stop alihkan
that’s what my doctor says
that’s what my husband says
that’s what i also say to myself

but that’s easier said than done

my head is harbouring a tornado
where the past and present seem to blend
dogs boys girls drugs lights home not home trains
books basketball courts speakers love not loving songs

they’re easier said than tamed


i am always attracted to things that will destroy me in the end. sometimes it will not be obvious in the beginning. an act as innocent as picking a poem in a book of poetry. a poem that seems so distant, so far from where i am reading it, so different from the kind of life i am living. but then on a day when everything seems to fall apart, all the things that made me like the poem begin to fall into place. it is like the exact second before a glass hits the floor and shatters. one imaginary second where maybe finally life makes total sense. some people would risk anything to find out whether that one singular second exists. and if it doesn’t, well… it wouldn’t be the first time things shatter into tiny little shards.

my typical morning

i wake up. i wake my daughter up. good morning sunshine. prepare breakfast. my husband gets up and occupies the bathroom. i read the news, or facebook timeline, and then realize i am already hooked and put down the phone. pick it up again, click on youtube, and look for bath songs. husband comes out of the bathroom, daughter goes in. take school uniform out from the dresser, put them on the bed. daughter splish splashes her way out of the bathroom and asks for her towel. she puts on her shirt while watching youtube. hurry up, it’ll take forever if you do it like that. i take the nice comb, found under the bed yesterday after it went missing for weeks, from the vanity and comb daughter’s dripping wet hair. remember, side part. woosh woosh. kiss mama goodbye. and they are out.

i take my probiotic with a glass of water. thoughts seeping into my head like a foul morning mist. i remember last night i woke up from a very weird dream, worrying i forgot to put the bread in the fridge, especially since i bought one with a rich cream filling. i turned on the flashlight, not wanting to stir my family’s sleep. and saw that all the bread was already safe in the fridge. i was the one who put them there. but the one with the cream filling was nowhere to be found. not even at the bottom of husband’s tote bag. i was so sure i took one in the bakery. but then i wasn’t so sure about what’s going on in my head anymore. and that made me sad and angry and scared all at the same time. i returned to bed, pondering whether i should go to the toilet or not and finally got up and went. i then slipped under the blanket, looking at my daughter’s round sleeping face.

i plop down on the bed and check facebook again despite knowing it would take so much of my time. but i have turned away from it for such a long time. maybe, just maybe, i can practice doing what’s normal again. just the right dose, you know. one social media at a time. it’s okay. and i like and comment on a few posts from my dearest friends. and then realize again that i have stayed there longer than planned. i immediately switch to my renungan harian. pray. have breakfast and my grey tablet. write for ten minutes. and cry for both every and no reason at all.

the change in a room

when i was a child the change in a room, or its function, always felt like magic. one obvious example would be our family’s old living room when christmas was coming. i would stare at the baubles and fairy lights on our christmas tree as if there were many different little worlds in them. not ones incubated by elves or magical creatures, no. they were more like ours, filled with regular people. and i would be in one of them. i didn’t know what i would do in them but at that time the thought felt nice.

there was this other time when the school organized a sleepover for the students. and we would all sleep in our classrooms. i thought it sounded fun but i guess i didn’t think long enough. early in the afternoon, before the events of what would be one of the worst nights in my life began to roll out, my parents actually asked me to choose whether i go with them to puncak or stay and camp at school. i chose the latter — a stupid, stupid choice. when the teachers turned off the lights, what i thought would be an innocent sleepover — camping, they said — turned into a crazy horror show and our school was the horrible setting. i felt this uncontrollable urge to just go to where my parents were. it was an emotion rather unfamiliar for me. it was rage, abandonment, and painful regret all at once. but in hindsight, it went a little bit beyond that. i felt utterly and thoroughly deceived, both by my teachers and parents. i wanted to show independence and plunged myself right into it. what could a little sleepover at our safe little school do to me. well, nobody fucking told me they would fucking scare the children!

but there was nothing i could do, not even cry. it would be social suicide to cry when you were stuck spending the night with the whole school. in the morning, i was a different person i think. i grew up a bit, into an adult who always try to hold her tears just a bit longer every time. so it was good, eh?

until something finally went bust and leaked.