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Translations, care, and paralanguages.


It is 0212hrs on a Tuesday morning in Singapore.

I am typing away in a dark room in Chinatown while my two best friends are asleep beside me.

Eunarco loves me with food and hugs and tears that well up when we talk about life. Euniee loves me with prayer and rapid fire texts at one in the morning.

It has been a bewildering six weeks being kickass in my work life while attempting to process an understated grief in pockets of time, secretly, sweetly stolen from The Man.

It takes time, heart, and a particular headspace to select groups of words, allocate them a specific order, and make meaning of how these little black pixels spewing out of my cursor (as I pretend to dampen the clickity click of the keyboard) are visibilizing an inside that is difficult to talk about.

Vulnerability is a very precious thing. And wearing it like a badge of honour is not always the most palatable thing to do – in a crowded cafe; on this page; especially as you sit among strangers and new friends in noisy places of revelry. But such is the beauty of transient intimacies between places, no?

Some people hold extended gazes without blinking. Others exchange a hug. Still others shower one with gifts or time or words in order to convey a presence, a consolation, a ihaveyourheartinmypocket. 

Maybe I have emoji. And Coldplay.

It is 2036hrs on a Thursday evening in Jönköping.

I am watching some one I love disappear into nothing. It is all a dramatically heartbreaking endeavour. Even more so on the days she shuts even me out. Me.

It’s almost 0400hrs in two other parts of the world. Tonight I realize that my 0400hrs friends in life have remained rather constant in these 27 years. Tonight I am sustaining myself through much outpouring of grief, transnationally, transparently, mediately, morosely, to six people who are all asleep. Tonight, I will probably fall asleep from this breathless crying, wake up to messages of concern, and regret lapsing into this gross gap of human vulnerability right now.

I am not understanding any of this. But maybe that’s okay.

It is 1814hrs on a Sunday evening in Singapore.

I am about to board my plane to Perth.

There will be thinking and reading and writing, and when I arrive, my magic will be waiting.

Grief has been a difficult thing to bear. Grief is a tricky thing to bear. Grief might stick around for longer than I’d like, but at least I think I understand it now.

Beep here.

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