Thursday, December 08, 2016

Christmas delights, bumpers and naughty kittens

It's close to Christmas and my tree is up and my fruitcakes all made (half of them distributed) I can't remember to whom because only one person gave me any feedback about it and that person asked me if I could make it all year round instead of just at Christmas and I said, hell no, it's so fiddly and troublesome to do...

As for the rest, I haven't heard a word.

There are seven more cakes reposing on my kitchen shelf. One large one is for the office, my desk. The others are for various people. It's so late into December already and guess what? I haven't even posted all the cards I wanted to post. Maybe I won't then. I did post a whole heap already.

But but but...

Ebony and Stella are sleeping under the tree...close to each other. They have developed more of a relationship. Armanoush is lying on the threshold. Stella gives her a wide berth because she tends to hiss angrily when Stella tries to get anywhere close. I spanked her today for bullying Sheba. At least, I thought she was bullying but looks like Sheba was only playing. And funny thing happens when I'm disciplining Armanoush. The other two cats (whom she tortures and bites) show up looking concerned.

I have an overview to write. Some letters to post. An Advent calendar letter to write for the latest present. Two more letters to write to other folk so I can go to the post office and post them off. I have neglected so many people because Christmas (and the our bumper issue) tends to be overwhelming.

I fell sick again. I fell sick on my birthday. Was waking up with a painful throat, spitting out green, infected phlegm in the morning and feeling really, really tired. Well, the celebrations kicked off and by the next morning I was truly ill.

I spent a week at home after that. A sort of present from the universe. I couldn't go into the office because on top of the cough and cold, I had conjunctivitis. Tried going into work on Thursday but got sent home. Conjunctivitis, after all, being highly contagious. I tried to wear a mask and dark glasses but apparently not good enough.

Anyway, I slept for the first three days straight through, waking up to try and read trash (my brain was tired and couldn't handle anything non-trashy or serious) and eating take-out pizza. I watched endless episodes of Petticoat Junction and the Andy Griffith Show, wishing I lived a simple life in a simple country town where people passed the time of day with each other and life is not at breakneck speed.

I am still tired. I am still sick. I felt gnarly yesterday and woke up to my cats jumping all over me in an attempt to wake me up (they were starving). I have decided not to feed them if they haven't finished their food from the previous meal. Times are hard and I will not have spoilt cats wasting their food willy nilly.

Actually, it's one overview and one editor's note to go.

And then there's the January issue that we want to close before Christmas.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It's Only My Body You're Breaking

I feel your fist smash into my face and it doesn't hurt. Not really.

I feel the telephone receiver you break on my head. And it doesn't hurt. Not really.

I feel the broom on my foot again. I can't walk now. But still, it doesn't hurt. No, it doesn't.

And the belt on my skin, tearing me open. But it doesn't hurt. Not really.

It's only my body you're breaking. And my body is not me.

You don't love me but it doesn't matter. I don't love me either.

And it's only my body you're breaking. Maybe some of this will heal. And maybe some of it won't.

It doesn't matter. I don't care. Don't let it worry you. Don't carry it into tomorrow.

It's only my body you've broken. And my body matters about as much as I do.

So leave it for now.

Leave it forever.

It doesn't matter.

Not really.

A Storm Raging Through My Frozen Heart Tonight

It all seems so unreal now. The way we started. The way we ended. It was all make believe. I pretended you were perfect though I knew you were not.

I was hiding from my own pain and I didn't want to face being alone. She left and she took with her the colours of the sky, the rainbow in my eye, my heart's ease, my heart's delight.

She left and I stepped out of my cocoon and found the world cold and blaring and full of jagged little edges that surprised me, that cut me, that hurt.

I shouldn't have stepped out of my cocoon but how could I help it when she was the body that surrounded me, enveloped me, protected me from the world. In her arms, I was always safe. In her eyes, I was a real person, not a shadow.

I mattered.

And then I didn't. Her eyes grew cold. Her arms didn't encircle so much as push me away.

I tried to grab hold but further and further I went. There was no stopping this downward spiral. I was desperate. I tried everything. But the more I did, the further she seemed.

And one day she turned to me, sadness in her eyes, regret.

And I knew it was over.

We waited in the spaces between breaths. No one wanted to say it first. Words can be so final. We leave them unspoken hoping we'll never have to speak them. Hoping things will change. Hoping we'll wake up tomorrow and everything will be all right.

