warning: didnt bother editing this post sorry not sorry
On my Facebook I write my enlightening posts. On SalWalks I write dark posts. On Instagram I post spur-of-the moments (no snaps, please). On Twitter I just go to see my old friends.
I’ve written about forcing myself to feel angry, or sad, when I’m not, because I’ve felt it’s odd that I don’t feel anything when something happens to me. How do I write about anger if I don’t get angry? So I’ll try to fake it. And exaggerate it. It’s true. I don’t get angry.
And then it happened. It finally happened. I felt real anger burning.
I was walking outside looking for Carpet. I heard a man say in Mandarin, “Is Carpet the name of a cat?” He probably thought I didn’t understand because he didn’t know I gave an introductory speech when I was in China many years ago (l m a o). I couldn’t hear a reply as I continued looking for Carpet.
Then I walked past his house and he spoke to me in his very Singaporean accent, “Are the cats yours? They shit on my grass and the cats are angry!” Yes, the cats are mine. Five of them followed me back and forth in my search for Carpet.
I’m in my ugliest clothes ever. If he was judgemental he would think I only spoke Malay. You know, I looked very kampong. He probably could’ve spoken to me in Malay too, but to have an upper hand, always speak English.
Hm, I thought. Is it possible that they go to his house to do their business? And…wait a minute. Did he say…angry?
“Did you say my cats are angry?”
“Big cats or small cats?” (important for me to know)
“I don’t know, lah!”
“I’m looking for my cat right now.”
“I don’t care, lah!”
And I walked away. I think he meant that there were cat fights. There’s a nasty neighbourhood Siamese Tom who initiates the attacks with other cats, I wanted to tell him. But he didn’t care. Guess I shouldn’t too.
Years ago in our other house my neighbour complained of our cats doing business in her garden. I reached out to her by purchasing a pricey cat repellent and lots of those cat rubber spikes thing. She refused them. I don’t get it. Why would you refuse my help but you tell me about what’s happening? I’m here to take responsibility over my cats.
And then a new neighbour told my mother that he’d hit the cats if he sees them coming. Another neighbour claimed that my cats waited for him at the door in the morning, which I think is a fabrication formed out of his hatred for cats. My cats are extremely skittish. They don’t like people they don’t know. He then said he would poison the cats, and tells us that we are sinners for depriving them of “all of life’s goodness” (ie mating) for spaying them. I’m helping to lower down the cat overpopulation!!! And I try to take responsibility over it but if the parties are just being rude and mean about it, how can we ever deal with respect and mutual understanding? I don’t want to hear any shouting. We can work things out if both parties agree to communicate. Nobody else makes sense but you when you shout.
And this recent event I’m trying to look for my cat to bring him inside, and he tells me, like a child, that he “doesn’t care.” Don’t say sorry, Fifi. I hear my dark thoughts whisper to me. I didn’t.
I was, however, cool in my facade, replying simply “okay,” but I am guilty of harbouring much dislike for him after that. If he wished my cats were dead, I was going to tell him “Your child will too.” I could feel my heart palpitate as I become very conscious of its pounding like a hammer on the anvil. I was not in my usual relaxed spirit. It’s as if my heart had beat extras. The drumming of a wedding kompang reflected the state of my heart. Uneasy. Loud. But Rhythmic. This is it. This is what anger feels like. The unusual lub dub lub dub lub dub in your chest. It’s tiring to feel that way too. Your heart works extra hard as you try to keep a calm demeanor. I find myself forcing cheerfulness and cherry merry stuff. Forced. Very bad business.
I should’ve written it down as soon as I was feeling those things, but after that I realised how childish I sound. How childish I am to be offended over this. He’s right, anyway. It may or may not be my cats. Why would I get angry over something like this?
These were my real feelings. Now I’m back to feeling as cool as a cucumber. I hope we learn to be calm when dealing with upsetting situations.
The other day I had my post plagiarised. I saw it being posted as hers, and the next thing I knew I was blocked. The last time someone copied the things I wrote as his own, he didn’t block me. So I don’t really mind. I would like credit, but if that person thinks I don’t deserve credit for my own writing, so be it.
I was, however, left not with anger, but sadness over this situation. She had thousands of followers, an influential person with hundreds of likes over a silly post about her encounter with a cockroach. I can’t even hardly get ten likes over a writing I spent time on. I believe she received hundreds of likes for that post of mine too. I felt sad because people don’t know that’s my post, and will continue supporting her over her ~genius original~ posts. My respect for her didn’t dwindle, I still saw her as human as I am, but I just wish we would look out more for sincerity. She used the hashtags #positive #goodvibes (I don’t use them) that followed that post of mine. It means nothing if the whole post actually belonged to me. So please, people, learn to look at sincerity and not credibility. She has a good job and education to back her up, but that post was not hers.
This morning I wrote about al-Waqiah, a surah in the Quran. I received a message thanking me for that post. I thought about how I get no “likes” from her on that post, but hey, it shouldn’t matter. Sometimes people would message me to discuss about the things I wrote, and most of the time they’d tell me they like it without even leaving a like. So yes, thank you for telling me you like my posts. Because sometimes I feel not good enough, and I have been gauging my good-enoughs with the number of likes I’m getting. That shouldn’t be the case. Let me write because I want to write, not for recognition or glory.
And then in the afternoon I was at Tesco, writing. My mom went grocery shopping. I had my notebook and writing energy flowed through me effortlessly. Suddenly received a text message.
“Are you alone?”
I looked around. It was from a girl I had met at an event a few months prior. We exchanged numbers, but we didn’t keep in touch. She didn’t have a profile picture so I couldn’t remember her face at all (I am HORRIBLE at faces).
“Where are you?”
“I’m at Tesco too.”
I waited for a wave or something as I scanned the hall. None. I continued writing.
A petite lady then came up to me after I wrote a whole page and said hey. We talked. She told me about how she was my “stalker” and had looked me up online, and enjoys reading the things I post.
“Why didn’t you add me?”
“I was shy.”
Nonetheless, I was very grateful that she told me she liked reading my posts. I had a new tumbler that says “Reach For The Stars” (it was at 50% discount, couldn’t resist, no matter how cheesy and Un-Fifi it is). My notebook was brand new. I was wearing my writer clothes: terrible mix of striped cardigan, old grey Girl Guides shirt and batik pants. It’s the same pants a magazine editor pointed out and said it screams “Writer”. Overall, I was feeling optimistic about being a writer, but I was also wondering if anybody would even like anything I wrote.
So this lady coming up to me to tell me she likes my posts was a blessing. A godsent, much-needed compliment and validation. That hey, if I can’t get thousands of likes for my posts, at least one person acknowledges it.
And that’s enough, I guess.