Thursday, June 29, 2006

I'll Take My Chance.

At this age it is just pointless to go look for someone I might be interested in, not when I've found what I've been looking for. Besides, I don't know where to look. My world doesn't include meeting women on daily basis. It's different if I've got a day time job in a large office building where the possibility of meeting someone in the elevator going up to my floor is as high as eight to ten. The fact is, this isn't the 60s where I can put on a nice shirt and a nice pair of pants with matching shoes to go look for women at panggung wayang, whistling at them from my Raleigh bicycle. I can still do that, at the risk of being arrested for sexual harassment in public places. At my age, I don't think it is a wise thing to do. Unless of course I like the idea of being branded a dirty old man.

Which is why I'd rather stay home to watch TVs. Or clean the house for the third time already today. Wiping and mopping. Arranging and re-arranging. Sweeping and dusting. Surf the net for recipes. Trying them out, working out the timing and portioning. Figure out cooking methods. Pretending I'm running a restaurant taking orders. Imagining cooking for the family. And the children.

Yes, I am going to take my chance.

I am going to wait forever. Hoping that one day we'll be together. I am not hurt. I am doing alright. Moving on. As if nothing happened. Of course, that's a lie. I bleed inside but it doesn't really matter. Ain't nothing I haven't felt before. Maybe that's why I grew up the way I did. So that I can face moments like these like a man. Or like a child I used to be. Only this time I don't have Aunt and Grandma to hug. To feel that it is okay because as long as I've got Aunt and Grandma, I can face anything.

Just another day.

Thank you, friends. Thank you for your concern. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

All Of Me.

Welcome to my blog. I should have told you about it earlier but I thought it would be nice to surprise you with it after we're married so that you know for sure that I've loved you from the day we met. I played it in my mind many times. You and I surfing the net one evening and I'd say something like, 'Do you know that I've written about you in a blog?' You'd go something like, 'You wrote about me?' And I'd say, 'Yes, lemme show you.'

And you'd read to know me better.

I was wrong to figure that your family would accept me as is. A guy who doesn't even know who his mother is. Or who is father is. Maybe they are right.

Maybe my mommy bundled me up in a box and left me to be discovered by Aunt and Grandma.

How was I supposed to know it mattered to them. And it mattered to you too.

I'm sorry.
There's nothing I can do about it.

I am truly sorry.

Knowing you was the best thing that ever happened in my life...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Knowing You Knowing Me.

I've figured it would go this way.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Father Figure.

Wait the minute, I need to knock my head against the kitchen sink.

The idea of being a father is scary. I know I can be mom better than I can being a dad. It's quite easy to be a mom. I watched Aunt all my life to know for sure. Frankly I don't know what a father does, around the house, that is.

I know a dad watches a lot of TV, especially football. He also reads newspaper a lot too, sometimes all day. He does this on a couch, puffing a ciggy or a pipe if he is a smoker, that is. He's got the TV turned on full blast to CNN or something macho like a rugby channel. He has to have his drink on the side, in a huge mug of tea, or coffee, or both by the table next to the couch. Sometimes he grunts at the way the world has become with wars going on in every corner of the universe. He says something smart to a mom sitting ramrod like a manequin next to him, agreeing to everything he says about how to solve all this military conflicts. He's got all the answers to all the world problems if only those policymakers and politicians take the time to listen to him. Oh yes, he's got all the answers and you can bet your left ear on this.

He also says, 'Later,' 'Tomorrow' or 'I'll get to it after I'm done with this sports page.' Sometimes he goes, 'Woman, will you please stop bothering me? Can't you see I'm busy taking a break here?'

Sometimes he goes to a mom, kissing her on the shoulder blades and takes her to the bedroom to close the door behind him. Give them about half an hour max before you see a mom walks out the room looking as if she's fought a grizzly bear or something. She'll say something like, 'Don't make too much noise, your dad is sleeping.'

A dad also takes a look at your bicycle and makes it ride smooth good as new again. When I was little I used to take my bicycle to a dad who lived a few houses from ours. I'd watch him work on the bike with the tools he got in a box. I'd touch a plier, or an open-end spanner and his kid would go, 'Don't touch!' I'd put it back wishing I had a dad who had a box of tools like that so I can tear apart my bicycle and put it all back together again good as new. Aunt said I shouldn't go to that house too often. I said, 'Why, mommy?'

