The following piece was written at 6.30 am on my front porch this morning of 27 April 2016.
It was a series of extraordinary events for me. My memory strength, the one which had been my pride for years, has finally shown signs of weather. I’m only turning twenty-four, dammit. How could I forget so many things within a day? One was already surprising for me. But imagine three separate forgetfulness events within one day. I was trying to deliver a package and arrived at the doorstep only to realise the package wasn’t with me. I had already passed the MRT gantry when I realised my phone wasn’t with me. I bought less fishes for cats when we actually have more cats in the house right now. My mind used to branch out into many many things that one thing leads to the other you know like a woman’s internet highway mind. These days my mind has been like a guy’s: one box at a time. I don’t seem to remember who I am.
One day I just thought, “Oh fuck this shit.” Well, that’s a lie, because I don’t say things like that. I have a profanity filter but I admit I do sometimes wish I could just point the middle finger at the driver who zoomed past me without warning. I feel that that mildly obscene sentence is a good one to describe how I felt last week: fuck this shit, a millennial’s way of expressing discontentment and just in the first word the solution about what to do with it.
I imagined myself walking around the streets of Kuala Lumpur and I decided to make it happen the next day. I only had three hundred ringgit, but I was kind of desperate; I need to leave this place. There’s just something about routine, staying on the same spot, writing, that blunts the imagination and creative process. I long to meet new people (without establishing a relationship), and listen to their stories as opposed to the same old, same old.
And I did. In which the matter I did not pursue. I saw a man I found interesting yet I did nothing about him. I bitterly regret not approaching that eccentric character I walked past two times on the street near Central Market. He had curly white hair, wearing all white, holding a handwritten sign that says “unique self-educative book”. I am drawn to that. I want to know more. But alas I gave in to what people said about talking to strangers though at home I spoke to strangers too, except that there was nothing peculiar about the strangers I have been speaking to. This guy, however, was seemingly dull; a wallflower. But something that is dull has its colour worn out, or concealed by dust. A bit of polishing would reveal the colour it once held. I fell in love with this character. He tried to hide the sign from me when I wanted to stop by to read him. I understood body language thus I let our opportunity slip past us. I held hopes that more interesting characters would come by me soon, but no one as interesting as this man came. He was the story I needed to hear, I know it.
What I experienced instead was a man flashing his money into my face. I walked past thinking about it. What were his intentions? What was possibly running through his mind when he sees a girl walking alone with her sister in the dusk air that manifests a sinister plan for anybody who knows?
I haven’t comprehended the male species well enough. They’re as human as I am, but somehow, from my tunnel-vision (I don’t meet many men), they are actually more emotional than I am. Perhaps their emotions and minds are stronger as compared to my apathy. Hold on. It’s not that I do not care. I do, but I do not allow myself to invest in feelings or mind chatters. and if I did, it’s mostly because I want to feel the feel to write about it. How do I feel real feelings? I don’t know how to. I want to feel what everybody else feels. What are real feelings?
Overheard a conversation between my mother and brother about my choices in clothes. I heard that I “try to look good” but there will “always” be something “off” about my whole outfit. I’m not exactly sad, but it’s the emotion that I try to develop hearing this about me. I know my clothing choices are off because I make them that way, there’s no need to feel sad about that; however that makes me incredibly boring and I think I need to fake my emotion for writing.
I’m kind of sad that my choices are seen as a mistake instead of an artistic expression of rebellion; something I can’t do being sheltered and carrying the pure image of my religion. My religion has been slandered enough that it does not need the likes of me to be prancing throwing confetti to further agitate people. It’s also some sort of a writer’s psyche – can’t explain it. I feel like I would be betraying myself by dressing up 100% well. “On point” doesn’t apply to me. Matching socks are boring. Appropriate shoes leave me with a sort of a heavy dissatisfaction. I’m never at ease when I think I’m all dressed up. That’s when I decide I will put the strap of my bag on my head and not on my shoulders. I don’t know how to make people understand that there’s just a part of me that fidgets and gags when I feel I’m dressed properly. I am not here to have people think I’m pretty contrary to what my family thinks. My brother, especially, thinks I dress this way to fish for compliments. Nobody wears purple and green socks with open-toed sandals to be admired. Most of the time they do it because it fulfills their individuality. It’s easier to assume and accept that I do things for the attention than to know that I sit down and string each caption for it to be the way it is. If there seems to be an error (not grammartically. I’m not a police or a teacher), it is most probably deliberate. I would take a selfie and upload it. For you it may be a “Hey look at me I’m pretty” thing but to me I’d look back at them and my digital iris are like memory time stamps that take me back to that point in my life; what I was feeling and how I was feeling it.
Sometimes I really do want to be pretty and be told that I am, though. I live with cats and they’ve taught me a lot. That is, if I want attention, I should scream it and I’ll get it. I’m not sure if it entirely works for humans too, but cats are humans in fur right? Do I require whiskers and pointy ears to get what I want? Let’s try.
I’m putting this again on my public blog to declare that I want to hear people tell me I’m pretty. Not hot. Not sexy. Those are the words I had gotten instead. Pretty has such a simple yet dignified meaning to it unlike hot and sexy. I want to be told I’m pretty. Not smart, not ‘like my mother’, not matured, not beautiful. Pretty. Tell me I’m pretty. That’s the most simple word in the whole wide world with no ambiguity to it and I wish it to be associated with me.
Maybe this is a side of a writer’s psyche I do not comprehend either. Why I need this sort of validation, I do not know. Maybe I want to feel real feelings. I read about the fuzzies people get when told they’re pretty, how they get butterflies and maybe baby caterpillars but it’s just something I don’t understand. It’s like I’m Defense Level 99 or something. I want to feel it.
Tell me I’m pretty when you mean it.