Fast Car

you got a fast car
and I want a ticket to anywhere
maybe we make a deal
maybe together we can get somewhere

any place is better
starting from zero got nothing to lose
maybe we'll make something
but me myself I got nothing to prove

you got a fast car
and I got a plan to get us outta here
I been working at the convenience store
managed to save a little bit of money
we wont have to drive too far
just 'cross the border and into the city
you and I can both get jobs
and finally see what it means to be living

you see my old man's got a problem
he lives with the bottle that's the way it is
he says his body's to old for working
his body's young to look like his
my mama went off and left him
she wanted more to life than he could give
I said somebody's got to take care of him
so I quit school and that's what I did

you got a fast car
but is it fast enough so we can fly away we gotta make a decision
we leave tonight or live and die this way

I remember we were driving driving in your car
the speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
city lights lay out before us
and your arm felt nice wrapped round my shoulder
and I had a feeling that I belonged
and I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

you got a fast car
and we go cruising to entertain ourselves
you still ain't got a job
and I work in a market as a check out girl
I know things will get better
you'll find work and I'll get promoted
we'll move out of the shelter
buy a big house and live in the suburbs
you got a fast car
and I got a job that pays all our bills
you stay out drinking late at the bar
see more of your friends than you do of your kids
I'd always hoped for better
thought maybe together you and me would find it
I got no plans I ain't going nowhere
so take your fast car and keep on driving

you got a fast car
but is it fast enough so you could fly away
you gotta make a decision
you leave tonight or live and die this way

Tracy Chapman. Dreams can be so simple.


I remember Little Hanna, in "Emporte Moi", sitting in the cinema watching an old black and white reel of "Vivre Sa Vie", and being enchanted with Anna Karina, and her smoking her cigarette through the filter, and how the grayish smoke would play on the lovely bromide tinted lens.

Any shot of her from this movie would be of her smoking, and pensive. Her face would speak of glamour, and even her black hair would suggest something about how fiendishly dumb blondes are.

Is it possible to "vivre sa vie?" Let's hear her argument: "I think we are always responsible for our actions. We're free. I raise my hand, I'm responsible. I turn my head, I'm responsible. I am unhappy, I'm responsible. I smoke, I'm responsible. I shut my eyes, I'm responsible. There are times I forget I'm responsible, but even then I am."

And so she goes down the road of tragedy, a road that a lot of us eventually seem to end up in, mainly because we cast ourselves as victims in the gargantuan, solipsistic life we choose. And then we ask ourselves why, why , why, when I guess, we are responsible.

Everything means something. The smoke gives a feeling of peace, of languour, of defiance of time, of the minutes it takes off our lives? To smoke to spend quiet, lonely minutes so that we have less quiet, lonely minutes at the end of it.

How can you think that way? It's rather immature, or childish, or only looking at the surface, or lacking any deeper meaning, or downright cynical. But, to someone who wants to "vivre sa vie", I guess this would sometimes mean living by one's beliefs, no matter how misguided you think they are. Because you yourself are "vivre sa vie"ing and you have your own values, which may or may not be misguided. People live because( at least I do) they care about what their friends think of them, or maybe what their spouse thinks of them, or the worst of all what they think of themselves. And the only way not to think about it all is not to think, which is basically not to give a fuck, which i guess would be a belief system in itself. it's hard not to give a fuck though, so often there's an impression given that we don't give a fuck.

mirrors and mirrors and mirrors and mirrors. The infinite image seen in the 4 sided silver mirrored elevator is really just you.

"nothing's gonna change my world. nothing's gonna change my world. jai guru deva om."


For the slim girl of 20 in the long-sleeved white pullover of incomplete opacity, with hints of black.

He, being typically strong and bold; flanked her italicised flair
with himself, dark and handsome; while she, wearing white for purity
told him,sotto voce; that her beauty wasn't everything, that her bleached whites concealed hints of black.

His small angular face;was, when smiled to
intermediately attractive.
as attractive as legs riding up pillion on a little vespa.

together they said, "we are in love because we are in dreams."
"i never played enough fighting games";"nor did I play much Barbie"
and they clicked in their common androgyny,
until, blended in one identity,
they could do no more, but ... wait.

for him to grow into his charms;and her silently sinuous
both hating easy crossword puzzles
and loving to look for wally.