You don't have to worry about anything in the world if you had a dad in the house. He takes care of everything like kills a snake so it won't bite you. He's also the first to go get a cow before he and the rest of the men at the mosque bring it down to the ground to slaughter it for Qurban. You see him holding down a huge cow down on the ground, pressing the neck with his strong arms full of tough muscles that can knock your teeth out clean with a single punch. You see him smiling and happy joking with the men and you wish one of them is your daddy but none of them is. Each and everyone of them belongs to someone.

This is not a sad story. As a matter of fact all this is supposed to make you laugh because I watch TV dad a lot to learn a thing or two how to be a dad. I've got some ideas so it's not exactly something scary. Only sometimes. Especially when I think that her daughters used to have a daddy who was a Major in the air force.

Next entry: Lunch with the family, I mean her family.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Where's Your Father, Boy?

Ask your father to sign this.
(Teacher, he doesn't have a father ha ha ha.)

Is that true?
(yes, yes, it's true, ha ha.)

Who do you live with?
Mommy, Grandma and Cousin.

Your mother is a widow?

He's anak luar nikah, ha ha ha

ha ha ha ha ha

ha ha ha ha

ha ha...

Happy Father's Day, Daddy.

Never Thought I'd Take This Road Again.

Things were pretty much downhill after Catherine that I never thought of taking a chance on love...

(It's so hard to reflect on this. Give me sometime to work on it.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Final Test.

If I were her children, I'd be thinking the same thing too.

One time when I was little a guy came by the house to talk to Grandma in hush hush but I was smart enough to figure what went on. Of course Grandma would say, go play outside, but I knew she didn't really mean it. And so I hugged her from behind around her waist, pressing my cheek sideway against her back while trying to reach both my arms on the other side which was impossible because I was too little to hug her whole. The guy kept saying, he's a smart kid he's a smart kid. I knew he didn't mean it otherwise he would have given me some money already so I could run to kedai kadir to tikam-tikam to win something like a motorboat or an army truck.

All the time Aunt was in her room fidgeting with buttons one time and something else another time. I ran to her room asking something like, what are you doing, mommy? She goes, shhhhhhhhh. I know she really means this because her eyes are wide as if ready to swallow me whole if I ask the same question again. And so I sat next to her saying to myself, that guy out there is going to take you away from me. I won't let it happen. He's gonna hurt you. I am not going to let that happen. I'll marry you so no one can take you away. Of course I didn't know that you can't marry Aunt. She was too big and I was too little.

If I were her children, I'd be thinking the same thing too.

I know deep inside they are saying the same thing I used to say when a guy came around the house to talk hush hush to Grandma about Aunt.

She's got four daughters. Two of them have married young during their senior years in the university. The third is in form four and the youngest will start school next year. It's kinda nice. An instant family. Just add water and presto, I'm a father.

Now I feel like saying, where were you when I was falling in love. But then again, we fall in love according to the time and place we're in. God, I am so in love.

Monday, June 19, 2006

You Can Never Win.

That was the fourth time I swept the floor today and it's not even dark yet. It's not windy but the dust keep coming back that I'm thinking of walking around the house in a pair of safety boots so I don't have to feel the coat of dust on my feet. Quite frankly, I'm about to give up on this quarrel with dust in the house.

I learned not to mop the floors too early in the morning because that way the dust would have all day to attack my floors and I'd feel like an idiot thinking, should I mop the floors again or should I just take the broom and sweep the dust off the floors? It's a big issue when you live alone. It can get pretty scary too because at times you feel as if the dust are coming alive to get you. Not just dust alone, you know. Everything in the house is out to get you. Toaster, foodmixer, blender, juicemaker, breadmaker, spoons, cutting board and even my favorite cast iron skillet seems to have a mind of its own these days. I try to avoid opening the fridge to look for something to drink around midnite. Who knows, it might decide to swallow me whole and no one will ever know that I've gone missing. Not that anyone would care but I believe my presence is important too in my own small way. At least I pay my taxes on time and that count for something to some people in some office in Putrajaya or Kompleks Pejabat Kerajaan in Jalan Duta.

Dust is a big issue when you pay attention to its presence underneath the coffee table or hard-to-reach places like underneath the bed. Frankly I don't know how it got there. The house is as good as sealed like a submarine but this isn't good enough. Maybe it got in through the aircond vent. Maybe I should centralize the aircond system and get rid of dust once and for all. At the moment I am thinking of buying a submarine to go live somewhere under the sea where dust can't get to me. By then I will have to deal with sharks.

Maybe dust is better than sharks. I'd hang in there for a while until you come up with a better solution. As for now, lemme go get the broom to sweep the floors for the fifth time. It's going to be a busy evening for me. Good thing I ain't no woman.

