Sunday, 25 February 2018

Friends Forever

I'm friends with the kindest people, and that's how we'll stay, just friends. None of their tender innocence deserves the touch of a woman. At the age of 22, the boys yearn for what the youth of today call love, and intimacy. They've been disappointed before, their hearts rejected and broken, but they've never been in a proper relationship. They'd joke about their fulfilment in every department: life's great, I just need love!

When I look at them, I just see the boys I've always known, the boys who aged alongside me without growing up. Sure, some of them might display desirable physical attributes due to lifestyles that are much more active than mine, but I know them far too well to entertain further thoughts.

They would treat their future girlfriends as Queens, this I guarantee. A future where they turn out to be assholes who neglect their darlings does not even exist in the realm of probability. Like the perfect footstools, they'd wait at their feet.

Why is the lot of us so helplessly single? If it isn't because our standards are only fictionally possible, then it's our timid nature as wallflowers who can only watch from a distance. Passers-by, once out of sight, settle into our tender chests as a drop of wishful thinking.

At 28, he's still hanging out with us juniors, with his almost-30 belly showing through his t-shirt. The last time he had been in a relationship was a decade ago. I think, he's never going to get married.

One of the many surprises that I look forward to in my otherwise predictable time on Earth is who my closest friends end up marrying, if they ever do. In this regard, my imagination fails, because I cannot imagine us being in happy relationships. At 22, and at 28, we sat around someone's cramped living room and sang to YouTube uploads of karaoke instrumentals through the dead of night.

Maybe we're all meant to be alone, together forever. Who would love them? Who would love me? It's ridiculous to even attempt to fantasize this.

However, the Feng Shui masters predict that 2018 will be a romantic year for the Rats, and for Scorpios. As a Scorpio Mouse, does that mean my chances of finding someone as impossible to love as myself increase by 2%? Ah, I can't wait to be disappointed by these predictions again! At the end of the day, I would still be in my own company on the balcony, downing Asahi along with the setting sun.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

拜天公

For the first time, I came to realise that fire isn't orange but the colour of gold. Ashes that flutter upwards, like the wings of a brittle moth, float through the dense smoke admist falling rain. If it weren't for the chatter behind me, it'd have been forlorn, even though the lanterns glow a bright red.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Hello, Child

Nothing is there.

Do I want something? If so, what is it?

無理無理無理無理。

It's all in the past, but I never forgot the 20 cents I threw into the wishing well when we were kids. Everytime I see him, I hear the sincerity of my 12-year-old self.

But, nothing WAS there either. Although I never bothered asking. I've always asked, and I've always gotten the answers, but now, this gnaws at the perfectionist: I don't know, I didn't know.

If we never really grow up, then I'll never be able to forget this feeling, which over the years, dissipated into the growing intricacies of adult life.

What happened after the tender age of 12? It's all a blank. I suppose we went our separate ways, somehow, but occasionally waved to each other or met up in groups. Oddly enough, we're all still on the same boat, wadding through time.

Once I step back in line, I will put the past behind me again. But for now, when the past is here to drink with me, I'll savour its bitterness with a numb tongue. Did I bite my tongue all this while?

This reeks of the impossible, and the absurd.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Consolation Prize

When you receive a gift of consolation, how are you supposed to feel? Proud, that at least you have been recognised? Or... But circumstances vary. Time and again, if I feel as though their thoughtfulness is but a consolation to acknowledge my existence, then I'd rather not receive such a prize.

Shouldn't I be thankful if people still keep me in their minds? Minds... But not in their hearts.

Losing touch with the people of the past, your faint presence resurfaces as a WhatsApp group chat tag. It reminds them that you are still there, and it reminds you of your ineptitude in forming relationships.

My loneliness, it seems, stems not from the bliss of being alone, but from the loss of faith in human relations. Even before I make an effort to build a relationship, I've already given up unconsciously. Intensifying this hopelessness are the friends at university who share the same sense of loneliness but cannot open their hearts. It makes me think that perhaps what we need isn't formal education. I can't tell you what should be in place of it, but it is certain that so long as our institutions stand the way they are now, we're never graduating from loneliness.

You can tell me I look nice, my outfit is killer, and that my eyeshadow is on point, but flattery flies over the head, never coming close to even grazing the surface of the chest that hides the heart.

Socialising and smiling all day long, I realise how narrow hearts are while how wide the world is. Each of us are hiding our sorrows away as easily as we tuck a lock of hair behind our ears. Those creases by the eyes, and the water by the rim, aren't they all thoughts we wished would disappear as soon as the teardrop touched the earth?

Friday, 16 February 2018

How are They?

Wondering if someone from long ago is dead or alive, and if they are still alive, do they remember what's unforgettable for you? If those memories are as vivid in their minds.

I used to move from hand to hand, each time we went on board. Most of those whose cabins I let myself in uninvited, I've no idea how they are doing these days. Maybe it is inconsequential that a brat who used to distract them from their duties misses them.

A glass of freshly blended carrot milkshake, which the chief cook promised to be the best beverage ever invented. I hate carrots and cannot tolerate milk. I still remember his annoyance: if you don't like it, say it, so I won't waste more ingredients on you!

If I couldn't navigate, I thought I could at least sign up as a cook. Even though my parents would support my every endeavour, they, for some reason, are against the idea of sailing. Of course it isn't easy to cater to a hungry crew 3 times a day.

Where is Ah Poh now? Is he still alive? My dear second cook. He was a queer one. Did he have bright orange hair, and tattoos all over? At the time, he was already wrinkled and hunched over. What about now, I really do wonder. I heard he had no one but himself. But who can trust what a six-year-old remembers?

Reminiscing my embarrassing childhood hurts my cheekbones, but it also makes me a little bit sad.