Sunday, July 23, 2006

Short Order

Starlight has put out a challenge to aspiring writers to come up with a short story of 300 words. Not an easy thing to do, mind you. After days of contemplating and hours of exasperating over a topic, I have gone with Starlight's suggestion and written about my one true love.

On Top Of Old Snowy

Percy Perfect smiled back serenely.

Impossibly plump, his parsley-flecked skin as shiny as the Parmesan crown over his head. He sat like an angel atop a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, dry and untangled by the long fingers of durum wheat that enslaved us. We stared up in awe. Mutated, half-formed, broken and soggy in the red mess of passata.

With each passing second, my insecurity gripped the very being of my meat. Why had my maker, the hands that formed me, made me imperfect?

There was only a second to glance at Percy Perfect’s astonished face before he was pierced through his stomach, juice bursting from his very core. I was thrown face down, into a pool of red.

As the metallic army raked its way through, it ravaged and twirled in a disgusting dance of savage and farce. The boards of my shelter turned into soft, slippery planks that snaked in and out. Those deformed like me and those unlike me, perfect as Percy, flew into the air and disappeared. I caught the scent of a battle lost – of burnt meat - and then the slow but sudden onslaught of cold.

I was alone. Naked. Exposed on a flat white plain, with no one and nothing around me.

Except for the metal rake with its four menacing spikes that now lay motionless. Defunct. Spent from its frenzy of raking.

I fell into a pit of utter darkness. I hit bottom with a thud and heaved from the stank of rotten meat. Is this heaven? Or hell?

Or just space? Except that someone had turned off the lights in the stars. Hours passed as I wept, prayed, cursed, laughed, willing for redemption.

A whiff of hot air, panting. A rustle. My savior had come at last!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What's That Rose Bush Doing On Your Back?!

OK...the tat is done. Well, almost - after 3 hours, I put my foot down as my artist, Lena, took her weary eyes off and we jointly declared that enough was enough. I had pain coming out of my ears and Lena said the ah lian colours were doing her head in. We are 70% done and I need to return in 2 weeks to finish it off.

Can I just say that to those of you out there who tried to cushion the experience with soft words - "oh, it feels just like little ant bites", or "it goes numb after 10 minutes" - you are all liars. Honestly? It was more painful than childbirth.

OK, I had an epidural but still... Lena will vouch for the fact that my face changed to a shade of duck-shit green. Especially when she filing the 2 magenta peonies on the side - now I know what Edwin meant by having a cloth nearby to chew on.

They are a fun bunch over at Borneo Ink - nuts but fun and looking at the bunch of tattoeed humans parading past made me swallow my tension and deny embarrassment the satisfaction of me wailing like a baby.

I think the pain did at times cross over to pleasure, but only for a millionth of a second and that must have coincided with my mind crossing over to delusion.

Did I also mention the pain for next few hours after?

I am already dreading the next session...but I lurve my tattoo! It's so purrteeee...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Never Trust A Bunged Up Cook

The flu blazes on and after an afternoon of hectic shopping for my food shoot tomorrow (yes, I even trekked down to Petaling Street!), I fell into deep slumber somewhere around 4pm and now at 10pm, am wide awake!

I ought to feel miserable as I had to forego my usual Thursday afternoon climb but honestly, would probably not have made it very far up the wall. The thing with climbing is that it's so honest. If you body is tired/hungover/wasted, it shows and renders the whole exercise pointless.

I made up for it by baking some meringues. My food blog is on hold while I get my act together and actually shoot some food instead of just cooking and eating it.

Cooking is so therapeutic. I could feel my muscles relax and mind zone into nothing as I sliced cucumbers to pickle. As I hollowed out its slimy backbone of seeds, and doused it with white vinegar, salt, sugar and chili, all seemed well in the world - terrorist bombs exploding all over Mumbai seemed very very far away indeed.

My meringues are 'drying out' in the oven and could take about 4 hours. My salted jellyfish strips are soaking for the night. And the cucumbers are pickling.

It's been a good day and so too will tomorrow be.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Today is a strange day. There is conflict in the air. I've been battling a sore throat for a good half of the day only to admit defeat when a crescendo of sneezes heralded in a full-blown flu. Hence this post which comes in 2 parts. The parts do not only conflict with each other, the second may even conflict with yesterday's post and probably many earlier ones too.

