not that fake beef bacon) and orange juice and coffee. It was on my way cos I had just delivered Dominic's book at Plaza Damas. Lucas was very impressed with the book. He thought it was beautifully put together and he read all of one story (mine, of course, or I would have clunked him on the head). He thought I was leaving a copy for him, but I said, no can do...this book is spoken for. He said he would borrow my copy at some point to read. Mary wants to borrow my copy some time soon as well...little does she know...(evil laugh)

We went to this new restaurant Red at Medan Damansara, for dinner last night. The lamb stew was divine - but it was so very little - that I was still hungry after. So maybe I will have to dig up lamb stew recipes and make my own. At least I will make enough to go around, so you're not hungry after. And I will whip up a crazy dessert. (what is wrong with me? I keep wanting to make desserts!)

And now I'm bathed in the lambent glow of a productive feels good.

And...there is something wrong with my eyes. Everyone seems to be drenched in luminosity. Glowing. Beautiful.

I am living. I remember you.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


It's the boss's birthday today. I sent him an SMS at 1.37am and he replied at 4.51am...still the same old Tune Money and our SMS-ing at ungodly hours.

My review on the play Sybil is out on Kakiseni today. To say I am thrilled would be putting it mildly. I guess after being a PR for so long (OK, it's only been a year but time is relative), it feels good to see a byline.

And Ena from Ayesha Harben called to say that the coffee table book on Families (I contributed a chapter entitled Choices and Challenges way back when I was still an insomniac freelancer) is out now and I can go pick up my copy as well as copies for the families I interviewed. I can't wait.

And I made two fresh lemon curd cakes this week. The second one I am going to distribute among friends...I think something positive is happening as I feel like baking all over again. (I only cook or bake when I'm happy or when it's Christmas and I have no choice).

And now I am supposed to sit down quietly and write an article for the boss. But I'm buzzing, buzzing, buzzing...can't sit still...oh my!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sapphic Delights

I'm watching Sappho - would not recommend it. The acting is kinda stiff and definitely B-grade...but if you want to ogle at pretty people - and watch two pretty women get it on - then be my guest:

Helene: If you are lucky enough to love somebody who cares if it's a boy or a girl?

Monday, June 23, 2008


I'm flickering. Like a firefly. Buzzing. Like a bee.

A picture forms. It's somewhere else and I'm wandering along, wearing my home on my back and I glide over pavements and the air smells of Lalique and the leaves drift lazily and settle in my hair until I'm something of a cross between a snail and a dryad.

That guy in the red kurta who's just rocked up, with the diamond drop in his left ear, he looks gay, and the girl with him looks suitably moneyed. Oooooh the joys of fag hagging. (I'm the only gay in this village, Myfanwy)

(Nothing's gonna change my world, nothing's gonna change my world)

The lady with fine long straight hair and a carefully tended fringe, bites neatly into her sandwich and regards the man in a pink shirt intently. She smiles in all the right places. Looks coy. Tilts her head to one side. Dabs her mouth with a napkin. Offers pithy observations. Laughs. Her hair is so perfect. Surely he sees that her hair is so perfect. Does he know how long it takes to get it this perfect?

(All you need is love, love, love is all you need)

The ballerina with her hair pulled into a bun and her symmetrical parting, bends over her book, latte in hand. She looks tranquil. She's classically beautiful - all lines and angles - smooth like white marble and just as unyielding. No softness anywhere. Sits cross legged in her armchair. Reaches out to sip her latte. Bites her fingernail. Stops. All intentness for the page.

(The yearning to be near you, I do what I have to do)

The guy in a bright blue shirt is fiddling with his earlobe. His ice latte in a clear plastic cup, balanced precariously on the wooden barrier. He gazes at his laptop. Scratches his head. Then caresses it. Bites a fingernail.

A man walks into the Travel Zone. He is old and Caucasian and he looks clumsy with contentment. He walks into Travel Zone because he can afford the luggage there and it does not faze him that this is Bangsar Village and everything is expensive. More expensive than most. He walks around surveying the pull bags.

Two strangers seated in separate circles are having a conversation. One a bald, bearded Indian man in a light brown shirt. The other a funky young Chinese guy with moussed hair and a cheeky smile. Older guy advises younger guy. He's shaking a finger. Young guy smiles, amused.

