The Santa Claus Theory

Loud Thoughts Voiced Out

I didn’t grow up with Santa. I don’t celebrate Christmas. I don’t know the story. But I like the concept. I’ve always wanted the presents and the tree. When I was 16, I went to Santa Anita Mall in California and took a picture with Santa Claus. My first one ever. I now have that picture on a keychain tucked safe inside a box. A priced possession. That’s what I think Christmas is about.

In kindergarten, my teacher would ask us to bring a wrapped gift from our parents to put under a tree so during our last class before Christmas, one of the staff members could dress up as Santa Claus and give it back to us as presents. It was the most wonderful time of the year. Technically, it’s a present from me, for me and yet it felt unbelievably amazing. But can every child have that?

I have parents that took…

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~This post is written prior enlistment, and I have set it to be posted after enlistment.~

I think by now I would have realised my pool of skills inevitably pales in comparison with the rest, and finding a platform or edge that distinguishes myself in a company of all-rounded virtuosos is a tough but not insurmountable feat. And my journey for self-discovery continues to extend itself.

Otherwise, I am zealous about my confinement weeks coming to an end; I am going to be released soon!

Sentiments

I figured I need to change my perspectives and at least try attain nirvana. Because this is just the beginning of an excruciating, dull, all slow-paced (how ironical) journey. Which essentially means finding life in a new community, starting from scratch, and embracing everything and anything.

Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.

” – Nathan W. Morris

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~This post is written prior enlistment, and I have set it to be posted after enlistment.~

I have never seen so many dicks gathered together in one place – the bathing squatters – and no, I do not have such a fetish or any fetishes. I’m sure by now I would have bonded really well with my bunk mates in my platoon/company. We have been through one week, and this would mean we will be released real soon. I make it sound as if I am living in a jail even though I am not…

That said, I wonder how life is like across the island. I wonder if my nephew has started walking. I wonder if someone I know, who has touched my bald head, won lottery. I wonder if the bed I used to sleep in was used.

I suppose I will be feeling happy. I still miss the island. I shall see it soon.

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~This post is written prior enlistment, and I have set it to be posted after enlistment.~

By time you read this, I would have already have my ass ship to Tekong Island. And most definitely, I long for home. I long for my life being a student whose only woe is to study. Maybe this is an indicator of my regret for not working hard enough. I long to be under the shelter of a home, my home. But it is contradictory to have such a feeling because I am home; I am in Singapore, the land where I was given birth to. Wouldn’t I have felt that sense of familiarity as I would have felt in my 5-rooms HDB flat?  I long for the breeze, the people, the noise, the trees and everything that I have pleasantly ignored while walking home at my estate. How foolish of me to rant on something so minuscule in size and so inconsequential in nature …

I bet I would have been worn out by now, and the truth is even before enlistment, I already am. So I guess this is it.

Insomnia

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The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” — Marcel Proust

(Photo Credits: Ruiyi, visit her Instagram here)

***

My bed is already warm as I am furiously typing this piece. I cannot sleep. And I guess the reason so would be the mere fact that enlistment is tomorrow, or rather in a few hours time. I am both excited and at the same time dreading it, which is comical because a few months ago when I received the enlistment letter, I was positive that I will not enjoy such a feeling except for reluctance. (Read more here.) I am excited because I am entering a new phase in life, but at the same time dreading it because I am apprehensive to giving up with the way I am living comfortably now. I do still think that the innate fear exists, and it will probably detonate and resonate tomorrow/later when I see my loved ones leaving the island.

Some argues that such an experience is something that all Singaporean sons will go through, and I agree. I admit that I have been sheltered, way too sheltered in fact. And such results in a dearth of experience in dealing with something such as homesickness, which requires a need to swiftly muster every iota of courage to overcome it so that there will be reassurance. That said, I’d think it is appropriate to acknowledge somethings before I forget them:

  1. I will no longer wake up in a bed of roses and I should get use to that.
  2. I will no longer have the luxury of a time to dilly dally and I should get use to that.
  3. I will no longer need to starve myself to save money (because I am paid and I will be fed) and I should get use to that. 

I shall list three because anymore I will lose control. There are countless questions I have in mind. For instance, How will life be? How will my buddy be like? How will my parents cope with my absence? Why am I doing this? When can I write? When will I be able to book out? How long does it take for me to slim down and get a 6 packs (FUCK YOU, MIKE CHANG)?

At the very least, I have written all the letters that I want to write, and I have completed most of the stuff on my bucket list, and I do not seem to have any regrets. Well maybe if you include my inability to dine at that expensive SEA Aquarium Cora restaurant, then it is a regret. I have already mailed out individuals letters to some, who will be receiving it soon and I do hope that the feelings of affection are mutual. It took me awhile but I managed my time well, I guess …

It is gratifying to see people – friends and families, wishing me the best of luck. But then, thinking back does that mean that I, myself, am so pathetic that I cannot survive in Tekong in their minds? (Okay, no more self-doubt.) It pains me greatly for people to send me off because I am afraid that I will break down, which I have already done so on the inside, and the greater the number of people, the likelihood of doing so increases. There is no way to which I will show that vulnerable side, which will most certainly create unnecessary memories, which I want to efface. And I think it is rational to kindly reject the volunteers, who wants to come, but bring along their well wishes. That said,  I need to once again express my sincere apologies to those whom I have rejected for doing so.

***

These all might have seem like a complain, especially in the manner I write, but I am not writing to give a picturesque view of my life but rather share, as George Orwell calls it, “ Aesthetic enthusiasm“, which is my “desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed”.  This mandatory conscription thing is going to be a struggle, a rite of evolution, which happens to be exhausting, like a bout of an agonising sickness, and I am determined to overcome it.

