I swam so much the last week. How pleasant to jump into a pool after so long. I love that dip into a different environment, feeling the temperature drop, the weight lift, and the sound of being underwater filling my ears. Every time I dip my head down into the water is like a meditation.

Reminded me of teenage school holidays, playing in the water and swimming with Deb. Even now, when I think of what a condo pool looks like, it is the architecture of Tara I envision. Sometimes A*.

– throwing pebbles into the water, then diving in to pick them all up in one swoop

– endless somersaults

– tiptoeing from one end to the other

– never the attention span for laps then.

I almost did a cannonball for old times sake at Bell’s, but there was a child within the splash zone and it didn’t seem…right. Same child kicked a shit ton of water in my face, so I guess I should have just gone for it.

Was walking with Yas in the Curve, picking up Foundables. Saw a dept store that I know carries larger sizes. I had always been disappointed before, but decided to take a chance again. Thought I had given up for good the last time at M&S, unless I ever drop to a more commercially-available dress size.

Found a swimsuit that was too expensive (RM300+) and impractical (skinny halter top). Was prepared for the familiar experience of giving up when I saw a swimsuit from the older range. One piece, yes. Adjustable straps, yessss. Bra pads that make no sense, inevitable. Mayyyybe my size? The straps were a bit skinny and I know they could cut, but I tried it anyway and omg, it fit. After so many years (6?), I found a swimsuit that fits.

First instinct: should I get two???????

Yas and I disagree on which goggles are best. The foam ones that aren’t effective but very comfortable don’t seem to be made anymore πŸ˜”

Sent out a call on IG for swimming pools in friends’ places. If my allergies are still what they are, public pools will be too harsh and more importantly, I rimas.

L + N + B responded! But all are travelling soon so I don’t know how long this access will last. They might each give me a key to their space though, which is so generous and trusting I…I am not sure how I ended up with keys to so many friends houses, but that collection might grow because of this. I’ve been so eager to swim since. If I could, I’d be in a pool every day.

Came home eager to do laundry so I’d be ready at the first chance of a swim — which was the next day, in A*. I’ve not been back in this pool since I moved out years back. I had just gotten into the habit of swimming nearly every day when the lease ran out. The pool is smaller than I remember. Those work meetings paddling in the pool used to be so nonsense and fun.

The next day Bel offered me her pool, half Olympic size! Was startled by how I had to gasp for air towards the end of every freestyle lap.

– My aim is to increase lung capacity and stamina. And to quiet the mind even further when I swim.

– Was surprised at how pool leaves my hair all messed up despite using Very Good Shampoos. I’ve not swam with this short hair before so it was alarming the next day to run my fingers through the rough mess.

I was very happily swimming laps (is this a sign of adulthood? The need to measure the effort?) in Bel’s place when my nose suddenly started bleeding a lot. This usually only happens at really harsh pools, so there must have been too much chlorine πŸ˜”. I really like the pool though. I’ll give it another try, maybe being under the weather and on meds that dry out my nasal passages exacerbated things.

A: 12B, 6F; 1hr

– 18 laps total

B: 30B, 4F, nosebleed 15mins, 4B, 8F; 2hr

– 46 laps total

Bel called me the colourful dugong in her pool πŸ˜‚. I wish the swimsuit were all black, but hey.

Goal (physical): Lung capacity, stamina, 50 laps.

If I can get to 100 laps per week, that’d be great too.

Cut my budget for everything next week to answer an SOS. I don’t know if this was wise. But I hope it helps.

I was recently trained in computer programming. I am at a job interview. In a room with other programmers. The man who trained the other programmers there is interviewing me.

He swivels a computer to face me. Says there’s a problem there and expects me to solve it. I’m still quite green, but ok, I dive in.

We watch a theatre show. It is amazing in some parts.

We are at a coffee shop. I might run it. I am thinking of making power outlets available at every seat. Drinks at 30% off from 3pm-6pm.

Guy insists on bringing laptop/iPad to show Girl this one song. She has actually heard it before, she showed it to me at her place. Layan. She starts dancing. It is a manic dance. Big gestures and I’m surprised (but pleased) by how gregarious she is. Dancing on the curb across from coffee shop. A lot of people are watching us. Finally we tell them we actually know this song.

