Saturday, August 12, 2017

Misunderstandings, real or imagined

I could blame it on the fact that I was tired, nay, exhausted, but then, it wouldn't be the whole story. The truth is, you have become a burden and I am looking for a way to offload you. I find today that no, you didn't lie to me, that you did in fact have chest pains when you said you did and that I simply jumped to conclusions without checking.

And then, I didn't call to check up on you or visit you.

And then, I ignored your calls when you did, in fact, call me.

I am sorry.

I will try to make amends.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

I Thought I Dreamed Of You Last Night

You breeze into my dreams but when I wake I can't remember. Was it really you I saw? Were you crying? Did I feel your sadness? Did it fill the world?

You know how grief can be.

It gets quieter...I promise you that. But, no, you never stop feeling the loss. Sometimes the pang wrenches you. Sometimes, it is as soft as a sigh.

You will always remember because you loved. Isn't it wonderful to know that you loved? That in this case it was not half truths or prevarication? That the one true thing in your life was your love for the one now gone?

I thought I dreamed of you. But I only remember as I am about to fall asleep again.

And then a feeling steals over me. In this quietness. In this hush.

In this silence.

I remember you.

For death to be real, it has to seep into your bones. Otherwise you wake up feeling light, before you remember. Otherwise you wake up thinking everything is OK, as it was. Otherwise, you forget.

For death to be real, it must become a part of you.

This loss.

This absence.

That goes on forever. As you search in the dark for what is no longer there.

The ones who see things that you cannot tell you, don't worry, he is still here. They speak to him, they dream of him.

But for you there is emptiness and silence. You hold on so tightly. And then you let go.

You let go.

You let go......

Monday, August 07, 2017

Once Again, This Time With Feeling

I have to relinquish the blame game. I'm just so tired of trying to figure out when and how I was lied to. And it doesn't really matter. I guess, if you could lie, well, I mustn't really mean that much to you. And so I have to take that in, and move on. And relinquish part of my identity and the things that used to go with it.

It's funny how when you believe a liar and you find out about it, you realise that everyone was looking at you with contempt. It's not the liar who is at fault, but you, for believing them. Surely, they say, you should have known better. You should have noted the inconsistencies...where are your supposedly finely honed instincts?

The problem is, you shut these off for some people. Looking at them through this lens is so hard, so painful. But then, once you know they're liars, you cannot look at them through any other lens. Everything they say sounds suspect, insincere. Everything they do, there's a motive behind it. Not one honest bone in their bodies.

No, there is no nuance, no inflection, no middle ground.

You're either all or nothing.

And you my dear, have proved to be nothing.

And now, I have to divorce myself from you, to not answer the phone when you call with your stupid urgent summons, imperious as if you had a right to be.

My life needs a spring cleaning.

And the first thing I need to get rid of, is you.

Friday, August 04, 2017

I Just Want You To Know Who I Am

Here's what they don't know. They don't know that I went down, to where you died, to gather your spirit and bring it back. They don't know that you were in my apartment until your one week was up and it was time for you to transition. Or that I cried so hard every day, willing myself to let you go, but making bargains with God.

I just couldn't love you back.

Everything becomes unstuck when I have a glass of old wine, stuck in my fridge for weeks and weeks as I waited to take that third glass. But I wanted to drink and I didn't. And then I read her book, or at least I started to, that heady mix of everything...that feeling of coming unglued...and then, your name and I knew she was talking about you, only you.

And then I realised that while you were simply intrigued, because she seemed so different, so extreme, so whirling in different colours - basins of blood, cerulean blue, quivering green (a cold sweat covers me, trembling seizes my body and I am greener than grass...) but she, well, she fell headlong into your body, your arms (encircling her in this friendly way, it meant nothing, not really, you were intrigued is all)....and so she wrote about you undisguised...part of the book is wish is ostensibly about something important but really, really, there you are...her happily ever after, her dream come true, her port in the storm.

Did you know?

Did you suspect?

Did she tell you?

How does it feel to fall, regardless, to know that in falling, there was no net and she could not hope to be caught? How does it feel that she fell, knowing you would not catch her, that you would step away neatly, the way you do...undisturbed by the torrents of emotion, unmoved?