Next entry: Getting to know her children (maybe they won't like me as their dad. Maybe I should stay out of this affair. What if they hate me?)

3 pm Entry.

He doesn't realize it but I do. Women are built with this instinct to begin noticing little changes in men when he started to take extra interest in the way a TV newscaster put on her make-up, or the dress she's wearing. Out of the blue, all the women that come on TV are extra pretty and sweeter than (the one sitting next to him on a couch thinking about a son that hasn't fully recovered from a bad cough.)

Is this his way of telling me that I had better keep up with those dolls on TV? Or that I smell of cooking oil and sweat? Well who wouldn't after what I went through today having to cook three separate meals while trying to deal with a leaking washing machine and figure a way how to fit in the new schedule that the school had worked up to make the life of a housewife like me even more chaotic. They've changed the timing of the Taekwondo class and I only got to know about it from a friend while exchanging notes about how difficult it is to get sugar these days.

I can't bother him with these things. It's my job. I'm supposed to handle these things like a superwoman that I am. Don't they've got Mother's Day to acknowledge things I do 364 days in a year to make that special day oh so special? Am I not born a woman and a woman is supposed to do these things in silence. Am I not supposed to close my eyes and think of heaven when he turns off the light, or is it me who supposed to turn it off for him so he can do his job undisturbed by little details like that?

I need to go pick up number four from piano lesson, and pick number two from tuition. Should be home by 4.30 to start dinner for him. Will blog later.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Bergenia Writes...

This piece is undergoing minor editing job (now that I've got an editor...ha...ha...)

Will post it around 3pm today.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Say It Loud, Say It Clear.

No way I'm gonna whisper this. It has to be said loud and clear:

Thank you for dropping by 'Whisper Her Sweet Nothings.'

Anggerik Merah
Married With Children
Kak Teh

Thank you also,

Maklang (original version)

A Lazy Writer.

You know what, you are right. I am not going to argue with you because this simply means I have to write down my thoughts which simply means I gotta construct the sentences, weaving in and out of grammar rules so you can at least figure what it is that I am trying to say.

That's why I agree with you one hundred percent; I am a lazy writer. I agree that my sentences lack coherence. Or logic as you put it. Not to mention the kind of grammar I use which baffles you on end, but a source of joy to me because I like the idea of writing what I like, the way I like without Miss Low Bee Lia watching over my back to check on me to see that I use correct English.

Oh yea, thank you for the compliment that I have improved a bit in punctuating my sentences at the right places. I am just glad that you remember the way I used to write when I first started blogging, and how a sentence would go on and on without a pause before it finally came to a full stop as if a full stop would cost me an arm or a leg whereas it is free and I can use it as much as I like and no police or army person is going to come knocking at the door in the middle of the night to haul me in all because I have used too many full-stops in an entry.

I still have the tendency to write long sentences without a pause before slamming it down with a full-stop so that it would not run over a couple of miles that would leave you breathless and angry because you will naturally figure who this guy is who seems to enjoy being stingy with full-stops.

I am just too lazy to put a full-stop to a sentence. Of course I'll do it without being asked if I have to. Otherwise I kinda enjoy to see a sentence getting longer and longer, weaving its way around like somekind of serpent to come out headfirst the other side looking as confused as an ostrich on a first day of school. I'm not bothered to check the spelling for ostrich because I'm just too lazy to bother with the right spelling for this kinda bird I imagine would look very nice with a pair of cowboy boots and a stetson hat.

I confess. I am a lazy writer and there's nothing I can do about it because I really don't want to do something about it because it is not somekind of disease or something like that. Besides, am I not a Malay and therefore I can afford to be a little lazy as a way of affirming my biological traits.

There's another entry coming and I gotta work on it fast. Boy, this feels like having a baby. Maybe this should be an interesting angle to write about: the feminine side of Bergen.

I'd better go have that sex change.
Next week: Call me Bergenia.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Whisper Her Sweet Nothings.

It won't kill you to whisper sweet nothings into her ears with something that will make the earth move under her feet. She deserves it. Trust me. And you want to do this every day first thing in the morning when you see her busy in the kitchen fixing coffee.

Your missus deserves this whisper, man. She deserves it because it is THAT simple for some guy to come up to her and whisper something like, 'you are one gorgeous person' to make her weak in the knees and forget about you for a second or two before she comes to her senses.

Go ahead, whisper into her ears, blow her hair a little and give it your best shot with the golden voice. Go ahead, say it.

