Thursday, September 30, 2010

This Thursday

I got up and took my hour and a half long bus ride to the office in Sunset Way.
Just like I used to, for three and a half weeks straight during Youth Matters' rehearsals, I picked myself up two small chicken pies and an ice-coffee. The only difference being that it wasn't accompanied with a smoke.
I sat down, opposite Thomas and his Chee Chong Fun-
Breakfasting in this office for the last time.

Everything feels the same in such an impossibly different way.

I'm not particularly resistant to change,
I'm not.
And I suppose everything will always feel too fast for my liking.

But I can pack.
I'm good at packing. After all, three, four times over, I've had to pack my entire life into cardboard boxes.
I can do this.

The movers are here.
They always come a just a wee bit early-
and never, when we feel ready.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The rebirth of Kym

I cant believe I'm crying right now. I can't, I just can't.
I hate that I work myself up to trusting something, so, so impossibly much. And I hate that it fails on me.
Oh Dear God,
I was NOT meant to live in this era!
I was supposed to be living in tree houses, swinging about and talking in animal language. I was NOT supposed to be dealing with buttons and spreadsheets and passwords and codes and things that make you trust it.
I was not meant to be living in this frikkin' era.

And I called Starhub, panicky and in tears.
To be informed that I will have a brand new phone, that everything is and will be wiped out.

It's fine. It's fine, it's fine, it's fine.
It will be okay.
Nevermind all the pictures and videos; from work, from travel, from lazy weekends.
Nevermind the messages, haven't I almost by-hearted them by now? (Oh God, the loss of these saved messages are really really painful. Ohmygawd)
The contacts will fix themselves eventually.
And I will get over the loss of my messages. OHMYWORD, THIS BIT IS SO PAINFUL!
But I will suck it up and

In any case,
I've been made to feel better already(:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

it was early this year, i do believe

And so I looked at me, at you,
At how I was beginning to feel and I how I already felt.
And I thought-
Usually, I'd be too lazy to think about this.
Usually, I'd be too lazy to feel the way I do.
Usually, it'd be about time for me to take my leave.
Except something felt different with you, impossibly so.
And I distinctly remember thinking to myself-
When all of this comes to a grinding halt, when real life comes knocking,
When it's time for her to leave and time for me to go,
This will hurt.
This will hurt in all the most fantastically unimaginable ways.

But I wanted to, even if it was just for that tiny space of time.
Somehow, I wanted to. I wanted to give as much as you would take,
Feel as much as I was allowed to, even if it meant having none of me left to hold on to in the end.

And so I did.

Except, you didn't take.
Let me rephrase that,
It's not that you didn't take, it's that you didn't drain me out,
taking what you can just because I might let you.

For some reason,
I can love you and not feel like I am losing myself,
Like there's nothing left of myself to hold on to.

And it's refreshingly different, it is.
When I finally met someone with whom I felt it okay to empty myself out for,
There wasn't anything she wanted from me.

And that's how I figured it was more than just feeling an immense amount for you,
And this,
Is how different you've made things.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

i am tired

And mildly irritated at a lot of things around me.

People who take things for granted,
Others who cling on desperately to people or things,
Some who refuse to grow balls,
Who run about in circles, chasing after their own tails.

None of it even has anything to do with me.
For the most part anyways
Yet I find myself irked, and annoyed.

My morning was very nice actually.
I very much liked it-
Waking early, breakfasting, church at half eight, half ten and then half eleven.

But something feels a bit off.
I'm physically uncomfortable by something I can't put my finger on.
And what I want to do, more than anything,
Is find that spot I used to sit at sometimes, behind rows of old houses, right by a tiny shallow drain.

In the last hour and a half, I've felt like everything's fake and plastic.
Like we're swimming in a honey-thick pool of pretense and a collection of masks everyone's picking from.

And that's what's draining me out right now-
Feeling like I am just absolutely drowning in things that aren't even real.

I don't like how this feels,
Not one bit.

Sundays, a lifetime ago.

It was white, with blue patterns on it. Sleeveless, it had a wide strap on each shoulder instead and an extra bit that rested off-shoulder, on each side.
It was my favourite dress for the longest time, and I used to wear it to church a lot.
I had short hair, my skin was dark. Scar on my left eyebrow from being daft when mommy was pregnant with Janice, and three moles on my face- one small one near my jawline, another slightly above, and one that was a tiny bit bigger, on the right side of my face where my hair stopped in front of my ear.

