Goodbye August31 august 2008
- QUOTE -
Someone once said .. time is like a Predator. It stalks you ...it's the fire in which we burn. We leave so many things unfinished in our
lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because
they'll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
"Time flies... August is coming to an end. Goodbye August. Hello September..."
- UNQUOTE -
We never got around to meeting in person, though we chatted online and spoke on the phone a few times. There were the odd couple of emails along the way, whenever we chanced upon the other's 'presence' in cyberspace. We caught up again recently on Facebook, and finally saw each other's face. Fortunately, we didn't end up scaring each other. Heh. Heh. E is back in HK now and a doting father to his 2-year-old.
At some point, my feeble brain just couldn't keep up with the changing faces and voices. And I had to keep reminding myself that I was talking to someone else now....
There are just some things you can tell a guy, but not your kind. Shrug.
Hello September, indeed.
Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
Bold all the items you've eaten.
Ah yes, and this postcard circa 1994 actually managed to survive my annual spring-cleaning. Heh. (Speaking of which, while digging around for this, I found more stuff to throw. I am excited already!)
It was me, really. I took things too seriously. That was - still is - my flaw.
It's clear to me now.
I was standing somewhere, and I was alone, with the sickening knowledge that death was approaching and there would be no escape - it was one of those "end of the world" scenarios. I was going to die.
I remember fear flooding my entire being. Fear of dying. Fear of the crossing itself. Fear of the after-death. Fear of the unknown.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
And I fought against that knowledge of the inevitable - this shapeless, invisible thing that I couldn't see, couldn't hear, couldn't smell, couldn't touch.... couldn't feel - yet.
Then death was on me. Enveloping all my senses.... and I wondered why I had feared death so much.
And you know what, death wasn't so bad afterall. Not bad at all.
And oh, she thought I was 28 :-D That, in spite of her thinking I was dressed "like an aunty" tonight. Laugh.
It feels like the time is now.
But what if it's now - or never???
How long more before these doors close?
NFPC - The Artist (Nature, Foreground, Big Picture, and Color)
"You perceive the world with particular attention to nature. You focus on what's in front of you (the foreground) and how that fits into the larger picture. You are also particularly drawn towards the colors around you. Because of the value you place on nature, you tend to find comfort in more subdued settings and find energy in solitude. You like to deal directly with whatever comes your way without dealing with speculating possibilities or outcomes you can't control. You are in tune with all that is around you and understand your life as part of a larger whole. You are a down-to-earth person who enjoys going with the flow."
Well, you know what they say about those who reveal too much of heaven's secrets....
So, does anyone have recommendations? I've been told to look out for nadi leaf readers; the write-ups are pretty fascinating actually.
As I was saying, why is it the ones you wish wouldn't SOS will inevitably end up SOSing. And the ones you wish would SOS (or better yet, DOA), keep coming at you like a freaking freight train? Damn sian, hor?
I didn't say anything to you. None of this was written for your benefit (nor to your detriment). I don't need your questions. Nor did I ask for answers. I wasn't looking for approval. And your criticisms - however cleverly deconstructive - are most certainly not welcome. I'm not interested in your opinion. Did you think I was fishing for favours?
You are quite mistaken.
These words are, mine.
These thoughts - self-doubt, hope, frustration, amusement, despair, euphoria, reflection, self-rebuke, pride, anger, desire, confusion, enlightenment, envy, fear, resignation, lust, denial, anticipation, disappointment, delight, ennui, sadness, happiness, rhetoric - are, mine.
None of this here is yours - is, you.
So, whatever made you think you know me; know how I feel; know what I want?
Much less, know what I do not want - that I really want afterall?
But truth be told, I had heard the words the first time around because even as I wondered aloud, the question - to which The Sibling had provided the answer - was rhetorical really, and I had known for some time now.
Makes you say things practised discretion wouldn't usually reveal.
Makes you feel things cautious selves would usually suppress.
Makes you shed these wakeful masks and awaken the sleeping beauty.