Say 'I love you.'

'I'm glad I married you.'

'How can anyone not fall in love with a sweet thing like you?'

'I can never get enough of you.'

Whisper sweet nothings to her, man. You gotta do this.

You gotta do this because trust me, man. All it takes for a guy out there is to say it first before you do. By then, it's too late. By then you can shout all you want but it will all come to nothing because all she needs to hear every now and then is a whisper from you.

A whisper is all it takes to keep the love between you burning. Just a whisper. It doesn't get any simpler than this.

Excuse me while I go find that special someone to whisper into her ears with;

'You're all I've got in this world...'

Monday, June 12, 2006

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

At times like these, I can't answer you precisely which is worse; to get into a relationship or to get out of one. Maybe it is easier to walk out of a marriage than to free yourself from a romance that started in folly and by the look of it, will end in a disaster. It is probably easier to pack a suitcase of clothes and walk out of a marriage and keep going until you reach some distant place you consider a nice spot to get into a relationship with a woman you meet in a bar, write a book, and move on again, walking out of yet another relationship the way you have walked out on others like her. I am no Hemingway to be doing something like this. Anyone can tell you it's not good to do this sort of thing because you may end up just like him, blowing the brains out with a double barrel shotgun somewhere in a cabin up a mountain where the noise won't bother no one.

If there's a lesson I can learn from the kind of lifestyle Hemingway used to lead it's this; that you can't go on and on looking for that perfect someone to fall in love with and live happily ever after. Maybe I've been doing this too long. Or that perfect someone exists only in my mind, this Elizabeth Taylor-like person who I figure would have all the attributes of the screen idol I saw for the first time when I couldn't even pronounce her name correctly. Or maybe this perfect marriage that I have created in my mind doesn't exist in the real world, the world where people put on weight and worry about rising cost of living.

It would be a lie for me to tell you that I don't feel anything out of this brief fling with this someone with whom I have received a total of 70 sms over the last few days. In a lot of ways, I am glad it ended this way. It took quite a lot to put everything in perspective. To lay it all down so she could see that this is not the way it's supposed to be. It's simply wrong. It ain't right. And I for one don't want to break the rules when it comes to falling in love with someone else's missus. Any fool can see that the whole thing will end up in a mess. And a lot of hearts are going to be broken. So rather than breaking a lot of innocent hearts, I figure it is much much better to break her heart with the fact that; no, ma'am, I am not in love with you. I was being nice the way I always do with people, especially women. And a lot of women will tell you that I am extra nice with women, especially pretty ones. Especially so with those with Elizabeth Taylor look. I am born this way and there is nothing I can do about it.

I hope all this will end without untoward incident. Maybe I'm gonna be in a lot of trouble over this. So if you find my blog is not being updated on time, you know that I have caught the first plane out on a one-way trip to destination unknown. At times like these, I am even willing to trade places with those Malaysians being held captive in Sudan. I like the Sudanese. And I like the food. But it's not a place to stay around long because I prefer Tehran. Women are prettier there.

I'm out of here.

Let's Not Do This, Ma'am.

It's all very nice to say something like, wish we'd met earlier. Or where were you when I was falling in love? The truth is, ma'am, you are someone's missus and I don't think it is a right thing to do, exchanging SMS, talking about what a great guy I am all because your hubby doesn't do anything much around the house. The truth is, ma'am, he's your hubby and I am not. Really, ma'am, we should stop this SMS thing before it gets too far. So before you send me your 56th SMS, please understand what I've gotta to say. By the way, 55 SMS within 3 days is not normal. And it ain't right especially when you are a missus with children, married to someone I more or less know.

No, ma'am. It's not love you are feeling right now. More like a passing passion for someone you knew by accident through your hubby. Why don't you forget about me and love your man because he's the best shot you've got. No, ma'am, I am not willing to take you away from him just because I know a thing or two about how to keep a house clean. Trust me, ma'am. I am not the best husband material. Otherwise I would have been married already with kids going out to college to pursue a degree or something.

I'm sorry for responding to your initial SMS the way I did. Never thought I could find my way to your heart with my stupid jokes about your cat. Maybe I should blame myself too for replying to your SMS late into the night when I knew I shouldn't have done that. Maybe you figured wrong but ma'am, I did that because like you, I thought it was an innocent thing to do.