(I require plenty conversation with my sex)

Ballerina is feeling cold. She winds a scarf around her neck. Then it's back to the book. Guy at Travel Zone has just picked a bag. A medium sized pull bag. But then he gets attracted to another one. He comes back to original choice. Hmmmm...decisions, decisions...

(Baby, baby, baby I got so much love in me)

Family seated around a laptop. Dad tries to work. Son on his lap with arms draped around Dad's shoulder. Mom craning her head to see what the other two find so interesting. Dad smiles. He has gleaming white teeth. Mom limps. Uses a walking stick. Son, clearly adopted. Happy families being happy together.

(No one needs to know, where you may carry me, you can take me down your stream and show me what my wishes mean)

The baristas are smiling. Attending to two girls in short shorts. They're getting coffee to go. And maybe some pastries. No, we really shouldn't. Oh come on, I can resist everything but temptation. Oright then, just one. Just one. Creamy, puffy, sweet centre. Yum yum.

(You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot, happy Christmas your arse, pray God it's our larst)

And the guy next to me is blog surfing. Leaving comments as he passes through. Kinda like how I wish you would....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not Beyond Love

For some time now, all I have been good at, for those bothering to stop by, is to ladle out that daily dose of depression. So I decided to reach out to someone else to give you something more cheerful and uplifting. Nutritious. Like rice pudding. Good old David Whyte. And yes bro, wo/man was born free but everywhere, she is in chains...

When your eyes are tired the world is tired also
When your vision has gone no part of the world can find you
Time to go into the dark where the night has eyes to recognize its own
There you can be sure you are not beyond love
The dark will be your womb tonight
The night will give you a horizon further than you can see
You must learn one thing
The world was meant to be free in
Give up all the other worlds except the one to which you belong
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Broken Light

At about one in the morning I suddenly realise I no longer know how to write. Otherwise why should this review be so damn hard? I know I have performance anxiety, but still. I have deleted about 20 false starts. Every word that comes seems trite, stupid, inconsequential.

Full of sound and fury.

Signifying nothing.

Always, nothing.

Dear God, I have forgotten how to write. How did this happen? How did I let me slip away? A simple review, and here I am tied up in knots, unable to produce a damn thing. 187 words, most of which I will delete. And I need 1,000.

Across from me, Mary sits, reading her cheat notes for Streetcar Named Desire. She is hoping she will come across some passage, some sentence, some word, some phrase that will help in this process. She sees that I am in pain. She offers me water, tea, fruit, music, anything to ease the constipation.

She gracefully deflects all my delaying tactics and forces me to write. Rubbish, if I must, but just write.

When did I lose it?

I remember churning out essays at university. OK, the process was increasingly painful. But still, at the end, I would have something I was proud of.

Now, I read the few incoherent sentences jotted out, and think, sheesh, call this a review? Why is it that I am having so much difficulty stringing two words together?

Mary makes an expansive gesture.

"It's everything. It's the environment. It's what you've been writing. You're not happy."


I'm not.

This is not me.

This is not me.

This is not me.

This is not me.

At 3 in the morning, I've finished my first draft. I read it out to Mary, making adjustments along the way.

She says put it away until tomorrow, then look at it again. I nod. Sigh. Drive home. Shower. Crawl into bed. Sleep.

The words have disappeared and there is only silence.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

If I Sang Out Of Tune

I'm seated on a meditation mat on the floor of my room, contemplating the mess that is my room, the mess that is my life. There are clothes strewn everywhere. The wastepaper basket is overflowing. Everything is covered in about an inch of dust. And there are unwieldy piles of books on the table, the side table, the floor, the bed. My bedsheet looks grotty.




Cleaning up my room will just take a little elbow grease.

The second, um, that's a little more complicated.

I want to quit my job. But now there are red flags being raised all over. By my mother (who is on her knees praying furiously that I don't make yet another colossal mistake in a life already peppered with colossal mistakes), my friends, who, brows furrowed in concern, ask me, are you sure, are you really sure about this, think very carefully, don't do anything rash...

What with the recession, the rising cost of fuel, the tremendous, tremendous fear that everything is going to hell in a wirebasket.

And all I want to do is slap on a backpack and take off to parts unknown. Where I will make friends, smoke some pot, sit around the fire and listen to stories from people I have never met who will be my new best friends for a couple of hours until I stand up, dust off my shorts and push on.

Where is it you want to go, child?

I don't know.

What do you want to do, child?

I don't know.

How are you going to support yourself?

I don't know.

Jai Guru Deva, nothing's gonna change my world, nothing's gonna change my world...

