Homecoming

The hardest thing about leaving here so far is facing the things I’m leaving behind. Blame my bourgeoisie inclination perhaps, but you’ve got to admit that it’s hard when you’ve no idea if what anything you’ll find in Malaysia can replace anything you’ve found that feels just right in the US or not. Or even come close. Or.*

And then there’s the bloody convenient customer service. Oh, god. America and its convenience stores of free delivery, quick returns, and  friendly exchange policies. None of which exists in Malaysia.

On top of that, as if by deja vu, exactly four years after my first arrival in Bloomington, Indiana, another someone walked on the neighbourhood sidewalk with a laptop propped open in one arm, strolling.

I’m going to miss the sense of security and comfort provided by this town.

It’s time for me to wake up again to cynicism and paranoia. My parents won’t be helping with my stress level. Let’s be on super guard with our belongings and personal safety once more.

.

* Sounds kinda like comparing with interpersonal relationship experiences; finding the right match and whatnot.

Three Valley Love

It is easy to fall in love with you over a glass of wine.

To sniff it is bliss upon bliss. Few things are as subtle as that strong note of red with other varieties of other reds. Old vine love with peppery spice, I dare not go into details for fear of your history lectures on zinfandel, petite sirah, carignane, mataro, syrah, and grenache.

Yes, I Googled them all. I googled our Three Valley wine, just like the researcher you fell in love with would.

::

I could not have imagined a more perfect dinner. Roasted duck with mandarin orange glaze and your favorite calamari and those pink red spots on my cheeks, with a dazzling waitress on our side…

…it was just like that one evening once more, in Indy in The Eagle with nobody to disturb us and to think that hours, weeks, months ago, I was paranoid and frustrated and definitely pissed off with the situations good Fate had brought us into, willingly or not,

yet, you were all worthwhile. You were worth my while.

I would not trade another moment for the one I had devour with you over saccharine sorbet of blood orange and lemon with buttermilk.

The question “what we were thinking??“—or what was I thinking—is of no consequence right now. Not to me, at least.

::

To humor your fantasies, and dare I dream again, I dream of us either in Venice or Rome or France or somewhere in Somali or Zimbabwe, having the warm summer breeze caress our cheeks and bare skins in shorts not tight as we laze beneath a great oak tree, watching them sheep or lions or zebras roam. Even goats would do.

I must say though, your cat has to be included. She is after all, an extension of your Self. Take good care of her then I can have faith you shall take healthy care of you and me.

With a glass of French wine in each our hand, we’d stroll along the dirty paths of vineyards of Southern France as you make small talks of grand-daddy stories as I’d patiently listen while my eyes dart between the expressions of semi-comprehensions between you and the wine-makers while my mind wanders to the ethical questions of our dinner that night: fois gras ou pas?

It is so delicious though. It’s a pity many just had to stuff globs of fats down their dainty swan-like throats.

::

Pandora’s playing a French song right now. I’m not sure why either. Perhaps everything is meant to be.

Peut-être.

What I do know for sure is that I await for the day our global American town stop raining billowing winds of Northern ice and snow and I can finally wear that swishy paisley psychedelic orange Bohemian skirt you got me once more.

It was your graduation gift to me. It is my graduation into the youth of adulthood.

It is me embracing life, the life the dreamer in you inspired.

::

I do, still think you are crazy, for everything you’ve said and done in my name, like what I said this evening when it was cold and raining and you wrapped your fancy eight-dollar jacket over my scantily clad legs, finishing with a knot over my slender waist.

“You’re crazy,” I laughed.

To which, of course, you said,

crazy for you.

Gnomed

The girl tells me she likes my “magically delicious” shirt.

I am gnomed.

Ceasefire

Little did I know it’s nearly 2 years since my first touchdown in N. America. I remember feeling all excited and exhilarated, because I ran away, or flew away, from the cage I saw as Malaysia. The Malaysia I knew was a place of control, hypocrisy, and apathy; land of psychological abuse…and many unwanted memories.

Perhaps I’m spoilt. I’ve lived in a city all my life. Places elsewhere were mere passing interests. What I knew of politics came out of the mouths of opinion leaders. I’ve been taught to be cynical, afraid of strangers. Make friends with people of my age, of my background, of my race. Everything else kept at arm’s length. You can’t trust people you’ve just met. No late nights, no parties. You’re yellow, not white. Or brown, or black. Arts is bad, science is good. You can’t make a living out of scribbling, can you?

Sounds like parents manywhere.

Parents, when they stay away from your life, can make you realize how often you’ve barely tried to carry the responsibility yourself.

So, living here reveals how I never really left the cage. Got used to it. It grew on me.