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The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” — Marcel Proust

Gaieties

To my lovely classmates from 13s415, Debates Society, CCHMS clique, SISTERS,  童话 and many others who have made JC life tolerable. 

***

Prom night 2014, like many others, echoes the definition of subtle vanity, which happens to be an appropriate vindication. Amid the festive spirits, it was inevitable that the hall was a combination of jovialness and excitement, though there still exits an iota of awkwardness. The theme was “Hollywood”, and it definitely was a pleasant sight to see men marched into the hall with gallantness, some with their prom dates while others in the own fraternity, and the women, who were exceptionally ravishing, gracing in with elegance.

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The itinerary for the night.

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 With some of my table partners. (Credits: Candy)

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Before the food was ready, the emcee for the night, who in my honest opinion performed poorly (and I have every reason to mean this statement), started hyping the audience by splitting the hall into two different teams, and began playing games.

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The first, which was an excessively elaborated game of rock, scissors and paper, might have seen interesting initially, was in actual fact a humdrum.  IMG-20141205-WA0048

At the price of $80 dollars, we were served a buffet feast, containing noodles, sea bass, satays, rice, clam chowder, cakes, fruits and some others which I cannot recall. The food was not sumptuous but it was gratefully mediocre. (Credits: Umairah Bibi)

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A performance was prepared by our school mates.

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Undoubtedly, the most anticipated event of the night was the nomination of the prom king and queen. It was a popularity contest, pretty much like the Hunger Games, and the above candidates were elected by a special group of judges, who were our juniors. Three from each genders were elected, and each of them was given a single challenge: Catwalk.

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It was really entertaining to see one outwitting the other with a couple of shenanigans, There was one guy who pretended to be that genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, while another took out an unexpected pair of shades and paraded down the aisle, and not forgetting another making a swift disposal/strip of his blazer. The ladies were not too shabby either, it was as if they were all beauty pageants (though one of them was) and they owned the stage with greater ease than the men.

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The Angelina Jolie and Brad Pit elected.

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Lucky Draw segment, and I won nothing. Prizes includes tickets to the SEA Aquarium, Apple TV, International Buffet, Portable Charger, Polaroid and Samsung Galaxy Tab!

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The reason why I mentioned earlier that the emcee’s role sucked was primarily due to inconsistency. I don’t care whether there was not enough time, or unforeseeable events occurring, or the world is going to die, but if he was to revoke an aforementioned statement, such as the selection of leaders who help volunteer participants to games, or perhaps the one about the teams competing to win a prize, and paid no attention to it, it is likely to assume that he was doing an impromptu and was not being meticulous about it.

And now, photographs…

IMG-20141205-WA0039It is at this point that I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this dude here for helping me pick my prom attire. It wasn’t easy for the guys in class, who went out together to gather our clothes, to express our opinions as there were times where they were rather conflicting. I am glad we managed. (Credits: Hui Ting)

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I hadn’t had the chance to take a picture with my neighbour, so when he asked for one, I was more than delighted to obliged!

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Like a palette of colors, our lives have been vibrant for the past two years. And on prom night, we decided to tone it down. To embrace humility, mundaneness, and the mere fact that we are together (even though our circle here wasn’t completed) for maybe the last time...

IMG-20141205-WA0097The guys coming together and taking a picture, before half of us will be shaving their heads away and entering NS earlier than the other half. It was great to have known you all.  (Credits: Jed Yong)

IMG-20141205-WA0138CCHMS 415 Clique (Credits: Candy)   IMG-20141205-WA0162

  To my fellow debaters, you have and will be forever close, and let us all stay in touch.(Credits: Saif Ali Khan)

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I am pretty much deeply indebted to this group. We have all been through thick and thin, and it is unlikely for us from different background and classes to have known each other, but I am glad that the Fates have intertwine our threads of life together. It was great to have been able to go out with you all to Party World and sing our hearts out. (Credits: Lye Yan Hern)

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We were together at CHIJMES in 2012 for our secondary school prom, and we were reunited once more for prom in 2014. We have, in every aspects, grown and it is assuring to know that because we were definitely immature and young then.

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Green, an indicator of youth, harmony, as well as the bringing of coming adventures, renewal and compassion, brings life to an already lively night. It is in essence a daring color… 

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Just when you think a union of solidarity at prom was over, which admittedly the struggle trying to stay sober almost terminated it, it persisted and our friendship blossomed even further.

***

“I think the best gift you can give anyone, is to hold them. To hold the cracks, the flaws, the crooked will of my crooked heart. To hold the coldness against the warmness, to hold without question or care. I was born with the ineffable need to be held, and to hold.”

— Gerald Teng 

***

I was mildly astounded to have the epiphany that despite all the disagreements I had about my choice in enroll in MJC, I will still miss my time there – the laughter, the complains, the grunts, the food, the smell, the spirit, the people, the last minute efforts and, most importantly, my 17 year old self – and prom feels like an official goodbye ceremony. And it is ironical because shouldn’t the term “gaiety” describe the essence of happiness and liveliness? But I have this innate sadness, forlornness, and it pains me just to let go.  And as I am writing this segment, I am tearing, not because my head is shaved and my enlistment is the day after, but due to the reluctance to leave stagnation and maybe partially due to the Jay Chou’s ” The Longest Movie”.

I promise, however, to smile. Because that is who I am, and how I will live my life.

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***

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Recently Acquired.”