Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The big picture is sometimes one of those things you're better off without. When you don't see the big picture, ignorance is bliss. You walk around a happier person, smiling at the sun and wishing the flowers good morning. And then, one day, you get a glimpse of the big picture. It's not always obvious at first. You could be looking at someone else who's gotten a better look at the big picture, who's behaving in a different way than before because of what he knows, and you could shun the big picture. "Screw it," you say. "If that's what the big picture does to people, then it's not for me. I'm happy at the bottom of the pond, wallowing in my muddy little corner of the world. It's dark and I don't see much, but hey. I'm comfortable."

Time goes by. Slowly, the layers in front of the big picture are pulled back. Every now and then, another small splinter of the glass window covering the big picture breaks away and falls. The big picture doesn't get presented in a neat little training slide. It's not one of those epiphanies you get as you walk towards the car in the morning. It's that slow, creeping enlightenment which ominously slides over your life like a thin film of oil. It's the darkening of a sunny day by black angry clouds. One moment you're cavorting in the sun. The next, you feel a slight chill, and you realize that the day has suddenly gotten so much darker. And like all things esoterical and wickedly just beyond your grasp, the big picture beckons.

It calls to you like your hot sexy neighbour during a powercut in the night, promising cool kisses of relief and pleasure. It draws you close like an exposed monorail track, hypnotizing you to throw yourself onto the electrified rails. It's the shaky tooth in your mouth, screaming out for you to rip it out of your jaw. Knowledge of the big picture is tempting.

So you give in to the siren call. You seek it, wanting to know more. At this point you are heedless of the consequences. Quenching the desire is all you care about. "I must know," you say to yourself. And you poke. And you think. And you prod. And you ask. And you pay attention. But the big picture is not meant to be forced. Some things cannot happen overnight. Yet you roll on relentlessly, an unstoppable juggernaut wanting to know.

Then you come to that point where you want to stop knowing. In the mid throes of passion you remember that the sexy neighbour riding you has had sex with lots of other guys and is probably crawling with STDs. As you fall in slow motion towards the rails you think that maybe passing away quietly on a deathbed surrounded by grandchildren is a more preferable death to painful electrocution. As your hand slowly peels back that shaky tooth, the pain forces you to rethink your brilliant plan of DIY dentistry. But it's too late. You've already seen a part of the big picture. You don't like it. But you cannot stop right here and now. The veil has been parted. You cannot forget what you now know. The big picture will make you a grimmer person and there's nothing you can do about it.

So you let her ride you to the end, your sweaty torso desperately bucking away in bittersweet ecstasy between her moist STD-ridden crotch. You grit your teeth hard and reach for the rails, determined to let the charged electricy course through your body. With one savage pull you rip that tooth out of your mouth, blood and pain intermingled with relief.

You will see the big picture. And you will live with it. Cause that's what life is about. Learning to live with it.

Monday, November 29, 2004

I'm only gone two days but it feels like two weeks. Somehow, Penang seems to have changed so much. In actual fact, I've just put on a lot of weight during the last few days. No more indiscriminate eating for me. Maybe I should go on a diet or something.

This morning's visa application was fun. I was up by 4.30am, and by the time Von Darke woke up, I was already ready for the interview. After a swift breakfast, he dropped me off at Ampang Park - later we found out that we had unknowingly driven pass the embassy. I guess more Yomeishu might have helped. But, I was the tenth person there. Very nice figure. So I waited patiently. Then I handed over my IC for a CONSULAR ONLY badge, then I got searched by security before they let me in, and then I went in and waited for awhile ( all the while chatting with some middle-aged businessman who hasn't been to the US since 911 ), and then I went to submit my application forms. AND THE AMERICAN LADY TOLD ME THAT I NEEDED A FARKING RHB BANK DRAFT.

So okay. Cool. I didn't lose it there and then and single-handedly destroy the embassy, which is a good thing. I kept my cool. I was *cool*. YOU have no idea how difficult that was. It took a supreme amount of restraint and cool to walk out of the embassy without initiating an impromptu massacre. Yes. I was cool.

Then I called in a million favours to get the next best course of action. Also included in the fun were my two colleagues, whose faces probably turned white the moment they found out that our receipts weren't enough, no sir, we needed those damn RHB bank drafts. So okay, I went to the Ampang Park Putra LRT station and loitered around for an eternity before those two bozos turned up wearing CHECKS. And then we went to get our bank drafts. It should be mentioned that as we were waiting for the bank to open ( and just before those two mooks went to take a pic of the bull under the OSK building ), there was a really sweet girl who looked a little bit like May. Really, I have a thing for these weird-looking girls.

Anyway, I have not digressed. We got the bank drafts, and then there was the mad walk/run back to the embassy where we waited for another eternity in line. After which we finally got into the embassy. During the security search, the guards recognized me due to my Tiger Balm ointment in my bag. Aww... recognition. After that the application submission went well, and then came the interview.