Heck who says I know it all just 'cos I blog. I'm just as confused as the person sitting next to you right now. Anyway. Welcome to my world.

"Those born under the sign of the Tiger should be careful with their health this year. The Sun in the 2nd ascent and the Winter Solstice in the 3rd quaretr of their zodiac indicates that health will wane as the beloved tiger enters the second half of the year. Tigers ought to protect themselves from common ailments by placing a white mandarin duck feather near their hearts and sleep facing a southwesterly direction so that northern winds will not blow to, but instead, away, from them".

...I just made that up. I can't stop sneezing, my eyes are bloodshot, I feel like a drowning fish and my son is constantly demanding my attention. I'm trying not to breathe on him but can't because he keeps wanting to kiss me on the lips - French style - the way he sees on TV.

Screw's not even funny anymore...I need a holiday...

You know, it's not just in the movies. For once, the digital screen is not an exaggeration of what goes on in the black and white of everyday. When you are single, everyone around you really is a couple. Half of a whole. Everyone appears to be a significant other. Suddenly, you realise you are the only single person in the room and it seems almost weird that you can still hold a conversation with people who aren't like you. For a crazy moment, you feel as if they belong to an elite club that you have been denied membership.

It dawns on you when you are in the midst of the most trivial of things. Sipping in Starbucks, digging your nose in the jam or surpressing a burp in the supermarket checkout queue. You are alone. Look into the next car and spouses are giving each other the lowdown at work. At the next table, the twenty-something couple lose themselves in each other's eyes. A boyfriend tells his girlfirend how to flag a back step.

And it's not just that. Everyone seems to be a Lover of another. There are Lovers everywhere. You can almost feel their sexual tension. It's not about sexual frustration (theirs or mine) but when you've been in 'love' before, you recognise it don't you? How it feels to stroke a hand, to push a strand out of an eye in a way that only people who intimately know each other can do.

It gets even more bizarre! They all seem happy! Where are the unhappy wives, the cheating husbands, the emotional highs and lows that you remember so clearly you can almost taste the bitterness? Now, everyone's just happily, mellowly, inebriatedly In Love!

I wonder ifI am in denial. I wonder if what I preach has been a front? Pulling the hood over my own eyes like I have been over others? Or just that now, I see happy stuff 'cos I'm no longer unhappy?

Yes and no.

I do still hold true to my declaration that I am happy single. I do still enjoy my bed, my time, my emotions to myself. But I do think that despite standing up and declaring that all is well, there are pockets of time, moments like when I have something to share, moments when I am bored, pensive, feeling good, feeling insecure, when I do feel that I wish I had what I once had. To be in love. Or at best, to be helplessly, hopelessly lost in utter infatuation. And to have that someone reciprocate my dizzy uncontrollable crazy Love. Strong arms (to carry my heavy bags), loving eyes (to tell me my fringe doesn't look spastic), a shoulder (clothed in a well tailored shirt for me to admire), a hand (to hold), a scent(of a car in which to pick me up) ...haha...

I do wonder if I will ever be in love again with someone and for someone to be in love with me. It does feel as if I've used up my quota - all lost in in earlier years of meaningless and forgettable tossing and toying.

Yes, I do miss it. There is not an iota of love going on right now. Not a wave of interest in my direction, not a drop of curiosty falling on me. I cannot even imagine a union about to happen (usually one can tell no? when something is bubbling?)

Does it really take so much out of fate for lovers to meet?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

And Then There Was Light

It's not what life flings at you but what you unconsciously ask life for. Often, it's not bad luck's fault that it rains down on you, but quite likely that you created that black cloud in the first place. Sure, there are times when you slip up on banana peels that can't be traced back to you, but generally, I believe that things happen because you make it.

This weekend, during a break between the yellow and purple routes, there was a parting of the clouds. I had a chat with a friend about relationships - of course, what else? Topic of our lives, no?

We had both come to the same conclusion - independantly. A moment of light - or enlightenment? We concluded in all sincerity that there is no man out there for us and may never be. And I don't mean that in a manic depressive Wah Lai Toi victim way. Meaning that right here and right now, there will be no man.