I'm so tired of being sensible. OK, not sensible exactly, but as sensible as I will ever get. In a job. With a desk. And business suits. Or at least Raoul shirts complete with cuff links, sensible corporate court shoes and dark trousers.

I hate structure. I hate bureaucracy. I hate being forced to write on demand for people I no longer care about. I hate turning my thoughts to what I don't want to turn them to, and trying to figure out solutions to problems I don't give a flying fuck about.

That drunk at Backyard was right. I AM a prostitute and the worst kind, at that.

If I died tomorrow is this what I would spend today doing? Writing an article about the fuel hike for a youth newspaper? Preaching to them about tightening the old belt?

Emphatically not.

Everyone I talk to these days mirrors my disillusion. There is a weariness in their eyes that I feel right down to my bones.

What happens now?

Another suitcase in another hall...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang

Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

We've decided to give Backyard a miss on Mondays for the next few weeks. We went yesterday. Mary was out of sorts from work and I was, well, I am always up for Backyard on Mondays.

But that was before this Monday.

We arrived and it was not that crowded. Mary ordered a beer (for variety) and I, a red wine. Not the two hot teas we expected to order, but then, let us be different, or die.

Mark was tuning his instrument. He looked a little out of sorts. He joined us for a while and told us that he was not in the mood. Really not in the mood.

Uh oh.

He started playing soft, slow numbers. Normally, I love his soft slow numbers. Today, however, I found myself yawning and trying not to nod off. There was something missing. Life, perhaps. Soul, definitely. His heart was not in the music as he strummed and sang.

Nearly two hours later, he came off stage for a break.

"You're really out of it today, aren't you? Macam takda daya nak hidup," I told him. Mark nodded morosely. He WAS out of it. Though it was unkind of me to have noticed. Because that meant he would have to do something about it. Mark is the consumate showman. And he can't bear criticism or to be thought to be less of.

So he went up and started rocking the joint. Patrons unglued themselves from their seats and started to gyrate wildly on the small space that passes off as a dance floor. We kept to our seats and observed all this. I leaned over to whisper to Mary.

"The boy seems to have woken up."

But observing him carefully, I realised it was all a performance. His heart was still not into it. Some guys took to passing behind him on stage, invading his personal space, because the dance floor was too crowded to pass. I saw the flash of irritation on his face and realised that despite the upbeat tempo and the few smiles, he was actually pissed off.

Seriously pissed off.

Nevertheless he kept it up, pushing himself to the limit. Though I didn't think he was going to play Mary's request, Travelling Light. Because it would not have been suitable for this crowd. Although he did oblige with her other favourite, Call Me Al(coholic).

I wished we hadn't come. Backyard on Monday nights is usually quiet, empty and soothing. Today, however, Jerry had organised a wine-tasting/pool night which meant an infusion of patrons. When he saw me, he slapped his head, and said he forgot to invite me for the wine-tasting. No matter, Edmund let us have some of his excellent red Chilean.

Mark continued to rock the joint but by now I really wanted to leave. Except that it would have been rude. So we stayed. Being Malaysians, we don't like to offend anyone. Especially people we happen to like. Even if they're in a pissed off mood.

One of Mark's friends, or rather patrons, a Datuk something or other came up to me and asked what my favourite song was. Without thinking, I said: "Fire and Rain." He then went up to Mark and insisted he play it. Which was not good for the boy in his already inclement state of mind. He raised his eyebrows, glanced icily at me and said: "Indeed?" when the pushy Datuk insisted he play the song.

Then it was time to wrap up, and pushy Datuk came over to chat.

I must backtrack however. Another unpleasant thing about last night was the number of men who kept hitting on Mary. She was just not in the mood, and too tired to fight and fend them off, so I gave them bitch glares and did it for her. One kept glaring at me like: "You're the reason I cannot sit by this fascinating woman and engage her in conversation." And I glared back: "You're not good enough to tie her shoelaces, bucko, so fuck off!"

Brian, one of the three Indian dudes who had harassed us when we first came to Backyard way back last November recognised me and said, oh hello, in an unsmiling way. He didn't want to be thought friendly, to say nothing of over-friendly. I stared back stonily. "Hello." And looked away. (Bitch, bitch, bitch, went off in my mind. I don't give a flying fuck! I answered myself)

Anyways there was a particularly persistent Bhai guy who went for Mares hammers and tongs, and she gave him a pained smile that grew more pained as time went by. So I put my arm around her and pretended we were lesbian partners. And glared at him. He got the idea.