But in that space between breaths, I felt something tearing. I heard someone weeping. Maybe it was me. I felt myself falling, scrambling for a handhold on the sheer rock face but there was none.

And so I fell. I fell. I kept falling.

Help me, I screamed. Somebody save me, I screamed.

There was only silence. When the only one who loves you ceases to love you, there is only silence. And it is deafening.

I wanted to wrap my arms around her. I wanted to weep on her skin. But I knew she was freezing. I knew she would look through me, with that look in her eyes. I felt her contempt sear my eyelids and then... I felt my heart ice over.

It was the only way to arrest the free fall. It was the only way not to smash on the rocks. It was the only way to survive.

Sometimes I wish I had just allowed myself to keep falling. However long it took; a year or two or maybe 10. I could have dealt with it. One hour at a time, breathed through the pain, allowed it to wash over, allowed myself to cry, though not in public, allowed myself to completely unravel.

And then, when I was done falling apart, I could sort through the debris, the detritus of me, and slowly, excruciatingly, put myself together again.

Pain would be better than this nothing I feel now. Pain would be better than frozen.

April may be the cruelest month but I'm not going to thaw anytime soon.

Friday, September 02, 2016


It was a long time before they found my body. I stood there, waiting. Not that I felt compelled to stay but I was curious. How long would it take? I remembered that woman they only found a few years later. What was it? Three? And I wondered at the time, how someone could disappear from the face of this earth like that, in an apartment, no less, and no one know.

But then, here I was waiting...for someone to find me and bury me. Or at least cremate me.

I left my body to roam. I went in search of people I knew, or thought I knew. I couldn't really remember. It all seemed so long since anyone was really close to me.

Close to me.

Can a spirit weep?

Can it feel sadness?

Can it feel regret?

Because that was all that boiled up in me at this moment.

Regret. Searching for something I had lost.

Searching but not finding.

The faces of the people I thought I knew, receding.

I didn't know where to look for them. And it was a long time since they had cared about me. Or I had cared about them. A long time since we had cared about each other.

This disposable life. Where every relationship eventually becomes teflon.

I remember watching movies and when two people who cared about each other hugged (not lovers; lovers didn't hug, they kissed) I always teared up because I thought, ah, that feeling, I want that feeling, why is it I can't have that feeling?

The faces receded further. A faint memory.


Who was I again?

Where was my body?

I forgot.

I can't find it.

Who was I looking for? Urgency in my centre. Sadness. Regret. And loss.

A growing sense of loss.

Who was I again?

Had I always been wandering these streets searching for something?


I can't remember.

I can't remember.

I'm lost.

I'll just keep wandering.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Should have, could have, would have

What I should be doing is writing a speech. What I am doing instead is surfing the net, feeling blatantly uninspired. Writing speeches is only bearable when you have some Anne Sexton on hand to read. A dip into Sexton, some inspiration, some loosening of this brainlock and then I write. Nonsense at first, braindump, and then I arrange the nonsense and sometimes it actually makes sense. And if it doesn't, that's what second drafts are for.

How do you keep doing what you are supposed to do, when you pretty much don't feel like doing anything at all? When your eyelids are drooping and you're thinking, ah, a nap at the desk would be nice.

This morning I had an interview in a bungalow near a kindergarten and I left my name cards there. The person I interviewed called me as I was on the way to BSC for an official lunch and I had no time to turn back. So, there I am, lost without my cards. But not really.

I just found out that I am going to interview someone whose books I really love.

Unexpected things do happen to wake you up!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I Want You To Burn

I am sipping a glass of Prosecco and staring at the screen through my new glasses. It's late but I can't go home yet. Thinking of all the animals hungry and wishing I could. Oh well. Comes with the territory. And I hope they're not really starving. Kicked Ebony out today because the devil has gotten into him and he was behaving like a mad cat.

Last night I locked him in the bathroom after he broke a glass. Today, obviously still enraged, he started zipping around madly and torturing Sheba. I gathered him up by his hind legs and tossed him out of the house. When I was leaving for work, I didn't see him. Obviously he has taken to the hills. Oh well, he'll come back when he is hungry. If no one else decides to adopt him first. He's obviously decided that he has had enough of this house. 

I would say "ungrateful" but really, is he? Cats are cats. They have their own code. 

