Friday, February 24, 2006

When I Dream Again

It seemed to me like I’m back in the strange cold city all by myself again. Dragging my luggage from the airport exit, I remember taking a deep breath of air on that quiet mid summer morning, as deep as you would take if I were to ask you to hold your breath for 30 seconds, and then suddenly realized that I could never just jump into any vehicle to reach home even if I had the strongest and most desperate urge to be at the place I rightfully belong.

And then the meetup on that same night that would cast a spell so strong I could only be helplessly swept along its torrents of emotional ecstasy.

Looking out the airplane window towards the vast expanse of land below me on the day of my departure a month later, my eyes strained as they greedily captured every last detail of all things Houstonian that flooded my vision.

I thought I would never be back again, until a few days ago.

But yet, just like how cruelly different life will turn out even if you were to relive it and make exactly the same choices all over again, I know I would never relive my first trip anymore. Yet, as I step out of Bush International Airport for the second time next month, I would remember to put on a broad smile, as I hold on to the fond memories of this city, and then hail a cab and brave whatever dreams that may now come my way.

Oh gosh, no more hurricanes please.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Elephant Bites

The still air choked of his perspiration as we continued to hold on to each other in the stuffy private cubicle. I ran my fingers down his spine and into his drenched hair, and quivered as I felt his tongue touched my ears. Then I knew immediately that I had again slipped into a dream. For only in dreamland would the heightened emotions seemed so surreal, yet as much profound as it would be short-lived; for only in dreamland would I be able to terminate my passion as quickly as the folding door had slipped open again, and then looked back and congratulate myself for having remembered it all. Fantasies it seemed could be warped to form this shape and that in a dream, yet they would seem every bit irrelevant and laughable in reality. I let it ran its full course, never once thought of reliving the tiniest fraction of what I was feeling when the show drew close, and yet, I realized, with a mix of disbelief and glee that some of these passion had indeed crossed over into the real world in the form of tiny love bites.

In the attempt to return the favour, I was told to wait for elephant-sized bites. Perhaps dreams do not terminate brutally, but traverse the day to play again when night falls. How could you tell?


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

To Leo, With Horror

Just into my third round checking out the facilities and my little brother had suffered its eighth pinch, sneakily and professionally administered at the right moment and angle, to maximize on the element of surprise, rendering the victim shocked and helpless, thus ensuring that a swift escape was possible. The culprits, as high in volume as they were persistent, matched the standard stereotypical descriptions of thinning hair, greasy face, triple chin and colossal gut, with room to spare for foul-smelling breath and rotten teeth. Revenge by mean of reciprocation, of course, would be God-sent for them. I had to suffer the inconvenience of walking around with completely cupped private parts.

Over at the little lounge, the owner, dressed in chequered skimpy hotpants (and nothing more), was dashing around silly putting up the finishing touches of some decorations for the Chap Goh Meh event on a tiny stage. Joining her on stage was one of her fellow sisters, just now in the middle of a karaoke performance. It was a song from the 70s era I believe. The establishment’s very effective in-house sound system ensured full, uninterrupted coverage (complete with the haunting falsettos, out-of-tempo and off-key effects) to every crook and corner of the sauna, dirty cracks of the toilets and cum-stained ply-wood partitioned walls of the dark rooms not excluding.

The hunks, all gathered at the darkened lounge at the entrance of the maze, seemed too disinterested to show any form of reaction. Their shadows were the only thing that were moving, thrown onto the walls by candle lights from aromatherapy burners. These crème de la crème, top of the crop, objects of desire didn’t have to lift an eyebrow to have their egos blown out of proportion here. Any remotest hint of interest would go against their principles and throw their holy images to dirt. So here they sat, since time immemorial, to glorious eternity.

I stood, for the longest of time too, in front of a cement structure carelessly pieced together to hold a pool of muddy water that was being piped in from a few hoses running over the edges. I think it resembled a Jacuzzi.

Roy said we should leave. I thought I would love to stay for the party, but that was before I stepped on something mushy in the showers. It felt like a soaked lump of tissue paper, but of course the unmistakable stinting smell was no mistake at all.