I go back to our table. Sit with a strict looking business man. His glasses frames almost look like they’re from a manga. Made of wood and strange lighting bolt angles at the corners. Very dramatic. My chicken chop is covering the rice. I ordered an extra side of peas, which is exactly like what already comes with the chicken chop gravy and I am slightly ticked off they didn’t mention it before. There is also another side dish on the plate. I asked strict man about the show. He is pleased. Says he doesn’t watch theatre often, but RLY identified with the senior business man in the show. Especially the way he used (money?) to show hospitality to others. Dai Fong, I suppose. The line that he identified with I had trouble even seeing as relatable, I had found it very odd. I asked if his character liked the (coffeeshop?). He said the character didn’t join the cast there in the show (I struggle to remember: oh right). He asks me about a few places I’ve actually been to, that he’s familiar with. Trying to figure me out because it’s strange for him that I know them. We go back to our food. He says please excuse him while he attends to some (work). I say please go ahead, I used to be quite a workaholic myself. I actually want time alone to eat.

I meet someone from the kopitiam meal in a room. It’s about work. A dress. The person who should get the dress is unhappy with the seamstress who wants to do something. Girl storms off. Seamstress sullen at her sewing machine.

I ask her, eyeing her cigarette as I do, if it’s the pattern. No the pattern is great. I fold open the book where (he), this talented genius, had drawn in my notebook. Page after page of fantastic sketches. Some of the green dress with a svelte line. A bit medieval looking. I want to know what the problem might be so I can solve it.

Snow is on the bed and talking about video exhibits. She asks me if I’m familiar with a type of video. I say no. I’ve not seen that type of 3D, but I have seen others. Eg: I-Ln’s video installation of just the sea in near black and white. Snow is excited yes that’s it. The colours had been set to the most extreme of orange band but the result is a burnt looking black and white.

My skills give me the option to roll the dice. Every time I roll it I might increase in talent or psychopathy by 1 point. I roll it, psycho. I could actually benefit from this, +1 psycho pushes me closer to normal in this society. I decide never to roll it again, the shortcut is not worth it. It’s a good choice, unbeknownst to me, this dice only ever lands on +1 psycho.

Slept terribly. Kept waking up. Hyper aware of sore muscles from gym. Don’t think that’s what’s waking me up.

My nose is a broken faucet at night, god help me.

Girl not talking much to me earlier today. We did briefly cover prison abolition and nuclear power. She thinks it’s on each country but also people should just die. I think neither should be within the control of our species.

Managed to talk more after the airport stuff.

Hyping myself up to cook tmr so I don’t get lazy from this stuffed up nose and order in.

Seems like such a small obstacle to overcome but it’s how I’ve already failed yesterday.

Rice bowl:

  • Ten grain rice
  • Kimchi beef (lunch)
  • (Turmeric?) tempeh (dinner)
  • A mountain of kuchai, dressed in prawn + chives infused oil
  • Homemade asam cherry tomato pickles
  • Maybe a runny fried egg. (Both?)
  • Also will be starting my tea egg experiments once I hit the supermarket.
  • lined up job interviews. sent out two applications. making my way back into the world of official employment. always strange to be on this side of things. ugh cover letters. “I’m a serious person! I wouldn’t apply if I didn’t think I could do this well! I’m 80% earth sign!”

    She laughs at me. Points out I already have two to choose.

    Daytime in the park. Nighttime at food trucks. Some cats in a friend’s house. Jalan jalan.

    Sayang says Yas is actually my wife πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

    Seaside adventure. Murder. If Sengga lives by the sea why doesn’t she smell like this sea but the US sea? Rish is not sure but she’s disdainful. We are in a classroom. We are in my alibi room. My bed is a mattress on the floor of what looks like a posh hotel lobby. It’s in the corner. Warm yellow spotlight on it. I go talk to some people at the front desk, let them establish they’ve seen me. The light is switched on now because they think I’m headed there, they won’t realise I’ve snuck out.

    I’m in a public transportation with someone I know. We are building an alibi for a serious case. Not sure if we are actually at fault, only that things look bad.

    The vehicle we are on is like a single carriage 🚌 bus or train, but with an inflatable bottom and no tracks we can see. It is following an exact path and schedule though.

    This person’s stop is here. At their home. They make it a point to jump off, log their signature in such a way that it’s between other passengers. There, alibi, time and place established. Their home is a multilayered yellow sand walls condo area. I’ve been inside before.