Everything's made to be broken.

It's been a strange day of hitting the streets early, before the jam, to get to my assignment a half hour early, when I expected to be late....and that strange half light that plays on my windscreen, and the blisters on the backs of my feet and a meeting where I spoke but didn't take in anything because my mind, my mind, was awhirl with rainbow and otters and nothing in particular because I couldn't get anything to coalesce.

Why does he sing with his face, stiff, expressionless? Does he know that untouched and untouchable is desirable, despairing?

I am not sure.

I wish you knew who I was.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Stormy, Uncertain Days

Life has become tenuous and death ever hovers at the edges. One phone call to say, "I feel better" could be followed with another that says, "Jenny, I don't feel well, I'm going to emergency."

When I can't find any of the cats, I go crazy combing the house for them. Problem is, when you call cats, no matter how urgently, they don't emerge from their hiding places. And it scares me. It takes but a moment for them to fall into oblivion.

I receive a phone call to say, good work, I'm happy with how this project is progressing. And another two hours later from the same person, panicking because things are not moving fast enough. I can't exhale, relax because they keep me on my toes, uncertain, not knowing how they will swing from one minute to the next. Isn't that an ancient form of torture? Enforced uncertainty?

It's been a while now with everything up in the air, like rice swirling in a bowl of water, a bowl of water with a whirlpool that keeps the grains a-swirl....never resting, never finding the ground.

That's what's going on inside me now.

And this is why I switch off my phone and shut out the world from time to time. If there is bad news, I don't want to hear it, I don't want to know. For tonight at least, let me rest easy without the torturous uncertainties you seem to think are so crucial.

This state of upheaval.

This holding of the breath.

This churning in my stomach.

This restless sleep.

The tossing and turning.

The storm, the calm, the storm, the calm, the storm.

And then death.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

An interlude

This is what's weird. It's like the grief has separated from Ebony and missing him and longing for him, and become an entity in itself. Sort of like, I'm devastated because I'm devastated. And then I feel asleep on a sofa and woke up feeling better. And I took Stella for a walk. And she felt better too.

Later that night...

The apartment seems empty. The cats, my warm, soft, fuzzy presences who hover around me while I'm at the computer or eating, rubbing against me, jumping on my lap, mewing to attract attention, well, they're in a cage at Tanti's. I will be going off to Penang tomorrow and I sent them off to be cat-sat.

Rose did it once, no twice...but after Pablo, she'd rather do anything else but. He climbed on the roof and refused to get down for two days. It was a nightmare for her, although she had so enjoyed the Taman Tun house, the location, the graciousness (despite the leaky roof and mouldy walls), the quietness at night. Heck, she even liked the neighbours.

But I'm truly alone now. Alone. And I don't have my comfort kittens to go cuddle...

So there we are, nothing and I
we have each other
There we are, nothing and I
we fall asleep.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


What I say over and over again is I'm sorry, I'm sorry...and at first I'm talking to you my darling boy because I wish I could unmake one month ago, I wish I hadn't gone out, I wish I hadn't thrown that tantrum, I wish I had talked...and found out, he was not starving Stella and he was not torturing her so I wish, I wish...I  hadn't behaved so...

And leaving you at home, never suspecting when I came back with the flowers and you ran into the balcony and Pablo chasing you (you hated him), that it would be the last time I would see you, the last time I could have held you (you hated it when I took you up and squashed you in my arms, your fur was so soft and it felt so good to hold you, my elusive boy, my baby).

I didn't even realise when I got home that you weren't there.

It's been a month Ebony and suddenly the feelings rise up, the ones I thought I had choked down, the ones I thought were under control and I'm sitting in that same chair and the feelings pour out of my eyes, my nose, my mouth....I love you, I'm sorry, I love you, I'm sorry....

Come back, come back, come back.

I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to get along without you. You were not even two.

And I know I'll never see you again. And I know you're gone. Gone. Just gone. And you'll never come back....and I miss you, I miss you, I miss you, I miss you...oh baby, I miss you.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hope Springs Eternal

I have given myself a shake...I am not going to be the victim of circumstances. And neither is my dog. She is young and healthy and loving and naughty. I didn't train her oversight I can amend with the next owner. I have put up an ad for her on PetFinder and in that ad, I stated that I would pay for her to be trained with new owner.