(kepttogether by circumstance)
separated by
. punctuated pauses in conversation .
but never too far from joy!


i sometimes wish i was writing to someone. pour quelq'un. that the songs we listen to will cause us to stop and weep.

i don't get drunk often because i don't drink. when i do, i inevitable do become all out of kelter. i don't say rubbish. i think i think and feel rubbish, and it's an orange haze and just feeling out of sorts.

so you see, i went to law bash on saturday. saturday nights are event nights, or something, because nowadays everyone's only really free on weekends. it isn't really chilling out. going to a night, i realise, can be a really well choreographed routine.

i must confess i was bored. smoke in the room. in the middle of the dancefloor, and suddenly you can think about what would happen if the room blew up, or exploded into flame, like maybe some Israeli youths in a club in Tel Aviv. The bouncer would die. I would die. The happy people would die. The guy at the side laughing at the others would die. My friends would die, my strangers would die, the bar people will die, the DJ will die, the flirty one dies, the shy one dies.

3 am. Cab back, no supper. No time to write. Just sleep.

And the long languid Sunday. of which half disappeared because i chose to sleep till noon. and the prospect of the routine of another week. going to work, going for French, writing this blog.

And my contact with people feels diminished. How so? I am still going with my friends. I go with my colleagues at work. And there are these words. There is fishing and the sea, the big big sea. I have the stories and the well-meaning advice people tell me.

And not to think about it. To think that everyone is suffering equally.

Pause. Repeat. Think. Think of only the mistakes you have made. Regret and nostalgia in equal amounts. Convincing yourself that work, and getting things done is the way to redeem yourself, because you'd hate to be nothing more than a lazy self-indulgent slob who just happens to be smart, and so being humble and working hard can redeem all that.

And that happiness can be bought with sacrifice. Which will buy you an angel or two, at today's rates, enough to answer your prayers. i have my angel and my patron saint. you see, i would desire it all too. just not as much as you do. but the heart wants, it doesn't need, but it wants, wants, wants. desire. wants touch or joy or peace or love or whatever. quelquechose. quelq'un. and i sleep because i am tired, or i should, now.


Happy mother's day

Before we stop to think how commercial this whole Mother's Day issue is, let us say a big thank you to all the Mothers out there. And I'm not going to think how Mother's Day is commercial because although we should love our mother's every other day, we're only human and we tend to remember things only when they're in bright neon letters out big signs in front of us, and even then we do forget.

My grandmother's turning 80 soon too. It takes a lot of luck to live till you're 80. As I've so often thought, at this point, how do you look to tomorrow? It's more like restraining the dark before it comes over you. And even then, there's the inevitable wavering of the faith, or if hell is a much larger space than you used to think it would be.

At 80, do you ponder over regret as much as you do over 18? At 18, you wished you were a lot of things, popular, well versed in languages, sporty, atheltic and sexy, or the best damn software programmer there was. At 80, do you regret these things? Oh damn I shouldn't have run that bakery for 55 years. I should have run away with that Dutch guy when I had the chance. Or do you think, "does it really matter, I'm going to die anyway."

I've been rather fortunate. I haven't seen much death in front of my eyes. What I have seen of it disquieting enough for my own purposes, which is why I never could envisage myself being a doctor, dealing with death every day. It seems to me like dying in old age is losing the shell you've built for your body over the years and retiring into the blabbering mass you were when you were spit out of the womb. Incontinence, incoherence, and the dissipating of memories except for the most unimportant or important bits. The lost loves you try so hard to invoke. You're desperately trying to read the Chinese newspaper for him so he has something to listen to, to read, to fill his mind other than the dwelling thoughts of death or the anachronistic mumblings of a bygone era. But the damn news doesn't matter to him any more! And as he dies, he has to fulfill the responsibilities of a dying man. Contrition, exulting the grandchildren to study hard and become good people, having a last birthday devoid of meaning but the fact of a little joy brought to the rest of the family. And as a person, having to sit through it all, witness a farce that is not the making of society, or any of the family, or anything, just this farce of having to die, having to give up everything that's incomplete, to return to a better place, or a worse one, and who knows?

that's maybe feeling. it isn't enough to make you cry at funerals(because you're weeping for loss), but it's enough to make you scared and stiff shitless. feeling young, wanting to be young and telling yourself that it won't be the same mistakes you make and that you will die with joy or at least dignity.

it never really was your fault. i'd like to think you turned into a butterfly or some moth after you died or even the aggregation of good words at your eulogy. you couldn't have been the wrinkled person, weakened, preserved with a bible tucked into your arm. that, i couldn't love.


