The inferiority complex

This is a dream, definitely a dream.

These people around me, screaming and cheering, all of them ecstatic but I remain emotionally stoic. They’re giving a standing ovation to…to…I can’t see. I was zoning out, my mind wasn’t in focus, and I feel this therapeutic air of reticence about myself. I don’t want to speak out or to express too much emotion, I’m scared of the consequences. People are gonna ask excitedly, “which part of the ladder are you at right now?” and I’ll stammer out a response.

I feel dreary on a sunny Saturday. It must be a dream, what am I doing around all these high achievers? Why do they even bother themselves with me? I’ll probably be better off eating my food, keeping to myself. The inferiority complex is real, it can be imposed on someone due to circumstances, and I am feeling it right now. It came in a rush of sentiments I can’t even begin to explain. It’s uncanny that these people used to be just like me, normal and lost enough, but through their skill and hard work, they are where they are right now. Standing up, in the mood and living the atmosphere.

A storm is brewing, and my mouth is sour. Is this jealousy I taste, or the remnant juices of that one bad orange I accidentally picked out? Seems like the same dream all over again. I thought it was over after Saturday, but no. Life seems to want to remind you of your not so glorious past, it wants you to taste your failures and will continue to haunt you. Now it is more like a nightmare, and reality is screaming out my deepest fears.

I don’t want this.

If there is an alternate reality, I would want the me in there to more successful. I want him to be living his dream. Not like this rugged, dejected self feeling inferior here.

I blinked and looked around me again. Those people are still around and festive, still jovial from the founder’s speech and performances. They’re all staring at me, with hope in their eyes, looking on to me. It’s hope that makes us still live on and believe there is something for everybody out there, something that can change us and help us. It’s what that lets us sleep in peace, devoid of nightmares, and wake up in the morning with dreams of a brighter future.

I am that hope.

Somewhere along, you will lose your way, but fear not! Because there is always a path to walk, always a path to be found, always something, somebody to look up to. And if all else fails, there’s always the inferiority complex that can drive you to be a high achiever.

END

It’s late

There came a day when I was sitting on a couch in a cafe, feeling exceptionally cold on the outside due to the merciless air-con but warm on the insides from drinking too many a cup of herbal tea. It’s weird, yes I know, but that was exactly what I was feeling at that time, and it baffles me so. This herbal tea I’ve been drinking has on me an odd effect, leaving me in a dreamy state of sorts, moving yet stationary, thinking yet daydreaming, trying to do something but never quite able to. Odd I must say, and it feels as if I have had this cup of tea before, somewhere else, in a similar setting, but not alone perhaps.

The patrons of the table adjacent to mine, has changed. And it didn’t even occur to me to pay respects to the departing ones. (I didn’t notice) So I thought to stand up, and I took off my head-dress, took a bow and sat back down. Humans were there, they had somewhat of a presence and they left their marks, but it was not till they were gone that people actually caught on to their existence.

A thought of peculiar nature arduously began to form in my mind and it stirred me, roused me from the dreamy state of being to one so enlightened and aware of its existence. And this realization came in a shock wave so great I had to steady myself – in a couch, mind you – to breathe normally again. Sometimes you just got to accept the fact that you are hit with waves of thoughts and feelings out of the blue, and you cannot put your finger on its origins because it is so enigmatic and mysterious.

But this very day, when this one thought hit me, it sent me into a particular air of sadness for the very nature of the thought sent a chill of melancholy down my spine. This brought me to stand beside the fireplace in the café. The heat surrounds me, yet the chilly emotions in me, almost as if with its own conscience, acting against the fever that envelopes me, neutralising it.

A flicker in the flames, the fires licking the sides of the brick wall, breathing in the emotions of the patrons who grace the café and it seems that is its fuel. I looked down and I stared hard into the flames, searching for something, something tangible to associate my thoughts with. I drank in the radiance that is in stark contrast with my inner chords, trying to feel the warmth it is supposed to provide. I went back to my sit, and sat exactly on the imprint that I left there, I aimed and scored it, and as I sink down into the couch, so did my heart.

