It was from a long correspondence between myself and a friend of a friend whom I never met. Or did I?


“… but the relationship between the girl and I was like a car and a spare tyre. I was kept around by her and only used when needed to. She coupled with at least 2 other guys and told me everything about them but at the same time unwilling to let me go. Every time she broke up with a guy, I was the first person she wanted to meet.

I loved her. Ultimately, on 10th January 2009, she asked me out on a date and wanted to clarify everything (she was single at the time). She even wanted to discuss about her plans for our future. “Our” future! I was happy to hear that. But apparently during the date, my mind was elsewhere. All I could only see was her mouth moving, but heard not even a word she’s saying. I was thinking about the past 5 years of knowing her and all the things that she did to me, things that made me really, really sad…”


What kind of a pathetic loser I was!

And I’m still laughing at myself.

They saw a frightening frown in the sun
That made them run

Telling them in silence
to turn from your backs
to cover up the cracks
to write off your cheques
to face forth the facts
to think fast and act
And cry for wisdom under the shades

Like a dubious graduate
longing for a friend

Voices part III

They saw a glittering stillness in the sky
Then they heard a cry

Telling them in silence
to wake up and make
to sit down and eat
to back down the hate
to butter up the bread
to spin up the thread
And sing a joyous tune that fades

Like a decent looking man
yearning for a cow


Pessimists are the ones who walk away from a vital fight, where the victors are often nought, and no losers deserve to flop; After years of pouring sweat, nonetheless for others to take, endeavouring faithfully as bait; Finding oneself in the home of hallucinating delight, when entirety belongs to the might; Agreeing that life has its joy and pain, which are merely things like hunger and an itch, alike.

Realizing that all these words make no sense for the faithfully devoted, or even the sceptically inclined.

But funny, how the moon will always inspire the slackers who ponder, in the influence of escapism.

I was out of deodorant. Well, blame it on procrastination for it has been three days now. Eventually, I succumbed to the dire plea of my restless armpits, begging for dry and fresh skin surface. I was going to buy myself a deodorant during my lunch break that particular day.

Then, there I was, entering Guardian Pharmacy, walked straight to the deodorant aisle, not caring about anything else on sale that day. The only dilemma up until that point was whether to get a deodorant which comes together with a promotion of a tiny can of whitening spray for an addition of RM1, or to get a twin pack of deodorant with a total discount of RM1. Sickening as it may seem, no regular, single, standalone pack was on sale that day. But anyway, it took me like five seconds to decide since I was not going to burst my budgetary that I have in my head since before I left the house that morning. I can’t wait to try the whitening spray when I get home later.

There were two cashier counters but only one was open. There were also two cashiers, one was working and the other one was sitting down doing I don’t know what. One patron was at the active cashier counter, so I queued up behind her. She was buying like eleven items and it took a while. Finally, when all her items were bagged, and the cashier had informed her total tally of RM49.90, she went on asking about an egg frying pan promotion that was stated on flyers posted all over the premise.

The queue grew larger with three more patrons jumping into the bandwagon. The working cashier asked the dormant cashier about the egg frying pan promotion and without even looking, the dormant cashier said, “Go ask the supervisor”. I assumed that the active cashier knew that the supervisor was not around, so she took out an egg frying pan, put it on top of the counter and began reading the same flyer to have an understanding to explain it to the patron. Apparently, as explained by the active cashier, a customer is eligible to purchase the egg frying pan worth RM50 for RM40 if a total purchase of RM45 or more was made in a single receipt.

“So, would you like to purchase this egg frying pan?”, asked the active cashier.

“No thank you”, replied the patron.

I was half cringing. Two more patrons were stupid enough to join the queue.

“Alright, that’ll be RM49.90 please”

“Come to think about it, I think I’ll change my mind. I’ll take the egg frying pan”

The dormant cashier suddenly looked up. There was hope in this world again. I can eventually forget my misery, proceed with my payment at the next counter and get the hell out of there. But it was a false alarm. She looked back down and continued doing her stuff of huge importance.

