When I was still in school I used to go to the bookshop to get my dose of high from books. I found this horrific looking cover which really attracted me and I got it for about five bucks. It was The 21st Pan Book Of Horror Stories. Some of the stories left me in such a shock I had to take time to digest them one at a time. I was amazed, intrigued, inspired, and completely blown away. Subsequently I bought a few more books when I could afford them at random.
There’s a spider that lives on my table,
and it feeds on anything that moves.
I am honored by its presence,
and I’d like to think of it as my muse.
It was such a hot and hazy day at the columbarium. I was with my dad to help my cousin place his brother’s ashes that just arrived from KL. I never really knew this cousin of mine who recently departed. We shared hardly a few words even with the infrequent times we had seen each other.
He died alone and was discovered only about a week later. Everyone was shocked to learn about his early death since he was only 54. Though suspected of a heart attack the death certificate is written – pending investigation, which I don’t even know what it means since he had already been cremated.
We just stood there waiting for the man to come and clean up the area for the urn. No prayers were said, no goodbyes, no eulogies. My cousin brought a bunch of flowers, put them in a vase much too small, and we left. I felt really sad for my aunt who is at home dealing with her cancer, hearing Amazing Grace over the piped in music, and how everything ended just like that. But he had quite a nice service at the crematorium in KL.
Strangely, my mom’s sister died alone as well a few months back. Her son only found her about four days later. She was on the floor in her locked bedroom, crouched in a fetal position.
This tragic business of dying alone is just so grim. Did they suffer? Did they cry for help? Did they want to contact someone? Or did they just slip quietly away into the arms of the angel of death? I guess we’ll never know. They are at least free from all the unnecessary madness of being human.
Goodbye Ah Jin. Goodbye Tua Ee.
When all the distractions have gone
what will you do, where will you go?
The valuable would be valueless,
the luster would lose its glow.
The tides would have to change
the skies would turn from dark to grey.
Are you listening to the sound of your voice,
are you ready to come home and stay?
You’ve been running as far as your feet can take you,
to get away to distant shores and lands.
What did you find in your exotic experience?
Another emptiness in a world that’s nothing but a sham.
What will you do when all the distractions have gone?
How lonely the travel, how will you go on?
Music, Lyrics & Story by Lim Chin Guan
Book by Julya Oui
Finally, done and done.
With a song in my head and dance on my feet,
I go where I go, I do as I please.
With a tune on my tongue and rhythm in my heartbeat,
This is where I’m goin’, that is how it is.
I look for no reasons, I search not for things,
I learned to take it easy, I learned to take it in.
Whatever I cannot fathom, I question deep within,
Whatever I find worrisome, I set them off to dream.
I used to imagine what I wished for,
but I decided to make it all come true.
I used to desperately open doors,
but I finally understand it’s really just a point of view.
So, I go where I go, I do as I please,
This is where I’m goin’, and that is how it is.
My first three students and I made a pact to meet after we left the college but we never did meet on that day since we were always in touch. But for many years now I haven’t seen any of them, except one on FB, but I still keep this weird memento with me. A one ringgit cut into four pieces, verified by four signatures. It was the best of times.