Maybe, I wonder, maybe I should stop trying so hard to conceive abstract thoughts and words. Maybe what I see is not always what I always get, and those people, the departed, they come and go, leaving somewhat of a trace, a trail that ends, somewhere. All they leave is an impression, imprints on an otherwise smooth fabric cushion. And maybe, the butt-print will still be there for the next visitor. Or will it?

I fumbled with my pipe with my arms glistening in sweat. The pipe glossy in the fire light, reflecting the table adjacent, and their seats. The depression inflating, will the next patron come it time?

The seat is bloated, and my pipe cracked. I licked my tobacco smelling fingers and wiped my sweat. Phew.

 

END

Isn’t it strange?

We were sharing the same couch, sitting close enough, a cup of cooling lemongrass chamomile rests between us, enjoying an extended moment of silence.

The sides of her fringe covers parts of her face, almost deliberately. She shifted her gaze to my ear, leaned in, and blinked a slow, thoughtful blink and whispered, “…And your eyes are so intense I want to look away. Or never look away, I can’t decide.”

I gazed into her eyes, searching for an answer, but she returned it with a soft smile.

 

Maybe it’s my unsettled heart. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night feeling lost, thinking how this unknown feeling crept into my heart. And sometimes a deep tremble will start in my core and then it will radiate outwards and upwards – like a glow – making me shiver. It is arcane in nature, warm in nativity, passionate in delivery. I sighed, I writhed and I smothered myself in my sheets, I screamed into my pillow and smiled at the mess I made. This glow is indeed mysterious.

 

You looked at me, lips pursed yet the corners of your mouth are upturned. It’s as if you’re concealing something, an expression that I will learn to appreciate.

I made you laugh, that lovely chuckle, like small explosions of spring, warms the cold tea that had settled in my gut. It reverberated around in the café, and people turned their heads toward us. Tonight is different because I’m laughing with you. I want the whole world to know that we are happy together.

When we stopped, I looked into her eyes and she held my gaze.

After a long pause, I said, “Then let your eyes decide.” She chuckled and looked away, a gentle rebel.

That night, I gave a small part of me to her.

 

Yet the remaining part of me still feels uncertain. We were comfortable, yet uncomfortable. I always tell myself, I can never trust someone, I can only have faith in them. But when that faith has been slammed in your face time and time again, whenever you meet someone new, you ask yourself one question – should I have faith in that smile?

Maybe, just maybe, the only way……..

I tremble at my own indecision, a chill not unknown to me.

 

END

We are born sick

They say we were born sick. But I love him. He kept his altar in his closet. I told him I’ll offer him my prayers, beg for forgiveness. He asked me to prepare for war, and stuck it in. Will it hurt? I asked.

She said she worships the smell of iron mixed with earth. She loved anything shiny, anything fluid. She said she loved it when she see tears. Because they are red she said.

“I have Parosmia” I told her, because I know full well what she want. She was born sick. I begged for his forgiveness every day. She screamed at me, beat me and told me about the lovers that went wrong.

I pushed her away and she became obsessed with chokers.

I’ll confess my sins, but will you forgive me? Maybe never.

We embody madness, but our breaths mingle nonetheless. I see passion.

Oh masters of the keep, is there a gentle sickness? Don’t turn your back on us because he still prays in his room.

And then one day I found out she had laced herself. That lovely crimson neckline, I’m tearing everywhere.

There was death at a funeral.

Yet, I turned around and kissed him on the mouth. We still have our rituals, but not in his bedroom no more. And we pray alongside her, smiling to each other. We were born sick, weren’t we?

 

END

A Singapore’s child

Remember when we were younger, we were intrigued by everything around us. The hunger to discover and explore was insatiable. Remember when the brown, cloth armored samurais came with their black rotating metal swords? We were leaning over our window ledges, observing the revolutions of that rotary polearm, half murdering the crowds of green blades before them. It looked so cool, but our little brains could never figure out the mechanics behind it. Still, we looked on.

