Clarity is a rare luxury in my life. My very own mind betrays me,it sends me self-destructive information,and I often get lost by the ruins of my actions.This blog helps me remember who I am and the dangers that lurk inside of me. I thank you for your readership.Your presence here makes me feel less alone.I now live my life imitating the words of Tom Hanks in Castaway-“I know what I have to do.I have to keep breathing. And tomorrow the sun will rise, who knows what the tide will bring in.”
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
"You don't write because you are good in language or passionate," he says. "You write because at some point there's a calling and you are listening. I like to think that it's some sort of rebirth process."
- Latif Kamaluddin, in an interview featured in Penang Monthly March 2015
There's this waitress lady in the eatery where I frequent, whom I noticed to be intriguing.
Just like me.
She gave me the feeling just like how most people feel about me.
You'd sense there's just some part of her story that isn't fitted right for her.
You'd sense there's definitely ... a story.
But I didn't had the chance to figure out more, until yesterday.
I wanted to take away my order so I sat opposite her counter.
I noticed how she moved her palm so awkwardly when she writes.
And her handwriting was very difficult to read.
Then it occurred to me.
The right side of her body was slightly impaired.
She had to move her entire arm to write because her right palm was immobile.
No wonder she moved so awkwardly.
Her physical impairment was quite subtle, and it must have occurred after she had acquired her writing skills, or else she would have learnt with her left hand instead.
She's sweet-natured and I am very curious.
“Many years ago I had a martial arts master from Korea. It was just like in the movies—he’d make me do crazy things like carry buckets of water up flights of stairs. He was very unaccepting of apathy. I was young at the time, so when he’d asked me a question, I’d often answer by shrugging, or saying ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I guess.’ Then one day, he told me: ‘You never give me straight answer. Your life is too complicate. I make simple for you. Do you want to be weak or strong?’
I said, ‘Strong.’
‘Do you want to be slow or fast?’
‘Do you want to be smart or stupid?’
‘Do you want to be alive or dead?’
‘You shrug one more time, you’ll want to be dead.’”
“And kid, you’ve got to love yourself. You’ve got wake up at four in the morning, brew black coffee, and stare at the birds drowning in the darkness of the dawn. You’ve got to sit next to the man at the train station who’s reading your favorite book and start a conversation. You’ve got to come home after a bad day and burn your skin from a shower. Then you’ve got to wash all your sheets until they smell of lemon detergent you bought for four dollars at the local grocery store. You’ve got to stop taking everything so goddam personally. You are not the moon kissing the black sky. You’ve got to compliment someones crooked brows at an art fair and tell them that their eyes remind you of green swimming pools in mid July. You’ve got to stop letting yourself get upset about things that won’t matter in two years. Sleep in on Saturday mornings and wake yourself up early on Sunday. You’ve got to stop worrying about what you’re going to tell her when she finds out. You’ve got to stop over thinking why he stopped caring about you over six months ago. You’ve got to stop asking everyone for their opinions. Fuck it. Love yourself, kiddo. You’ve got to love yourself.”
"Is that your breakfast?" I teased the intern who was carrying a bag of sweets.
He offered me some and I asked about the price because it has been a long time since I've bought assorted sweets from a newsstand.
**(Assorted sweets' pricing is a good indication of current inflation because it's the simplest to count, and most memorable as we have began buying them since we were little.)
"Oh, the uncle's pricing always change. He is never consistent with his calculation."
The other intern agreed.
They didn't look like they mind, hence I think the price is either fair or cheaper.
"The price goes up and down. Like the Forex index."
I let out a guffaw.
It's so funny that I feel I need to remember it.
Laughter during depression is really something.
A new small restaurant replaced the old one which closed down last month, and I saw the old uncle last night !
I greeted him and he was in a chatty mood.
I asked if he'd like some food.
"No thanks, I'm full" patting his stomach.
I looked at his belongings and nothing looked like food.
"Are you sure? I can get you something..."
"No no. I'm full" he insisted.
So, I just gave him a few dollars (he was reluctant to take it) and bade him goodnight.
I announced my joy to my housemate.
She didn't share my enthusiasm.
"We need to be careful with our kindness."
She shared a story about how some people rather spend money on cigarettes and alcohol than on proper food.
"They don't seem to have the appetite for food. They just don't get hungry"
I understand her point of view.
However, I believe one thing is universal.
We should never pretend we know what it's like to be in other people's shoes.
I walked past a severely handicapped peddler.
He was selling prepaid parking tickets.
I decided to buy one set for my friend.
As he was struggling to return me my change, I felt guilty for not having the exact amount.
Hence, I bought more.
He reminded me of another handicapped man
I stepped into the lift and pressed my floor number.
Just then, the granny told her toddler grandson, whom she was carrying, "Fourteen".
The grandson couldn't recognize the number 14 but recognizes the number 10.
So, he counted upwards from 10, and pressed when he reached 14.
I instinctively complimented him, "Wah, Gau lor." - local dialect = "What, that's smart!"
He looked at me.
Only then I realized he has a form of disability.
I'm not sure what it is.
Addition to that, he has some vision difficulty in his left eye.
To my embarrassment, the grandma noticed that I have discovered that about her grandson.
My facial expression was on 'faraway dreamland' mode.
When I stepped out of the lift, I felt very guilty.
I hoped I didn't make them feel uncomfortable.
Perhaps, I shouldn't have stopped addressing the child.
Perhaps, I should have continued talking to him just like any other.