Up till now/30 weeks

October 18, 2017

I have not felt any wonder, awe of silence, at what’s happening, at this child, what I’m growing inside me. This is the first post in which he appears. A newcomer to this space.
My belly moves independently, this way and that; I watch dispassionately.  Sometimes i place my hands there; I do not know why.  When the movement is too human, too undeniably sentient, I quickly move my hands away.

We haven’t settled on a name for him. My other friends fret and accommodate their growths; no lifestyle change too inconvenient for their offspring’s sake. Mine has been too polite to require any obligation on my part. I sit and watch my belly move. Children’s music doesn’t play in our home. John checks in with baby more than I do.

My husband snores gently after dinner, long legs hanging off where heads are designed to be placed. His family sleeps in any, every position. I call it their superpower. I hear him sleeping, and my heart loves him more than baby.

I wonder if my parcel to France got delivered; I believe it did. I suspect they’re sending a parcel in return, but worry my handwriting was too atrocious, that my address will be incorrect and it won’t make it back to me and it’d be my fault.
I need to reply to an Australian letter too, with news.

I didn’t do much today. Had lunch with a heavily pregnant friend, impressed by her patience for her toddler. Closed my eyes at home while John watched something about apes. Lying beside him now while he naps, snores gone because he turned his head. It has been a hot and lethargic day; I am thankful that air-conditioning exists. Perhaps in the crazy years to come when energy sources deplete, the earth will be baking hot and no respite forthcoming for the love of money.

Why create then? Since it’s going to get worse. I remember a conversation years ago- there were two reasons. I forgot the first, but the second because creation reflects God and since even our worst selves are redeemed in Him, we have hope. We always have hope.

Rereading my words, I feel a tad guilty.  Others sing to their stomach, try to form a relationship with the next generation.  Me, my friends talk to my child more than I do.
The way i currently see it: this child isn’t mine, not really. he’s a gift. I’m a steward. I desire to raise him right. I hope that’s good enough. And then maybe the rest will come.


Hello, October

October 2, 2017


You bring with you my favourite man,
brunch memories,
and the promise of Christmas


September 1, 2017

I was surprised and dismayed,
when I realised that coming to an empty house bothers me.
It never used to matter, in Australia, France, or Singapore.
I accepted that the places I lived in were meant to be silent.

Six months of you and your animation, interaction and life between the two of us
Changed my understanding of home
Home is lively and home is seeing your smiling face turned towards me

So I’m finding it difficult to go back to where I was before
Comfortable with stepping into a still apartment, filled with objects that will not move.

Most nights I’ve walked the house in darkness, perhaps stopping by the kitchen for a drink before heading to the bedroom
There’s no point in turning on the lights when there’s nobody to see.


Are you free for a call?
Hello, my pillar of support’
‘Hello, the roof over my head, and foundation of my heart’.


August 29, 2017

Yesterday, i swept the floors, mopped them, washed the bathroom, did the laundry, cleared the laundry, sent the sheets and duvets to be cleaned. When i rattled off the list, you commented I’m more productive when you’re gone.  Perhaps, but not quite; it’s true i hadn’t done them much just before you left, but that was because I wanted to be near you.

Today you flew in the back seat of an F16, it’s 1547hrs on your side. What are you doing now? I sound like a lovesick teenager and this is your fault. How did you get so close; under the skin of my beating heart.

Without you, I’m

August 26, 2017

It’s been a very long day, and i have had little sleep in preparation for it. You didn’t take your toothbrush with you.

There’s not much to say. The house is quiet.

What would I do, if you went away for good? I wrote somewhere in maybe 2012 that before you, i was a hibernating ent, covered over with moss and getting more tree-like by the day. I suppose I’d go back to that state, if you ever left.

You, my noisy, cheerful lark, forver singing little made-up ditties and often breaking into spontaneous dance, always letting me come into your arms for yet another hug, yet another cuddle. How is it that someone as inclined to pessimism as I, could have someone like you to call home.

I miss you, and it’s only been 15 hours since you left, and I’ve been completely busy till 90 minutes ago. The bed, and things I’ve grown used to, watch silently since you’re not here.

I thought I had more to say, and probably i do, but I seem to have lost my words tonight. Hopefully I’ll hear your voice later.

I’ve grown used to

August 16, 2017

Holding onto you,
Waiting for sleep to come.
My fingers caressing your elbow,
your foot nestled over mine.

I’ve grown used to
Pre-bedtime snuggles and chatter,
You telling me tidings of the day,
The highlights and the badly behaved,
Anything that’s caught your attention lately, really.

I’ve grown used to
Mentally calculating if tonight is my turn for the bolster,
Or yours.
If i get the bolster you tend to end up hugging my pillow anyway.

I’ve grown used to
You telling me which side you’re sleeping on tonight,
If it’s my turn for monster protection sentry duty.
You put up with me if i suddenly flip upside down and hug your ankles instead,
if i cling onto you like a barnacle after lights out for “two Rachel minutes” (jfoo, 2017).
And if i get an insomatic night and shake you awake out of deep sleep because I’m bored tossing and turning,
you pat my head and mumble half a coherent comfort sentence before sentence, and you, slide back into sleep.

Grown used to the nightly prayers
The goodnight-I-love-you-kiss-me exchange
Searching for you half-conscious in the middle of the night
You reaching for me to do the same.
And other, private, pleasures.

Penelope glitches

July 27, 2017

I walked today; stepped out from Chinatown to the street, past Pickering hotel where a Vezel (connect one,) did a lane change so extreme it could have been a pencil squiggle. Stopped by a bus stand to learn more about round ligament cramps, hurried up to traffic lights which seemed always on the verge of turning red, perhaps my pace too meandering.

Peered into sidewalks and dreamed of possibilities, looked wondering up to skyscrapers in the distance, imagining friends working high up any of them, stern steel and grey. Thought if I ever lost myself from grief, I could wander these roads, labyrinth like my mind.

Saw my reflection too late on a storefront window, turned the neck at my silhouette. Walked uphill past a bak ku teh restaurant far, far too popular, in my opinion. Tried to feel if I was hungry, and what for.

Looked across and right at heritage buildings, rainbow coloured window panels, over the Singapore river, remembering an evening and afternoon too many years ago where two boys took turns to make a fuss of me. One was more unscrupulous than the other, and had hands like an octopus. I think my father would have beaten him up, if he’d known. Other boys, too. Now I’m a married woman, with a husband who doesn’t see the point of expensive restaurants but believes in plenty of affection. Here’s a kiss for you, Mr J.

My legs brought me past more old memories, a Funan centre all torn down and rebuilding promises, Fort Canning where strolls and wedding photos had been taken, a grand fire station I’d always admired. Churches and temples, one with a graveyard I’d stood some years back, regretful and aching. I’d turned around with an internal start; i think i made a donation afterward.

More buildings, more history, standing nervously aside for a gang of pigeons. Realising i should check Google maps, entering raffles city for takeaway dinner.

I’m at bugis now, with five minutes to spare before the Mongolia trip sharing. I hope i got the venue right. Another place, another time, another million memories.