Then we grew up. We lost interest when we figured out how it works. Why? Did any thing change? The samurais are still amored. Their equipment, renewed.

Maybe the soul inside the armor is different. Or has the soul behind that window ledge changed? Sometimes we don’t know how much we have changed. Sometimes we need an external stimulus to make us understand ourselves. Or maybe, just maybe, we could take some time off our busy schedules and learn to be a child again. Stay hungry, stay foolish.

Words are magical for a moment. But living the experience, could empower  your whole life. Do you want to hear more stories? Or do you want to chase the adventure.

 

END

Sometimes, Dreams can come true

An Affair Cafe is empty, except for another girl who looks to be about my age, reading at her seat. I ordered a cup of Mocha Cappuccino and sat down at a seat some distance away, facing her. She saw me and smiled, I smiled back and we exchanged a momentary moment of mutual understanding. I scooped out “Norwegian Wood” from my bag and flipped it to the upturned corner of a page.

I often come to this Café in the mornings during my weekends out of camp to read. It is usually unfrequented in the mornings here other than myself so I am intrigued to see her sitting there, reading.

I studied her as I plugged in to my MP3 player, noting a tiny notebook and pen resting on the seat adjacent. She seemed at ease and extremely restful with her sun hat on, almost completely absorbed in her “The unfinished work of Elizabeth D.” A slender left hand habitually picked up her mug of coffee and brought it to her lips, she took a long sip, eyes fixed upon mine. I returned the gaze as she deliberately licked her lips, leaving a meaty sheen radiating from them. She bit down on her lower lip and gave me a wink, “1 more chapter it said”.

I smiled and mildly shook my head, as the Sax of “Careless Whisper” played. I looked down and quietly counted the number of pages to the end of mine.

Nearing the end of my chapter, as the melody of “Careless whisper” changed to that of “Norwegian Wood”, I put down my book and looked up. Her table is vacant but for a piece of folded paper resting on top. I could only guess what is written in it. I hesitated a while, but still stood up and walked over to her table.

“Do you like doing things alone? When I feel solitude, I am victorious. I might just appear here someday, when I do, promise me one thing. Be here.” I raised a brow and grinned.

 

END

Seasons without love

We are born to eternal summer.

We don’t know what spring feels like, or even winter for that matter. Some of us always thought that the monsoon season is cold and unforgiving, just like how winter sounds like in the books. It beats us and slams everything in our little haggard faces. If you have at least a slab over your head, then you are the lucky ones, because everybody else is cuddling together for warmth. What have we done in our past life to induce such anger from the gods. We pray for forgiveness.

Yet none of us are forgiven, not  even for a single year.

Some of us want to see spring, at least once in our lives. Most of us have read in picture books, with little intricate framed decorations around its sides, that spring is the embodiment of hope – something all of us desperately need. What we would give to experience it even once, just one day is enough. We tried to find it among and within ourselves, but it plays its little game with us, leading us on. Once we thought we found it, we thought we saw a glimmer of hope. It was but a glimmer. The closest we could get to it is from pages of the greatest book ever written, reclaimed from a suburban dumpster. Even so, pale faces and cracked lips, pawing at heaven’s door, could not get us any salvation. What is spring?

We lurked and prayed and gave ovation to anyone brave enough to venture. But none of them ever came back.

Some of us have heard stories about summer life. About sand and salt, waves and warmth. Not so much of the sand, we have enough of that here. But waves…and warmth, they sound like fairy tales, because summer is all we have ever known and ever seen with eyes that have lost their their inquisitiveness. Everything that we have imagined and loved, are born(and died) out of the summer heat. In this fever, we have melted and remoulded ourselves a thousand times over to adapt, but that was never enough. Nothing was ever enough, not food, not shelter, not warmth.

Even the slightest sign of autumn could bring a tiny gleam in eyes that have already lost their vibrance.

We are young and reckless, we are lost. We need guidance but torn pages are all that we could manage. We are wild and curious, chasing after a shadow that will never materialise. And you would leave us behind and let us rot, because our smiles are meant to be forgotten, and we would soon be silhouettes in the downpour.

