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I’m slightly elaborating a paragraph from Belinda Luscombe’s article in this week’s Time magazine, Who Killed the Love Story?

What are the differences a man and a woman have to overcome to get together? Both worry about what they do. Both worry about whether they’re maximizing their talents. Both worry about what others think about them. Both worry about the way they look. And ultimately, both worry about if they will be able to make the money they need. It is all individualism at its best. Love interest is not in the list. It’s no longer an alternative to or solace from the rat race. Yes, the rat race. He’s a rat. She’s a rat. The kind of rats that pulls over for a quick mating session and then get back on track.

Where’s romance in all that?

Creating reasons. Reason’s to see through the mirror and see the reflection of life. Sunshine, green trees, a gush of blood and money. Ah, a wonderful life. My life. Not yours. Never ours.

On doing the unnecessary, I am the obligation. I am the reason. Maybe I should finish Hari Kunzru’s Bharat influenced Transmission. Or maybe I should untangle the linguistic part of my mind from Irvine Welsh’s Porno. Maybe I should just go to sleep and wake up early. Cook breakfast and earn some money.

There are better things to do they say. Important things to others are not necessarily important to me. Important things to me, I would like to share with others. I am selfish. The selfishness that distinguish me from others. You and me. Yes, we are all in denial.

A mystery. Some resolve it on toilet seats, some wore glasses to delay the answers. Look smart, act like a moron. At the end we are all alone, trying too hard to unearth the mystery of life.

“Shut up! Don’t say another word. Leave me alone! She turns herself away from the mirror.”

Somewhere in mid 2005.

Yeah, it was on a weekend. We hung out, talking, having drinks. Smoking. Mostly talking about what’s been going on for the past few days, about what’s next. Maybe there were just the two of us, maybe there were more. It’s been a while now since our post-graduation trip to Bali, which was a blast thanks to the two free souls we met by accident at the Ngurah-Rai airport. Anyway, we wanted more.

As I was finishing my cup of coffee, Naza blurted out, “Next year’s the World Cup. Let’s go to Germany!” I was like, yeah. Why not? It should be fun. We may not have football tickets, but we’ll be in Germany during the World Cup dammit! First task, gather money and start planning before the end of the year.

Somewhere at the end of 2005.

Another weekend, at the same spot. It’s been 5 months now. We were talking and drinking. Smoking. Then Naza started, “OK, I have RM7k now. I think that should be enough. How bout you?” I have around RM6k. It’s been 5 months of ass busting, working late hours for the allowance, tipu claim and what not. The only thing yet to do was collecting my old debts. Come December, it should add up another RM1.5k to my total. Hooray! I ordered another cup of Hai Peng. Things were looking pretty good at that moment.

A month later.

Same old, same old. Before anything else, Naza said, “Ayyub, I have to withdraw from our plan. I want to get married next June and I’m using the money for my hantaran.” What? Get married? You don’t even have a girlfriend!

*****

Naza misses his month old son so he’s canceling tennis tomorrow. Balik kampung jumpa anak bini!

Imagination sees the complete reality, it is where past, present and future meet. Imagination is limited neither to the reality which is apparent – nor to one place. It lives everywhere. It is at a centre and feels the vibrations of all the circles within which east and west are virtually included. Imagination is the life of mental freedom. It realizes what everything is in its many aspects. Imagination does not uplift; we don’t want to be uplifted, we want to be more completely aware.

Gibran, 7th June 1912

*Sigh*

“One cannot begin it too soon”

A stalled car at the end of the road. Destination unknown, the driver all alone. Came a stray dog digging a hole. To bury a bone, to make it its own.

At the end of the road was a broken home. People inside were long gone. Came a son of a vagabond. Opened the door, to make it his own.

Sing a song that can’t be sung
Without the morning’s kiss
Queen, you shall be it if you wish
Looking for your king

Dream of a light that can’t be seen
Nights you know you’ll miss
Queen, borrowing the eagle’s wings
Looking for your king

Beside the stream and lifeless trees
I can hear you scream
Queen, let me have your hand in need
Can I be your king?