Crossing Josef with
Ivan’s teatime in Gulag
Crossing Josef with
this is the first time for me, really. so naturally, my entire being isn’t sure how to react. the last two days i’ve been having mixed emotions and my mind’s been thinking a lot. past, present or even future. can’t believe it or can’t accept it, i couldn’t really tell the difference. lots of ‘what if’s have been lingering too. i guess it’s just the irrational behaviour under a rational circumstance. is it just someone passing on? no. or is it someone special passing on? not sure. all these afterthoughts probably don’t mean much now. all i can confess is that i miss her. but then again, i might not have felt it if nothing has happened. so it’s the same own cliché, right? appreciate who you have now before a sudden departure arrives.
any comfort from this? not sure too. oh, perhaps, or most definitely, yes. she’s with Him now.
Lying before me
Is a path so less travelled
I’m waiting for you
i stumbled upon a piece of sad news today. i’ve lost a friend. i didn’t know that she was suffering from an illness, and of course, i wasn’t at her funeral. i feel sad, and bad.
Last month, I was just talking to Mr Chan at the coffeeshop. He was saying that the government should do something about the high cost of living and the low salary. The next morning, he dropped dead in the bedroom from a heart attack.
Last week, I met Susan at Coffee Bean. We recounted the good old days in high school and how I used to woo her before she left for the states. Two days later, she was run over by a motorcycle.
Yesterday, Jason called me and invited me to his wedding dinner next month. He shared how excited he was about starting his own family unit. I told him he’d make a good husband because he was a very patient guy. Last night, he was stabbed to death in a snatch theft.
Six hours ago, Mum rang me up and said Dad was admitted to hospital. It was just diagnosed that he was at the late stage of liver cancer. Just a few minutes after I had met him at Changi, he passed away.
Just now, an ambulance pulled over by the pavement. The paramedics rolled out the stretcher and I could see a young man with a number tag on his chest lying unconscious. Words spread that he was a seasoned marathon runner who collapsed seconds after completing 21 km.
Now, I am staring at him. He’s being pushed out with the sheet covering his face and his parents crying.
If life is so uncertain, what have I done?
This one’s dedicated to all those who love and care about the five men.
I want to run, run away,
from the light of the shadows
to the shadows of the light.
The world I’m running towards
is the world the world is shunning.
From the lowest rung of this ground,
I long to climb to the highest tier of that.
Don’t mourn my loss,
for it’s a gain to both you and me.
When you open your eyes,
you shut the doors left open.
See that you keep looking up,
so that you stop looking down.
This may be a farewell for now,
but it’s only for a little while.
Before the weight collapses
And the collapse weighs
Just let me run, run away.
You might want to say something here.
Jordan has passed away in the evening after more than a month’s struggle with a weak heart. The docs put him out of sedation and allowed him to wake up to see his family members. Was told that he cried upon waking up. According to our friends, Jordan’s granny asked Jordan if he wanted to go. Despite his young age, it seemed that he was able to understand her and indicated that he wanted to. It’s been a very sad period for his parents and family members and all those who care about him. Let’s pray for Jordan’s family members.
it’s my birthday today and i’m not exactly excited. but my loved ones want to cheer me up. thanks!
and i’ve written a short fiction for myself as a gift, maybe.
The alarm sounded. I got up and threw myself off the bed. Sidestepping the red round chair in the dark, I fetched myself a cup of soya milk from the fridge. I switched on the lights and settled at the dining table to eat some bread. I picked up the newspaper by the side and started reading it. Another fatal car accident no thanks to one idiotic drunk driver. Jan got up moments later and walked past me. She went in to take a shower. I finished my last bit and cleaned up the cup. I took the towel and walked to the bathroom. She got out of it and left the room. I stepped into it and removed my robes. I turned on the tap. The water travelled down the tube, ran through the holes and laid its hands on me. The heat refreshed me somewhat. I soaped myself and was planning ahead. Then it happened.
The pain shot through my heart and I gasped. I dropped to the ground and crouched in agony. I couldn’t muster any strength to yell. The pain was simply too excruciating. After all these years of warning, no one had advised me intelligently to deal with it. Now, I was faced with it in the most severe circumstance. I struggled for air and felt myself ripping the flesh off my chest with my left hand. Then, I stopped breathing and collapsed. It took only 28 seconds.
I rinsed myself with the last drops and turned off the tap. I wiped myself dry and put on my hair gel. I stepped out of the showers and went to my closet. I ran my fingers through the wardrobe and picked up the one long-sleeved Domanchi. I dressed myself up in the next few moments. I took one last look into the mirror and felt myself looking good. I walked to the cot and talked to my little girl. She was irritated for a while, obviously unwilling to rise. Jan came in, ready to go. I picked Faye up and put her on my shoulder. We put on our shoes and left the house. We walked to the lift lobby, talking about the day ahead. My girl was still sleeping. The lift came. It was littered with dog’s urine. Another irresponsible owner. We shook our heads. At the ground floor, we began walking towards the car. Then it happened.
