Saturday, February 17, 2018


Today I stepped out of my house to post letters and maybe buy bread and I decided to take a walk, a walk that would last at least two hours, while listening to The Waves which I had downloaded on my phone. The words they spoke to me, and I understood them at a deep, deep level as I trudged through the rainswept streets, which wet my sneakers, then my socks, through.

I listened to Rhoda's lament:

There is some check in the flow of my being; a deep stream presses on some obstacle; it jerks; it tugs, some knot in the centre resists. Oh, this is pain, this is anguish! I faint, I fail. Now my body thaws; I am unsealed, I am incandescent. Now the stream pours in a deep tide fertilising, opening the shut, forcing the tight-folded, flooding free. To whom shall I give all that now flows through me, from my warm, my porous body? I will gather my flowers and present them -- Oh, to whom?

She, whom of all, I love the most, I identify with the most. I know now why. It was Standard One and I was confused and out of place and I watched others to see what was supposed to be done, what I should do...I was a cipher with no face, no voice, no volition. They took my money and beat me, and I handed over my money willingly, if only it would make them like me.

But I told Mum and she got mad and scolded them because they were not supposed to take my money, apparently. Who knew?

I walked and walked and felt my feet grow tired. The roads I have drive over thousands of times seemed strange, unfamiliar. I stepped over frogs, crushed some snails (I didn't mean to), and saw the city from another perspective. The cars, they shone their lights in my face, avoided me or came too near, sometimes flashed me, and still I walked.

I made it to Bangsar and stepped into Bangsar Shopping Centre to get a bottle of Evian water (because that's the kind of water you get at Bangsar Shopping Centre, it's that kind of place) and then sipping my water, I made it all the way down to Bangsar Baru, where I stopped to rest at a bus stop and tried to get a GrabCar because I was too tired to walk back. My Grab driver (when I eventually got one) was surprised that I had walked all the way from there to here. He said, wow, you must have covered 7km, and I said, I don't know, maybe. What I do know (from the place I stopped at The Waves) was that I had been walking for two and a half hours.

I walked through the pain of unrequited love and this longing inside me, unassuaged. I thought I could spend some of its fury in the movement of my feet on the mushy ground or hard pavement.

Solvitur ambulando.

I have wanted to walk for so long now, but not, as it turns out, to be healthier, but to walk through my pain, my perplexities. I want to listen to my books unencumbered with chatter, with others in my space, begging for, demanding attention. 

Let's see if I walk tomorrow. I want to walk tomorrow. I also want to do...

Oh, so many things on the to-do list. 

So many things.

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