Sunday school was in containers then.
Janice (who wasn't my sister) and Dezarae would always sit together somewhere centre of the room (if you could call it that), Beatrice and Shiyun would usually be against the walls on the either side of the room, nearer the front (they didn't always sit together), Keith, Earnest and the other boys would be against the wall on the right side of the room, except a lot further back.
Me, I'd sit with Ashley, at the back, more or less opposite the boys,
Leaning against the walls on the left side, right next to the door. We'd hold hands behind our backs and pay attention to what was being taught.
One particular lesson talked about trust, and volunteers would go up and get blindfolded and have their best friend lead them to the back of the classroom.
Keith went up, and picked Ashley to go with him because they were best friends.

Every Sunday, for as long as I could remember,
I would have tea that they served in the cafeteria, and fishballs selling at a dollar for a stick. Each stick had four, and Janice and I would share a stick.
When we were moved out of the containers, mommy started teaching sunday school.
She taught the eight year olds, which meant Sarah, Sophil, Samuel, Stephas, Inez, among others.
All of us were in the Joybells- the children's choir.
On one Sunday of the month, some of my classmates would get to leave Sunday School early for Holy Communion. Yoyos were the craze, girls became allergic to boys and I started getting an entire stick of fishballs to myself.

And that was how it was, for the longest time.
Tea, fishballs and growing up.
I'd play (or try to) soccer in the tiny playground round the back, in my favourite Sunday dress matched with frilly socks and black shoes from Bubblegummers.

I'd sit on the four-seater swing set on the other end of the playground, while soccer was going on and Mothers yelled at their sons for messing up the Sunday clothes.

In time, I learnt that Holy Communion wasn't about eating a biscuit or a white wafer,
I started eating savoury food for breakfast, and an entire meal at that. It was where I first had Nasi Lemak and made it part of my Sunday routine.
I discovered the sanctuary of the library, playroom and the prayer room.

When worship stopped being cool, I would attend the adult service from the Gallery, and then slip back in to the worship for the tweens who were more keen on chucking paper balls at each other.

The lyrics of songs stopped being flashed on an overhead projector, and instead came up on screens with backgrounds made up of colours that faded in and out of each other.
Joybells missed one practice because we couldn't find a room, then another, and another, and another until we were on a temporary hiatus that we never came back from.
I started appreciating alone-time, loved worship, and wondered why I always seemed to fit better with people who weren't my age.
I grew, and starting needing, started searching even before I knew it.
And then I got tired of not quite fitting in, or only feeling like I fit with the ones who were just a bit older.

It's been years now, and I've gone to a different church for the last six years.
Going to churches (any sort, as long as it's a church building) always has me missing the one I grew up in.
I still love hanging out with Sarah and Sophil and the rest of the lot, whenever I do.
Ashley's still someone I can talk to, and he still feels like a close friend although we haven't really chatted all that much or all that regularly over the years.

The backgrounds on which song lyrics are flashed can now move! And behind
"Praise Him above, ye heavenly host" there's something that looks like running water.
The tea still tastes exactly the same, fishballs and nasi lemak are still sold in the cafeteria. My friends are on the worship team, and so am I, in my own church.

My cell group leader (who's name I've never remembered) married one of the friends I met at youth camp, there isn't a vast difference amongst the age groups in the Youth Ministry.
Some of us have gotten married, some of us will, some of us (the older ones) already have kids.

I've got new scars, my shoes aren't shiny and black.
When I say hello, people take a while before going,
"Wow, you're so grown up now!"

The swing set in the playground is still there, although the bits and pieces around the playground have changed and been moved about.

It's still a four-seater, that swing set, except it's much smaller than I remember.
It can only fit two and a half of me, when just a while back, six of us could clamber on.
Everything's still the same, despite so much having changed.
I'm not sure how that works, but it does. The cafeteria still smells the same, people I grew up with say Hello like they've been doing it every week.

I wonder when the swing-set shrank,
When we swapped out shiny black shoes for strappy sandals that made us four inches taller.

