Saturday, March 18, 2017

An Anniversary

Hey you

It has been 3 years since Mok left us. Somehow due to many things happening in the past month, I did not manage to organise one get-together, like we used to do during the past years for her anniversary. Funny though, this word anniversary is often associated with a joyous occasion, something worth celebrating, yet I am using this word is such a morbid context.

But again, we should not fear death, as it is an eventuality. Only immortality is the exception, or miracle as pious individuals would prefer. So it is as much as occasion worth remembering as anything else, even more so because we owe it to the memories of our dear friend.

So much has happened in the relatively short 3 years since you passed. Sure, a thousand days may seem colossal in our relatively short time thirty years on Earth so far, yet it is but only a short period in our life to come. I got out into a great supportive relationship, changed jobs twice (yet still clueless about my future), injured myself badly while still trying to rehab my way, picked up driving and braces, looking forward to new little additions to our JC gang, attended 3 (!) weddings from our gang.

If only you were here with us.

Mok was always the special one, someone who beats to her own drums, never conforming, always unpredictable. Beneath the cynicism is also someone who is kind, loyal, righteous, and just downright good. We have shared a special connection and I will always cherish that.

On days like this I do feel a deep sense of unjust, why You have bereaved us of her, when she has not done anything to deserve this?

- Domon

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mental

Hey you

The day I accepted this job offer I told a big fat lie that would change the way I conduct my business as usual in an office setting. That directly impacts how I behave, how I react, how I treat my co-workers etc. Even till today, the situation has been evolving, presenting many internal conflicts for me - how do I behave now? How much should I reveal? How much would they want to know? How much would they accept?

It got me thinking. Due to circumstances and my mental state being constantly conflicted and messed up generally, I do engage in a kind of multiple personality disorder. Or not exactly a disorder in terms of being a mental illness thing, but more of a confusion as to who I really am. Whoa big issue there.

You see life was simpler back then. And even though with puberty and all that messing up my secondary school life onwards, I was clear about myself. At least I was clear what side of me I would show to the world. And I lived my life since then the same way - reveal some, hide some, rinse repeat. It got to a point where the fences are blurred and I cannot seem to differentiate what I can and cannot show. Somehow, now I become a conflicted being when interacting with new acquaintances.

It is all mental at this stage - I struggle to reconcile the multiple facets of my personality, hence the word disorder.

That is also why I enjoy being around with people like Huangmu, Ldj etc., I need not think through what I want to say, it just flows.

But at work, it gets tiring.

- Domon

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First Scare of 2017

Hey you

Dong Dong Chiang from my family to yours. We had quite an eventful CNY thus far. Ma was admitted for day surgery for her eye today. This stubborn woman suffered in silence for almost 2 full weeks before finally revealing to my brother that she has been suffering from partial loss of vision in her left eye since 2 weeks ago.

I was outraged! Firstly she did not tell me anything. Secondly she refused when I told her to go A&E straightaway. And lastly she insisted on going back to work once Chu Er is over. I mean what is wrong with this woman!? She has this inexplicable virtue of determined perseverance - a penchant for suffering in silence and just doing your work despite the conditions. Those hallmark characteristics of our forefathers which enabled the successful nation we live in today. All that. It is good and all but I don't want her to lose an eye for not inconveniencing others! That is her problem, always putting herself last, too much of that selflessness!!

Anyhow, good news is surgery went well and hopefully no complications. She can take her time to slowly recover, no doubt process may be troublesome and inconvenient. Hope she finally decides to treat herself well for a change!

- Domon

Monday, January 30, 2017

BEL18VE

Hey you

It is a long time coming, especially for a diehard fan like me. I have been a fan of both Federer and Sharapova almost at the same time - that summer of 2006 around at home and caught the French Open at home. Federer vs Nadal in the final, and a young Nicole Vaidisova whom I mistook as Sharapova due to their statuesque figure coupled with the blond ponytail. That began a decades long relationship not just with these 2 specific players, but tennis as a sport.

As a Roger and Martha fan, heartbreak is common, especially when they regularly faced their biggest nemesis - Nadal and Serena respectively in big finals in the heydays. Nonetheless, Federer is still the overall grand slam record holder on the mens side, despite the overall lopsided H2H against Nadal. So life was a bit easier as his fan, compared to Martha.

But of course, I last experienced such unbridled joy in 2014, from Martha's win in Roland Garros. It may be quite surprising that her last slam win is much recent compared to Roger's, but again she's almost 7 years younger than him. I still remember vividly I was at a concert, but furiously checking Twitter for score updates just to learn if she'd finally won.

This time round I made sure I glued to my computer screen during the 5th and final set, when I'm sure Fed has a more than plausible chance of finally winning. It is a fairytail narrative no doubt. The legend and elder statesmen of the game, forced out of the game for 6 months due to an injury - probably a harbinger of an inevitable decline and eventual retirement. Over the past few years, defeats in grand slam finals, especially to Djokovic, has been common and rather immunising for us fans. We have grown from feeling extreme agony and disappointment, to coming to accept that an inevitable loss in the finals to Djokovic was okay. As a fanbase we have placed incredible demand and burden on him, and in some ways, it has been a miracle that Federer has been able to consistently deliver for almost 14 years now since his first slam win in 2003.