And somehow, without control, I feel lost. There are too damn many choices.

.
.

A friend asked me if I still felt the same about the US as I did 2 years ago.
I wish I do.

I told him it’s still safer than Malaysia.

.
.

I’m not through yet. I’m still deliberating; to stay or not to stay. Half-hearted decisions are barely wise.

Birthday card

Just received an email from the school today:

Happy Birthday from the IU Foundation

birthday cake At the IU Foundation, we believe
our friends are worth celebrating.
This week, we are celebrating you.

View your special greeting

here.

~

Wow. I’m amazed that the school cared enough about my birthday to give me the exclusive link to their special greeting for me which 4382431 students have seen before, probably.

Though it’s actually a pretty cool flash animation, I’d rather have a bottle of Coke, thank you.

38 minutes

So I’ll be turning 22 in less than 80 minutes from now. Here are the 21 things I wish I could have done better at, or should have done:

1. Spent more time with my youngest brother, Roy. Should’ve played all those games and sports with him when I was younger and back in Malaysia.

2. Meditate.

3. Called Dilly more often. Wrote her more letters.

4. Spent more time talking to my late grandmother when she was alive.

5. Continued my ballet lessons. And capoeira lessons.

6. Learned to swim better.

7. Ran more often in the Taman Tun park. I could have won many marathons by now.

8. Remembered to wear my retainers every night, not missing a single night.

9. Did my homework everyday in primary school. I was called “the laziest student” my Std 5 class teacher, Mrs. Wong, ever knew, and yet, I stayed in the express classes the whole time.

10. Rollerbladed more often. Cycled more often.

11. Gave those Cleo magazines to the orphanage near my house like I promised to, in person.

12. Stayed to tell those Interact Club members back in high school exactly what I thought of their activities, instead of walking away, leaving the meeting.

13. Introspected without self-judgment when I was in the psychiatric ward at UH, when I was 16, instead of thriving in the thrill from the attention I was getting from visitors.

14. Told the graduate student that he was shit when he told me “did you know that half the people here in this room, feels exactly the way you do?”

15. Spat at the psychiatrist who asked me “do you know what depression is?” after me telling him about the void I felt.

16. Continued group therapy back in UH. It’d prolly help distract me from my issues if I were to listen to the melodramas of everyone else. Then again, the only stories I remembered from my one and only session (I think) was some runaway case and some domestic abuse thing.

Nobody talked about the mind.

17. Be more sensitive and mindful of what my exes felt while we were still together. Some of them really tried to work things out. Oh well.

18. Bought a vibrator.

19. Kept the diary/journal habit. Wrote down the dreams I remembered first thing in the morning.

20. Wasn’t so stupid to encourage short-sightedness/far-sightedness by plastering my face to the telly when I was 7, because I believed in the aesthetic appeal of spectacles. In fact, I got mad when my parents refused to buy me the more expensive, nicer-looking ones.

21. Colored more often. I remember one of my first art lessons in primary school. It was an extra-curricular activity and was paid for.

One day the teacher wanted the class to draw the alligator she drew on the blackboard. Some alligator by the jungle river. Instead, I drew a farmer with a straw hat in a paddy field, mainly because I got bored and the alligator looked really complex to draw. She got so annoyed that she made me stay back after class, asking me to at least color the large print of Christmas stocking she gave me. Then she colored another sock while waiting for me to color mine.

I left the paper blank. She asked me why. I told her my sock was white. She said nothing afterwards.

So those were the 21 things I wished I did (better at).

~

As for the 22 things I want to do in less than 38 minutes, I think I’ll just go with the flow. I’ll start by visiting the girl down my floor. She’s been sick for a while now.

Facebook updates

From my 25 whatevers:

3. You know you’re an SL addict when you realize that you spend more time awake in SL than sleeping in FL. And you have dreams about SL. And you know what these acronyms mean.

Aside from that, here are some what’s-news:
1. I haven’t been doing my work. But I now have a clearer idea of what I want to do with my life. Perhaps this is the quote of the moment for me:

“We try to judge people not on how much time they waste but on what they accomplish over fairly long periods of time, like a half-year to a year.” – Les Earnest.

2. I am still in a relationship with the man I love. Hoorais.

3. I bought my first ever pair of rainboots. The are red with yellow ducks all over. Classic.

4. I still think Paddington Bear is the most adorable shit ever.

5. I am moving into a house for the first time in my life, with four girls, two of which are terribly amazing because they worship my legal age. It’s going to be sexciting.

No, it doesn’t involve orgies. Unless…, nevermind.

6. I have been on time for most of my classes.