Everytime I go back, it feels like I'm stepping back into a place from a lifetime ago.
And I am.
We've missed out on each other's lives, but we've carried on all the same.

And so, I seat myself on that four-seater swing set that's now only big enough for two,
I sip tea that's tasted the same all these years,
And I sway quietly, back and forth.
The leaves moving about happily, even the dragging of chairs in the sunday school classrooms producing a somewhat musical sound.
It feels the same, the comfortable solitude that I've had on this swing set.

I never thought it'd ever change, when it did.
But we never think things'll change, do we?

But it's still here, this four-seater swing set.
And I might not be in my favourite Sunday dress anymore, but
I am still here.
Today, at least.

I am.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tell me, tell me, tell me

Because I love the way she does-
Thoughtfully, like she's not recapping for the sake of it.
In detail, inclusive of the occasional laugh she had during.
Like it matters.
The way it matters now, and will, even tomorrow.

It's not like I'm privvy to everything, or that I absolutely must know. Some days are better than others, some days can be talked about while other days would rather be blocked out for a bit.
But what I love, is how we talk.
Not so much the content as the way we do.

And we don't, we don't really have to I suppose.
I, for one, figure that my days must sound like a boring continuous stream of things that pretty much sound the same. I quite remember talking about work a lot more before, but I seem a tad less inclined to these days, love it as I do.
It's refreshing, hearing about it from her. Whether it's work or friends or family or sitting around playing with lego.

I wonder if that'll stop, eventually.
(Not like I've been mulling it over and fretting, it's just a thought that occurred to be as I went about this post)
You know, if perhaps one or the other will stop asking, or just not feel much like talking. Not that one will always need to talk, and not necessarily always about work.
Just, well, in general.

If maybe one or the other (sometimes I feel I might just be in danger of this) goes on endlessly about themselves, tiring the other out with an overload of information. Or if, there doesn't seem to be a reason to ask anymore.
Isn't that what always happens, over time?

I've never actually stopped to think about things like this before, come to think of it. With anyone.
How odd.

It's the age old, "Charis, you think to much" thing going on. Not that it's any sort of pressing thing weighing on my mind.

Maybe it's because I'm comfy, maybe it's the way things seem to fall into place.
But I figure, when we stop talking about work, or projects at hand, we'd likely easily find new things to tell each other about. That's just me being presumptuous but it certainly feels that way.

Like I said,
it's not so much what we talk about, as it is the way we're able to.

So tell me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

This leaving business

It leaves me standing on shaky ground.
but I'm not one to jump off a ship just because people think, or say it's sinking.

I can almost understand though,
Really I can.

Sometimes, we need to be selfish. We need to think about ourselves.
After all, one needs to sort out oneself before beginning to be any sort of contribution to another.

I wonder about myself though.
I've talked about leaving for so long, and I was supposed to,
had it all planned and set.
But then I didn't, I haven't. I can't seem to, and there're always reasons to stay.
Or at least,
I seem to find myself reasons to stay.

At the beginning of the year, I was just seven months away from leaving.
And somehow, I've pushed that back by ten, eleven months? How in the world did that happen?
Sometimes, I'm frustrated at myself for it.
But then, honestly, there's been a part that's wanted to stay. I mean, if I didn't want to stay so much, then I'd have left by now, no?

When I signed that contract most recently,
I wasn't just agreeing to terms and conditions. I wasn't just saying that I'd stay til the contract was up.
When I signed, I signed it knowing full well that I would stay until I had everything wrapped up, clean and shelved for future reference.
I signed it knowing that I would not be able to leave things hanging.
I signed it, knowing that even though I wasn't supposed to come home with my family end of this year, that I would.

People are different.
I want to go after what I want, and I will.
But not by dropping something like this. It's not anyone's fault if they choose to do differently,
But I guess, well I sort of feel it a bit unfair.

Yes I think it's good for you, yes I think you need to be selfish.
Yes, I think you should go. Go out there and get what you need, especially if you can't get what you need here.
But I'd be lying through my teeth if I said we didn't need just a little bit of help picking up the pieces you'll leave behind.