It's late and I was thinking maybe I can come in late tomorrow. But then I remembered; early assignment. (that's a heavy sigh you cannot hear)

Elaine found her dog. It's been a month and poor Moksha is emaciated and injured and a bone is exposed in her paw - her foot must have been caught in a trap. I don't know what the full story is and how she eventually came to Elaine but poor doggie. It looks like it was not a moment too soon. She has been warded for three days. After which she should be, if not as good as new, at least, as good as can be expected. It will be a slow healing process for all of them.

I'm listening to Tina Arena's "Burn". I think I'll do my "morning pages" now. 

Monday, August 15, 2016


I'm writing this from the office. Have just finished transcribing a loooong interview that I thought I transcribed at home, but somehow, it sort of got lost in the transfer. I decided not to scream soundlessly into my computer screen but just get on with it. To tell you the truth, I don't really have time to scream. I have missed the deadline set for me so now I'm scrambling to catch up.

It is a familiar territory full of blood and entrails and the sound of children weeping and dogs howling and cats mewing piteously.

Also I'm waiting for a phone call which I should have made a couple of weeks ago because I want to feature this particular do-gooder...and I needed to talk to the boss but the boss was overseas and the person I interviewed just ended up talking about politics and spirituality and bullying and and and...well, nothing I could use.

Naturally, my mind has taken a break and drifted off somewhere during this time. Of course it would. It always does this when I have a shitload of stories to deliver, stories that are expected to mean something.

I'm even afraid to read the notes.

I'm afraid of being overwhelmed by all those words, words, words, words, words - hours upon hours of interviews neatly transcribed, laid-out, ready for me to figure out some sort of structure, arrange the words into proper sentences...make it work, for God's sakes.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Setting boundaries

There seems to be a theme over my last few blogposts. This incessant feeling of exhaustion. I need to do an audit to see how much of that is from actual work and how much of it is emotion - living up or at least, attempting to live up to other people's expectations, not wanting to offend people, not wanting to be thought a bad friend.

There were times this year when I should have said an emphatic 'no' basically because I was too tired or I had other work to do, important work to do. Instead I agreed, albeit reluctantly, and then felt exhausted and then fell terribly sick. There is a pattern is not selfish to not meet expectations. I have to define for myself what selfish is or isn't.

If meeting your expectations means that I languish ill in bed for the next few days or work through the fever and the sneezing and the incessant coughing...then really, I shouldn't be meeting your expectations. And if you choose to take offence about that, then really, we shouldn't be friends, should we?

And cutting you out of my life would seem like a lightening, a removal of toxicity.

Switching off my phone this weekend was one of the best things I ever did.

Saying no to going to the BRC was another.

Later for you.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Reclaiming My Life

I keep talking about claiming, or rather reclaiming my life, but most days I don't do a very good job of it. A friend, a deeply intuitive friend, told me that nearly all my actions are driven by guilt. She said guilt was my primary emotion.

I rejected it at first. Of course I felt a little guilt; who didn't? But surely it was not the primary motivating factor of my life.

I notice lately that I have become irritable. Actually, not just lately. It has been a long time now. I resent ordinary things; like being asked to join people for dinner. My immediate reaction is? What, you think I have nothing better to do?

Actually, I don't really have anything better to do.

But I want to go home, hang out with the pets, read my books, write some letters.

I want time to myself.

But instead of carving out that time for myself, I usually just go along with plans I never intended to make. Spontaneous plans that arise all of a sudden. Even if I'm tired. Even if I don't want to. Even if there is someplace else I'd rather be.

Guilt stops me from getting out of chat groups on whatsapp. Instead, I mute these groups or switch off my mobile data for the weekend.

I have thought of turning off my phone for the weekend because innocent invitations can drive me crazy.

I finally acknowledge, something is not right here. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

I missed something today because I have decided that I want my Sundays to myself, doing whatever the hell I feel like doing. Even if it is nothing. I do not want my Sundays circumscribed by prescribed activities.

(Here a gentle voice butts in to tell me that I was never circumscribed, that I chose to go on my own volition and that I'm free to leave ditto, no questions asked. Any guilt I choose to feel, I choose to feel on my own).

I want to reclaim my life.

I just don't know how.

My Nubian Princess Who is Actually A Male Cat

Ebony and Sheba spend the night outside. I go out twice in my jammies to try and cajole them back. No cigar. They are content to cavort in the field next to my house or hide under cars. This is despite the fact that neither has had their dinner. There it is laid out in splendid profusion, barely touched.

