Sunday, December 28, 2014

The God That Failed

162 people have vanished into thin air. Why them? Why now? Their relatives hold on to hope  as best they can. It is cruel, unfair and troubling.

She smiles and gives them several kisses. They both wish they could give her finger and a hand.

Do not be thankful for what we have - what do we actually do to deserve that luck? Do not try to pity the less fortunate - let their strength in adversity inspire us.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Left Hand Free

8 years ago he came to the shop alone to buy a watch. Now there are three of them, and they arrive just as the shutters are being closed. The elderly lady smiles and lets them in. The elderly gentleman comes out of the back room to see what is going on. He still has his eye glass on. He turns to the old tube tv above the entrance, where Prime Minister Business is encouraging citizens to write books and to sit down and discuss them. He claims this is not possible with movies.

The lady takes a look at his far-travelled watch and informs him that a new strap cannot be fixed on. The catch for the pins has been broken. What a shame. The watch is still running fine. He looks around the shop and sees the same watch that he bought 8 years ago. He buys this same watch, at the same price that he paid then. What value!

It is a joyous and peaceful weekend to celebrate. Here's to another memorable, unpredictable and irreplaceable 8 years :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

The passenger looks tired to him; just about ready to sleep for a hundred years. Just as the car is about to move off, he checks that he would be able to pay by NETS.
The driver says he's sorry but that won't be possible. He doesn't have the device on board. Having been turned down by several earlier cabbies who were "changing shift", the passenger is determined to show this guy who is boss.
"Then stop by at an ATM and I shall withdraw the money for you."
The driver says that he'd rather not as he is in a bit of a hurry.
"That's illogical. Our journey itself will take 30 to 35 minutes. Are you telling me that you cannot spare a 2% increase of that time?"
The passenger sits and waits while the driver repeatedly suggests he take the next cab. The driver is pleading now but still polite and patient. Finally the passenger gets out and slams the door behind him.
The driver is relieved. The new fare is reasonable and will not be using NETS. He drives them to their destination in  silence, following which he heads home.
As he turns the key he calls to her.
"Sorry I'm late honey. A chimp got into my cab and I had to kick it out."
There is no reply from within.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

All A Dream

He is desperate to be part of the new regime. He wants to fit into a team that is bigger than the sum of individuals. 

"Press on this guy so that the ball goes to him and then press from this angle so he plays that pass and then intercept it!"

"You can still influence the game even though the opposition has the ball on the opposite side of the field."

"You want to play no. 6? Prove it to me. Have a strong base! Be ready for the ball!"

"Yes King Louis. I can do this. Give me a chance."

Despite his intense desire to impress, once again he can hardly lift his legs to walk. It is a paralyzing feeling. Only his mind is willing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


He strides through the customs towards the luggage belt, consciously uncoupled. He could use a nice fancy coffee but one look at the queue and he decides it can wait. At the tail end of the queue is a middle-aged blonde. She has a deep tan on her leathery skin. The pilot in front of her is telling her what sacrifices he makes for his job. They are clearly flirting. Just as he walks past the two of them, a wise guy starts singing, "oh oh oh.. I dream of paradise.. Oh oh oh.."

He sits facing the beach. He closes his eyes and takes in the smells. Then he opens his eyes to take in the sights. From the corner of his eye he spots a gang banger staring straight at him. A vein on his tattooed head is throbbing. "I thought it was real yo. Now look where I am. In rehab. You happy now?"

He starts fumbling in his pockets as the fan approaches. He avoids eye contact while searching for a phone that is not ringing. Got it, but the fan seems undeterred. The phone is at his ear now, as he begins conversing with no one. He turns his back to the rapidly approaching fan, who is now right beside him. He feels a tap on his shoulder. With a roll of his eyes he starts to explain that it is an important call. The fan informs him of his open fly and continues on his way.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This Messiah Needs Watching

He explores the whole apartment in his walker, twiddling the little ball when he rests. We usually hear him before we see him. And when he is out of the walker he is crawling places, growling like Stitch as he goes. I think he could do with knee guards. Rat teeth marks are on all his toys and I am certain he ate some cardboard yesterday.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Red Mosquito

The day begins as depressingly as the night ended. She wakes him before the alarm rings and tells him she cannot live without a purpose anymore. It looks like she has been sitting up for some time. She continues eroding him whilst looking straight ahead at her feet.

"What are you going to do about it?"

"Please, let's keep trying. I'll go to the clinic like you suggested. It'll be alright."

"And what if it still doesn't work? We cannot just keep lying to ourselves. We have to face, and then take, the tough decisions. I know I can. It's just too bad that you cannot."

He trudges to work with his head down. His boss calls him in. The government has approved the vaccine and made it mandatory for the whole nation. The men in white shirts have decreed there shall be no more epidemics. The rest of his team will be redeployed soon, but he, he "don't have transferable skills". He makes a joke about killing the guy who invented the vaccine.

He goes out to the field still in a daze. There has been a complaint about an increase in the number of mosquitoes at a block near his childhood home. He honestly wants to help his old neighbours out one last time if he can. He knocks on a door. An elderly but energetic lady opens the door suspiciously. She must have only moved in recently. Upon hearing who he is, her look turns to one of "Why did you take so long?"

"Yeah I called about the mosquitoes. They must be coming from the construction site. Can you do something about it?"

He says surely he will and continues by asking which time of the day the mosquitoes usually bite. "Who cares what time of day they bite? Do you treat them with different priority? They are mosquitoes all the same and I have babies at home to worry about! Please do your job!", she snaps before closing the door in his face.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Father Figure

He sees this as an opportunity to practice what he has been learning. He frets for a full day about how to phrase the message.

"Could you?" or "Would you?".

"I need you to" or not?

In the end, he decides not to text him, but to speak to him after dinner instead. The idea is that it will allow for a fuller discussion of the situation, each other's motivations, and solutions to the problem.

They are alone at the table. One of them is looking for topics to talk about, while the other, himself, is staring intently at his cough syrup. His nerves are building with gathered pace. He feels like he has been transported 30 years back in time, and he is summoning courage to ask for the latest "Shaker" mechanical pencil.

The time is right now. Still he hesitates to start the topic.

His father gets up to go, so he blurts out the question. His father replies, "OK, I know", and retires to his room to sleep.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Gash

Oh it's so big!
It hurts so much.
I think it's at the peak now.
But what if it never heals? What if it gets infected and swells even bigger?
Oh I can't give a lecture like this!
Why do I always get this? I don't think anyone has it this bad.

Josh, stfu.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Friend of the Night

The boy wears a puffer fish for a hat. He has a deep gruff voice to go with it. His arms are narrower than the guitar. His gangly dancing style is interesting to watch from high up. He is not trying to impress with his moves though. He is clearly having a good time. But did he just play the same song three times?

The next band start setting up. They have many many speakers, and some are human-sized! One of the band members is carrying a piece of foolscap paper, walking to and fro, and tuning things here and there. 

He returns from his loo break and sits down. It is a little far, although he can see the stage very clearly. There are several smokers around him, and they are talking incessantly. 

The sun is almost down. The crowd is much bigger now. The band come on. 

"Hey we're Mogwai from Glasgow. It's great to be back in Singapore!"