Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And Then Some

I read what I wrote last year - remember the hotel room and the half bottle of wine, and the dark streets and the fog. It was cold but I was too drunk to feel it. And my volume of Anne Sexton which I clutched to my chest like a talisman. The poems I read over and over again. The feeling that this night would go on forever.

And I was lost.

And I was miserable.

And I just wanted to be left alone.

And I just wanted to not wake up so I wouldn't have to go back.

To face that.

And what was that? Nothing really. Simply a stupid management meeting, with a company I no longer cared for, with nothing to say, no updates to give, because I was tired, tired, tired of it all, and maybe death was an easy way out.

Death? So I wouldn't have to attend a management meeting? Laughable. But there it was. True.

And this year, I see the year out on my old bed, which is laden with books (I'm reading two poetry books at the same time, neither of them Sexton), no wine (well, Mum is downstairs watching Intan, she may want to break out a bottle but then again, she may not) and I hear my phone beeping away with the group messages wishing everyone Happy New Year - cheerful things, really. And maybe I will go check to see who SMS-ed.

But this year, I feel peaceful, almost cheerful really, and there is no great blight in my soul.

Although, I have no job (nor any prospect of one, since all the leads seem to have dried up). I'm trying to care, but can't bring myself to. I know I'll find work to get by. But there are more important things, Iago, like starting on that elusive novel, what I want to write.

Like a honey cake. I cut off little pieces and chew them meditatively at intervals, savouring the nectar. Ambrosia. You know what I'm talking about.

My face lovely with dreaming
Facing my fantasy
Facing the question
When does beauty die?

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Plum Tuckered Out

I'm home again. I've just finished making our quota of cakes for Christmas, to whit -Spiced Apple Cider Cake, Grandmother Whitehead's Texas Fudge Cake, Chocolate Raspberry Streusel Bar, Greek Orange Almond cake, Lemon Curd Cake and Sticky Toffee Date Pudding.

The fridge is bursting at its seams.

As I have some flour, some butter, some eggs and some chocolate chips left (to say nothing of cocoa) I'm thinking of rounding it off with chocolate chip cookies. And since I brought the cookie cutters Jackie gave me a couple of years ago, to Johor, maybe I can make Christmas-shaped chocolate chip cookies. Now, there's a notion.

I'm just plum tuckered out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Butter Fudge

I love, love, luuuuuuurve home-made butter fudge. I ate nearly a whole packet of it and have decided that what I want for Christmas is home-made butter fudge to sweeten the palate as I watch numerous episodes of the Waltons.

My book-du-jour, Julie and Julia is splayed open. It's such a truly hedonistic, sybaritic romp, what with the recipes and the butter and the disasters and the crustacean murder and the sucking out of marrows and Julia Childs, and pounds of flesh and David Straithairn and loons on the subway - that I laugh to myself at La Bodega where I wait for Zafrul who is already 30 minutes late and will possibly be more as he is stuck in traffic somewhere in Mahameru.

So I read and chuckle and look up to see Kamal grinning at me. Shirene is upstairs with her Mum having her hair done and little Aki is at the playhouse so he joins me for a latte.

I'm wearing my Santa hat and Kamal wants to know if I'm doing it cos I lost a bet. No, I'm wearing the Santa hat cos I want to rustle me up some Christmas spirit. BSC is bedazzling but that doesn't somehow do the trick. Now I attract furtive smiles and cheeky grins and it is always nice to have strangers flash their teeth at me for no reason, well no reason I can think of until I remember my unconventional headgear.

So Uncle Cody is being courted by Cordelia Hunnicutt. And I have finished one cup of tea. And there are brownies and muffins in the fridge.

And I will be making chocolate chip cookies by the bushel tonight. Truckloads of flour and chocolate chips reposing on the table. And can you believe that all these choc chip cookies are for Julie. Well not for her exactly. For her to give her gym aunties and her gym instructors.

So maybe I'll lie on the sofa and finish my book. And watch another episode of the Waltons.

How does one step through life, jaunty, unafraid, neither timid, nor tentative nor apologising for one's existence?