Love, Mother. 

You should keep your hair long 

She would say 

I will comb them back 

Wet from the shower 

And stroke your head gently 

Until you dry

And you should wear a bit more pink

On your lips 

She would say 

I like that colour on you

Blushing bright as your mouth parts

To call me Mummy 

Please dress in minimiser bras 

So I may unravel them 

She would say

Day after day to see how much you have 

Grown; blossomed within this 

Terrarium of my watchful care

Do not shrink away from my soft 

Touches

I have what you have

She would say 

Breasts just body parts more sensitive to

Affection 

And watch your waist

My arms should always be able to wrap 

Around them 

Tight and whenever I like 

To keep you safe

Your long legs still 

and 

not 

running 

Away into someone else’s arms

Like you did back at our Pasir Ris home

After a couple of whips

Why did you 

do that

When I would always rub oil on your wounds 

After the crying’s done 

Like you did back at the Changi chalet 

After I observed you shower

Why are you

So shy

When I am the one that saw you naked 

From beginning and should 

Until the end

Skin is skin 

We have touched so many times 

She would say 

The bond between mother and child 

Never should fade away

Bangkok/Hua Hin 

(Spending on my last trip to Bangkok and Hua Hin back in June 2016. Here are just mundane records of how I keep track of my spending. These words also trigger my memories of the place – the routes I took, my emotions at a certain point and the purchases I have made.)

Day 1
SIM card 300

Train – airport line 45

City link 12

Tuk Tuk 150 

Lunch noodles and water 50

Papaya 20

Dad’s specs 40

Adapter 60

Bubble tea 35

Coconut shake 100

Litre water 13

Tuk Tuk hotel 125

————

Total 950
Day 2

Tuk Tuk 75

The Grand Palace ticket 500

Late lunch at Favour cafe 145

Tuk Tuk 125

Strawberry blizzard 35

Clothes 400

Tuk Tuk 125

Dinner BonChon Chicken 299

Hair 250 

Coconut ice cream 50 

————-

Total 2004
Day 3

Travel to Hua Hin 180

Security deposit 2000 (must get back) 

Lunch at market village (green curry) 55

Transport to Khao Takiab 10

Some coins to temple on monkey mountain. 

Transport to market village 10

Daiso tights 120

Tribal clothes 590 

Macs 61.5

Busker guitarist 20

Dinner noodles at night market 55

Irene sports bag 350

Ice cream 15 

Groceries 112

————

Total 3578.5
Day 4 

Transport to breakfast place 10

Breakfast milk tea 20

Breakfast 15 / 17.5

Visit to Eighteen Below Ice Cream 80

Shaved ice at Vintage Village 44

Transport to night market to railway 10

Transport to Mongkol 40

Donation at temple 20

Transport to our apartment 40

Dinner at Santa Fe steak 426

Conjuring 2 movie 190

Macs fries 36.5

—————-

Total 949
Day 5

Lunch 435

Cold drink 16

Tuk Tuk to view point and back 200

Tuk Tuk 10

Dinner tiger prawns and coconut shake 775

Rotee banana with milo 30

Watermelon juice 25

Aloe gel 114.5

Muay Thai pants 320

—————

Total 1925.5
Day 6

Beggar at temple 20

Lunch at sea pine tree beach 70

Tuk Tuk whole day to south 800

Transport to cicada market 20

Tribal clothes 800

Canvas top 320

Food 65

Transport back to apartment 20

—————

Total 2115
Day 7

Electricity/water check out bill 248.5

Breakfast at Burger King 133.5

Back to Bangkok 270

Train 31 / 14

Water 7

Chicken drumlet 15

Kimono top 1500

Fisherman pants 100

Transport to Mo Chit 42

Cheese fries 100

Transport home 42 

————-

Total 2503
Day 8 

Transport to Sukhumvit 28

Transport to Ekkamai 25

One Ounce For Onion 

– Banana Crunch (banana, yogurt, caramelised almonds smoothie) 130

– Egg Element (two eggs, bacon, sausage, cherry tomatoes and asparagus) 65

Honey at SeenSpace 

– Lunch set (soup, pasta and tea) 411.85

After You Dessert Cafe 

– Shibuya Honey Toast (baby size) 

– Banana Crumble 

– Total 165

Transport from Thong Lo to Siam 34

Ticket for silent film 120

Dinner at A&W 152.5

Train 42

Bus back 6.5

——————

Total 1179.85
Day 9

Airbnb host sgd 10

Trains 35/28

Lunch at airport 588

Transfer flight 2300

————–

Total 2951 + 10sgd 

Some Worries. 

Now that the year is slowly ending, and I am slightly older, the worries sitting at the back of my mind are gradually resurfacing. 

I know it is only August and there’s still quite a way to go, but I can’t help it. I always tend to plan in advance so nothing can take me by surprise in a bad turn of events. 

Having no probable future is no laughing matter. So. 

After all, the graduation I have always wished for is coming closer. It is great. I have always wanted to graduate and finally go out into the world – renewed and improved.

But of course, getting out of school means being out of a comfort zone I have grown to take for granted. In school, it is all homework, training and being educated. Besides that, I work outside of school hours, take part in other interests and take the chance to keep growing as a person. 

In a working environment, chances are few and making mistakes are barely forgivable. It is a harsher environment, that’s for sure, but I am ready for it. 

So what exactly am I worried about? 