It's not that I'm resentful, please don't think that.
I guess I don't quite know how to take this,
And I'm just wishing it were easier. Not on me, it hardly has anything to do with me really. But on the ones who're fumbling, running to catch the falling breakables before they shatter.

I will leave too.
I will leave because I have to.
But maybe, just maybe, I'd have left enough of myself behind for you to keep going.

And hopefully,
That will be enough.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

you won't be seventeen forever,

And we can get away with this tonight

"And we tossed the wig up, and it hit the fan and got flung out the window.
We had to scoop it up from the window ledge with a dustpan, and while doing that,
Our DM walked past."

"The boys in my class don't always pick the nice smelling deodrants, sometimes the pick the stinky ones and it sucks."

"It's really sad, the boys in my class are smarter than the girls."

"Hey remember that Chem teacher we had? The one with the most bizarre eyebrows?"

I miss being younger and in school and all the stupid things that come with.
It's sort of sad, how everything I say is in the past tense and everything I hear,
is what my kids are going through right now.
Never thought I'd miss it, you know.
And it's funny. In a sad sort of way.

When I was that age, I never thought I'd find myself wishing to be that age again.
But I do.
I'm tired and worn, and although I know I had my fun,
it's one of those random periods of time that I feel ghastly old and suddenly want to run about in the carpark with my hands flailing about.

I will shut up now, and have myself a pre-dinner nap.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You, are.

For Sunday picnics, fresh juice, bare feet and dried leaves that'll get caught in our hair.
It's enough, it all is.

I'll try not to use the dryer on days when it's sunny enough, empty out the dishrack on a regular basis,
and promise,
to always have jafacakes and digestives in the cupboard.
Just in case.

Lick batter off wooden spoons and eat ice-cream out of tubs.
Be an entire party, and a mess of one at that, all by ourselves.

It's enough.
At least, it's enough for me. All of it.

And even without all of that,
it still would be

enough, that is.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


When I was younger, I'd count down the days til LA.
189 days, 188, 187.
I'd go through exams, my day to day and hold on to the days I had left-
100, 99, 98 just 98 days more, I'd say to myself.

It was a welcome break, a while in the life I was always sure was supposed to be mine.

The last time though was a tad different.
It felt more like I was living, and not like I was just living with (or in other words, holidaying). I had mixed feelings, the last I went back.
What with all the things that had promised to come through and hadn't.
I was frustrated, impatient, torn, hurting, drained.
I didn't count down, but it'd be unfair to say that I didn't enjoy myself.
Because I did, very much.

80, 89, 88, 87, 86
I am worried.
Because there's a lot to do at work, it hardly feels like I can leave.
There are programs that will run, and that will be in the planning.
I don't think it's fair to throw people a wobbly and have them clear the mess,
And I'm not doing that because this has been in the plan,
I wish I could help a bit more.

At the same time,
There's an entire To Do list set for my doing while I'm over there.
I'm enrolled in The Acting Corps and will start my course four days after touching down in LA.
I will get my driving sorted, fix up all the things that need to be fixed up.
A lot of it is prepping,
A lot of it is real.

I am a mix of excitement and trepidation.
80, 79, 78, 77 days
It's different this year. I won't have that Christmas Party I have every year without fail,
And Bird won't have hers either.
About the holiday seasons, I cannot even begin to think about how it makes me feel.

On one hand, I've always loved the feel of Christmas round the corner.
Wherever I am actually, because it reminds me of LA.
The smells, the vibe, the sounds, the feel.
And when I'm there and doing my Christmas shopping, it is pure unadulterated joy.
The bustle, the everything.
The everything.
Sometimes it feels like I'm so happy, what with the cold in my nose and the christmas smells all caught up in my hair, so happy that I might actually cry.

"Might wanna rethink where we'll be in the long run." Mommy said to me the other day.
I don't know.
I don't know what to feel.

76,75, 74 days-
For the most part, I'm excited.
But there's a lot of meaning tied in. The stepping into, the carving out.
73, 73 days.

For the first time, I'm wondering about what I'd be missing out on,
And not just with work, although that is one indeed.
I'm wondering about what I'm leaving behind, and all the things that will/will not, may/may not happen.

It's strange because,
Before even boarding the plane, I'm turning round and looking behind me.
72 days,
72 days.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I went blading tonight.
But Bird,
It's not the same without one of my best friends in the world.