In lousy times like this, one can only turn to better people.

"Darling I would have died for you, but I never had the luck."

According to the legend of the White Snake, Bai Suzben (the white snake which turned into an immortal woman) bought a green snake which she turned into a young girl. She named her Xiao Qing, and she remained her companion even after her marriage. When an evil monk trapped Bai Suzben in a pagoda, it was Xiao Qing who, after years of martial arts training, was the one to free her. Together they fought the monk, and after winning they went back to her family home and lived happily ever after.

I appeared in the story only because you
wanted me to. It was your pale hands
that lifted me, a whip of emerald
from the marketplace baskets, and it was your words
that writhed out a soul from my shine-crusted body.
So there I was, to the world something between
your friend and a maid. He tended
towards the former; he was nice, that husband
of yours. I remember the rain when we
first saw him-it lanced silver across your cheek
while I cried out in spite of myself, isn�t he the one?
You just smiled, holding his hand as you
stepped lightly onto the boat.
That I tell people, is how it began-
love at first sight, silver flashing down your face
while I (everyone laughs here) vomited into
the spangles on the water.

It was never explained to him why I moved
into his new home�I was just the giveaway
that had to be accepted with the amazing deal.
We got along well in the end, and there was always
three of us at important events-
your child�s birth, the shop�s opening
and the inconvenient business you try not to remember.
But there was only me through the years
of perfecting my dance of death for you.
It was a rain of silver blades that I lived ten years in,
that quivered your pagoda-prison
into a thousand glittering shards. We won, of course. Now
it�s difficult at New Year visits; I ignore
your rhapsodies on family life
and the bachelors you invite to dinner. Now
your child thinks I�m his aunt; he pesters me
for stories of your life, but only my eyes
(when the tears melt him into your image)
tell him what you have forgotten:

Your face darted among the swords
like a river�s shifting light and we danced
in a rain of silver for the last time
together. Darling, I would have died for you
but I never had the luck.

Teng Qian Xi

Found this in Fact to Fiction haha.
Now and then, I would say I lose all interest in writing exactly what I give a damn about.

It's like, "Je ne give a fuck pas."


Looking back, I feel that I have really, very little record of the unhappy things that happy. Its as if there are no unhappy events for me, only unhappy emotions.

It's a bit like travelling in overdrive, and you suddenly see a hairpin turn, or your instructor tells you to do a u-turn or something. You brake, slow down, change lane, change down gears, look far, turn the steering wheel with all your might and that moment when you turn the corner your hands are full, your eyes alert and your mind focuses on some spot in the distance (because looking at the edge of the cliff is sure to bring you down that cliff, just like focusing your eyes on a pedestrian to avoid him is going to give him a better chance of being run over.) It's instinct and stuff.

And then you realise you're down to gear 2 and have to work your way up. Accelerate. You forget the corner. It's the next one now. By the way, I love driving. Love the sound of the gears, the shifting of eyes from place to place. It hasn't become routine yet. I usually hate speed, like roller coasters and stuff, but this is different

Tend also to feel bad about a lot of stupid things. When i buy food back for my family, I think of all the times when I didn't. do so. You wish you knew these things sooner, how to care, how to manifest love into tangible take-homes. How to say all you have to say.

Had a discussion with one of the new recruits just yesterday, sort of like an interview. He was pretty smart, and he's a dreamer, so the conversation rather naturally turned to bigger things, the army, the society, the world. And he asked if I thought people in Singapore would be ready to change. I felt that people would change when they're forced to do so.

I like L'Arena by Enrico Morricone, off the Kill Bill 2 soundtrack. When she decides she just wants to bust out of that coffin. It's a 60's song, I believe, and probably used for some war movie because you can hear the simulation of machine gun fire over 2 ridges echoing at each other, and the sound of shells and links dropping on the floor. I'd like to think it's the Spanish Civil War because of the guitar and the snare drum and the triumphant trumpet but I realise it could very well also be Italian guns in WW2, although the image one has of Italian fighters in WW2 is certainly not heroic, as compared to the song. I'd like to believe it was the Civil War, and that reminds me of 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' by Hemingway, and reminds me then also of a very good period I had in JC where I felt especially lucid in the mornings,

The whole Kill Bill series was quite inspiring. Some people found it stupid. I was engaged to it because of its elegance, in swordfighting, and even when Bill stood up, buttoned his shirt and walked away to die. Macam old western.