Oh well. I give up and crawl onto my newly cleaned bed (Rose is coming on Saturdays instead of Sundays from now on), try to read a few pages of "13 things that mentally strong people don't do", and fall fast fast asleep. Oh, the bliss of it.

In the morning there is an incessant mewing at my door. Sheba must have jumped in through the window wide open at my study table. Although there is food laid out for him (the untouched food from the night before) he wants to crawl into bed and suck on my earlobe (it's a cat that was abandoned by his mother too early thing; they find a spot on your body to nurse). I am too tired to swat him off but eventually I have to wake up. 

Ebony is outside. He has come in (despite Stella) and is waiting by the door. I let him in as well. 

He noses around his bowl, maybe has a few mouthfuls and then goes off to sleep. Sheba, on the other hand, who is asleep in the bathroom and realises that I am up to suspicious activity (bathing is classified as suspicious because once you bathe, you go out) came out sleepily and proceeded to make a nuisance of himself. He had to jump on my lap. He had to displace the book (Flaubert: A Life) I was reading. He had to weave himself around my feet and mew loudly at Esther when she came in with the ramen she was lunching on.

He saw me settle down with the computer and decided that it was a false alarm and has gone off to sleep again. Ebony has not stirred except to display different bits of his belly to the sun. He is sleeping on the cage in the air well.

Last night I had dinner with Chubs and his family. It was nice. Francis is a big boy now, talking. He likes monster trucks (there, birthday present and potentially Christmas present sorted).

On Friday, out of the blue, a colleague treated me to a really expensive facial. Not only that, I escaped the sales spiel at the end. She had to endure it but as she is comfortable saying no over and over, it didn't really bother her. And then we went for dinner and it was good all around.

I would write more but I want to go off to Tropicana City Mall and write some letters and watch a movie.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Creating my own sanctuary

I ask my body, why is it that you are so tired? Why is it that the thought of doing something, anything fills you with such irritation that you want to shut out the world, the incessant whine of other people and their demands (even their legitimate demands) and hide away for a while or a little longer than a while?

The world is too much with me day and night and somehow it seems like I can't escape...

I haven't sat down to write a letter in weeks. Weeks! Me, who writes letters every week and does so cheerfully.

I've decided that my weekends are going to be my own again. I will eschew every activity (except for Mass) from it because I resent all other activities.

As for exercise, I will decide on what I want to do and how I will go about it. My shoes are still dirty with mud from the plantations. I need to wash them.

I will go off for the day, go for a movie (which I haven't been able to do for the longest time because there is just no time and when there is, I'm too tired), hang out at a cafe, write, read...switch off my phone, not worry about anything or anyone else.

Yeah, that's what I am going to do.

Later that day:

OK it's less than an hour later but still later. I wonder what's missing. I re-read old blog posts and see the same weariness, the same difficulty in putting one foot in front of another, the same forcing myself to keep on when I don't really feel like it anymore.

Even later...

I am reading Flaubert: A Life. I have just gotten to his affair with Louise Colet. I could understand and relate to Colet's frustration...the affair started off all blood and fire and poetry and explosions and then he cooled down and got sober and forbade her to come visit him in Croisset and would rather spend time with his friend and...just became detached is all. And she, with her husband and her protector on the side, wanted all of him and didn't understand what he was on about in his letters, his dissertations on art. He wanted to talk about art. She wanted to talk about love. She wanted to know that he loved her, above all else.

He didn't.

Ironic. After the (final) ending, they became pen pals.

And so it goes, and so it goes.

Monday, August 01, 2016

A Holiday That Wasn't

So I took the day off because I was tired. I had spent most of Saturday walking through plantations trying to find my friend Elaine's lost dog. She spotted her dog on Saturday but Moksha seems to have reverted to her wild, terrified state. She saw Elaine, she followed her from a safe distance and then she skittered away and hid. The next day (Sunday) she went back with only her husband. And the day after that (today) she went back alone. The food she had left had been eaten. But there are plenty of stray dogs there at the Orang Asli village. So it could have been eaten by any one of them.

Elaine sounds sad, defeated an exhausted in her whatsapp messages. People offer eager support. But I think she just wants to be left alone.

