Category Archives: Friendship

Christmas spent by the sea

Christmas Day, like any other public holidays in Malaysia, also means that shopping malls will be crowded, and the roads near them will be choked.  So it was pleasing when a friend decided to drive to Port Dickson. Highways seem less claustrophobic. The soundtrack of choice was Jiwang plus Rock Kapak.

The last impromptu trip there was in 2002 or so, with two members of the Four-leaf Clover Society. This time, as the car approached the Port, the air didn’t smell salty. But cats were still everywhere. Here are some shots of kuching perched here and there, their shapes accentuated with clouds of fishnets in a fishing jetty around Teluk Pelanduk.

At a beach in Kemang, we found a secluded area with rock pools and large rocks punctured with barnacles. Emotional landscapes! Just like in that Jóga video. What was there to do but rest and rilek on one of the rocks with a towel for a pillow and join the arthropods. At that moment, I wanted to be a barnacle forever.

I saw red with my eyes closed — sun through the eyelids; as I opened them everything was dark blue and turquoise, a perfectly natural saturation for what was right in front of me: calm sloshes on remarkable wave-carved formations… and the setting sun.



Benjamin McKay’s body was my first experience with an open casket. His face was very square, surprisingly meaty; his shoulders blocky, snuggly fitted with the satin lining. A faint memory of a teddy bear stuffed somewhere. I had to hold on to some friends in the queue. Not really because I was emotional, I barely knew him — just hear him speak with the lovely combination of limp wrists and pudgy red cheeks… — it was my first time viewing an empty shell so closely. The Xiao En centre with its polished granite floors and colour coordinated identity system, was like a museum. What was most surreal was how the event was presented by the six footer drag queen Shelah. What more can a deceased homosexual ask for?

It was also refreshing that there were no mentions about god, or having hell notes burnt, or notes in the programme that said he is resting in heaven. Instead, at the burial plot, we sung that Judy Garland song, and besides a fistful of earth, we threw into the hole a scattering of paper cranes.

Now I can imagine that lonesome rectangular plot in Nilai dampened by the rain, muddy, as useless thoughts cloud my night. Some sentimental things about life? There was an urge to respond and to be grateful to the Alive ones after the event topped up my levels of affection. Now in this little square room all by myself, I crave for hugzzz.

* * *

Coincidence: Yasmin Ahmad was buried on the same day.

* * *

Another coincidence: At the time of Yasmin’s passing, about a year ago at this time, I was together enjoying an evening with a few friends: Vernon, Tommy, Alex. Just yesterday evening, all four of us were together again. What sort of energy arranged this, I wonder? A bringer of joy, at the time of a death?

Thick lips

Shieko-chan drawing me, beside a drawing of Farid-chan. 🙂

无根笔 says:

i feel the urge to take the first plane home and then hide in your room and start yelling at your housemate that listens to Slayer

Oh yes, do come back, I make you vegetarian soba.

Nico evening

Don’t call me home, little sister
Before the night is done
My love and I are fleeing
Running into the sun.

Take up all your jewels and gold,
Bury them away in the earth.
Let your memory reduce them to dust
But don’t forget the knife that was thrust.

Frozen kiss by the fountain
Running into the sea
Where shadows choose their horrors
Designed for music.

Turn to fly, go away,
Little bird, please don’t stay,
Fare thee well.

* * *

PS — It is the juxtaposition of words by the men in The Velvet Underground and Nico’s heartbreaking deep German voice that makes certain tracks like this one (Little Sister) such a pleasure to listen to during lonesome monsoon nights. Friends, please join me sometimes, listen to such works in the dark, as usual, when it is deathly quiet during the pauses, with the insects outside the only audible noises.

PPS — The above photograph features my ‘tai ka chieh’, not little one.

Kena bully sebab sissy lor

Somehow related to the previous post.

Theme: humans who hate because they got nothing better to do (EH YOU TAK ADA KERJA LAIN NAK BUAT KE?), and MPs that want to have a say, but cannot, as they are in a very difficult position!

I got one sweet friend, forgot his name but will say Faiz, starts with F one. Faiz and I were friends in Standard 6 after I moved to Subang from ulu punya Cheras. I sat next to him, a charming boy with wavy short hair who spoke very good English. In the Cheras primary school nobody spoke english liddat. He was very kind to me, even though I was a sissy and a cinapek, very insecure in this new pool of wealthy-looking people.

Once I made Faiz a Hari Raya card featuring a drawing of a mosque with a sun right above it. He saw it and said it was salah to depict Hari Raya that way. I am still very confused. Cannot have prayers during mid-day is it?

We were no longer in the same class in Form 2 onwards. He started assimilating himself into one of those ‘popular jock groups’, and developed heteromachochistic-bullyism. That’s not a word but I’m sure you understand. He became less attached with me, probably learnt from his new friends that pondan like me were best avoided, if not to be spat upon. But when we pass through the corridors we would acknowledge each other — only if Faiz is alone lah of course. HANCUR nanti if Faiz kena seen with JK among these abang-abangs..

There was one time when the male toilet stalls needed fixing, so they opened up the spare female toilet for boys to shit. I have the shy bladder syndrome, which means I can’t really pee at the very open, stainless steel mass-urinals (only during non-reccess times when the toilet is quiet and empty). I’d often lock myself in a stall away the commotion, so I could relax. During that period of fixing, I had no choice but to go into the spare female toilet stall… It was peaceful. No boy wanted to be seen doing their business there. They’d rather keep the shit in.

After I finished peeing, somehow a bully group sensed I was inside. One by one, came in and made a ruckus, their voices swelled, with the atmosphere consistent with that of a mini football-watching-fest in Rasta TTDI. They interjected their ‘pleas’ for me to open the toilet stall door with phrases that I’ve heard too much of in my youth: pondan, sissy, macam pempuan, (dan lain-lain). Teenage and sad, I wanted to die. They might be kicking the door liao, as I was trying to tuck away unhappy thoughts. Boys don’t cry kan? …as The Cure says.

I planned my escape. I would be a rodent, deploy my small size, open toilet stall door and slip past the pack of angry animals, run to where friends are, maybe screaming, so their sound would be masked. If I waited longer, they would have climbed into it anyway, these monkeys.

So I open the door and see them: poking and shoving me, not hitting me (they won’t dare! this is Malaysia, not barat); laughing their asses off, their greasy faces in expressions of hate; fingers pointing at my own greasy cinapek face of sweat, fear and shame… and as you might have guessed, most disappointingly Faiz was among them, except Faiz wasn’t laughing as hard as the others. Maybe he was laughing because he had to, that helpless bugger! Alahai.

Serupa, tapi tak sepenuhnya serupa.

Muka comel biarpun tak ada ekspressi, bukan? Tak nak bayar duit besar masuk dengar gig yang macam entah apa, jadi duduk kat luar aje-lah membincang makna kehidupan.