    We are in a limited perspective game. From the home side it looks chirpy. Can cross the map, things become dark. Grey cold blue hues. Petrol station. Looking through a cracked glass screen. Can see the home across the road.

    The card he(?) signs has a clue. I take another. I realise another name is there. Something is wrong. Am I being framed? I scatter through the cards. Oh shit.

    I run to 711. One that isn’t my usual, but related t the signature I just saw nearby. There are two Malay women behind the counter. One is tending to a customer. Another is eating. I approach her. I tell her this will be complicated but stick with me.

    I have another father. My birth father. I just found out he exists. But people don’t know that, so they accord him all the rights of a father. I don’t think I’ve even met him (more than once?). I tell this person my father, the one who raised me, is the person I consider my father. This is the wish of him and my mother too.

    This stranger is up to something. He’s been going to 711s using his identity on paper as my father, and I think he’s been tracking my locations through my purchases on a loyalty card. I plead with her. Is it possible he’s been doing that? If someone has been breaking protocol, I need to know.

    The girl has been getting increasingly wide eyed at my story. She pops back into the shop next door attached to 711. Goddammit she works in the food shop. Asshole. Listened to my whole story. I dread having to repeat myself but the actual salesgirl doesn’t need it. She lifts a hand. Calm down. She tells me yes it is possible and likely. I need to solve this problem. Stop using this card? But we all have cards like this and it’s how we live in society.

    Knocked off one pizza place from the list with J. Although I’ve been here before because she took so long.

    Worth it. Also got a pinch of her boba tea and walked to get a sugar donut. It’s in my head now and I might want one but I need to know if it’s worth the sugar. She tak balas πŸ˜’

    Hopefully by next month I can knock off the other two pizza places. Hamagerd so excites.

    J wants me to look for work, so got a bit of a finger wag. Talked about Sabahan artists — she managed to get a tatt from the artist I want a tatt from.

    She said pucuk paku but I heard taufu. Taugeh?

    Gonna be petsitting again this Sunday. πŸ’•

    Sayang’s bearbear has found love πŸ˜‚

    Bigger bear. Bearbear booty call.

    Three job opportunities/interviews came my way within an hour today.

    Met Ly for lunch. Cat for tea. Walked around the park and museum. Looked at spinning tops. Borrowed a book from the community library.

    Cat was so wound up after her meeting I guess she needed to let some of it out. Working with people who talk big but don’t deliver is stressful. Kind of grateful I’ve escaped, even if it fucked up my plans for 2019. At least I see a silver lining?

    Had a talk about where we are. Emotional clarification. Sexuality grey areas.

    Talking until the cows come home, sometimes I really think just doing will be a more effective learning curve.

    My cards just paint this as The Chariot.

    Right before starting the bear crawls I just baca ayat and hope for the best now. At one point PT said my movements were very efficient, but I don’t know what qualifies as such.

    • Ly: do you have any dish requests?
    • M: Beef sambal
    • Ly: Eh beef? Didn’t you like the chicken
    • M: my favourite is the beef. Omg are you the reason I’ve been getting the beef instead of chicken for years

    Omaigot kena sabo from my daging dendeng 😒

    Better

    Had the kind of shower where I scrubbed everything way clean and I feel like a new person. I stepped out of the shower like I was discarding a shell of dirt and bad experiences.

    I just realised today is the last day of June and I was supposed to be filing my taxes. I had been so caught up in trying to stabilise myself after the hospital visit, I forgot to reschedule my aftercare to take into account the extra day.

    I guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow when I’m not walking in the park.

    Now having a bad feeling I can’t shake 😐

    JESUS. Ugh.

    Carebleeding

    Noticing that my mother does not believe in misery alone β€” it is a group activity and I am the rest of that group.

    If she’s crying alone and I’m not responding adequately, “Daughter, my only fear is, the longer I live, the more you will suffer”.

    W o w.

    I told her not to throw a pity party for me, thanks. It is an inaccurate armour, not entirely the words I want to say. She’s making herself so weak now, a direct confrontation doesn’t seem okay.

    Then again, the point of this behaviour is to only allow room for one type of acceptable response.

    I don’t know if it’s a good thing I’ve recognised this pattern by now, because it frustrates me so much when I see it. I cannot play along in a farce.

    The only question I really have is how much of this is a conscious decision, and how much toxicity just comes naturally. Is this a product of her environment? Is it a result of too much TVB, a generational gap, her many Aquarius/Leo planets? I try to rationalise her behaviour when I’m not equipped for the task.