“All together, that’ll be RM89.90 please”

“Are those batteries? Can I have one of those? Which are the ones that people always use, the AA size or the AAA size?”, asked the devil disguised as a wicked makcik patron, standing in front of me.

She pointed her pathetic finger like a pathetic makcik to the obvious batteries display behind the counter.

My face was already red. The queue grew with more people in it, not knowing that an event of pure evil was happening in front of them.

As I was about to open my mouth and threw out words of unpleasantness, that was when suddenly the dormant cashier became active; she stood up, opened her counter and smiled.


I switched lanes and put my deodorant on top of the counter without saying a word.

“Just one item?”

“Well, I would love to emulate the very nice and kind makcik who was paying before me, but then I realized that it’s not my style! And please, could you be more sluggish?”

I ended up eating a lot. I do that sometimes. I eat a lot when I’m emotionally unstable. I should’ve had my lunch first before going on to buy a deodorant in hell.


Oh my god! I’m a sexist!

Or maybe that was how it’s supposed to be?

Disregarding mental casualties,

Ignoring the word “humanity”,

Profiting for eternity,

We’re living at the door.

Building knock-off aristocracies,

Afflicting the majority,

Killing off the good-worthy,

We’re abetting to the woes.

Participate in this tragedy!

Self-inflicting calamity!

Embracing noble lunacy!

Oh, we’re all heroes…

“I have no cash on me. Can I order a plate of Nasi Kandar? It’s been 3 days since I’ve last eaten.”

Those words have awaken me from the pretence of life that I have been living in. There are real people with real issues here, and since these kind of things are so isolated from our normal lives, we tend to brush it off, assuming that it’s all just stuff we see in the movies.

Whoever would expect that my emergency piss-stop at a local mamak joint during a daily traffic-laden drive home from work can be a significant turning point for me in appreciating life and everything in it? Coincidence can be bitterly momentous sometimes.

A former rockstar, a cool dude and a dear friend which I got to know more than 20 years ago was crumbling down gradually in front of me while he was savouring his first real meal in 3 days. We both knew that what I was about to say to him were the same things repeated by plentiful of people around him that really cared. Yet, I said it anyways.

Yes, I did gave him some cash for some naïve reason that people should not be deprived from food, especially if that particular person is a friend. I really hoped that my gesture can somehow be “THE” trigger for change.

Dire, but let’s not lose hope.

It’s fading… the solitary candle on the mantelpiece of broken dreams inside our minds.

As we… living the life that’s written by the legislators, party leaders down into the ground.

When we were young we dreamt about a gratified and blissful essence with the ones we love.

Now all grown up, a cynic seeking justice in this world and a decent piece of advice…


An artificial compensation, dragging us throughout the unsuspecting plight.

Longing… for a revolution orchestrated by the people, for the people who share this common fight.

When it will come? The dreams about a gratified and blissful life we fantasized about.

Until we die we can only hope that we’ll meet again, way up high above in paradise.

Jim was having a conversation with his friend, AJ. It was kind of a heated conversation but Jim’s facial expression and emotions were not livid at all, mostly confused. AJ on the other hand, was fuming in making a point for the whole world to understand.

“Listen AJ, you are not gay. As far as I’m concerned, you are straight. Just like me. Just like most of us in this world”, Jim tried to explain. “No! I am gay! I’m in love with Saiful. He’s the man of my dreams. He’s beautiful. He’s gentle. He’s soft. My perfect softy and he’s in love with me too”, AJ detailed further.

Jim was in jam. He thought that the simplest of things has become more complex than to explain to people about Malaysia’s current political situation. Jim was convinced that AJ was not gay. Fullstop!

“You don’t understand. I am gay. I want to be gay. I want the world to know that I’m gay. Is that really hard for you to digest?”, AJ continued. “Whatever lah Jenab!”, Jim gave up arguing and walked away.


AJ is an acronym for “Aku Jenab”, which obviously stating that AJ’s real name is Jenab or Zainab, a girl. But yeah, AJ is also a pengkid, and her conviction is that she’s a male.