It was the same guy who did my B1 visa for me back during the 10th of May this year. And again, I was meeting him in the late afternoon. But for a different reason. This time again, he was nice enough not to ask me too many questions. I did finally get the "How come your family name is weird" category of question, but I think I answered it to his satisfaction. *We* should always know the nature of our family name after all. So put left index, scan, put right index, scan, smack me buttocks and off with me, come back collect my passport tomorrow, thank you.

It was fun. It was nice. If everything had gone well, I would never have had that male bonding session with my colleagues. And definitely never would have had shark's fin with crabmeat soup and cod steak for lunch. After lunch, I ran around KLCC for awhile, especially around the area of Kinokuniya. They have a rhyming dictionary in Kinokuniya! OMG! Unfortunately, it was totally unexpected and no budget had been allocated for it, so I didn't get it. Around rush hour, which is around 5pm, we set off to KL Sentral ( have you been there? it's so cool ) where I bought my KLIA Express ticket. That led to a 35 minute trip to KLIA. Sat down with colleagues there, drank some water. And then the flight home.

And now. Jetlag. FARK.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Here I am now in the land of KL, patiently waiting for my visa interview in the American Embassy. I've spent the better part of the year abandoning my friends and my family in favuor of work. In exchange for my sins, my company has decided to send me away to the US again. This time, it won't be another field trip through states. I'm heading towards just one state, and potentially a lot of work. Pretty much a horror movie in the making.

I was actually late for my flight yesterday, and got a fair chastisement from the solemn Malay lady at the ticket counter. And then, after sauntering arrogantly to the departure gate, an old Chinese lady asked me if her ticket was correct in Mandarin. Arrgh. Perhaps she was from China, cause she was carrying a whole lot of boxes with her. Being the right bastard that I am, I didn't offer to carry it for her, but I did confirm that yes, ma'am, you're at the right gate and "ni qu na li ni kan ba 'E'". I'm pretty sure I very terribly destroyed the Mandarin language with that one phrase, but I guess at that point she gave up, nodded and decided that I was an idiot.

And then there was the flight. And then... KL TRANSIT. Which was the strangest thing. You have to push a button to open the door. A novelty in Malaysia, cause in all other trains e.g. the LRT, the doors were usually open until the train was ready to go. Heck, the doors were always opened on the KTM trains too, those large-ass monsters which take hours to travel from one end of the country to another. I guess that in this age of sophistication, we don't want the air-con to escape through an open door while the passengers await the train to start moving. The trip from KLIA to the Putrajaya / Cyberjaya station where Von Darke fetched me was swift though. And after that there was that "getting lost in Putrajaya with the Rumah Terbuka Adilfitri" incident, but that's really not as interesting as it sounds.

Finally, the weather report. KL is hot. Warm. Warmer than KL. Maybe the morning would be cooler. There's that Christmas season feel in Penang which is lacking in KL. Except for the nice sky with the clouds strolling by. Hmm.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I've just read a horribly depressing article. It had a good ending, but it was depressing all the same. Here, *you* go read it. Who the hell came up with such a story! Jesus. The nerve of people today.

Anyway, while reading it, I realized that I'll never get into that situation in the article. Why? I owe it all to my uncanny inability to start / maintain / end a relationship. Yes, you read it right. Relationship-man I'm not. Maybe it's a feeling shared by a lot of other losers out there. I don't know. I want to not care, although at the moment, the bitterness is... well, bitter. MY CUP OF BITTERNESS OVERFLOWETH.

Also, the ending's kinda fairy tale-ish. Which would explain why some people I spoke to regarding that article ended up crying. How often does this happen? The only reason why this article touched people is because it's RARE. Or maybe even totally fictitious but hey, I like to keep an open mind about stuff. That doesn't change the fact that in reality, things don't work out like that. Marriages do break up. Divorces do happen. Nothing we can do about it cause people are generally assholes. The world deserves to end. Maybe that would give everyone a wake-up call just before we're all wiped out but hey, better late than never.

I guess the reason why I'm both pissed and depressed is because *I* might end up doing something like cheating on my wife and then divorcing her ( assuming there's actually marriage in the future for me ). To me, I am the perfect embodiment of human imperfection. Actually we all are hopelessly flawed ( thus justifying why this world should be destroyed ), but in my case, it's personal. I COULD DO THAT. I MEAN, I REALLY COULD. At least, I think I could. And the uncertainty is disturbing. It's a bit like, could I kidnap someone I really hate and spend the next six months slowly torturing the poor bastard to death? Or if some pretty girl started seducing me, will I give in to sinfully wild sex with her? It's one of those questions. I don't really know if I could do it or not. And not knowing, while not exactly something necessary until I can't live without finding out, is a bit of thorn at the edge of my consciousness.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Getting drunk is all well and good. Until you sober up. At 2.30am. And then you can't sleep anymore, so you log online to say hi to the asshole who's going to be late for work the following morning. That's the scary thing about alcohol. And I'm not even going to go into that dream of running around with a pack of werewolves and later marrying one of them.