There were two very attractive girls dirty dancing with each other and they looked like a hopeful lesbian hook-up. They turned out to be first cousins.

My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.

Anyways, back to pushy Datuk. He graduated from forcing Mark to play my song, to telling me I should marry him. (Mark, that is, not himself) I reeled. I mean to say, what? Then he invited Mary and I back to his large house in Damansara Heights where they were taking the party for a jam session.

I declined politely. He insisted. I declined politely again. Told him I had to send my friend back. He said, send her back and come then. Did I happen to mention, pushy?

I was tired and my nerves, never at their best at this time of the night, were seriously frayed. Mary had started making tracks for the car. Mark rocked up to say goodbye.

"You're pissed off, aren't you?" I asked him.

"Majorly," he replied.

One of my many useless talents that will never go anywhere. Being able to gauge Mark's actual mood behind the performance.

We left. I sent Mary back and then drove home. Had to have the obligatory "wash Backyard cigarette smoke out of my hair" shower and crawl into bed.

Tired. Very tired.

Woke up early this morning for a meeting that never took place. Not only did it not take place, nobody told me why it didn't. The portly major who was supposed to show up at our office at 10am with boasted military discipline and punctuality, didn't. But since Zafrul wasn't here to receive him, that was necessarily a good thing. Which means they must have cancelled the meeting without telling me.

I really, really, really need to get out of here!

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bricks and Mortar

Mary and I figured out that the neck and shoulder pain has to do with my heavy new bag. I loved it because you could fit so much stuff into it, unlike all my old bags which were crammed to the overflowing and couldn't be zipped up once I had tried to fit my new wallet and my new sunglass case into them.

Problem is, I have simply stuffed this one to the brim so it requires a mini crane to lift it. Hmmmmm. And then of course my shoulder started to hurt something awful. And I couldn't (still can't) turn my head properly.

"Angel child, what do you have in here, bricks?" was her gentle comment, on having to carry it for a bit.

Went with Mary and VJ to Backyard last night. We sat outside and enjoyed the gentle sounds of Raymond Cheah while sipping our hot tea drowning in hot milk. It was soothing.

I have a busy day ahead. What with my hectic social life and all. Am meeting Meera earlier in the evening. And possibly Michael later in the evening. And Adeline either earlier or later.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Neck Pains and Near Misses

I am perched on the sofa with my laptop on my lap, and a crick in my neck. Have just returned from Sunday morning yoga (I told Richard he gives a whole new meaning to easy as Sunday morning) and an inexplicable pain in my shoulder. And I find it difficult to turn my head.

Last night I was out with good old Vij (the young one, not the old one konon superstar) and we watched Prince Caspian, which was enjoyable even if they did change the story and play up the supposed hidden animosities between Peter and Caspian and invent a romance between Susan and Caspian and make Peter so much less than he was in the book. Why, I wonder. Anyways, the movie finished at 2.30 in the morning, and I got back around 3.

So there I was lolling in bed, too lazy to get up, reading my book, when I came across this passage:

"Why do we practise Yoga?"

I had a teacher once ask that question during a particularly challenging Yoga class, back in New York. We were all bent into these exhausting sideways triangles, and the teacher was making us hold the position longer than any of us would have liked.

"Why do we practise Yoga?" he asked again. "Is it so we can become a little bendier than our neighbours? Or is there perhaps a higher purpose?"

I smiled. And then gasped. Because I had remembered.

Oh crap, yoga class. 10.30.

What time was it now? 10.10.

20 minutes to get from PJ to Bangsar.

I wondered whether to give it a miss but the thought of my Yoga Nazi instructor had me leaping out of bed to the bathroom for a quick face wash and throwing on some crumpled clothes all anyhow and speeding off.

Of course, it being a lazy Sunday morning, all cars were driving at a leisurely pace not in keeping with my frantic breakneck need to get to class in time. I overtook dangerously, car careening sideways.

I parked illegally and all but ran to the centre. Class had not started yet but everyone was either lying or sitting on their yoga mats, in repose. One girl with pants like a belly dancer, was meditating fiercely. And I mean fiercely. She turned out to be a very advanced student who had mastered that holy of holies, the wheel (which I was able to do when I was 14, but sadly, not since then). She was bendier than the rest of us, and took off straight after class without the customary glass of juice (I have a beetroot ginger concoction which is to die for). I don't think she was very friendly. But whatever.