Stella wanted to go see Sylvie, but the guy who adopted Sylvie (and Bruno) says he will not be free until July. Right now he's busy at work and after that, he's travelling. So poor Stella will not get to see Sylvie, not unless she remains with my father in that time. And I'm not sure how willing he is to take her.

She misbehaved yesterday and I did what I should have done long ago. Tied her up and proceeded to ignore her for the rest of the day, rather than give her any attention at all, either positive or negative. It seems to have worked. Today, she is tiptoeing around me. Of course, today, she has also been taken on three walks.

She looks like she is part Dalmatian, part Jack Russell. A beautiful, really smart dog that I have not treated properly.

I tried to buy a folding ladder during the weekend (I needed to change my hall light) but I ended up crushing my fingers in the folds (didn't lock it properly). My big finger on my right hand still hurts.

This has been a strange weekend - and it's OK, it's over now and I have survived it.

The ATM debacle. Li Ming turning up in the nick of time to save me. Getting locked out of my bank accounts because I forgot my PIN number. Inexplicably. Deciding that I had once and for all, better start moving. (mainly because I have run out of time). Reading two Hanah Hunard books and reassessing my life. Miracles from Heaven.

That sort of thing.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Killing Stella

The sensible people in my life tell me there's no choice; that she's just too much trouble. That she's had her chance and now I'm moving to an apartment and I cannot take her and stress over her bad behaviour may just kill my father who's agreed to babysit her until I can get her sorted...her behaviour, her adoption.

I called Stella in after a long, long conversation on the phone. And I started to cry. I couldn't help it. I had to put Arnold to sleep. There I had no choice. He was old and suffering so much. I had to help put Elliott to sleep. Again, he was at the end, the dregs of his life. I had to put that kitten to sleep. He had sporo and there was no coming back from that. And every death wrenched something from me. I wept as I held them and the vets injected. It hurt so much.

But Stella? That's a whole other level of pain. She's still a pup. Not even two. She has so much life in her. Yes, she's destructive and she has no boundaries. Because I never gave her any boundaries. I never found out the right way to train her.

And now this sweet little dog is going to pay the price of my neglect. And I don't know what to do.

She was adopted and returned.

I don't have the energy to give her all the exercise that she needs. And I've been ill. She stays outside...somehow she doesn't want to come in. She looked at me anxiously as I was weeping and then left. Walked out.

I don't know what to do.

Please tell me what to do.

I wish someone out there could help me. I don't want to kill Stella. I don't want to see her die.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

How Stella Didn't Get Her Groove Back

Well, among other things, Stella is back. I received a text from the woman who adopted her telling me they couldn't keep her as she was too destructive. She asked if they could return her to me. Otherwise, they would have to give her away.

What could I say?

Of course I agreed to take her back.

I went to see an animal communicator who told me that Stella isn't bad. She's just a high energy dog and her two walks a day have done little to make even the slightest dent in her energy. That's why she suddenly tears around the place like a mad dog and when she gets these energy surges, she destroys everything in her path. She doesn't mean to be bad. It's just play.

Also because I didn't train her or set any boundaries, she just acts out. So now, while I'm moving, I have to find a way to train her and set boundaries and use up some of that excess energy.

For the past two days, I took her to the dog park near the house (I should have gone a lot sooner) and let her play with other dogs.  I let her run free for about an hour but apparently this was not enough. This morning I woke up to find that she had destroyed the second gate. She had destroyed the first part about a week ago. Which means she needs to be tied up at all times, even if I exercise her. She told the animal communicator that destroying the gate was one way of getting my attention. It doesn't matter if it's negative attention.

Attention is attention.

I should have listened.

Ebony, Sheba and Pablo are in the house. Pablo sticks close to me but I don't know where the other two are. Ebony is in a mood. He seems to always be in mood these days. Sheba comes and rubs himself against me, endures my strokes and then pulls away to go elsewhere. Pablo lets me stroke him occasionally.

Because we couldn't go to the dog park, I took Stella for a run today. We ran and ran and ran - did the usual circuit three times. I think by the third circuit she was actually tired. But am not sure. Because I wasn't. And I think she has more energy than me.