    Yesterday I dropped her off at the nursing home. Long week at the hospital. One day extension. Much ineptitude. Doctor actually left the hospital, after i) forgetting to attend to us and ii) misinforming the hospital that he had done this work. This doesn’t even surprise me anymore.

    On the way home, she asked if I was doing her groceries (today). I said no. Immediately demanded why. “Busy”.

    I very malas every time after one week of attending to her needs, i have to justify that I need time to sort out whatever I need to sort out. Even if I didn’t, I need time away from her suffocating presence.

    Arrived at nursing home. Sort out the meds, bed, carers etc. She tries one last shot: “Are you coming tomorrow?” β€” the voice has an extra layer of pitifulness to it. Right at the edge of tears, and only one right answer. I ignore it. “Nope”.

    She looks stricken, this is completely new to her, just as the news is πŸ—£πŸ—£πŸ—£ completely new every time πŸ—£πŸ—£πŸ—£.

    I hate that she always makes it like every minute I spend away from her is at her direct expense. It is unfair, makes me angry.

    The walls between us are so high now, because I realise that she will never be satisfied with anything.

    She wasn’t satisfied when I was there a few times every day, the whole week, for months.

    She isn’t satisfied I just spent a whole week in the hospital with her.

    There is no point. I must protect myself. No one else will, certainly not her.

    Even her crying about being a burden now indicates to me she can only envision herself as a burden. She has no plans to sort her shit out. She cries because I won’t write whatsapp msgs on her behalf to tell people her email address. There is no intention for this behaviour to change. Just an eternal helplessness ahead, and being victimised when I don’t do things for her.

    Got myself a late dinner by the time I was done at nursing home. Went to J’s, couldn’t find her keys😩. Came home, couldn’t find her keys.😫 Checked my car again and there it was. πŸ˜–

    Drove back to her place to grab my things. Kind of full out crying by then at how I didn’t have my shit together. Also partially just deflating from a week of stress.

    Was surprised J was home because she said she’d be out working. Lucky she wasn’t in the mood to talk either. Got to cuddle dog, get my things and leave. She remembered we have makan plans on Tuesday which is weird because usually I have to remember these things for us. I didn’t remind her this time.

    My heart was kind of destroyed by the drive home. Even at the end of the entire hospital ordeal — at the end of 432 hours, as I drove away from the nursing home, my self-centred mother made clear what I did was inadequate, and always would be inadequate. Because she is miserable, and misery is a group activity.

    Got my pork from J’s, but it had been so long with the break J needed and the hospital stay, it didn’t taste good anymore. It was really just a very shit day ,when I just needed room for things to go more my way. Maybe I also have fixed ideas of perfection. It was an uncomfortable reflection of my mother’s inability to cope with anything, which didn’t help.

    Girl tried to distract me, which was very nice. πŸ’• and effective.

    Mapped out what I would do today to improve my emotional health.

    Dedicated today to the AR game I’m playing with Yas and N. Met Yas for our usual lunch at the neighbourhood mall. This game involves too much sitting indoors — I much prefer the park format where we just walk the whole day. I think I’ll do that tomorrow.

    Was good to get my mind off things. N joined us at the park and we hit some Towers together. Had an African dinner. Was ok. One last Tower before N dropped us home. πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻

    I ate too much today. Clearly emotional eating. I should do some exercise to alleviate the guilt. The house is also too messy. This will be sorted tomorrow. All things in order, urgh, I will do this.

    Some leftover emotions to work through, especially since I’m digging them out to write this diary entry. I am getting used to this work of stabilising and healing myself, and learning to manage the unhealthy ways of coping.

    I will go to the park tomorrow. Walk even more. Can’t just rely on distracting myself with the girl, even if she is very distracting. πŸ₯°

    An ornamental hat (crown?) made of large tusks. Rhinoceros or elephant (likelier). Ivory coloured with a tinge of browning from age. The tusks point up, curves out, forming a circle. Two them bands around each; near the base and past the middle.

    The camera pans up: on their tips, tusks the size of fingers, bejewelled. Gold with red and green stones.

    I am staring at this, wondering.

    Girl: The cards say I made a journey before, took action. They add that it is a good thing that I do not complain when in emotionally tumultuous times, even at the edge of death — that I bear down and get very Taurean. I’m not sure they’re right. Pretty sure this quality has worked ill for me before. Oooooooof.