My heart which had stopped racing, started right up again when Richard took us through these vigorous sun salutations (A), which is a variation on the sun salutations, and added the triangle pose in between for hip opening purposes. Being the least bendy in the class, the hip opening poses are a real challenge for me.

Anyways, after class, pouring with sweat, I had my juice and then took off for home.

Usually I feel great after class. But today, I'm in pain.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the late night and the mad rush to get there. I need to set the alarm for Sundays. Or confine my classes to the weekdays.

This will so not do.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Week That Was

I am stretched out on the sofa, feet resting comfortably on the coffee table. Near me is my Eat, Pray, Love that I am reading for the third time, splayed open. There is a programme running on the large screen tv. Something motivating and life affirming. (Yesterday I watched The Hours which was beautiful and tragic).

It's been a sorta peaceful week. On Monday, I went to Backyard with Mary and we watched Mark preform and cheered alongside. There were some irritating people over there, but they didn't bother us none. OK, they didn't bother me none. They did bother Mary a tad. But Mark was looking especially cute, so I was not easily distracted.

Then on Tuesday, yoga. After yoga, I went mamaking with Mary, and against my better judgement, ended up at Nirwana for banana leaf. I paid for it the next day with a cheerful day of diarrhoea...would have taken pills, but thought, better out than in.

And then Wednesday, when our Goverment in all its wisdom decided to announce a hefty fuel hike. That did not go down well. And everywhere I went, there were traffic jams leading to the petrol stations. At midnight (when the hike was supposed to come into effect) I heard raised voices. I think a fight had broken out at the petrol station near the house. I ignored all this, however. Despite one phone call and two SMSes telling me to go fill up, I made my way to Kanebo in Bangsar for a very relaxing facial. OK, it was relaxing once she had finished what is euphemistically known as "extraction". I bled. I bit my lips. I didn't scream. And really, the facial lady, Lisa, was very gentle. It cost her a pang to have to hurt me.

Then Thursday. Ah, music therapy with the good Dr (I don't remember his name, only that he's from India), playing his flute like Krishna and activating our chakras for peace, love and relaxation. At the end of it, you feel like melted butter. Or at least, I do. I met Mary later for dinner. OK, I had dinner...fried rice at the Chinese place in Lucky Gardens and we were attended to by Miss Congeniality. Prabs and Mary named her because she has never been known to smile, even in the most smiling circumstances. Actually, that's not true. I caught her smiling. At this dude in the BMW SUV who sat in his car, called her down, ordered his food. She tripped along merrily fetching and carrying for him with wild abandon. Ahh...the joys of driving a BMW SUV.

And then Friday it was yoga again. This time, a make-up class. Richard said, I had been a busy bee that week, having come to the yoga centre all of three days. I said yes. He said, well, at least it keeps you out of trouble. And I said, no it doesn't. Indignantly. And he said, well it should. And I smiled and took my leave. I was feeling extremely tired (so tired that I was bumping into stuff for no particular reason) and just wanted to get a drink (as in Evian water) swallow vast quantities of it, and get home. So, I drove into Bangsar Village, ran out to get my water, and managed to do it within the 15 minute deadline so my parking was free. Then I made my way home, took a few wrong turns (yesterday was a day for taking wrong turns, even in roads I supposedly knew) and parked outside on the verge as Julie hadn't come back yet and one of us needs to book the outside space.

After which I decided I would have a relaxing weekend. Full of little things that give me pleasure. Like reading Eat Pray Love.

I think I've triple-booked on Monday. Which should be interesting.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Breathe, Let Go...

Every so often we have to let go of the older versions of ourselves to move into our dreams. To come into our own, we have to shed our tired skins. But tearing off a skin, like Kahlil Gibran so acutely pointed out, is not like casting off a garment. It hurts.

Part of me is stuck between worlds, wanting to move forward, wanting the comfort (although it grows more toxic by the minute) of staying where I am.

Time can move in circles and you feel like it has stopped and nothing is going anywhere. But stagnation is an illusion. We're always moving somewhere. Hopefully it's not into the Inferno (abandon hope, all ye who enter) but sometimes we need to move through the inferno, to shatter completely, until there is nothing of "us" left, before we can move out into Purgatorio and Paradiso.

I miss so many things. Some of them, stuff that never even happened.

And now, let me get back to it, to breathe, to let go, breathe, let go, breathe, let go.