Scenario Improv.

Then I continued to write.
Expand write.
My way of speaking aloud, putting my thoughts
in some kind of order.

We talked. And God, it felt like it was taking quite a bit
out of me. For some reason.

Expand reason.
It's the first tiff we've had. And I was taken aback by how I was feeling.
Still am, to a point.

Expand feeling.
The realization that I, for the most part, would
otherwise be too lazy to feel. Would usually get annoyed
at myself for even beginning to feel so much.

Expand much.
Acknowledging that it is an issue, for one.
And taking in the reaction from different parties.
And deciding how I feel and what I'd like to do.

Expand do.
Usually? Walk away.
This time, I wanted to stay.
Uncomfortable as it made me feel. I wanted to stay. I wanted
to fix it.
I was surprised at myself for wanting that.

I think I love her.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

and i run, past memories, past would bes and what ifs, but i can't get past the reach of pain

She wanted to run.
She wanted to run and run and run; until the tightness in her chest burned, until her head pounded, until her legs gave way beneath her.
She wanted to run;
Outrun the regret, the impossibility of undoing what she'd done.

She wanted to run away, so that, honestly, she wouldn't be running away.
But she also wanted to stay,
Except staying, meant running away from herself.

She's staying, planning out her schedule, writing out To Dos.
She figures she'll find the happy middle;
The spaces she needs to crawl into for things to make sense.

But then, it gets changed-
All of it.

And really, there's nothing she can do. After all, she chose to stay.
She chose to stay.
Didn't she?

So she'll do it-
Full-powered work. On a day she'd really much rather not.

But you see,
When she chose to stay, she chose to stay in this life.
"This is real life," she'd said to herself after her meeting that first night.
And she chose it.
She chose it over you.

So really, it can't possibly be so surprising that this came up, can it?

But oh,
Then why, why does it hurt so much?
Why does it feel like she's giving you up all over again?

And why does it feel like something inside her is ripping itself apart,
Over and over and over again,
When all that's happening,
Is the real life she signed up for in the first place?

every inch of my skin,
Is crying for your hands


I felt it coming, the bubbling of feeling that I knew,
I knew would have me doubling up, collapsing.
I knew, and God I tried to brace myself for it; but I should know better by now that it never works.

It caught me unaware, and I found I swayed slightly on my feet.
And then, I can feel myself crumbling; I'm a complete mess on the inside when just a little bit ago, I was all held together.
And I couldn't turn around just then, I couldn't, it was all spilling itself out.
The contents of the box finding its way against the lid and me,
I couldn't get to it in time to keep it shut with the weight of myself.

And I'm burning inside, burning. But I can make it go away for a bit,
I always do. always.
At least until I'm alone.

But then,
I don't count on her reading me so well.

And I find, I can't quite hold on to anything, let alone myself anymore.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"I'll be home for Christmas," it goes, "you can count on me"

She's on the couch, her body curled around a smaller one that's seated her lap. Her back is against the armrest, her legs tucked under, the soles of her feet facing the telly.
she presses her lips to the crown of the tiny girl's head,
Brushes wisps of hair away from the girls face and tucks it behind her ears.

The late November air has found its way through the blinds, and Michael Buble's bonus Christmas CD is playing in the background.
The walls are lined with shelves- DVDs, VCDs and Video Tapes arranged according to Genre and within each genre, alphabetical order.
The light quilt covering the two of them is a deep, velvety red- knitted by her mother.

She looks up as the door to the room creaks open, smiles and mouths a hello to her as the girl in her lap stirs and settles against the older one's chest. Her tiny hand unfurls to reveal a smooth small stone, with the markings of a ladybird painted on.
"She made this for you today," she says, taking the stone out of the little girl's hand.

The newcomer seats herself down gingerly, careful not to wake the little one.
Outside, there's the sound of sparrows, of the neighbour's sprinklers going off. There's the sharp ring of a bicycle bell and the crunch of gravel as someone's car pulls into their driveway.

She reaches over and rests her hand on the other's knee; Palm-up. She readjusts herself, inching closer just the slightest bit,
And slips her hand into the other's; their fingers fitting comfortably into spaces.

