Friday, October 27, 2006

What is Real?

Excerpt taken from the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Tonight, I felt quite silly. Sitting in front of my computer chatting with someone whom I felt was a waste of time. This was all due to the fact that I was waiting for another friend to come online. Of all things I felt during the whole conversation, I felt unreal. I felt the things I said did not make sense to him and he was thinking I was trying to tell him something between the lines. I felt that he was trying to read me as a gal and yet I was trying to be as literal as a guy could be. Yet he was clueless! I gave up after 10 minutes of trying to find a topic to chat with him. It all started a few weeks ago when we met online. But now, things have gone really stale and cold.

I started to ask myself... why do I even bother to honour a promise to come online for my other friend? Who is this stranger to me? Why do I even bother? I actually rushed home thinking that the person would be there online. I am who I am... I cannot change the fact that I do care when I say yes to someone even though the person is a stranger.

I know there is a place for people like me. I try to be as real as I can be. I do not want to play games and make people think that I have something up my sleeves. I try to keep my promises and try to be true to my feelings. I know as I re-read the Velveteen Rabbit, I can imagine myself losing hair, teeth falling out, having loose joints and all... but still be loved by people who will appreciate me for who I am. Ha!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Those Good Ol' Days

Nothing is forever…Nothing stays the same.
So the saying goes…
Walking by the old school and realised to my horror,
Mei Chin Primary School does not exist any more.
Ah… but these memorable days will always be with me

Although these yellowish whitewashed walls remain,
the people have gone .
Strolling on the path which Dad fell and hurt himself
on that fateful Sports Day
The open space behind the stage where
I played 'catching' with my pals
Oh, don't forget the Science Club’s animal corner!
The first pet rabbit I’ve ever owned was Mimi.

What about the rows and rows of white troughs –
Singapore’s dental compaign in the 70s.
Oh yeah… and me losing my brushing container
at different times of the school year.
Ah… I will never forget the dental clinic
and its horrendous drilling sounds!
Shivering... being called up for that termly checkup.
The tuckshop with its yummy 50cts nasi lemak
and 10 cents could still buy me a drink.

The school library on the first floor gave me
the first encounter of Enid Blyton.
The third floor male toilet reminds me
of the time I chased CK into a cubicle.
He was so mean and kept calling me a Fat Pig.
Today, he is someone's husband and a hardworking man.
We still say hi to each other when we meet at the lift.

Those primary school days were great
because they were eventful.
Sitting before my computer
brought a sense of reminiscence.
These memories are precious
because they were created with my friends.
People like Chua Pei Yan (Big Brother), Yam Kuan (Monster),
and Chew Geok (my best friend since Pri 4).

Perhaps I will never meet them again...
Perhaps I will never know what ever happened to all of them
But I want to thank them for the times we shared,
the golden moments and tears that were shed.
And I know I'll always have a few good ol' days to share!

PS. The very next day, I got my answer. I met Yam Kuan again! I found out that three weeks ago, he had become my student in my night lecture class and all these times I never knew. What a surprise it was! God knew that we will meet again! He orchestrated such a wonderful reunion... Amazing!