But I beg to differ. Sex doesn’t sell. Your face does. If you appeal, you’d probably climb. If you are ugly, you’d never shine. Period.
Yet, I am nowhere near anything that define(s) absolute masculinity. It’s a battle between head versus heart where knowing and feeling have become blurred lines – a grey area where I am stuck between boulders of seclusion, inclusion, and probably my right hand.
Life has been slow, it’s excruciating. Nothing fully satisfy, but I’d trade any iota of satisfaction for a decent sleep. You know, it’s the one that doesn’t involve dozing off to lethargy from the late night Tinder swiping and inconsistent, half-hearted replies.
Instagram has become a portfolio and no longer a platform to share my life. Everything is experience-centric. I guess, at this moment, portfolio is life and I am thirsty, terribly so too.
The year is ending. A new one beckons. It’s the same thing; I haven’t really progress, have I?
Today, I saw a group of old ladies having a meal. I supposed a scrumptious spread was sprawled on the white, circular ceramic table at Toast Box. I could catch whiffs of coconut milk, lingering spices and notable hints of coffee beans, a blend I was all too familiar with. I knew, for sure, that these were the quintessential scents of the ever popular breakfast staples: Nasi Lemak, Laksa, and Kopi.
One of the ladies looked up, her gaze somehow landed in my direction and she beamed. She stood up and started waving at me. Another soon followed. I turned around to see another lady hustling over. They exchanged greetings with one another before settling down.
Age has a way of showing itself on our faces. When I was younger, I could never quite understand why people were afraid of wrinkles or spots in their later stages in life. I realised, years down the road that these signs forebode the premature shit that were bound to occur and I, too, had haboured subtle hatred.
The ladies at the cafe were old. I could see the deep wrinkles on their forehead, the crowfeet that grew from the side of their eyes, and the dark spots that plastered on their arms. But funny, they were by no means frail. In fact, they were a spirited bunch, laughing and chattering cheerfully, oblivious to the hustling evening crowd that plagued the bus terminal. They were carefree.
I couldn’t help but wonder ten years down the road, the kind of conversations I would have with the acquaintances around me. Would we discuss politics like old men over whisky glasses or would we simply gossip over coffee and kaya toast? Would we dine over posh cuisines or local delights like Nasi Lemak or Laksa?
Only time will tell.
When love blinds, nothing makes sense.
Your mental vault freezes; you process and recognise nothing. You forget names, deadlines, and even the number of times you fed your pet.
But nothing is an exaggeration. Nothing does not make sense. Because you do remember snippets of your life flashing by. But mostly, you remember him: his pearly whites hidden behind his sheepish smile, his mysterious world hidden behind his glimmering eyes, his charming single eyelids, his high cheek bone, his mole on his right cheek …
Someone greets you.
You do not respond.
Someone raises a question.
You do not respond.
Someone repeats the question.
You do not respond.
Someone screams your name.
You do not respond.
And when I do, I panick.
I never did write those letters. Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to and I wanted to pen my thoughts and feelings down. For some reason, I’ve been restless.
The thoughts that haunted me yesterday night still haunt me today, and will continue to do so tomorrow. You see, I have insomnia is not quite the .
I worry about the present participle and the past. I worry about an em dash and a hyphen. I worry about ironies and paradoxes. I worry about you, and me.
That relationship between lines and stanzas, between sentences and paragraphs, between introduction and conclusion, I wanted them developed. These are feelings, so genuine and raw.
I wanted these feelings to be clearly expressed on a clean sheet. I’d first start with a scribble, catch momentum along the way and eventually churn out a diarrhoea. I’d have them sanitised before getting them plastered and sealed. Finally, reaching you.
Except the letter was never written and it never did get to you.
“Charlie, are you happy?” Jen asked.
“I beg your pardon?”
“You know like the warm guzzling feeling inside you,” he added. “Like you know the world cares and that you belong in it.”
“Well yeah, I guess,” I squeezed Jen’s hand. He squeezed back.
When we first dated, I never quite understood him. It was after a couple of months later, I realised he was different. Jen has a way with words. He is succinct yet very much verbose. He does not sugarcoat yet he makes you feel comfortable hearing the negative things, the bad stuff.
“Why ask?” I said.
“Nothing. Just curious.”
Lies. Jen was never curious. There is definitely something. But I know better than to question him. For me to know the truth, I just had to wait.
I am accepting suggestions on how I can improve and what directions I should take. I drafted this in December 2016. And I no longer have much juices left for this. But I guess, I will take things slow.
I think we have a lot in common.
And I thought we were of to a good start. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have felt that tingle down my spine when I first saw you, or the sparks that flew when our eyes met, or that warm feeling in the back of my throat when you grabbed my hands.
It’s both funny and enchanting to see you crease your brows whenever you picked a serious conversation. You’d look at me for help, but I’ll never understand nor will I ever interrupt.
We were never meant to be. Because if it wasn’t for me, you won’t be here. Yet something horrid happened one night, which brings forth a tormentous, spiralling turn of events. We met eventually, albeit in unfavourable conditions.
Really, we were really never meant to be. But our similarities outweigh and overpower our differences, and love, a curious thing it is, prevails.
So let me bid my last goodbye. This is all I have to offer and I’ve nothing more. Keep in mind that I’ll always love you and I’ll remember you forever in the back of my head.
Live well, stay safe, and be happy, my child.
I was never a good writer. I never really got an A in my years as a student. At least, never English. I yearned for it, but it never appeared; the highest I ever got was a B+. Somewhere along someone encouraged me to read up. It started with Readers’ Digest, then Teenage magazine, eventually The Philosopher’s Stone, His Dark Materials and so on.
I thought I’d improve. But I never really did. At fourteen, I didn’t know what a synonym was. At seventeen, I couldn’t differentiate a verb with an adjective. At nineteen, I couldn’t understand what ‘irony’ meant, much less ‘paradox’. At twenty, I was still making simple grammar mistakes.
But I am no longer my fourteen-year-old self, nor am I in my seventeen or nineteen. While, quite unfortunately, certain grammar mistakes still persist, I have come to a realisation of my little accomplishments – like knowing the local literature scene, having one of my poems published and grabbing myself a writing internship.
Things are changing. I’m sure of it. I’m sure six months down things would change even more. Maybe I will write a book. Maybe I’ll be somewhere. And I am going to hold those hopeful thoughts. I will need them.
But one thing stands in way and I am greatly sleep-deprived and immensely moody because of it. Writing is easy. Knowing what to write is easy. The challenge is getting down to business.
I’ve had strands of thoughts coming and leaving at weird, irregular timings. I’ve had ideas that fleets pass too quickly. I’ve had moments when I wanted to write, but nothing would appear.
There’s only one statement, I’m willing to make – Writer’s Block is real, and Procrastination ain’t helping.