And then it would be back to drying ourselves in the summer sultriness.

Autumn, the haze that clouds our eyes as if they are not clouded enough, not by tears, we are done crying. Autumn, the period right before the winter monsoon and us, hiding and heaving smoke from corrupted lungs, would step out, through parched skin and dust filled tousled hair. Our settlement, would be bustling with…activity, to prepare for another three months of beating. Autumn, the time when we find our mates and carry rotting wooden boards to make a nest. It is the time when we scrounged containers to store heaven’s tears. Autumn, when we prepare our little stomachs from growling any more less in the upcoming days.

Why are we here? We have lost our way in this world. And for those out there, who have ventured and found their way, must be the lucky ones. Because most of us have bled out, and the rest, the rest are bleeding out.

 

END

Squirrels don’t like banana eating monkeys.

I find it fascinating how much sense this piece didnt make
But…understand what you can and don’t treat it like a prose.

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Around you, I’m like a monkey lost in a desert. Once a hyperactive mammal tamed by the intense non-chemistry between us, and suffocated by the stifling heat. Nervous out of my wits because, well, monkeys aren’t supposed to be in the desert.

When you’re angry you used to cut out the bark on a beech tree and throw it at me. Now you just perch quietly on a branch and crack your nut. I used to be really diligent in trying to master the great art of cracking nut with my teeth to impress you, like since forever. I remember you would tell me “It’s not about the size, it’s how you use it”
You’d to point to it and say, “Okay, I might be big, but still, it’s all about the skill.”
Wink wonk.
“Go on, have a shot at it.”

Knock knock knock.
Crack, ouch.

You used to scold me with a saying of the ancient forest tangos, “Fishes of the jungle likes to drink the heart of the young. And the blood drips down to their children for breakfast lunch and dinner.”
That….doesn’t actually stand. For one, I swing, I dont swim. Second, bananas man, it’s all about the bananas, like minions, you know those yellow goggled potatoes? Yeah those. I mean who doesn’t like bananas? They’re long, and sometimes big, they’re easy to eat, doesn’t matter if you dont have teeth, you can always swallow it. They provide carbs and “instant energy”. Really great before strenuous exercises like running, swimming, and nut-cracking.

Nowadays, you just stare condescendingly at me as if I’m an ape with 40 IQ. If anything, we apes are definitely not retarded, there’s a reason why they call us branch managers.
And you just continue nibbling on your nut.

Nibble nibble nibble.

Someday, I swear, I will exorcise that nut of yours and make sure the devil in it comes out and calls me papa. Why is it always tethered to you? Is that nut even yours? Is it your baby? Retarded squirrel, always clinging on to your nut as if it’s your lifeline. What a nutjob, retarded tuft of hair.

I hate you now. They say “Only good ppl live in the sea, when u soak in the water, it washes away all the dirt and scum and leaves you with nothing but a salty ass.” Maybe that’s why you’re living in the jungle, because even the sea can’t cleanse you. Well, nature has it’s way of restoring balance, water levels seems to rising, grasslands are turning into swamps, forests are turning into mudpools and our tree you ask? It’s gonna rot in the rising water levels if you dont do something about it.

I predict, in 20 years time – if I’m not grappled by a hawk or bitten by a snake – I’ll be swallowing salty bananas and you trying to crack a water chestnut. Hmm, maybe sea cucumbers would be better in the increasingly warmer weather these years. Wonder if they’re yellow and long and big and gives instant energy too. Maybe they give proteins instead, white stuff, good stuff.

Scamper scamper scamper.

I guess most things don’t make sense in life, like you’re born to die. Or we wake up to sleep and eat to shit. Like how the monkey in me fell for the squirrel in you. Crunch crunch crunching on the food for thought. Nope, still not as good as bananas.

END

The girl across

Sorry it’s been rather long since I updated, had little inspiration and was experimenting with a new writing style. Here goes

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WEEEEE that day I was sitting across the library from you. The near scantily dressed you, far from the proper attire for a freezing place made even colder by the icy stares of normal people. Im weird, eccentric even, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. You left me speechless that day, well, technically I’m supposed to be speechless. But you silenced my silence.

