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.

Scattered thoughts

July 15, 2017

Some months ago, when i was still living on my own, I bought a plant with black leaves. Said plant has since been putting forth leaf after leaf, and to my complete surprise, a baby version with just one precious leaf is peeking over the pot. I will have to think of transferring it soon. I have a plan.

J has been posted, and we/i have been learning so much about human nature. Each place he goes to, I learn more and i am surprised time and again. I like that he tells me stuff.

The office has three orchids, two mint plants and two different basils. The tall light leafed one is becoming worse for the wear; apparently it’s overwatered. Drunk, i tell you. They get watered in the mornings. On Fridays i water them a second time before i go, and leave with a vague sense of worry.

S asked me today how work has been. It obliged me to reflect (a good thing). All things considered, it’s alright, mais il est ennuyeux parfois. I’m not complaining, though.

So much can go wrong in utero, that the ___ don’t count your chickens before they hatch rings truest. What’s the word I’m looking for? Adge- adage, ah. I was reading about umbilical cords today, while A was telling me how the doctor said her risk for a down syndrome baby is now three times higher because of lighter spots in her ultrasound.

Babies are cuter when they’re some months old, and i haven’t made up my mind about the rest of their lives. C and i agree that having a lifetime responsibility for something which needs help with even pee and poop is a baffling thought- why would anyone willingly endure the exhaustion of rearing? Must be proof of God’s irresistible will, I joked.

Mon mari est out for a farewell, but he should be coming home soon. I don’t know how we’ll hold up to the coming and repeated testing, but he’s the one i want my whole life through.

And I will, just not in the way I’d intended- that’ll be a later post.

I moved into Chinatown today,  and the office has big windows and views i was getting acquainted with when suddenly, I  realised the hill in the distance looked familiar, like I’d climbed it before.

And I have.



I had to scroll through numerous other posts to get this one, revisiting the ruins of a decaying story I had neither been old enough or willing to leave. I feel heavy reading the writings of those months. I had been so sad.

Also, three different guys in one post – I disbelieve myself.

But. for all the triumphs and tears I’d thrown myself into eight years ago, flinging myself into abysses and mud,  nonsense, plus and minus a hundred other stories along the way-

In the end I married the best of them all.

June 7, 2017

Yesterday I was running ten minutes late, today i am ten minutes early. I thought it was going to be a breakfast of soya milk and fried dough fritters, but breakfast together didn’t work out so I sit here phone in one hand, egg prata in the other.

It was a different front man but he told me the same thing, no change to my ten dollar note. This time however, I  decided I wasn’t going to bother any other stall for exchanging services to indulge prata men’s nonsense. So I said i didn’t want prata in that case, whereupon he gestured to my ten dollar note and found change. I was his last customer before shift change and found myself walking to the bus stop with him, in silence.

Five minutes before work begins. I am tired from last night, last night didn’t go well. I woke up this morning and wondered what this feeling was.

It’s nine.

mon mari (my husband)

May 29, 2017

1. We’re having a quiet evening at home; he’s watching videos on YouTube

me: ‘dearest, could you put up the painting dennis got us as a housewarming gift?’
him: ‘Okay, dear.’

Knocks out on sofa for the rest of the evening.

2. It’s dinnertime; we’re going to eat at the coffeeshop downstairs, but at the last minute I decide I’m too tired and ask him to tapao back up instead, along with fruits.

me: ‘okay, so fruit xyz, and dinner abcd.’
him: ‘okay’. (pause) ‘what if on the way suddenly I get a heart attack and then the ambulance comes and brings me to the hospital and i die? then you wouldn’t know because you’re upstairs.’

me: ‘only you would turn a trip downstairs into your death.’



We’re in the bathroom, brushing our teeth before bedtime, when we start talking about the number of (adult) teeth we have

Him: So I took out x number, because of braces, and because I took out all my wisdom teeth.
Me: oh, I never removed any of my adult teeth.

He proceeds to tilt my head back, open my mouth with his hands, and count how many teeth that is, while I stand there with toothbrush in hand thinking, I could get used to this.

937 on a Saturday morning,  and I’m languid in bed. I have peaches in the fridge; oh, and a coconut. It’s nice to lie in.

Last night I dreamt of forms, reminiscent of what I’ve been on all week, but that’s preferable to the previous night’s nightmare of being chased; second occurrence, different story. My phone automatically puts two spaces after every punctuation, and isn’t as sensitive as I’d like it to be.

A peach now would be nice, but so is this present circumstance. I wonder if it’ll rain later; the air suggests possibility.

I think I’ll close my eyes and see what other thoughts come to me.