Just as I stepped off the building, I was struck on the head. Faye and I fell to the ground. Her back landed rather heavily. She was startled and cried loudly. Jan rushed to us in great horror. I lay sprawling on the ground, trying to look for the culprit in a semi-conscious state. I could see my blood everywhere; on the ground and on me. I saw it. A shattered flower pot. I thought my head was in pain. I thought it was bleeding profusely. I saw Jan in tears. She was quite clearly disoriented. She was carrying the wailing Faye and weeping uncontrollably, not knowing what to do. I felt really dizzy. The spell lasted about a minute or two. Then, I was gone.
The three of us stood by the car. Jan and I put our bags into the boot. I then got into the rear seat and buckled myself up with my still sleeping girl. Jan started the engine and stepped on the accelerator. The car inched its way out of the lot and moved onto the main road. The Morning Show was on. Gwen and FT were rattling on about who would win the Singapore Idol. Minutes later we arrived at the nanny’s place. She carried my girl off my shoulder and we bade her farewell. Our cute little one was still sleeping soundly. She must have been dreaming much. We walked back to our car and left for school. On our way there, I looked up to the heavens. The clouds were beginning to form and the golden hue of the rising sun was tainting the sky. It was beautiful. I then thought about work. I wasn’t really looking forward to it. Jan was about to make a right turn at the junction. I looked at all the oncoming cars. Most of them were speeding. I guessed everybody was in a hurry getting to work. Then it happened.
This black Mercedes was coming on real fast. It did not look right. In fact, it was too fast and it had gone off track. Oh my god! It was coming right at us! The Mercedes rammed into the bonnet of our Ford!……I couldn’t quite remember what had actually happened. But my lower half of the body was caught in the middle of the wreckage. I thought I saw blood all over. Jan had managed to get out of the car. She was crying for help. I was just staring at her, unable to do anything else. The pain was beyond description. It was…it was…it was numb. It took me only about three minutes to realise I was going. I told Jan to take good care of our girl. I told her I loved her. She wept and told me to hang on. I told her I loved her again. And I said something like, “Believe in Jesus…” Then I closed my eyes.
Jan stopped the car in the lot and shut down the engine. Both of us got off the car and walked into our respective offices. I had tons of work waiting for me to clear. Being a department head had brought me a lot more burden. I didn’t hate my work but I couldn’t exactly say I enjoyed doing it either. But for the sake of my own promotional prospects, I just had to give it a shot. So it went on. The day, I mean. From the office to the classrooms; from the paper work to all the students’ assignments. Work seemed to make time an even rarer commodity. Before I could come to my senses, it was already five in the evening. Jan had gone to fetch our girl home. They would be arriving in ten minutes’ time to take me home. I cleared up my things on the table. I switched off my notebook and went underneath the table, intending to switch off the main power. Then it happened.
As my bare index finger touched the socket, a huge electric shock wave ran through my entire body. I really did not know what hit me then. My body twitched violently for about 12 seconds. Then, all my hopes of spending another great evening with my family and retiring at 65 with great wealth had gone up in smoke……literally.
My little one called out for me outside my workstation. I could hear her footsteps. I hid behind my chair and called out her name. She walked slowly towards my chair. I burst out smiling and she screamed with joy. I gave her a huge hug and asked her if she had been a good girl. She said yes as Jan appeared from behind. I picked up my bag and we all took off. We got into our car and left for my in-laws’ place where we usually had our dinner on weekdays. Dinner was rather sumptuous, as usual. And my baby girl was already feeding herself. Quite messy, I must say. I was still chewing on my fish when I smiled at her. Then it happened.
I felt something hard and sharp in my throat. I knew something was wrong. I tried spitting out whatever was in my mouth. The rest looked on, shocked. Jan asked me what was wrong. I pointed to my throat but couldn’t utter a word. I knew I was choked by a bone, but I never imagined that it was this painful. What freaked me (and the rest) out was the fact that I was bleeding from my mouth. The rest of them held me by the arms but was obviously unsure of what to do. Faye was still sitting on her chair, staring at me curiously. Someone actually remembered calling for the ambulance. Everything took off from there rapidly. Before I knew it, I was on the way to hospital. Jan was by my side. The paramedics were doing something to me. I could hear faintly the words “blood vessels…”. I looked at the teary-faced Jan. I knew hope was slim at best. I wanted to keep awake. But my eyelids were just too heavy. She had just seen the last of me.