And making you forget for a moment what shouldn't be said, shouldn't be felt, shouldn't be, and just living the moment....
It was something she said. She thought everyone knew anyway since the community was not that big.
He laughed because he really hadn't known. And she laughed because she thought he had. Then he laughed somemore because she shared a little extra gossip. And she laughed because she was amused by his reaction. And then they just couldn't stop laughing.
Somewhere in the back of her mind, she was thinking all this felt familiar; another time, another place, another face....
They couldn't stop laughing because they just couldn't stop looking at each other.
Creatures of impulse that your kind are - body before mind - you didn't realise until a while later what you'd just done. And when you did, you abruptly slowed your steps.
I didn't quite know what to make of that then. But I could feel you pulling away. And so I picked up my pace again, walking by myself for a while, eventually re-joining the rest.
But I do hope that what was good, and fun, about us has not changed.
I asked K why he thought the two weren't together.
"Nothing more is missing from the relationship," he explained. "And yet, they are still not together."
Ah so desu.
Okay, obviously sexual attraction is not the whole story here but well, you get the drift.
Some things are just not meant to be.
My life is brilliant.
My life is brilliant.
You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
Yeah, she caught my eye,
You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
The first thing that the cab driver, a kindly Chinese uncle in his 50s, said was that I was "a good person" - maybe because I didn't flood the little space we would be sharing for the next 20 minutes with my invisible wrath of surround silence after he waited at the wrong side of the block for more than 5 minutes.
Uncle repeated this a few more times as I gave him directions out of the estate. I started to feel guilty about the times I unleashed my wrath of silence on random unlucky cab drivers who waited at the wrong ??!#$%!! side of the block, or arrived late - which meant I reached work even later!!! (The ones who unknowingly walked under women's underwear on their way to work would, in addition to my wrath of silence, also experience my not-so-invisible wrath of surround screech.)
I never got to plug into my iPod for the rest of the ride because Uncle continued to alternate between a few initial apologies for being a rambling old man and small talk.
And then Uncle determined that not only was I "ren2 hen2 hao3", I also "zhang3 de2 bu2 chuo4" and was "demure". My "only flaw" was my glasses. (Yeaaah.... like, what the dotdotdot....)
Surely, I was taken advantage of a lot, he asks. (Wellll....)
Uncle rambles on a while more. And then he said: "Ke3 shi4, ni3 huai4 de4 shi2 hou4, jiu4 fei1 chang2 huai4!" He explained that when I was "bad", I would "anyhow scold people and wouldn't care who it was". Uncle claimed he could tell all this from the shape of my face.
W. A. H.
And then, there are the few rare ones who just know.
Name to face and face to name - they acknowledged each other.
Face to mind and mind to face - holding the other just a little longer, long enough to see; but not too long that it became awkward for the other, or unusual to the others.
It was in his eyes - he knew.
He turned his head away finally, a flicker of a smile slipping through that easy nonchalance.
Though, the route we took did pass the Raffles Place station first - where I asked to be dropped off. Raise eyebrow.
It freaks me out a little when people
You know, this is not Channelnewsasia hor, no real-time updates one. Besides, I was doing the same thing at 11:04:47, that I was also doing at 11:08:05, 12:19:42, 15:59:09, 16:42:48 and 18:40:06 - working.
But I guess some people don't have to work one lor.
P.S. I Love You
For now, I'm going to tell myself that it's most probably due to the nature of her vocation, which, let's just say, is 'hi-touch'.
The buzz and vibration of the phone against her body interrupted her reverie then - and there he was.
Last Sunday of the month it is then.
Still, sometimes... just, sometimes...
But outrage - and more than a few smirks - aside, I think we are forgetting something here.
Yes, the organising committee had resorted to lip-syncing and computer wizardry to put up a "flawless" show praised as "the most spectacular in Olympic history". Yes, call it "deception". And yes, all this was done in the name of "national pride" - that quaint, to Western minds, Chinese concept of "face".