I am worried that I have long been forgotten from the theatre scene, and it will take me years to get back in. I am worried that I won’t be able to get jobs fast enough, if at all, since supply is way over demand these days. I am also worried that maybe I have never been good enough to be outstanding and of a hiring standard among my peers. 

I also wonder if others are starting to view me more as a “writer” since I have been more active in this field while schooling. 

Does that perception matter? And will it greatly affect me? Should I only be wearing one hat in terms of skill set, or is it okay to juggle many? 

There’s no fixed advice or solution, and I have heard both pros and cons of the situation. But I am not ready to leave behind the many things I have built up, learnt to do with myself, yet I worry that the box others put me in is not big enough. 

Maybe I will have to wait for another day, and take things as they come. 

Can I really afford to do everything that I want? Can I be a writer, a thespian and anything that comes my way? 

Hmm. 

Bus Stops.

They left the Indian construction workers at the bus stop. 

Standing in a clump, waiting to get on but left stranded at an ungodly hour. Skin stained with perspiration and disappointment. Helpless and watching another bus drive by. The bus was not even filled to the brim. The bus was just filled because they were not worth touching skin to skin for on a public bus in the morning. 

They left young students at the bus stop. 

Heavy school bags clung to backs, and no parents’ hands to hold. Eyes wide but mouth silenced. Retreating to the back of the crowd as adults pushed and glared and conveniently cut their queue. They will be late for school, and the bus drove on without making commuters move in. The bus was not even filled to the brim. The bus was just filled because office hours are now more important than school hours. And we have always left the young to fend for themselves. 

They left the blind man at the bus stop. 

Him and his walking stick next to the curb. His arm in a permanent flagging position, and ears trying to identify which bus is his. Well-sighted citizens saw the bus semi-filled and forced themselves up; blind to his existence. Another bus drove by, and he was left wondering if that engine was his bus. The bus was not even filled to the brim. The bus was just filled because no one would give up seats and everyone turned a blind eye instead of making way for him to walk. Some of them used to, but not when it is the survivor of the fittest on a single deck during peak hour. 

They left. 

They left. 

They were left behind. 

Sometimes.

(A reminder. We keep moving on, but there are things we keep in between our twisted fingers.)

For you.

– 

Sometimes it is not about seeing each other in the flesh. A physical holding of hands that all you feel is warmth and a pulse. The kisses that touch lip to lip or lip to cheek to the endless spine of nakedness. The hugs that bring two bodies together to fit like a puzzle found. 

It is about seeing the soul in another pair of eyes. Feeling how much work the hands have done since the last time its skin caressed yours. Kisses that try to translate what love can be, would be, should be into a language that the human body will understand. The way our heartbeats sync when gently fitted chest to chest and a symphony starts singing quietly from within. 
Sometimes it is not about how many fast plans, fast dinners and fast forward into the future we can last. Filling our timetables to the brim with no space to breathe ourselves. Seeing our tired faces reflected on the other and trying to keep work away from the dinner plate. Coming together for an hour or two but drawn apart right from the beginning – minds working in the background like sweatshop humans. No rest and no passion. 

It is about entering a world that has only us. A timelessness that overwhelms the senses and the universe stops. Relaxing into each other’s arms and really looking into dilated irises: how are you, really? Listening to every word uttered and there to catch the unsaid in uneven breaths. The emptying of the mind and heart to make space for each other, even if it is just a temporal pocket in that space in time. Letting the other person occupy all of you – like a nervous first date and laughing is still a favourite sound. 
What is everything? Everything is beyond a body and the five senses. Everything is your nervous habit of picking at your fingers, messing up the dinner table with carelessness and your constant running away from my prodding fingers. Everything is how your eyes water when I refuse a kiss, how you care so much about what is music and how you talk about the future but not about your past. Everything is knowing how your heartbreaks so delicately and how you piece it together again. Everything is knowing how you like being traced in bed, like an undiscovered island and the moans you whisper when you want more. Everything is intimacy inside and out, a forwardness and honesty with all masks abandoned. 
Being naked of the mind, the heart, the spirit and revealing first through the first layer of just a body. 
Sometimes it is not about whose fault is it and the things that went wrong. 

It is about the tiredness, the reflecting and the need to look at ourselves before looking at each other for comfort. It is about finding a love lost and remembering. 

Remembering what we had, what we have and what we should be having. 

Remembering what is it that we are fighting for, before the goodbye kiss. 
A kiss can just be a kiss. 

Or it can be the thread that promises us a home forever. 

Bayfront MRT.

Quietness overwhelms 

Only ghosts linger

Past midnight 

Hear the waves of silence 

Wash over the unseen body 

A Sun bleeding out light- 

House of a different kind

Shedding skin to speak sadness 

Lost ships come in

Listening 

Bottled messages 

Not drowned not found 
(train tracks rumbling and a sensation of sinking underwater. eyes closed and hands in fists; fighting to keep breathing. you are a seaweed caught in concrete, metal and rapid movement. forgotten and never there.)
Your heart is your anchor 

In this wide Sargasso Sea 

So don’t let it go 
(train enters the station. underground and hidden to the outside city of planted greenery; like you. unbelonging. you sit in the empty train with all your ghosts. beer bottle in hand, frustration at your finger tips.)
No 
(lighter is clicked.)

(Song: Anchor – Giants Must Fall. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys.)