In the mid-90s, plastic fans were rooting for Blackburn Rovers for a short while (before switching back to Manchester United, or Chelsea in recent history). It sounded ridiculous, but it’s true. Blackburn “Fucking” Rovers. I’d call it a fluke any day of the week. But anyway, being born in Leeds, naturally I’m a Leeds United fan. And at that period of time, after winning the league in 1992, Leeds United were alternating their positions between top 5 and mid table consistently every season before their ghastly demise in the new millennia.

Que was a Gooner long before any other of my high school friends gave any two shits about the Arsenal Football Club. When Le Professeur signed Marc Overmars back in 1997, Que was especially overwhelmed. Apart from Marc Overmars being one of the integral part of the start of Le Professeur’s winning reign, Que was more proud on the fact that he shared the same wide forehead as Marc Overmars. Smiles beaming, forehead shining while taking numerous photographs with his own Marc Overmars posters in his dormitory. He was proud to be a Gooner.

After high school, it so happens that Que and I ended up in the same university. To be honest we were not really close. Events on the paragraph above was my own observation from afar, some would say an inaccurate summary of Que, and I won’t argue with that. Our differences were palpable, from political inclination to social philosophy and of course football fandom. But the animosity were never shown in public.

When Arsenal pummelled Leeds United, 4-1 at Elland Road on November 2003, that was the pinnacle of my hatred towards Arsenal, and everyone else associated with that team, including Que. Arsenal were crowned champions of the Premier League without a single loss that season, hence The Invincibles. Whereby, Leeds United were later relegated and therefore ceased to be televised on local TV channels during the weekends. My interest in the Premier League faded and my weekends became a bore, as boring as watching Manchester United under Fergie winning every silverware that were being offered. They tricked Eric Cantona to join them from Leeds United at the end of 1992 [sic]!

Well, life goes on. But the same could not be said for Que. Around 2009, he was diagnosed with a weird illness, which was later confirmed as POEMS Syndrome. One day when he was walking together with his wife in a shopping mall, suddenly he was walking backwards when his brain was telling him to take steps forward. It was a laughable story that he would tell people who visited him in the hospital, but things got worse for him. Doctors were initially bewildered with his symptoms. Treatments were done in a trial and error manner, he was a guinea pig. Chemotherapy was one of them. Eventually, after comparing test results in the global medical community, doctors confirmed it to be POEMS Syndrome. At that time, the only person in this world with the same condition as Que, was an old man in Germany. The German succumbed to the illness a year later.

Friends working around the Klang Valley visited him regularly during his fortnightly treatment at the University Hospital. Maybe I was visiting sincerely, or maybe I was just accompanying Jim, Que’s best friend. Whatever the case, being a frequent visitor and witnessing his mass deterioration, I became closer with Que, and for the first time, I felt that we were real friends. One of the things that I would often talk with him was about Arsenal. It did bring feeble smiles on his face whenever the Gunners were the topic of conversation.

On 9th of January 2012, Arsenal hosted Leeds United for an FA Cup, 3rd Round match. The interesting thing was, Arsenal’s living legend, Thierry Henry was loaned back to Arsenal from New York Redbulls before the MLS season started, and he was in the team sheet. The match was televised live on local satellite TV and I watched it with Que in my mind. My favourite team versus Que’s favourite team, with a footballing legend from our university days playing with his old club, then scored the winner. It was a fairy tale match written in the stars for every single Gooners ever lived. Although my team lost, I felt happy. Happy for Que. This was definitely going to be my topic of conversation with Que during my next visit to the hospital.


“I don’t care about Arsenal. All I care is to keep on holding to dear life”, he whispered in my ears.

Que later died on the second day of Eid in 2012.


When he told me those words, I was certain that he was going to die. It was just a matter of time. Another Gooner was leaving normal. Then out of nowhere, I whispered back to his ears,

“I will take your place Que. I will become a Gooner in memory of you”