Work is busy. Over the weekend, when it rained heavily, I fell into a drugged sleep from which I could barely stir. I think I'm tired.

In fact, I know I'm tired.

When I'm tired, I switch off the phone or ignore it. I sleep and sleep and rise to the surface only to read some more of my book.

At the moment, it's Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington, a book I picked up at least five years ago when I was on another desk, a desk which came with books to review - although this was a book of fiction and not suitable for review on that desk. I am now towards the end - it is a heartbreaking book and so beautifully written. Can't believe it took me so long to get around to it.

I am thirsty. Think I'll get a drink of water.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Killer Cat on the Loose

I am actually feeling terrified. My loan has just disbursed. I cannot hide out here much longer. This means that I have to start moving to the new place.

Stella has already been given up for adoption. I think she is happy. In the one video and update that I got from her new mistress, she seemed happy. I have to ask for another update.

There is a killer cat in the neighbourhood. One of my neighbours told me that it single-handedly killed at least five of his cats. He didn't believe it. The cat in question looks so sweet that if you didn't see him attack (he goes straight for the jugular) you wouldn't believe it.

I didn't see him attack. I just heard about it from the neighbour who has lost his cats. He saw the cat attack one of his own in front of all seems a little bizarre. The attacks started after another neighbour found kittens in one of her rooms, and proceeded to go amok. She put the tiny kittens in a plastic bag, swinging the bag all over the place (the kittens were terrified and screaming so loudly) and threatened to throw them near the river or some place far far away so their mother would not be able to find them.

I took the kittens from her and they kept me up with their crying for the next three nights (I fed them and ran a wet cloth over their nethers to encourage them to poop and pee and cuddled them but it was not enough; they wanted their mama). On the third night, their mother (who must have heard them because they all have good lungs) came to the back door to retrieve them. Glory be!

But on the night of my neighbour going amok, the killing sprees began. The guy opposite her lost two of his adult cats. He found the body of one but not the other. He thought it was the amok woman who had done it.

Then he lost his favourite white kitten. And then his favourite female grey - also barely out of kitten hood. He saw the demonic cat attack his grey. He watched it and realised...this is the culprit. Not that woman he had harboured so much animosity against. So he came over to my window to let me know.

These are strange times indeed.

Anyway, I have become even more paranoid about my cats. Having said that, Pablo is now outside, Ebony is wandering around the garden and only Sheba is inside, lying down and looking at me, like a  cat model. (the killer cat is a ginger tabby with a collar and a bell).

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Forgiveness and Strange Times

So I listened to the daily reading today (Catholic Online: Deacon Keith Fournier) and it was all about forgiveness. And I thought about the forgiveness I have withheld in my heart to so many and have decided that today, I am going to make an effort to forgive these people. Even though they have hurt me (and continue to), even though most times they were clearly in the wrong (does that sound very forgiving to you?), even though I'm not a forgiver by nature. More of a Guinness Book of Records grudge holder, a title I seem to guard so jealously.

So phew! Forgiveness. How does one go about that? Are there online resources to help me? I remember seeing a CD called Radical Forgiveness which was being sold at Violet Flame way back when. Now Violet Flame has moved and I don't think they sell CDs anymore. Maybe I can find it online. Maybe I can download it over iTunes.

I saw an old lady under a bridge on Jalan Universiti. Her possessions were scattered around her in different plastic bags. She looked like a decent old lady (reminded me a bit of my Mummy) and it was raining and she was clearly, homeless. It sent such a pang through me. I wanted to stop and help her.

But I couldn't. For so many reasons, including the fact that my father was in the car and we were heading to hospital because he had had such a sharp pain in his chest it had debilitated him for some hours. I wanted to go to the specialist centre but it was closed on Sundays. So we waited at the Emergency (the name must be ironic) while they treated Dadda like there was no urgency about it at all.

So I have to make an appointment with him at the UMSC and ask for Prof Imran to attend to him because that's who Vas has recommended.

Last night I went looking for the old lady. The thought of her sleeping under that bridge in the rain just tore into me. But I couldn't find her. I cried all the way home.

These are strange times. But I figure if I can rescue kittens and puppies, why not an old lady who reminds me of my mother?