Good thing: No hangover.
Bad thing: Today is just another blur.
Thing I wish I could do: Shut up my noisy colleagues by smashing out their jaws.

To be fair, I haven't been sleeping well ever since the Raya holidays. Maybe the nights truly are hotter. Doesn't help that my current situation went from not too good to kinda rotten. Add in more twisting and turning, more drama and we get very sleepy work hours. Actually, very sleepy the whole day. I've been feeling sleepy ever since Raya. Not even coffee perks me up anymore.

Aha. It could be I'm getting fatter. Not that I can do anything about it at the moment. In fact, I will be getting lots of chocolates and ice cream. There's no cure for depression than a lot of unhealthy fattening stuff. Couch potato heaven, here I come.

In other news, aargh I need to dig my nose.

Monday, November 22, 2004

The bracing cool weather we're experiencing these days makes it easy for me to get sick. Bouts of headaches abound, along with this strange lethargy which seems to have befallen me. I'm feeling sleepy and tired most of the time. I blame it on the cold. On the other hand, the weather is also putting me into a happier mood. I blame it on the happy nostalgic memories of Christmas past. And then there were those halcyon days of university where I would get out of my car in the morning and look at the blue blue sky and go, "Hey, we could be gods after all".

But that was last time. A time when I was younger and carefreer. Erm. More carefree. The grind of work has ground my dreams to sawdust. It's very odd, but somehow, I don't think I have any dreams left. Very sad, yes, but my dreams probably migrated to wherever dreams go to die in that dark forgotten dreamless place at the back of the mind.

You know what? I think I just got the brush off from some girl. Again. From the same girl. What kind of dumb fark am I? Why do I like the pain so? Maybe I really like that kind of stuff where I'm tied up while some dame in leather flays the skin off me.

The realization hit me last night that maybe I'm not really the relationship type. It's a bit like waking up in the toilet with your sister kicking your legs to check if you're still alive or not. And weirdly, it always happens on a Sunday night. Like, wtf man? What is it with Sunday nights and semi-Greek semi-tragedies chockful with epiphanies? Is my life so filled with meaningless work that I need more angst? Do I look like I need more angst? I need sex, damnit, not angst! I've done the angst scene so much that I can probably write angst as well as Joss Whedon. Yeaargh!

But. Back to the weather. And the cold. And the caffeine OD. And the numbed mind. Well, OD and mindlessness and propensity for sickness apart, I am lovin' the weather very much. The deep-rooted happiness associated with Christmas is just enough to serve as balm for rejection. Also, it's a good reason to get drunk every night again. Amen.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Life has been routine. Wake up zombified. Bathe and scrub body. Drive to work. Open mail for the Surprise of the Day ( this translates to more work ). Get coffee. Work for an eternity. Dinner. Go back to work. Go home. Sleep. Repeat the next day. It's taxing in an enduring way. I feel very very tired when it comes to work. I don't want to go to work anymore. I get more easily distracted during work. I'm so tired I probably need a year-long vacation or maybe a reason to go on living. Day in, day out. Work work work.

Well, maybe not day in day out. I do get some time off too. But, I suspect, not enough. Cause this heavy weariness I feel seem measureless. It's like someone slapped on something at the back of my head which saps the energy out of me. Doesn't help that some of my colleagues are assholes I would love to burn to a fine crisp. It's one thing to go to work with people you like. It's another thing to go to work and have to put on a tolerant attitude and not smash everybody's teeth out with my laptop.

You know, maybe I'm just feeling belligerent because of how work has been. We all need a break sometimes. I think I do, cause I feel that I've brushed up pretty close to my breaking point sometimes.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

You know, when Life dealt me a blow, I used to turn suicidal. Then I got a better grip on myself and turned homicidal. Much later I got pretty genocidal on the human race, but that was a passing thing. These days, sigh, I hate to admit it, but I've grown as a person. Aye, I'm no longer that self-pitying mofo we had last year. Sure, I get handed lemons every now and then. More often than not, I try to make lemonade. Usually I fail but hey, there's effort involved at least. Today, my brand new depression act is to play the theme from 'A Summer Place' OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again until my father loses it and starts bludgeoning me to death with the hot iron. Hee hee. Not that it's working, but after watching Stephen King's Rose Red, at least the song helps make me feel better.

And, if last night's toilet incident didn't happen, I would be drinking myself to a quick death by alcohol poisoning now. See, things do happen for a reason.