I am sitting at a memorial service in a church snug in the east end of Singapore. The master of ceremony goes up to the pulpit. He tells us that we will begin with a time of worship. “These were some of her favorite songs,” he says. A screen rolls down. The lights dim. A video plays.
She appears, strumming a mellow song on guitar on that very stage just a few Sundays ago. She was only 23. There she is, cold and silent, lying in the coffin. There she is, warm and tangible, singing onscreen.
There she is, my sister, in two places at once.
Continue reading Every Place At Once.
I feel like my heart is being squeezed.
I am feeling a lot of things.
/I feel like Stéphane, snuggled on the mattress, holding Stéphanie’s hand, quietly drifting into lucid dreaming world, in Science of Sleep.
/I feel like Theodore, sitting in bed, half-clad in pyjamas, playing The Moon Song on the Ukelele, singing a duet with Samantha, in Her.
/I feel like Joel, laying on the ice, staring into Clementine, tearing from his eyes, relishing in her glow, before they part once more, in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Continue reading Housekeeping transient intimacies.
This year, I used email auto-replies for the first time.
What you read:
“Hi, Thank you for your email. Both my office PC and my personal laptop have crashed over the weekend. I am currently organizing a replacement device while attempting to recover my data and work from my iPhone. Kindly excuse delays in our correspondence. I will respond at my soonest convenience. Thank you.”
What I mean: Continue reading Auto-replies: What you read vs. What I mean
Between January and February this year, I ate Japanese food for 35 consecutive days in Singapore. Using food, place, and other materialities as placeholders for my sister, I was trying to reprogramme my body out of grief. Continue reading Reprogramming my body out of grief.
Today, I am 28 years 7 months and 23 days old.
Today, my sister would have been 23 years 10 months and 23 days old.
Instead, she will always be 23 years 5 months and 5 days old.
Tonight, at a party, I met someone from my sister’s universe.
When a mutual friend interrupted our conversation, I introduced him as some one who had taught my sister, as some one who had known my sister. Some one else who overheard us asked how old my sister is; I said she would have been 24 this year.
And then I felt so ashamed of myself.
* Continue reading Grammar.