    Work: the cards say to rest, and it makes me want to cry a bit because it never feels like it’s okay to rest. (Goddamn, I am instinctually so cinatalistic).

    BC: This application brings out my Magician (INTJ?). It requires an analytical mind/ seeking authority (King S), leads to the sun, and a company of three working fast and hard (I guess this is why they’re hiring πŸ˜€) but also cooperatively and with loyalty.

    I draw cards next to a pin: a little cat boating in a tiny cup. A lunar birthday present. A cute reminder. A cat paddling in the water on a makeshift cupboat is unlikely. Cute, lovely to have, a gift from a good person — but not a promise or a foresight. Don’t just telan everything the cards have to say.

    A Sarawak dinner party last night. Was a bit disconnected but also happy to be amongst friends. Big Taurus energy, big bowls of homemade Sarawak laksa.

    Quite funny that I cancelled my laksa party because I didn’t have time right before the hospital, only to land in another laksa party.

    Laksa and gin party forever.

    I guess it’s something that the people I’ve worked with are enthused about being my work references.

    Disappointed that the sponsorship for the art exhibition fell through — thanks to the space for hiring the craziest tornado of talking big and mucking up, and now she’s blown our way. They were warned, they went ahead, I guess my schedule is now much clearer than before. Made my exit with advice on having clear contracts — words I could have taken to heart myself.

    Still, the cards say to rest and not feel to guilty about this. Doesn’t seem like terrible advice right now.

    I should take YT up on that reiki thing. I keep forgetting.

    The hospital is a trigger; always retraumatising. A nurse who was late. A doctor delayed. A procedure postponed.

    Now we have a sudden increase in cost, time and labour.

    My mother is in pain. The doctor says this is a sign of recovery. There have been no other signs as such. Just a needle in a groin tube the doctor is confident is inserted correctly. Just in time to detect her rapid recovery in sensation — but only on one thigh, coincidentally where the needle eventually enters, and not anywhere else.

    The experienced hospital cleaner looks wryly over. Jarum masuk salah lah. The doctor prescribes two panadols.

    Kak looks at me and remarks on my losing weight. She is the first to notice my physical changes after the trip and not mention my darker skin tone.

    Whenever we are here, we are surrounded by slogans. Report your pain! Here is the scale so you can accurately describe it to your health practitioners! Doctors, here’s a chart so you sociopaths can look at their expression and tell if they’re in pain!

    This space is a trigger by now. Can different perspectives still feel honest here?

    Cancer season πŸ˜’

    “Who on your timeline most suka cari pasal? – @lainie”

    😐

    I mean, I only cari pasal with fierce people, not everybody.

    Hit the gym yesterday after over a month away. I thought it was totally doable and I could have pushed it more (not that I volunteered this information to my PT).

    Then I walked down the stairs and my legs were shaky.

    Today my legs and butt hurt like a mofo. And all I did were the standard squats (with press) and lunges. Oh god. My body hurts so much.

    Went for a walk at the park which I thought would help with the muscle dorms(?) or whatever they’re called, but it didn’t. PT doesn’t want me running because of knee injury risk.

    I enjoyed the walk but picked up three Aedes mozzies at a patch off the path (I should not have strayed anyway).

    Thought I would give the food truck park at the mall a whirl, and it’s given me nothing but regrets and stomach cramps.

    She’s here! We have unfinished business!

    This is the path of ill judgement, so this time I will be a mature, good, sensible and responsible adult, and not race down it.

    Also, why is Cancer season sliding so much thirst into my DMs. The more unavailable I am the more people are available to me πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ.

    We are already more than halfway past the year. The world has moved while I’ve been still.

    Bed bugs are immortals. At least the dead can be exorcised.

    CC wants to meet in Vietnam with YT. It’ll probably be fun but also I’m highly aware that the most keras experience I’ve ever had was from vietnam.

    Speaking of. JJ texted me last night. She was otw to her show, the one we got her birthday tickets to see. Her car overheated.

    Managed to rescue her and drive her to IB where she made it in time, ten minutes late but just before the overture.

    She cried through both halves. Worth the effort and also staying in the area eating crappy food so I could provide transport assistance.

    Had a good discussion about the Phantom being the semangat of the space, or a black magic dabbler. Also whether we are distancing ourselves from his humanity because it is disturbing to consider that such darkness is within our kind.