Taking into consideration the person that I am now, the experiences I have lived, the values that I hold, my set of non negotiable priorities/issues/baggage/ideals, etc - I truly believe that there is really no one who will match up to what I am looking for.

Well, there is one little proviso - maybe, maybe this person does exist - but he's herding cattle somewhere in Texas (just watched Brokeback - sigh). No where near KL and not about to pop over - so that's about as likely as hail in Bangsar.

My friend and I have been conditioning ourselves to a future of singledom. (For me, it's even involved seeing sense in network marketing - unimaginable 4 years ago). So you see, you will see what you need to see, when it is time to see it. When you really need an answer, the solution will present itself. When you are ready to learn the teacher will appear.

Forever single is not so bad. It's not conventional. But the whole old maid thing is so passe. She died happy didn't she? CEO of her mind, body and soul, right? I mean, it's not as if we are dateless - there are always those, but there will no more mind-blowing connections.

A little sad, yes. But you know, in this past year, I have connected with so many amazing people who have in one way or another nurtured my battered soul? And I believe that as long as you seek what you truly need, it will come.

Which brings me back to my first point.

That is, that it cannot be that we are so unattractive, so baggage-laden, so uncaptivating that no one wants to shack up with us. It cannot be that ALL the good men have been taken or that not a single ounce of talent exists in this town we live in. Others find ideal mates, why can't we? Why is it when we were young and open, there was potential at every turn but now not one?

It boils down to this. It's what you ask of life without knowing you've asked for it. It's about the message you send out to the universe. It's about which station you are at on this railroad of life. Right now, I'm docked at Grand Central Me. My focus is within - for the first time in my life, I am acknowledging this person who lives in my head - the person who's been trying for the last 32 years to get a word in edgewise - Me. Getting to know me, getting to like Me. Before I just crammed copious amounts of grease into my mouth assuming that's what I wanted. These days I ask.

So if these are my priorities, what messages must I be sending to the universe? "Busy. Not here." Despite the wishing that the white knight will come striding in. Despite fantasising about the Italian count. Despite reserving my heart for Keanu/Brad/Jake, no matter how hard I wish, the message is still "Busy. Not here".

And that's no wonder why the ideal person has not come along. It's not bad luck. It's not cos I'm fat. It's not cos my life is meant to be bitter. It's right now, wrong time.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Marked Woman

I am finally going to get my tattoo done. After almost a year of huffing and puffing about it, needle will be scraped on skin.

Gasp...I'm petrified!

But one has to do what one has to do. The body is but a mere vessel is it not? One that bears the marks of our life as we have lived it. Battlescars if you wish, or little souvenir trinkets to remind us of our little trips?

No, will not have a skull or Powerpuff seared in to my skin as some have. I have chosen a couple of peonies instead. Yes, I want a section of my mid-back to resemble parts of your Mother's Straits Chinese porcelain that has been sitting in the back of your dusty cupboard for the last 30 years.

According to Datin Seri Kee Ming-Yuet in her book Straits Chinese Porcelain, the peony is :

"...the King of Flowers or 'flower of wealth and honour' and is perhaps the most esteemed and beloved flower among the Chinese. Like the orchid, it is a symbol of spring and female beauty, and of love and affection. It also stands for good fortune and nobility."

Sounds a bit like me, I reckon...(wink wink)

Datin Seri also goes on to add:

"Paired with the phoenix in numerous Straits Chinese porcelain example, the 'phoenix and the peony' os a symbol of the bride and celebrates everything that the Straits Chinese consider desirable in a bride - femininity, faithfulness to her husband, filial piety, chastity, youthfulness and female beauty."

In light of my decree nissi granted just this week, my peonies shall be blooming happily on their own without a phoenix. Which is just as well, saves me some pain.

Why, some ask. Basically, I just like flowers. They are pretty and peonies are about as pretty as pretty gets. And I like the colours of Chinese Straits porcelain - rich hues of emerald, pink and blue. And I've always wondered about having a tattoo so why not marry the ideas and have a pretty little picture on me, always? Besides, if it's going to be on my back, I will probably forget it's there half the time. And if heaven closes its gates on me because of my markings, then I'll just burn in hell with my peonies and half my friends (AND Slash from Guns 'N Roses!)

No biggie. Just do it. Pain? Oh puhleeasse...