It's wrong for a man to be falling in love with someone else's missus. It's not in my book, ma'am. I'd rather die than do this. You are a nice person and all but I am not going to say something like, wish we'd met earlier. We meet who we meet according to nature's sense of timing. Please, ma'am. Don't leave your man because of me because I can't take you in. I won't. I'd rather stay alone than getting all messed up in a triangle.

I've got my eyes on someone, ma'am. She's a single mother. Maybe she's the one I've been waiting for and I'm gonna give it my best shot to fall in love with her.

Please, ma'am. Don't do this to me.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Phone Call From Aunt Su.

The call came in when I was in the middle of something not exactly important to the nation but important enough for me to cut short the call with something business people have taught me to say without sounding guilty: 'I'll call you back.'

Aunt Su isn't one of the suppliers hunting me down for money and so it was only proper that I called her back.

We talked and talked for about fifteen minutes that in the end I said, 'I'll come over and see how you're doing. Yes, I'll say hello to your new friends. You are not getting married, are you?' Ha ha ha.

I took a day off from 'business', if you wanna call it that. I'm inclined to call it 'business' because it gives me something important to hang on to, to feel connected with the rest of the world. Spent half of the afternoon cleaning up the apartment with just enough time to cook Mee Hoon Singapore for Aunt Su. I got a bit of baklava for dessert. I am not proud with what I tried to do with this dish but I figured it was okay to bring it to an old folks' home where the citizens don't know any better what a good baklava should taste like. There's Pepsi, buahulu from Giant, fruits from Tesco, and potato buns from Carrefour.

She looked good. And happy. And pretty. She's got her hair neatly combed. Nails trimmed and filed. First thing I said, instead of something more appropriate like 'hello' was, are your shoes okay? I know. That wasn't a nice thing to say but before I had time to cover it up with something sensible like, would you like to dance, her friends started laughing and said, your nephew is funny. That broke the ice. She took my hand to introduce me to her friends. There's Aunty Koh. Aunty Chea. Aunty Lee. Aunty (I forgot her name) and a few more aunties I didn't get the name of. It felt good to be surrounded by so many women...if only they were my age. Aunt Su talked and talked talked about me as if she's selling me off for good. I was kinda embarassed but it felt good to listen to her description of me as her only living relative.

She's happy there. It's better this way. Otherwise I'd have to juggle between 'business' and taking care of her. Glad it turned out this way.

Next entry: Maybe next week.


I got to say it and it's hard for me
You got me cryin' like I thought I would never be
Love is believin' but you let me down
How can I love you when you ain't around
And I .....

Get to the morning and you never call
Love should be ev'rything or not at all
And it don't matter what ever you do
I made a life out of lovin' you

Only to find any dream that I follow is dying
I'm cryin' in the rain
I could be searchin' my world for a love everlasting
Feeling no pain, when will we meet again

Why do you have to be a heartbreaker
Is it a lesson that I never knew
Gotta get out of the spell that I'm under
My love for you
Why do you have to be a heartbreaker
When I was bein' what you want me to be
Suddenly ev'rything I ever wanted has passed me by
This world may end
Not you and I

My love is stronger than the universe
My soul is cryin' for you
And that can not be reversed
You made the rules and you could not see
You made a life out of hurtin' me

Out of my mind ,
I am held by the power of you love
Tell me when do we try
Or should we say goodbye

Why do you have to be a heartbreaker
When I was bein' what you want me to be
Suddenly ev'rything I ever wanted has passed me by


Why do you have to be a heartbreaker
Is it a lesson that I never knew
Suddenly ev'rything I ever wanted
My love for you , Ooh....

Why do you have to be a heartbreaker
When I was bein' what you want me to be
Suddenly ev'rything I ever wanted has passed me by (fade)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Nothing's More Beautiful Than Being In Love.

I dreamed about her again last night. Wasn't exactly the kinda dream I'd commit to memory as something to cherish for a long time coming. If I had a choice, I wouldnt' want to dream something like it ever again. The theme was too domestic, when it should have been romantic. It should have been a dream where you'd see me and her singing and dancing on a meadow somewhere in Switzerland, changing into different clothes for every scene to match every stanza in a song that could last anywhere between twelve minutes to half an hour.

In the dream, I got home from somewhere. I go into a bedroom and find her prancing about as happy as a princess who has nothing in the world to worry about. In the dream, I remember being angry. Who wouldn't? She's got the room in a mess, laundry heaped into a bundle, batik sarung all over the floor, my shirts coming out of a dresser, shoes and socks strewn about all over.

Can't figure where all this came from. Don't know how it got here. It ended in a flash, the way it started. A scene frozen to a still.

What do you make of it?