15 August 2011
Set Adrift, a novel by
I should've been a confessional novelist living in some seedy city like Amsterdam or Berlin. Or Sao Paolo... or Istanbul... or Guangzhou... if only I'd continued partying the way I did when I was in my 20s in a less conservative city, I imagine I would've been published by Penguin by now. :-p

Of course, such revelations don't just happen for no reason. They happen because I turned 36 two months ago. And that's a pretty fun milestone... because I'm half Chinese, it means that I've completed a full cycle of the 12 year animal zodiac. This year is the year of the Wooden Rabbit, the sign I'm born under. So yeah, I've made it this far. And I should have attained some kind of wisdom.

Woohoo. If only...

I ate rabbit meat about a month ago. Is that wrong?

Anyway...

The night I turned 36, I went to see a friend perform in a nice hall. I invited an ex to join me, paid for his ticket and all. In hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have done that. I thought at the time it was a nice gesture, seeing that we were on the mend, slowly getting back on speaking terms since we broke up. [Well, "broke up" may be a bit of an exaggeration on my part.  I don't think he considered what we had a relationship that could be broken, maybe more of a casual thing.

Still, until now he continues to give me mixed signals...  I mean, I took a photo of him in my room when he came over for a visit earlier this year. The photos turned out nice so I sent a few to him. The next thing I knew he posted it up as his profile photo not just on Facebook but on some gay hookup site. What's up with that? (imagine me raising my voice dramatically) Doesn't he have any other photos of himself? He even has nude shots of himself shot by some other trick he's in love with. Why doesn't he use those photos instead? I'm not that good a photographer! And then there was also that peck on the lips in front of the guardhouse at my condo! I don't mind PDA but he hasn't kissed me in two years! What gives yo? (imagine me pulling on my hair tuft)]

Anyway, I'm not sure why, but maybe it's because I bugged him after the show [he doesn't like being bugged--in a way, I can understand cause I hate being bugged myself], he doesn't speak to me anymore. But I only bugged him because he said he was going to take me out for birthday dinner... ha ha ha... and oh yeah, he called once me asking if he could redirect a query from a foreign journalist about the Bersih protest to me... I also noticed that he posted a poem I wrote about him on his Facebook wall a couple of weeks back--why? Ha ha ha... he's so going to find out that I've been stalking him online if he reads this... how pathetic right? LOL.

About a week ago, I sat down in front of this very computer and deleted all the emails and chats we ever sent to each other. I was still holding onto them for nostalgia's sake. I mean I still love him but thinking about him is kinda fucking me up. I've been like a wind-up toy monkey rattling out the same old tragic tune. It's time to stop living life on Facebook, Jerome... ha ha ha... time to move on and obsess about someone else. LOL.

Two weeks prior to turning 36, the secret job I had been working on as a lyricist for six months disappeared. Poof! The day that my participation in the project was announced to the media in a fancy press conference was the same day that I was asked to leave... basically fired by the guy who hired me... kind of ironic and a tad sad. But it's old news now [and should've rightly taken precedence over the non-news about the ex, but I'm a strange person with a strange sense of priority].

And to be perfectly honest, I grew to resent the job because of some of the circumstances surrounding its battered evolution, not to mention having to work with the terrible director who is, as I'm writing this, allegedly steering the project to disaster. But that's rather mean of me to say. And really since I'm not involved in it anymore, I shouldn't poo it. LOL. No names! It's a small town after all... and the walls are thin. Anyway, I wish everyone who's involved in that project all the best.

Did I just pull the other one? Oh... I am getting better at this...

So, joblessness has become my lot. Not that I'm not enjoying it. In fact, I'm such a natural slacker that since joining the mighty ranks of the unemployed, I've managed to read five novels, watch all four seasons of Big Bang Theory, almost all of David Attenborough comedies (comedies? WTF? since when did Sir David started making jokes about nature? -- i meant to type documentaries...), most of this year's summer movies (including , and even start recording the damned second album... plus playing around with a few of the MIDI tracks that I've lost the original files to a few years back.

You would think that with all that free time, I would've updated this blog more regularly. But life doesn't work that way... no sir.

Demos... yes.

So far, four new songs... it's a snail-paced process plagued with procrastination, slackery and good old-fashioned lazy bumn-ess. I've played them to some close friends who commented politely with encouragements. But I'm always doubtful. I always think the worst and best. I have to. It's because I take it very seriously. I mean, it's not like I'm Yuna and be content with putting out bilge. I have to strive for earth-shattering emo greatness. It's all part of the process... egos must be managed, built up and dumped on -- I blame it all on Sylvia Plath... I can't be mediocre, I can't be mainstream, I have to be like some windswept troubadour singing laments to the universe, thrusting some kind of bitter magic into outer space, vibrating my vibrato with Ginsbergian excess, making everyone cry and feel like shit like Bukowski, scaring little kids and pets, scarring them for life, like Sepultura meets Suzanne Vega... heh... I happen to like Yuna though, she's nice... oh dear... what's happening to my sincerity?

Trust in the process, Jerome, trust in the process...

And maybe because of the process, my writing has slowed down. I haven't written anything new for a while now... maybe my brain is just not in it. Come to think of it, I've been having a strange relationship with the process of writing for the past few months. Maybe I'm depressed. Not aggressively depressed mind you. But more like feeling like a sad little abandoned waterjug in a dim corner of the kitchen, talking to spiders that ignore me.

Wow, that's pretty sad no?

LOL.

But life's far from terrible.

Two weeks ago, I got a little part time job in a friend's PR company writing press releases. It's not the most exciting thing in the world, but it pays well and leaves me tons of time to be the sad slacker that I am. Sigh.

Maybe I'm not cut out to be a high flyer after all. I've always had bad lungs... I could never run far and fast. If there was a fire in this building right now, I'd probably perish in the smoke... with a cigarette in my hand. Ha ha...

Start over? There were two instances in my life when I moved away to a different city and became someone new. Starting over is never easy. You have to leave so much behind. And being the domestic creature that I am, it takes a lot out of me. But I've been feeling like doing it one last time. In a way, the second album is an excuse to stay, and maybe that's why it's taking me so long to get it done. But I know that when I finish this second album, that'd be it. That'd be as much as I can give to KL and then I'll have to leave or succumb to entropy, doomed to live some kind of unfulfilled lonelier-than-now existence out in quiet old suburbia engaged in mindless drudgery.

Yep... I should start saving up money to buy that one-way ticket.

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to hearing Bjork's and Feist's new albums. So far this year, I've only really enjoyed listening to Joan As Police Woman's "The Deep Field". Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes were nice... but I need to listen to something sexier but still emo.

Emo is the way to the future.

By the way, I've erased most of the original demos from my Soundcloud page. Why? Because I want to induce collective amnesia.

And also to make space for new stuff... so watch that space!

... maybe I should move this whole thing to tumblr ...

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3 Comments:
Blogger Eggy said...
i think you should get that one-way ticket. the world would love to have you. and you would so love the world, too.

Blogger JK said...
you really think so? :-)

Blogger Eggy said...
yes, some lucky people really have the world as their oyster. we'd be deprived and bereft of your presence and soul, but you're so obviously a (what can i put here instead of 'citizen', which sounds so not right?) of the world. and i'm certain you'll find true love out there. or maybe back home in malaysia, someday.

forgot to sign off earlier. 'tis me, siew eng. with love.