I didn't get much rest yesterday because Sunday is invariably a day of activity. One of us has to go to the LRT station to pick Rose, the cleaner up. And then, well, you have to wait for Rose to get through your room. I fell asleep only to be awakened by the phone and I answered it and couldn't get off because there was a lonely old man at the other end and I stupidly invited him for lunch (he didn't want to come but Esther was cooking up a feast) and then I was late for the Mass I had intended to go for...and ended up at a late Mass at a church I don't normally go to.

So everything was late. I was late getting home, which meant rushing to walk Stella and there was the activity at night...but I was too tired to rush anymore so I arrived horribly late and left rather early because there were three stories I still had to clear, not to mention a foreword to write. I cleared all of one.

So woke up this morning, took the day off, cleared two stories, wrote a foreword, went to sleep and then found out that I needed to do more stories because, well, empty pages. So I have in effect spent the whole of my day off, working. Sigh.

Now I need to take Stella for a walk and give her her evening meal. But I should feed the cats before I leave. Or should I? Maybe I can feed them all one shot.

Decisions, decisions.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Some days you should not get out of bed

If you leave me now, you'll take away the biggest part of me, uuuuuuuoh baby please don't go....if you leave me now, you'll take away the very heart of me...uuuuuuu oh baby please don't go..

Maybe I'm just too tired. I keep messing up. I keep not figuring out what I'm supposed to be doing. I go to a bank to get money from a Western Union transfer and I put in the wrong number. I have to amend it. And sign the amendment. I transfer the money directly into a banker's cheque. I put in the wrong amount.

I have been waiting for this talk/meeting at SFX for a few weeks. Day comes, I leave early in the rain and get there in good time. But the second floor is closed off. And there doesn't seem to be any activity taking place on the first floor. In fact, people are leaving. I check my phone to see if I missed something and there is a message saying that the meeting will now be held at St Ignatius. Without calling anyone to check or asking anyone, I immediately assume it's St Ignatius the church. Which will take me hours to get to (well an hour at least) in this rain and this jam. I set off anyway and arrive there and find people streaming into church because it's Thursday and there's the hour of adoration.

I walk around looking for the meeting...and then, only then decide to call Pat, the organiser. She asks me why I would think the meeting would be at another church when it's an SFX thing. I sigh. It's too late to get back. And besides, I spent so long in traffic (I have been driving nearly two hours now) that I just can't face making the same journey the other way. Not in this rain. Not in this jam. Not when I'm so tired and hungry and just so out of sorts.

So I get home and feed the animals and then faff about, knowing at the back of my mind that I should be taking Stella for a walk. I temporise and watch a really awful Malay movie because someone had shared a part of it on FB and I found that part so funny that I really needed to know what happened before and after. And then I bite the bullet and walk Stella... she trots beside me happy, tongue hanging out, knowing that I am not going to shortchange her. There are some things she expects. It's the routine of it. Dogs like routine.

When we get back, Sheba has run away and Ebony sits waiting - so I force him into the house and he keeps me company as I watch a silly Thai ad about the impossibility of women. Yeah, yeah.

Ebony sits on my lap, jumps off, goes to the room (he has decided it's time for bed), comes out again to check on me (because I haven't decided the same thing), nibbles on some of the food he and Sheba left over from dinner, and moves off to where I can't see him. He may be drinking water now. He may have jumped on one of the dining chairs. He likes to perch on them and swing his tail ominously from side to side. Except that he's not really an ominous kitten. He's a cute fat black furball.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Running on a treadmill gets you nowhere

Mind's messed up. I wish I could focus. But I can't. I'm spinning my wheels in mud, running in circles, trying to figure out why I can't seem to figure anything out.

So I listen to Bonnie Raitt on YouTube and watch Pretty Ugly People and read Ryan Reynold's tweets and wonder where Ebony has got to and wish I could take in the mother cat because she's lonely and affectionate and she just wants to be loved and safe and I've been feeding her for months now. Considering the situation, the song is appropriate, don't you think?

I'm wondering what is up. Is all this waste matter that is dissipating all the negativity naturally? Does it only have to be uncomfortable for a while?

Here in the dark
in these final hours
I will lay down my heart
and I'll feel the power
but you won't
no you won't....

Ebony is with me now. He's lying next to me and watching me type. He's a warm soft presence close by. And soon I will put away the laptop, stop listening to Raitt on loop and cuddle him and sleep.

Good night.

Friday, June 17, 2016

And tomorrow, you'll wake up better

I'm not the one you want
But I'm the one who's here
Who will sit by you
Put my warm hand
on your belly.

