Saturday, June 2, 2018

Inlet …Outlet

When we as a family finally decided on a Monday morning that we were going to take him home that was as if the once silent rhythmic heartbeat became unusually apparent to the hearing from our own set of ears. The now strange vibrations slowly making us realize that the suffering of our father had to stop one day and we would need strength for any emotional punches that would sway us away. Then, a thick layer of tenseness clouded everywhere, casting us as puppets on a small cardboard show not conscious on our next move, just waiting for the hands from above to move the strings attached to the body.

Once the doctor briefed us on the standard operating procedures and equipment we would need at our home, we knew things would not be the same anymore. He told us we had about two days. By noon, the EMTs came into the oncology ward and carried my father onto the stretcher with the help of the on-duty nurses. Once they gently placed him into the ambulance, we told them to turn off the siren when on the freeway.

I remembered a chain of swollen looking clouds alongside layers of sheeting rain gently descending as if the angels in the sky orchestrated the heavenly bursting of tears for the loss of my father; the rhythmic sound of creaky car vipers, which I had memorized each time it sways from left to right and back to left. I would tap my fingers onto the stained windowpane of rain droplets for each movement it made. *tap…tap…tap*. Bitter Americano scent aired the vehicle whilst I was differentiating whether had my faucet of tears opened owing to my then burned tongue from the blazing beverage or the fact that I do not have a dad anymore.

At that point, I was so confused with what would become in the coming days. I repeatedly kept saying in my mind ‘We are taking you home, Dad’. It felt like I had swallowed a thousand of needles down my throat. 

The funeral went smoothly as planned although peculiar, as we were unfamiliar with the practices.
We carried on doing things with simplicity where we accepted not all-traditional custom, which is what dad wanted. Lastly, to have my dad’s ashes scattered into the sea.

A fragment of a dream I had recently- It was a scorching Sunday afternoon in a small rural town in Johor. We were at my mother’s hometown in a small corner house.  My dad was in his mid 30s, thick black hair, wearing a pair of golden brown glasses of huge frame from the 90s carrying Roxanne’s newborn whilst sitting on the sofa fast asleep. It felt so original and…so right.

My dad unfortunately did not get to meet his first grandson but I know he is watching us from above. I miss you, dad. May you be well and happy wherever you are.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Panic Attack

As I walk into the old yellow architectural building, I recognised its never-ending rainbow coloured traditional lanterns dangling onto thick black electrical wires and the balcony naturally tied with thousand of white moonflowers. I could hear faint sobbing from above like a lone wolf howling under a full moon on top of the highest cliff because of grief. Then actual tears fell right onto my working shoes. I couldn't help but look into the unstarry sky and so happened I saw you. You were tearing up at the edge of the balcony on the fourth floor with all the lights in your room dimmed like an abandoned lighthouse seeking for comfort from its keeper. 'Was I the keeper?', I thought.

Cigarette ashes were gently dropping like snow from winter and you were up there with a Audrey Hepburn crystallised posture with a damped cigarette pursed at the side of your cherry lips. Makeup and eyeliner smudged everywhere. I could tell you were slowly becoming a game of Jenga where piece by piece of the high rise wooden blocks were slowly being pushed or pulled away.

Your saliva like spider web, they formed like moist silver thread, dripping like coffee brew onto the ground floor. The moon had made diamonds around your cheeks and I wanted to blow dry those away so that no one could see them...except for me because I have this theory that to see people when they were vulnerable is to actually see the true depth of a person's feelings. I wanted that to be revealed more often by people like an open book but hiding from it had always been the better side.

I've heard your mumbles before which I know it was your said prayer as a Catholic and I also know that these things happened late at night. I assumed you thought no one would noticed you because you were slowly floating away once that state comes back.

Trust me. I have carefully thought of unlimited ways to give you my life jacket because I know you were drowning with an anchor weighing about 200 tonnes strapped around both of your ankles. But I waited, I waited because I always had this fixed thought that a sign will appear when a person needed help. I tracked the time every single day and recorded a log for the times you went being the way you were and started analysing but then I discovered..I was like that too.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Peculiar dream

I saw this hot air balloon dancing gracefully in the bed of artificial cotton candy clouds under a lilac coloured sky. It was as though it was swaying to the sound of wolves howling from Mount Talihina. If you wait until it was pitch dark, you could see elves practicing their ceremonial dance around a bonfire to invite the newborns from the kingdom come and when it was dawn, an old empty train would passed by from another town, floating on Lake Cabaria where diamonds would appear on the surface of the waters created by a flickering star above.