The early evening smells like Christmas, sounds like home.
In other homes there's the clink of glasses, the clatter of silverware as drawers are pulled open, the sizzle of oil in pans and the breath of cans being opened.

It's almost dinner, almost. And there'll be time for that.
But in the meantime,
They sit, with the weight of a tiny girl between them, to the calm that is Michael Buble's Christmas crooning.
They sit, in the comfort of the couch they'd picked out together,
With work miles away.
They sit,
in the familiarity that is each other, and the joy of a ladybug-looking stone.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

rounding corners as familiar as the soles of your feet

This is why I don't like school breaks-
It destroys your momentum, catches you off-guard, leaves you grappling with an entirely new world- and for how long?
This time, just one week.

I'm not coming to a grinding halt, but there's bits of me that's asking myself if I know where I'm going.
Don't want to wander around and find you've spent your entire life just,
Going in circles, now do you?

I missed Muay Thai so much, well, been missing it so much, that I spent me some time shadowing.
The term "fits like a glove" does no, in any way, make sense.
In my last five minutes or so, I pulled them on. My gorgeous pair of gloves that I used to swear would never see a layer of dust on it (clearly that failed).
Yeah they fit, yes they were comfy.
But fit like a glove?
I could've crammed my hand into a cookie jar and they might've felt the same.
Familiar yes, but not like second skin.
Not the way it used to feel.

And I'd kick, and find I wasn't balanced properly.
At some point, dripping sweat, my eyes finding focal points to train themselves on,
I found myself on the line between frustration and fury.

Do you know how it feels?
Do you have any, any idea at all how it might feel?

It's like getting on stage and not knowing stage right from stage left,
Not knowing if I am down stage left or up stage right.
It's like being thrown into an improv scene and then, finding that I have nothing to offer, nothing to give,
Nothing to build on. Despite all the years I've done this,
Despite feeling like it's second nature.

It would be like getting on a bike and not remembering how to cycle it.
It would be like struggling to mount a horse, after more than a decade of doing it unthinkingly. And then getting on top and finding that you don't know which lead you're supposed to be on or that you barely remember how to even start moving.
I felt that way this evening.
All these things that used to come so easily, almost like second nature
Take a step back from it and then you find yourself struggling to even keep your balance.

It broke my heart, to see how far away I'd got from well, this.
But there'll be more of this.
There will

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Live like we're dying, Mister Brightside

Personally, I don't fully agree with living like we're dying.
(Sorry Jay was making me listen to it and I've begun this rant.
On a random, minor digression-
Someone asked me about how I name my tech stuff. Well my stuff, because I don't just name the tech ones. I think it's been mentioned that naming your tech stuff is the new thing. Which is funny if you're one who's always named your stuff.
That of course includes Penny the Pillow and Barry the Bolster. Okay, not really. Ahmahgad! I am SUCH an ENFP! Digression over.)

So uh,
YES that's right-
I don't entirely believe in living like you're dying.
I think it's quite sad if life is so transient for a person, and not something you can hold on to for just long enough to smile at.
I should know, about half-lives or lives that are so transient-
I've lived like that for let's see, just about the sixteen years I've spent in Singapore.

I mean yeah, go try new shit and stuff, go jump off buildings if it gives you such a rush.
But don't keep feeling like you need to seek out things to live, or to make you feel like you're living. Because then you're always going to be trying to fill a space that just can't.

I think one should be happy.
It's simple.
I don't think one should waste time on things that tire you or annoy you.
Why meet up with that classmate who used to spit in your hair just because it's been a decade? If you don't feel like it, don't do it- that's what I say.

Take things as they come, and when it does, appreciate it.

Okay. Rant over!

In other news, my teacher's day was most lovely!
It was quite unplanned I'll admit. But then that's the fun in taking things as they come no? (Refer to above rant)
So everything after lunch was most unexpected but very nice.
Including the gorgeous amount of time I had to read.

I'm fantastically happy I've hooked up with Jodi Picoult again.
I haven't been reading in months.
And for someone's who's a bookworm and fuhreaking proud of it,
It's most uncharacteristic I must say.

But yay! Decent reading!

So I'm at Clementi Town right now.
My teacher's day present right after teacher's day?
Mock assessment.