And I'll croon sweet lullabies
until my voice becomes a hum
because it's soothing
because you may fall asleep
because you may finally
cease to weep
for tonight.

And tonight is all that matters.

I'm not the one you want
the one you want is gone
I'm used to not being the one
It's OK.
I love you anyway.
And I will, love you anyway.

Sometimes you just need
the warmth of a body
next to you
so you can close your eyes
and pretend.
So you can open them
and not feel alone.

I'll be that body.
I will sit with you.

And tomorrow you'll wake up.


So after a few days of rushing around because I made lunch plans and dinner plans and these always left me frantic, I got cancelled on for breakfast (yeah, you read that right, I got cancelled on, I didn't do the cancelling) and so I switched off the phone and decided to stay in and try to figure out my life.

Well, I didn't quite figure out my life. But I did time each activity I do in the mornings because I wanted to know what time I should wake up to cram them all in so I can get to work on time. I have decided to work at work. And not at home. This year has been a bad example of working weekends or staying late (but only because I didn't work during, you know, actual working hours).

I also tried to figure out stuff I wanted to do at night, like, when I get home from work. Yes, I want to get home from work. At a decent hour. Rather than just living there and slinking back late. Really, if I went in on time, I'd get so much done before people started interrupting me.

I also decided that instead of simply accumulating books, I am going to start reading them. I've found that I'm usually too tired when I get home to do any real reading so now I want to assign myself books to get through.

Today, I read The Yellow World by Albert Esposito. I loved it so much...and took some notes. And then I wrote a letter, put it in the book and made a beeline for the nearest post office so I could post it off to my pal, Shelly, one of my yellows. I made a list of yellows (you're supposed to have 23 all in all) and I came up with six so far. Six I can remember. Maybe, seven.

Anyway, if you're wondering what a "yellow" is, here's a definition:

A special person in our life, whom we stroke, hug and sleep next to. They mark our lives and the relationship with them doesn't take time or effort. there are 23 of them in our lives. Conversations with them make us better people and help up discover what we are lacking. They are the next level of friendship.

You got all that? Good.

I've designated one of the notebooks I bought at Popular for random thoughts, quotes, questions of the day, phone numbers for nearby hairdressers (I'm shopping around), diairisng...

Here's something I wrote today:

Meeting some people is like scrubbing your delicate, porcelain heart with sandpaper. You never get used to it; it always hurts. Solution? Minimise contact. As much as possible.

Yeah, so, just some random things.

Sorry for the lack of coherence. I am sure I'm going somewhere with this. One of the things I have decided to do is update this a lot more often. Maybe even every day, from now on.

Monday, June 13, 2016


I have so many things to do and I'm so tired. Really bone deep tired. It seems like I run and run and run and then fall exhausted on the bed or sofa and blank out for a while. There were so many things I had intended to do today. But I didn't. Well, not all of them.

I met Chubs in the morning and we reactivated Mum's account. A big thing. I fed and walked Stella in the morning and fed the two cats. I fed Stella and the two cats and mother cat in the evening. I delivered Anna's and Addy's and Vas's present to the office. I did the last batch of laundry.

My cats seem content. They are resting after some heavy trencher cat work. Now I have to take Stella out for her evening walk. And maybe go get Dadda the groceries without dropping Stella off there. He wants rice and chicken and cling wrap and Chlorox. Should be a synch.

I am reading Love Letters to Dead People, a young adult novel that I am enjoying very much. Does it say something about me that I enjoy young adult novels?

Ironically my holidays have started which means I can nap without feeling guilty. Except that I feel guilty. When things on the to-do list don't get done.

Yesterday, I was running around all day until I fell asleep on Dadda's sofa while I was supposed to be bathing Sylvie. No matter. I bathed her after.

Tomorrow, I will spray Stella with that anti tick spray because when I was bathing her yesterday I found tens of little ticks...oh dear. All over again.

OK, now got to take her for a walk. Then have a shower. Then go buy groceries and deliver them to Dadda's. Then go for dinner appointment.

Don't think I will be Marking tonight. The very thought of it makes me feel, ugh.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

The Comfort of Cats

Here's the thing about cats; they're mostly aloof. They climb on your lap when you're playing with the dogs. Otherwise, they ignore you...maintaining that brand of aloofness that turns you into that pathetic creature begging for love that you always are. And so, you pull back. You remember the faces, you remember the expressions, you remember how they closed over like a fist.

