Unsweetened soy powder plus oats (all organic as per Dominic’s advice), some sugar in the form of digestives — set perfectly in a bowl made of olive wood — from a girl friend who was on a holy pilgrimage.
In other news:
IT’S 3AM WORK IS DESTROYING MY HEALTH AND SOCIAL LIFE!
Did we tell you that one day at our swimming pool 3 lanes were “reserved” for private use and when the private person came it was the father of the present Singapore dictator, the original devil, very frail, surrounded by body guards. After his “swim” he insisted he wanted to have a shower with everybody else (who couldn’t care less about him and didn’t know who he was) and that drove the guards crazy… in case some of the other naked men (University students only, produced a knife from inside his arse! Unfortunately there wasn’t a single Asian around, very unusual. It would have been great if some Singaporeans could have the thrill of bathing in the same water as the man who made them into pathetic imitations of Swiss Cukoo Clocks!
— From a friend who swims a lot near the Serpentine
with his husband
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.
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Coincidence: Yasmin Ahmad was buried on the same day.
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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?
Why is it I am feeling like my legs are stuck in clay these nights…. refusing to jump out and enter sleep mode? My job is destroying my life. When can I move forward again…
Traveling as a child in the early 90s, squished between my parents as a passenger on a rusty motorcycle, the sight of the lush painted mural of the Pudu Jail wall was one of the most memorable things that passed my view.
I thought it was wonderfully endless, an examination of patience, a green fantasy world wrapping a sad core, a bittersweet gift from an inmate. The person who painted it served his sentence by visualising, in his mind, a much better place: with sufficient oxygen, soft beds of moss, the sound of tropical birds, filtered sunlight, something more natural than a concrete box.
I hope he inspired many of his friends there.
Driving past earlier in a car, no longer dangerously balanced in the middle of the motorcycle, I caught glimpses of the painted landscape again, paint peeling, many people photographing, bulldozers ready, reporters working late into the night.
(Note: the two photographs of the Pudu Jail were taken in September 2005)