Today was tiring. I’m not addicted to mocktails, but in my tiredness, I find myself trudging up to the doorstep of my now favourite bar. Nodding to the toad on its bench (and getting a croak in return), I push open the door, and seat myself at the bar counter. My bartender takes a look at me, and quietly puts together my favourite mocktail without any mockery. In fact, he takes so much mockery out that it’s practically alcoholic.
While I nurse my second glass, he regales me with yet another tale.
Part of my job includes taking photos, and one time I had to muck about with a ship in a tub. However I mucked it, it still insisted on being a ship full of water, heading down.
After beating back yet another bunny that had inexplicably poked its head around my door to look at what I was doing, I threw in the towel. I got on my hrududu and made my way to my now favourite pub for my mocktail fix.
Not for the stories of course. Though my regular bartender had one ready for me.
Twas later in the day, and weird creatures were flooping and flopping around the sundials and what not. Probably meant that it would rain, so I made my way down to the now somewhat familiar pub for my mocktail fix.
The same barman was there, and I perched on an empty barstool, looking at him expectantly as he polished the bartop. He smiled and quietly prepared the same mocktail as he’d done before.
Then he spoke.
The bartender nods as I enter. What’ll you have, he asks. Wiping down the bartop as all good bartenders do.
Anything is good. I’m only sheltering from the rain. He asks me if I’ll get a more expensive mocktail. In return he’ll tell me a story – and if I don’t like either, it’s on the house.
So I sit, sip and listen.
706pm. It’s always that time of the day that he appears. However much we try to take note of his arrival, we’ll always end up being distracted just at that moment. We’ve had a ceiling light blow, even though it was a LED bulb. A mug I was clearing from a table suddenly cracked all over but still held its shape – but I could feel it crumbling if I pressed too hard. It took us all 10 minutes of held breaths before the cup reached a garbage bin safely. And then we realised it was already past 706pm, and he was standing at the counter, waiting quietly and patiently for us.
Not even a smirk detected.
I want to cry.
I don’t know why.
It makes me feel so childish.
I’m weak like this,
I try to squeeze,
My fists and force it down.
Awareness dawns for the little seed as it sits in its cocoon. It doesn’t know it’s a seed. It just knows it has life, and it stretches as far as its pod allows. I want to grow, it says and feels and thinks. I want to grow. And so it stretches, and pulls and pushes, and wriggles but nothing happens. Wait, says the cocoon, the skein that wraps tightly around the seed. Wait, and see.
The seed ignores the skein. It wriggles. It pushes. It is life, and it is full of life. Life can’t wait for a skein’s wisdom.
I was carried down to Singapore when I was two years old. I don’t remember a thing, of course. But imagine a mom of four, bringing all four kids in tow, of which one can barely toddle around, to a foreign land, settling all their school stuff, all their needs, preparing to cook for them, preparing to teach and educate them, in a world where information was hard to get. New school standards. Uniforms. Rules and regulations. Thankfully Singapore culture and Malaysian culture isn’t all that different.
Opening my eyes again,
Looking at the world,
Trying hard to make sense of it,
Hanging by a thread.
The skyship creaked gently as it made its way across the evening sky. Above the clouds, it was as if it was floating in the midst of a white ocean, with only a gentle breeze to accompany its passage. Wooden propellors spun lazily, while a large sail did most of the work pushing the ship along, as the sun blazed in the west, doing its best to heat up the world before it would be hidden for another night. A couple of cloth covered wings creaked as they flapped gently and rhythmically on either side of the ship, keeping it aloft.