But, as much as the show was put up for the Chinese "face", it was also for the world - to delight, to astound, to entertain; to show hospitality to a guest as a gracious host would.
And as guests, should we not reciprocate with some appreciation of the immense resources and effort put in by the host - who obviously thought the rest of the world was important enough to impress? It would hardly be good sportsmanship - and at a sporting event too - otherwise, yes?
On a final note, I do think Ms Choy ought to be smacked. Seriously.
They ache to compete, their life is an uncomplicated pitting of themselves against their own limitations or another person or a clock or
a score. They are like theatre actors, craving a stage and an audience... Their muscles are toned, visualising done, tactics tuned, egos
polished, equipment cleaned. This is an army waiting to explode.
(Source: "Let's Get it On." The Straits Times. 9 August 2008.)
They ache to compete, their life is an uncomplicated pitting of themselves against their own limitations or another person or a clock or a score. They are like theatre actors, craving a stage and an audience... Their muscles are toned, visualising done, tactics tuned, egos polished, equipment cleaned. This is an army waiting to explode.
(Source: "Let's Get it On." The Straits Times. 9 August 2008.)
Can you just imagine -
All that primal power
And most of all, I'm really tired of being reminded that there is one.
Perhaps (if indeed one of the rare truths be spoken aloud), I had held back because - I was.
And I resent it.
How is that "so fierce"???!
And now I'm really irritated. (Considering the times when I just kept quiet and didn't make such remarks when they would certainly not have warranted a "???!".)
We stayed at The Lodge.
Our elevated lodging came with a spacious high-ceiling balcony (more than twice the size of the bedroom!), where we would doze in between dives or while waiting for evening meals. (Credit: King)
Our group of 7 - sans the 8th who didn't make it onto the plane with his 5.5-months-validity-left-passport - had the whole resort (capacity 14) to ourselves. Sweeeet. The compound was so well-shaded with coconut trees that we had a little difficulty finding enough 'hot spots' to dry our gear!
One of two dive boats - the outrigger. The speedboat is somewhere around...
Let's go diving!
On our very first dive - school of mobulas/devil rays! (Credit: King)
And again! (Credit: King)
And again! OMG!!! (Credit: King)
Gili Sarang - where the devil rays were.
Bobbing on the sea, in between morning dives. Is it just me or does the bigger rock on the right look like a gorilla?
Honeycomb moray eel giving me a very dirty look - which is why I decided against moving in for a close-up, which could easily have turned into a bite-me. Gulp.
Blue nudibranch. It was almost impossible to take underwater photos because of the currents. It's a wonder I even managed this shot at all.
These yellow sea cucumbers were EVERYWHERE.
And then we attempted to dive at the kelong in the bay. We saw.... crap.... fish crap. Vis - 2 metres; and green, very green.
Lizards in the sun.
We spent most of our time in the dining area, stuffing our faces with the obliging chef's excellent cooking, or just chilling out.
One of our two Divemasters, Jatha (AKA Orang "You crazy ah!!!" Gila), going monkey to pluck coconuts for the thirsty gang. The group of German divers (from another resort) at the pondok were having their lunch break before the next dive.
DIVER BELOW!!! (Heh. Heh. Heh.)
This was pretty much how all of us felt after The !!@#$^!! Magnet. (Heh. Heh. Heh.)
As our last evening at the bay approached, we went trekking into the undulating hills.
The view of the bay from the hills is really quite amazing. There's a certain magic about this idyllic place, so beautifully unadorned in its simplicity - like a woman's untouched face - that makes you forget all your worldly concerns, and there is just the here and the now.
Scruffy the Sheep* Mutt :-D *(Because Cow just doesn't have quite the same ring to it.)
Hence, while some people have dirty weekends, people like me overdose on horror films (John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns; Sick Girl; Pick Me Up; Haeckel's Tale; Imprint; The Ruins) and too many cups of coffee over the weekend.
My head hurts now. Owww.
At the same table, some time later (or was it the next day - she was never good with the passage of time), as everyone was filling up their indemnity forms, she watched as his pen hovered over one of the fields - he couldn't remember his number. "Eh..."