I dont know how we started but I do know why I started. My eyes were glued to you that day like how chicken skin gets stuck to a heated frying pan. No wonder I couldn’t see properly the day after – you were trying to peel them off you. Ouch. Rejection at its best. But still, it was silent courting until now, keep the library a condusive environment they say. Well, definitely not condusive to court women.

And the day I finally decide to cosplay a polar bear to break the ice, stuff happens. Like I’ll lose my voice for no apparent reason. Sometimes u just gotta pretend it’s natural, like when people ask, you tell them “oh I was born a mute.” You know, when you get a really sore throat from smoking too much during your puberty years? Yeah, that feeling.

And so I completely blew my chances with you when we barely just met. I’ll get depressed and go home and probably eat a banana or something and choke on it. Well, now I’ve got a banana in me, actually, one more. Not that you’re interested in mine in the first place anyway.

You might not be interested in me now, but you could be interested in who I might become. Let you in on a secret, I’ll graduate with a degree in “Really bad jokes for public speaking” and become a father of seven. My wife will divorce me because I lost my job due to spending too much time checking myself out in the mirror on the wall. I’ll fight in an underground arena to fund my orphanage-in-a-cottage-in-the-middle-of-a-forest because a man needs a reason to continue living. Then I’ll die at 55 on a plane because I try to pick up an air-stewardess and she stabbed me with a poison apple.

Or maybe none of this would happen if you happen to look up from reading your “The Black Swan” and notice that I could be a black swan.

Sometimes I stand in the toilet – listening to the flow of nature and the wheezing of escaping liquid – thinking about all the alternate universes in our dimension. What would have happened if I had done something differently. Like building a time machine to travel to a parallel universe to fuck with the mind of my self there. Things would have turned out differently, like you could be a guy and I had depression. Then all I’ll have to do is to turn gay, oh, story of my life.

END

From smoke to ashes

Every where I search I don’t find you, darkness slaps me in the face. I flick a switch. The singular light erupts to life out of its metal cocoon, and flickers as it tries to survive. Yet here I am, getting drunk on cigarettes, spitting smog from my sullen breasts, thinking about you.

Every breath I take I wear myself down. Every breath I exhale I lose a part of me. I labor for the halo above you.
You watch people climbing your Tower of Babel but you remain indifferent.

Every step I take creates a sandstorm. Confusing and buffetting, it whirlwinds and ruptures, it tears my flesh. I hurt, and I hurt to fill the emptiness in my chest. Open wounds and fresh meat, I am bloodied, I am stained. I am a devil who wants your soul. You are pure and innocent, you are a virgin in every way. And yet I chose walk to you, I bare my fangs at others as I struggle to lose all my reason around you. You’re losing me, but I, you.

Every day I flick the switch and stare into the light. I lose myself in its mysterious dance, how it flickers and comes back to life. I am captivated by you. Like how moths are attracted to a fire, you are gravity, and you hurt me, but I’ll manage to rise from the flames and soar as haze fills my lungs. I’ll lapse into a trance, and inhale powder and fine grain as Fernando becomes my friend. Will your angels still hold us till we see the light?

Every now and then I make new friends, every now and then I get drugged by lust and sanguine desires. I will rampage for you, I will thrash around just to attempt to make you mine. There is no mystery behind this experience. If it’s governed by my impulse, by my personal desire. I will consume and feast on it… But nothing lives forever, just as my brave young soul asks of you to help me live longer.

Every night I bathe in the melting glow above the stainless steel and smell my lungs. I pant and feel that I am still alive, why must I be? Infernos can be put out by sandstorms, and fires cooled to be an ice burn. My heart goes obsidian and my arms fall limp, I stub it out, in my heart, and throws it away. I sand everything down and take a last look up your ivory tower.

I turned my back, but every step I take still whips up a sandstorm. You’re killing me slowly.

END