Time to head home.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

This Weekend ...

... I will be bravingPenang for a change.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006





Friday, February 03, 2006

And The Owner Says: Let There Be Private Rooms

The Year of Dog seems to signal more hornydays to come as Kakiku sped up its improvement frenzy with the recent addition of private rooms to its line-up of facilities.

Oh, Come, All Ye Lusful.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Ritual

I thought it was not too long ago that I had stood here, in this same spot in front of the gleaming monochrome iron gates of Aunt Susie’s house, yet it was time again for the Ritual. One last check to confirm I had meticulously disassociated my attire with any remnants of the much dreaded colour Black (sometimes even shades of gray), and then I twisted the lock that duly let out a deafening squeal, signaling my arrival to the occupants inside.

A glorious glare of Gold and Red blinded my vision as soon as the living room came into sight, but I already knew what to come. Like a clockwork toy that had just been freshly wound, my hands immediately curled together in an auspicious embrace, and age-old proverbs that conveyed wishes of longevity, prosperity, beauty, health and wealth starting flowing out of my mouth. My expressions had cooperated well in a harmonious act, I believe, for I was rewarded with red packets and the satisfied looks of both Mum and Aunt Susie, who were just now gleaming from ear to ear, wrist to wrist, ring and chain. Senseless pleasantries soon erupted. In this auspicious day, one had to be generous in dispensing compliments and greetings of the sweetest form that seemed fit only for the Gods.

Amidst piles of brightly-coloured toys, half empty drinking glasses and packet drinks, stray ang pow packets, pineapple tarts and peanut cookie crumbs and different crumbled sections of the New Straits Times, I embarked on a laborious act to create a space to land my butt on. Cousin Elaine was totally occupied with the task at hand - ensuring that a little bowl of porridge would disappear down the throat of two-year-old Neng Neng, and thus looked like the least harmful place for me to spend these long hours in, hopefully too far a distance for prying questions about my singlehood to traverse.

A splat of hot porridge erupted and landed on my jeans. Neng Neng, just over thirty seconds since my arrival, had decided that it was time to declare war on her Mum, denying any further consumption of the (tasteless) nutritious porridge that she was being forced down with. A scene of disbelief, anger, struggle and panic, packed with enough dramatic effects the likes of Chinese Opera, immediately ensued, as Cousin Elaine evaluated the damage of the overturned porridge bowl, its content hitting the farthest end of the living room. Cousin Hwa passed the phone from his brother who had called from the States over to Uncle Frankie and rushed over for damage control, only to increase the volume of screams from Neng Neng. Joining the scene were praises from Aunt Susie, pleasantly amazed by the strength of her adorable grand daughter, followed by lectures by Cousin Julie about the importance of early childhood disciplining.

Obviously unimpressed by the act of his little sister, Jern Jern grabbed the remote and decided to share a Chinese New Year variety show with everyone in the room. With tunes played to death since time immemorial blasting in the background, the hostesses were dispensing feng shui tips and the new year’s insights with folks who were either too naïve or lazy to decide fate on their own. Uncle Frankie struggled to hear his beloved son on the phone, and launched a tug of war with this grandson for the remote. Of course, he forgot entirely about a similar set of buttons on the TV unit itself.

Grand-cousin Yang Li lay motionless on the single seater sofa, slumped on top of a pile of teddy bears and other soft toys, seemingly unamused or disinterested by the happenings around her. Her eyelids slowly drew close, then suddenly jerked ajar, conscious of the resulting displeasures from her Mum who had warned her about the effects of staying up late to finish her long overdue home assignment, and of course, the dreaded comparison she would make with younger sister Yang Min, who seemed more organized and academically gifted.

I couldn’t seem to piece together the events that followed, yet somehow amidst the chaos were laughter and sharing, and admist the senseless pleasantries were a stronger force of family ties and undeniable emotional connections that had persistently brought us back here together, on this first day of the first month of the Chinese lunar year.

The Ritual, age-old and disconnected from modern times as it may be, had yet again served its purpose.