Ebony is sitting on my sofa, grooming himself. He is jet black against the red sofa cover and he looks soft and velvety. What I long to do is go over and gather him up. But if I do that, he will struggle and jump off. Of course I could hold him tight but what's the use? Better not to hang on to one who doesn't want to be hung on to.

I spoke to Bo today. The first time in over eight years. The last time I spoke to him he had called me because I put up something sort of scary on FB...a suicide note...and he was the only one who took it seriously. Because, surprisingly, it was serious.

Some friends you can lose for years and then find again. Some just move out of your life and when you think of them, this irritation starts to rise in your body and you realise, no, I'm not ready to welcome this person back into my life. No, I'm not over what they did or how we ended.

I thought about my aunt who died today and how her last months must have been. But it was not only after she was abducted. Even before that, she was old and neglected and suffering. We all let her suffer, preferring not to think about her. Nobody wanted to take responsibility, pointing to one another and ultimately to her daughter. Who is in the US and had no desire to come back to look after her mother or at least, take her there.

She said, I can't be bothered. Do what you want.

And my aunt said, I'm leaving the house to the lodger.

And now everything is a right mess and they can't find the body.

But Anna pointed out...what's a body after all? The time to have taken care of her was when she still drew breath. All this hustle after the fact is so beside the point. And it doesn't change what you did. And it doesn't change how utterly callous we all were.

It doesn't.

And I am biding my time. Taking one day at a time trying to sort out the work I still have to do before leaving for my holiday. I know not where but I just need to go, disappear. Some place I don't have to write or edit stories. Some place I've never been before. Some place I can take my dogs and cats because I miss them when they're not with me and I worry about them.

My body is aching because we did two rounds around Kiara now and although I was fine while we were doing it, I realise my body is not used to such exertions now. I think I get exercise when I walk the dogs, but is that really exercise? So I put my feet up and feel my knees lock.

There was freak weather today and hailstones rained down on various parts of KL. The winds were so strong that some people found it hard to close their doors. And it was so cold. Of course, hail being ice.

Ebony is curled up on the sofa now. He's sleeping. He looks so comfortable and content.

Friday, June 03, 2016

The Rest of My Life

I think I need to start another blog. I feel another phase of my life coming on. Maybe it's because I'm so tired. Maybe it's because I'm burnt out. Maybe it's because I've stayed in one place for too long and my soul is restless, my body weary and my mind, shutting down, rebelling, refusing to work.

I want to take off on a journey unencumbered. Maybe I need to give the dogs up for adoption. And put the cats into some sort of foster care while I'm gone. Or give them up for adoption too.

I found out yesterday that an aunt I knew died in mysterious circumstances. She had signed over her property to a lodger who then abducted her, removed her from the house to God knows where, shut up the house, sold it and didn't let anyone know when she died. My godmother who is her cousin and relentless, though in England and not here to personally conduct investigations, scoured the hospitals and then the Registrar of Deaths and found this aunt of mine had actually died on February 25. They don't know under what circumstances. And they didn't know how to retrieve her body.

She called me last night. Now you know she was desperate because she called me when she doesn't even speak to me. Yeah, Malayalee families, complicated. She told me about the death and asked if I could help with finding the body.

I asked my friends and sent her a list of things that could be done, should have been done, by the immediate family. Can you believe that they didn't even make a police report?

Anyway, things are in a state of flux. I hope they can find her remains and give her a proper burial. At the very least.

Meanwhile, I need to figure out the rest of my life.

Friday, May 13, 2016

When you don't answer

My heart fills with anxiety and I get frantic trying to reach you. I take a deep breath and exhale. It can't be so bad. You promised that you would find some way of getting the news to me if something happened. We set up a system.

But does it apply now? We talked about it so long ago. Years even.

Everything has changed.

I came back from Turkey to news of a sudden death. I woke up to news of an expected (though not so soon) death.

2016 has been surreal so far. A year where people just drop like flies, dissolve gracefully into a puddle and evaporate.

So know that I'm not in a normal frame of mind and when you don't answer I think this time you went through with it, this time you've left me, this time, you're actually dead.

Please, please, please let me be overreacting.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter?

It's a few hours away till Easter. I observed Lent this year but I didn't go for the Maundy Thursday mass (was busy closing the damn pullout that has sucked out 10 years of my life because I allowed it to, next on my list: right effort). And I am not going for the Easter Vigil. Instead, I will be going to church at 10 in the morning tomorrow. It's good enough.