A second or two passed as she surveyed the group quietly.
"239," she intoned - impassive.
His eyes widened, and then the corners of his perfectly shaped lips curved - knowingly.
You see, I had just done a DIY feet soak and scrub, and didn't wash off my feet thoroughly before rushing back to my room to get changed and meet The Unusual Ones (sans The DC'ed One; pun! pun! ha-ha!) for the overdue brekkie.
As my still wet feet made the transition from the rough kitchen tiles to the marble in the living room, I felt my feet prepare for take-off even as my left hand reflexively reached out for the side table. Realising quickly that the possibility of the heavy marble tabletop landing on me was quite real, my feet did a frantic little tap-dance forward and away, and in a final attempt to regain balance. But still, my legs flew, I landed on my bum, and the back of my head hit the floor in the living room. The head didn't hurt much though - it usually doesn't, and I do hit my head quite often when I fall.
We were at the bus-stop after the gathering, when I remembered the morning's little accident, and recounted it.
The Best Friend comforted me and laughed as she patted the back of my head. She thought it was really quite funny that I had so much hair that it had in all probability cushioned the impact of my head hitting the floor.
But that - the head hitting the floor - wasn't it, really. (I actually have such falls a few times a year.)
You see, I had on only a T-shirt and a towel wrapped around my waist when I left the toilet. And the reason I had a towel around me was because I was not wearing anything else underneath - hence, the towel. So, when my legs went airborne AND in different directions, in those one or two seconds, let's just say it's a good thing that dad was somewhere else in the kitchen; the sister, who was watching some Chinese drama serial in the living room, had her line of sight blocked by the sofa; and the future brother-in-law was gaming in the room.
This time, The Best Friend couldn't stop laughing / cackling / chortling / guffawing as she replayed the visuals in her head. Again, and again, and again, and again. And just when you thought she couldn't possibly laugh anymore, another round would erupt.
Then, even I couldn't stop laughing - at the sight of her doubled over, clutching her sides, laughing / cackling / chortling / guffawing until she was crying.
All this while, I was also trying to flag a cab and thinking I must look like a raving lunatic to people driving on the road, sans context and sound effects. Urgh. I think Tet, who was waiting for his bus, was just trying very hard to pretend he didn't know us.
When the two of us finally got into a cab, we were still laughing our heads off.
For almost a year now, a number of the divisions which used to be under your sole charge have either been reassigned to me, or are now running on their own - by default, since you no longer appear to be actively running them, or quite honestly, don't even seem to care to.
The big, stressful, event is over.
And you just had a long and (I don't deny) well-deserved holiday to "recover and rejuvenate".
But you are looking as lost as ever, and letting things fall through the cracks - that now are steadily growing into worrying chasms.
Most disturbing of all, you aren't working on (or are unwilling to) the HR issues which have boiled over many times over. Yet, you clearly resent "outside interference" and the draconian measures taken - which, much as I agree with you, I'm prepared to live with (for now), because there wouldn't have been a need for all this if you had donned the gauntlet yourself earlier and dealt with the issues.
I'll'd been happy to continue to help you bear your burden - under any other circumstances. But not when I've to, and already am, running around putting out your fires and picking up after you, while trying to hold up my end.
So the plan now is that I shall start to surreptitiously take on more work (GASP!) in the name of 'streamlining processes' and get the mess sorted out while there is still space (for me) to breathe, you are around for the 'handover', and more importantly - however blunt this sounds - to take the hits by virtue of your continued presence.
I never set out to "build my own empire".
But I can't stand by and watch you bring all of us down with you, while you fall apart, can I?
Oh, is that why you've been so tractable these days?
Yet, in that statement uttered with barely contained awe, was also undeniably, envy and covetousness - biding its time.
I read with great interest regarding the job opening as Administrative Executive in your organization and will like to be considered for the opening please.
A copy of my resume is attached. I look forward to meeting you to discuss your opening."