I pictured myself lying on top of the hot air balloon for a few minutes where I could day dream for the entire day and when it was at night, I would try to count the stars with one eye closed. For some reason, I began thinking that I was a 5 year old pretending to be a pirate while counting endless of stars illuminating. I would pretend that the stars were treasures in the sky, far from the deep sea ocean where it does not involved waters.

I have a fear of water since I was 8. I was at Frankston beach and salt water came rushing into my mouth then the next thing I know was lying down on a sandy beach. I believed the sun had saved me from drying out the water in my body.

I just remembered not too long ago, I was a ferris wheel carrying a bunch of fifth grade kids in my nervous system. All of them had cotton candies in their hands and were laughing so hard.....

Right now, I was lying down dried grass and 'The Cure" is playing on stage. As I got up from deep rest, droplets of rain starts to fall from heavenly sky. I felt I was struck by lightning and going deaf by the sound of thunder. Then, I started shivering and left the festival..forever.

Then I started singing this song my dad used to sing

Monday, September 12, 2016

Why are you so far from saving me? - Psalm 22 

Saturday, May 28, 2016


''Everything that you think is important isn't. Everything that you think is unimportant is.''

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bees and Sunflowers

I was at Chapter 9: The Talent Show of an undisclosed 1940s novel which I had stolen from an old fashioned bookstore at the corner of Claymore street, just opposite of Claire Street. The cover of the book was plain dark blue with the title of the book engraved on it in golden sunlight as ‘All About the Stars’, the pages were light coffee brown and had bright orange stains at the edge of all pages as if it had survived from a burning library. I pictured myself as a king-size bee succumbed to a pool of irresistible sweet nectar from a golden sunflower, having already read three chapters midway of a 4 hours train ride journey to the other side of town to meet someone special to me which I had not seen for years.

As I got up from my reading mantra, I caught a long glimpse of my surrounding in this old  train travelling to Doncaster. A grumpy old man was swearing at everyone at the end of the train, half of the riders were pretending to sleep so that others would not disturb them except for the ticket inspectors of course, there was a young couple kissing their hearts out under the no kissing sign, there was a guy speaking loudly on the phone in french because he had missed his flight due to the usual delay of the trains into the city and a group of kids who suddenly started dancing on the blue cushioned seats to a R&B song by a local artist played on the train through the ancient tech speakers.

Then I switched my attention to this bubbly little girl who started dancing where she was, beside her mother on the other side of the train just after she  had observed the same bunch of kids dancing but as soon as the group of kids left the train to their destination, she immediately stopped and sat down quietly without showing any signs of thrill. I looked at her and asked myself, 'Why do humans behave this way?', I wanted to tell her 'Don't stop, dance if you feel like it'. The special thing about mothers is that they have natural instinct to their children. I noticed the mother was keeping an eye on her since the very beginning simultaneously reading the papers about a politician who hung himself. The mother elegantly put down the newspaper on her lap and calmly took out her set of house keys that has a plastic flashlight attached to it.

She intentionally knocked the flashlight onto her right palm as though the batteries were dysfunctional and with that gesture, the lights perhaps will be brighter even before turning it on. She pressed the button and shined a ray of light upon her child as though it was a blessing, to make her child to feel better and did. Her child quickly closed her eyes tightly and produced a smile so natural that everyone wanted it. 

The mother kissed her daughter’s head and continued to whisper into her daughter's ears ,  If you can’t find the sunshine, then go on be the sun, Rosie.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Seeking Rest

We were a group of freedom fighters ready to uncover hidden gems on a clandestine island. We were lost souls seeking rest from one of Mother Nature’s place of birth. We were pieces of a memory ready to be written in journals/letters for the first time about our travels. Well, there is something about travelling and exploring that gives us that adrenaline rush that moves us and during that time, it felt like we needed to do this forever and ever till we grow old.

We were thirsty for that anxiety when looking down at the rippled waters of the ocean from above the high rocks, that calm pleasure of having to watch the best view of what God has to offer to our blessed souls and also not forgetting the small things; whether it was that cold breeze touching our faces from the high mountains, the smell of rainwater from the waterfall or the honoured battle scars all over our bodies.

There were days when the conversations had gone so deep into the ocean of thoughts. We were all immersed in the deep blue waters of dialogues during the day and night. The exchanges we had with one another gave all of us that intangible sentimental light above our heads like halos on top of the head of guardian angels. We could talk about anything and everything that comes to our mind. The ideas and philosophical differences we have shared amongst each other during the long drive or scenic places had made us vulnerable to the many things life can offer if we just take a chance.