I am still ill from the pullout. I don't know what the reaction is because I switched off my phone on Good Friday and haven't switched it on since. I want a break. I want to think. About my life, about where it is going, because 2016 is going to be a time of endings.

I can't allow the diseased limbs to linger. The poison is creeping into me and more and more of me is going rotten.

I observed Lent this year, went for Confession for the first time in 13 years, took Communion and yet all I do is break into raucous sobbing, weep like I am going to die...and I know I don't have to be alone but I feel sick again the way I felt last year and I don't want to talk to anybody or see them. I will deal with them on Monday.

I don't feel that Easter feeling inside me. There is no joy.

And all I want to be is away.

I'll do the things in front of me now. Take the dogs for a walk. Feed them. Go out and buy some cat food for the outside cats. Write three letters. Try to meditate. Try to clear.

And maybe sleep.

I'm falling to pieces but it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter anymore. I'm so tired of all of this.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Turn Down These Voices...Inside My Head

It's funny, this feeling of loss when I wanted so long to be free. This silence, this whole world of nothingness as I carefully edited you and you and you out of my life. Now it's all clean. We have to sort through legal issues, dry and technical. All emotion on suspend.

I have to think of a new life, a new life without you because you have rejected me and I returned the sentiment. I see your lives, the lives I am supposed to want to envy and emulate and I don't. I really don't. I cringe. That's all.

We can't be friends. We can't be civil. We can't smile and pretend.

We can only allow this silence to grow until it fills the world, the universe, these atoms of space between us.

Unbridgeable distance.

There's only silence.

There's only indifference.

There's only hate.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

They Don't Know That I Go Running Home When I Fall Down

You left and you took home with you. Maybe it was about time. I couldn't always be living in some transitory state, with home not something I had created, with home always somewhere else. And I would go back for a few days and try. Or sleep.

It was not enough.

All these years I had spent in suspense. All these years I had spent not creating my own home. My own curtains, my own tiles, my own bookshelves, my own pictures on the wall. The smells of my own cooking coming from the kitchen.

I was on the floor for such a long time.

And now, I'm picking myself up.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Sense of Desolation

It's funny, Christmas was tough this year, but I am only now finding out how tough. And this doesn't even have to do with the credit card bill which I nearly fainted on seeing. I slept through a lot of it. Woke up early to go for Mass at the chapel near the house with Esther, and thence to breakfast to La Bodega. I didn't think we could go wrong with La Bodega but I was mistaken. A surly waiter coupled with a fancy breakfast that contributed to that swoon-inducing credit card bill as well as the runs for the next few days (wasn't that a fitting end to the year, seeing as I had spent a lot of the year with digestive issues?) and then back home to nap...only I napped the whole day away. It wasn't a fun Christmas for Esther at all and I thought, hmmm....poor planning. It was all due to poor planning.

But it was more than that.

Christmas, the day itself, has become something that needs to be endured rather than celebrated. Any sort of real festivity seems to have died with my mother.

So if I don't like what's on offer, I have to create my own. Figure something out or go overseas for a holiday during that time rather than staying here and feeling miserable.

I have to fashion a new Christmas out of elements that I love. I have a whole year (well, 11 months and 15 days more to work on it).

I have written out my Christmas card list, started collecting addresses, marked the date on the calendar to write them all out (one time I wrote birthday cards for August in February which may have been efficient but was totally strange) and the date to post them.

The other thing I need to do is start managing my credit card bill. And expenses. No more impulse buys on the net (funny thing, I rarely have impulse buys in any physical shop, unless it's a bookshop). I have to avoid Kinokuniya because a single visit almost always ends up costing me at least RM500.

So instead, I will make a list of books that I have on my bookshelf that I haven't read but planned to read sometime, and go through those - I'm on Milan Kundera's Art of the Novel now...which has to be read slowly. I don't think I will manage to finish all the books I set myself to finish this month but that's OK. As long as I have lists and schedules, it's all good. As long as I don't let up and keep on reading the good stuff, it'll be OK.

Maybe it will help balm the awful desolate feeling I have inside right now that threatens to overwhelm.

I cannot afford to be overwhelmed right now because there's work coming out of my ears and I cannot lose the plot, I have to keep working at it, chiselling away at all I have to chisel away at.

I feel so sad. And there's nothing I can do about it.