After a much satisfying dinner, the whole family sat on the couch in front of the TV. My little one was playing with her kitchen set toys. She loved playing cooking, just like many other young girls. I was watching “Shrek 2”. It was still hilarious to me. Jan was talking to her parents. It was a rather comfortable evening. About half an hour later, we decided to leave for home. We got the youngest one to pack her toys and told her that we were going. She hurriedly kept her toys and followed us out of the door. We took turns to carry her home. She was rather demanding. Just like most evenings, we showered the baby before washing up. Jan tucked her to bed while I cleared up some of my work. Then I flipped through the papers and saw yet another tragic news. How could this have happened? This was the third case in a month. I had to agree that humans are all vulnerable. Our life is too fragile to be wasted. I decided to turn in too. I jumped onto bed and kissed my wife and my already asleep child. We switched off the lights and lay in bed. I closed my eyes, still thinking about how I should be spending my time wisely with my family. I must cherish them. My day at work had worn me out almost completely. I finally surrendered and dozed off. Then it happened.
I never woke up.
happy birthday, cs!
death is something totally unavoidable. we all know that. hence, some people fear it. they fear losing everything they have built or gained. they fear losing their loved ones. they fear…there could be a thousand and one reasons why they fear death.
if you ask me, honestly, there is only one reason why i fear death – not having the time to complete what i wish to accomplish. and i’m talking about many things to do here. like, getting my loved ones to believe in Him; writing my will so that my loved ones would at least gain some; telling the world that i’m really, really a pretty nice guy; playing in a band again; reading all the books that are left on the shelves, listening to all my acquired songs and music attentively; expressing my genuine care and concern to those who wish to be heard and comforted; travelling far, far away from here, visiting all the english football stadiums, watching my girl grow up and old, reliving my life again, etc, etc, etc.
when i read the newspapers daily, i see countless deaths being reported. i often think it might happen to me next. don’t get me wrong. i’m not freaking out. it’s just that i’m beginning to live my life as if i’m gone soon. i try to maximise all that i have so that my life will be meaningful and not wasted. not sure if i’m too extreme here. but so far, so good.
Look at the beautiful night sky
With the twinkling stars and the elegant moon
It certainly promises much
The cool sea breeze
And the salty smell of humidity
They definitely promise much
How I wish all these had come earlier
You know, we could have really lived happily ever after
We could have realistically grown old together
Pity the human nature is such
That we have our differences
That we could not manage them well enough
Feel the sand around here
The grains are ever so smooth, so fine
Just like how they used to be
Hear the tides rolling in
They sing so merrily in our ears
Bringing back fresh waves of sweet memories
How I wish the human nature is such
Consistent, everlasting and adaptable
That we can be as gay as we want to be
Pity Mother Nature is such
That we’ll always find it a tall order
To keep up with her standard of serendipity
As I observe the contours of your body
As I caress the hardened pounds of muscles
I thank God for the blessings we’d had together
I long to look into your soulful eyes again
I long to kiss your sensual lips again
But I’m just too afraid to face you
She’s calling me now
She’s telling me that there is hope
She’s begging me to turn myself in
Life’s like that, she says
Ups and downs, loss and gain
Health and sickness, life and death
He looked at the beautiful night sky again. With the twinkling stars and the elegant moon, it looked promising. Life could still go on. Do it, she said. He reached for his cellular and made the call. Then, he picked up his lover’s head and stood by the body. He closed his eyes and absorbed her singing voice. He was looking forward to his new life.
The first car arrived. Two of them walked cautiously towards him with their pistols in their hands. He offered no resistance. He was taken into the car as others began their work. With the window halfway up, he could hear one speak to another. “One male body. Still searching for his head.”
Tonight, I really had a wonderful time spent with you.
I’m not very good with words. I just know that my feelings for you have grown stronger by the seconds. As I walked you home, I wanted to tell you how I sincerely feel for you and how much I want to be with you.
But summoning my courage has proven more arduous than anything else I’ve done. I was too weak to do it.
I could only bid you farewell.
Now, I want to make it right. I wish to have another opportunity to try again. I’m nervous, but hopeful and excited. Yes, I think I must be honest with you.
I wanted to make it right.
I wished to have another opportunity to try again.
I was nervous, but hopeful and excited.
Yes, I thought I ought to be honest with you.
Now I understand what it means to “seize the moment”.
Now, I could only bid you farewell.
Dewdrops of grief and glee
The path to Normandy
Sizzling ashes of glory
40 torrential days and nights
Hub of the soul that bites
Wishes deprived of rights
Dagger of slain Duncan
War cry, trumpets and siren
Rays of light that darken
Terminal point of more returns
Desperation crashes and burns
Probe to call nature’s turns
Weight perceived as dodo’s bill
Posts signed with comic chill
ABC of nought or nil
Fluid form of healing stone
Rests that tag and hone
Novocaine that huffs the tone
Sand that dunes the face
Tinted grey of cells that pace
Long lost gods of Hercules’ grace
Laps that round and bound
Tasks of hound and pound
Rats with sound of ground
The passion of criminal act
Certainties to a soulful pact
Upstarts that rise to fact
Kimberly’s vow to last the trip
Sir Paul sworn to bud the nip
Father of love could taste a sip
Youthful does that prance
Hot-blooded stamens that chance
Budding essence that looks askance
Innocence diminishing with time
World of wonders not all but a dime
Image of him who speaks in mime