The final yesterday was full of tension, both men playing with a mix of brilliance and desperation. The win was so important to both their legacies, and as a launchpad for the new season after disappointments prior. I was elated Roger came out on top in the end, and it reminded me yet again why people fall in love with sports and sports figures.

- Domon

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Of Children

Hey you

We had our JC gathering 2 days ago, on a Friday night where every single youthful soul of ours should be brimming with energy, raring to party the night away, celebrating the essence of TGIF.

But nay, each of us represents an old soul just longing for slow and casual chat, with an appropriate bed time befitting of our age to cap the night off. It was ironically a slow yet sudden progress. Just under 2 or 3 years ago we were ending each gathering off with a round of drinks, either at some seedy karaoke pubs or just the rooftop of Vivocity.

Of course, other than the unpalatable fact that we are nearing our expiring young adult status, the fact that we have 2 pregnancies happening in our group is also one major contributing factor.

That, probably more so than the fact that almost more than half of our cohort are married, spells the end of a certain phase of our lives. It is an interesting time indeed, one uncharted territory which I have no doubt that would have a degree of impact on our interaction moving forward.

Big congratulations to both Yuling and Pek. I was reminded that the ever wistful and willy young version of myself made the silly prediction that both these girls would go on to become teachers - one would stay as a teacher, while the other would go on and become a principal. Yeah, dumb and kind of insensitive in hindsight, but really not unlike me to make such a callous prophecy.

My friends, especially those close ones, have seen my very apparent disdain for children. Specifically, entitled, crying, making-a-fuss kids in public (and they are often armed with over-protective parents). In truth though, I have an incredible soft spot of children. Of course, they have to adhere to certain behavioural guidelines and be under certain age. In my short term with my team now, I have adored all the kids whom their parents brought along to office. Perhaps its their innocence, their purity, or the fact that their cheeks just puff up like little round mochis, too adorable! Adults do silly things with kids around, that's a proven fact. And it's with them that I always display a side that I didn't think I had.

So I was genuinely happy and excited when I heard the news, both from Yuling and Pek that they are pregnant. With my unique circumstance, I would most likely not ever have kids in the foreseeable future, and that would be a lasting regret. But I would be able to shower my affection (and money) to children of my closed ones, all without the nuisance and responsibilities attached to being a parent, quite a bargain if you ask me!

- Domon

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Specter

Hey you

I believe most people dream. For the lucky few who seem to always enjoy a good night's sleep, well, damn you!

I happen to experience recurring dreams sometimes, and they almost always are exclusively nightmares. Just yesterday, or this morning during the wee hours I dreamt of this again:

I happened to be ushered into a bus along with a group of people I am with. Somehow I ended up at the last of the line, with everyone on board and myself alone on the road next to the buses that are preparing to go. And that's where the passengers on board, my peers, started to telepathically tell me desperately that we are going to be shipped off, collectively, to an unknown country as cheap labour/slaves.

That revelation horrified me. I was honestly scared shitless and decided to just run, speeding so fast away from the buses and into a maze of residential blocks not far off. These buildings are run down, relatively short, and look almost identical to each other. I kept running as I noticed my captives giving chase. That's where I turned into a small enclave, somehow found an apartment door, and so coincidentally managed to unlock and stayed really quiet in the tiny space I discovered. My heart was racing, and yet I kept still as my captives made their rounds. I just wished them away, so fervently that I could feel my sweat dripping. I continued to pray and hope that night falls and I could sneak away unnoticed, or they would drive away without me.

Then I woke, feeling a bizarre sense of deja vu and relief.

- Domon

Monday, January 09, 2017

Mortality

Hey you

Working in healthcare, I'm being reminded of mortality, and to a certain extent, morbidity everyday. The sense that life and time are both finite concepts, and to be absolutely blunt about it, we are all just waiting for death.

Of course that is a most morbid and negative way of looking at it. People who love life would aspire to live life to the fullest. Religious people would perform deeds of righteousness in order to enjoy a rich and eternal afterlife. Parents would aim to raise their children well. We all make something of the limited time we have on earth.

As a realist, half-baked optimist, atheist and general cynic, I can easily get jaded with the meaning of life. And it does not get better with age, that I can tell you. But time and again there is always someone, or something that picks you up and gets you going again.

Everyday I get reminded of my own mortality. My body is breaking down - knees and shoulder are not healing. Where I am now is exactly where I was 2 years back when it all disintegrated. While I still explore options to recover, I know at the back of my mind things would not be the same again. Even an invasive surgery would fundamentally alter the physiology of mechanics of my body. So I stay cautiously optimistic, striving to find ways to prevent my injuries from worsening. But so far it has been a deeply frustrating experience.

I have managed to convince myself that something is wrong with my body. Perpetually tired and physically prone to injuries, it's probably an unfortunate combination of poor exercise techniques and weak genes. Probably more issues are going to emerge later, hopefully none too lethal.

Sometimes I get weird visions or my brains conjure improbably scenarios. For example while crossing the road I would imagine a car speeding out from nowhere and striking me so hard I'm going to die immediately. Usually that makes me sad (duh), just thinking about the people I'm leaving behind and all the things that I've yet to accomplish. But shit does happen (and happens in that kind of scenario exactly too!).

Ok enough late night ramblings...

- Domon