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City And Colour

His train of thought halted abruptly as the one he'd been waiting for pulled up in front of him. There was a pause before the doors slid open, as if the train had felt a little reluctant to let its passengers out. It had to though. It was a train. Trains do that.

The platform was swept with the march of dozens of nameless faces. The man stepped back, allowing the crowd to pass by without interference as they hurried towards the station's exit. They were on the brink of sprinting, he noticed, walking as fast as their legs could carry them, taking them past the crumbling walls, out of the crumbling doorway and into the crumbling streets. 

The man walked in, took his place in the train and waited silently. The doors shut.

Trains don't do much. What they do though, they do well. Their lives are led by the tracks on which they rest, passively passing each day with such mindless monotony, ferrying workers from their homes to the gates of hell, or offices, as they're more commonly known. They don't feel restricted, of course. They don't know how to feel. They're trains. They just exist.

The man rested his shoulder against the grubby side of the train, sighed, and stared forward. The window framed a majestic sunset. Streaks of magenta lined the clouds as the sun fell further and further behind the horizon. Clouds were scattered across the skyline, painted, almost. In the failing light, buildings left long shadows leaning over the city, falling over the streets as the streetlamps and car headlights blinked into life. 
It looked nice, thought the man.

He turned away and scanned the faces that accompanied him on his journey home. Their eyes betrayed the focused emotion painted on their faces. They were empty, like people only ever able to live in dreams, swayed to that state by the sway of the train. Their hands were rigid, grasping briefcases, files and folders, only awoken by the misplaced cheer of a voice as they reached the station. 'You have now reached the station. Please exit safely.' They didn't know how to feel. They were workers. They just existed.

The man exited carefully with a few dozen other passengers. They marched past the crumbling walls, out the crumbling doorway, and into the crumbling streets.

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The streetlights are our stars, forming constellations above our heads as we inhale fumes and cigarette smoke. 

Beggars lie across stained streets marked with cracks, gaps, and the remnants of old chewing gum and cigarette butts. If you focus hard enough, you might just catch the gleam of unwanted pennies that litter the floor like dust gathering along car dashboards. The homeless seem at peace though, and how could they not be. Staring up with their backs to the ground, there's nothing to do but confuse the city lights for the stars that shine behind them. 

The universe can only fade into the background.
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Foie Gras

'Death is but a moment.'

A pin-drop silence and glares of empty eyes welcomed me as I made my way into the room. The corridor was filled with stale air, sharp to the senses. It permeated every crack of the decaying walls, as if it were desperate to escape. Trapped, like the rest of them there. The further in I ventured, the stronger the taste of the air became, hanging on at the back of my throat. Unpleasant, to say the least. The sooner this was over, the better.

I could feel those eyes on my back. All of them stood helpless, consigned to their miserable fate. I couldn't even make eye contact with any of the pairs of eyes that looked my way. They would die, yes, but it wasn't my fault. I didn't send them here. Society did. Still, I felt partially responsible, seeing as I was the man tasked with the burden of carrying out the dirty work. I took a minute to gather my nerves. A slight mistake on my part. The nerves had bundled up into one giant ball of nerves, and I was starting to feel a little rattled. They could sense it.

A large butcher knife was what they gave me. Brand new, it gleamed in the rays of sunlight that managed to creep through the holes in the grey wall. His bare neck was laid out in front of me across a large wooden block. It stunned me for a moment, how frail life really is, in that I could choose whether he lived or died in that split second when the knife was raised above him. I held my breath and brought down my weapon with as much force as I could muster. 

Poor duck didn't even quack.
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A Taxi Narrative

Your hands are cold, 
The heat drained for another episode, 
Of smiles, deceit and I know,
I'm only knee deep but here I stand, out of my depth.

Our innocence, 
Lost and found in boxes stacked in attics, 
Static but complete,
As lips of lovers meet.

You gaze upon the walks,
Leading to a corner,
Silent as I talk,
My words, they seem to wander,

Your whispers shape the air,
With clouds of cold breath,
And I'm left to stare,
As the taillights disappear.

Lyrics to an original song which no-one will ever hear.
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A Sunshine Glaze

'Drawn from our footsteps, hiding behind the figures of those who brave the lights.'

I wonder what a shadow feels like. 

Open-mouthed and empty worded, they speak on borrowed tongues, speaking through the sentences of others. They'll survive as a silent mimic, accepting credit but deserving none. And how they enjoy it. Their steps fall into footprints, while their actions become exaggerated as they desperately attempt to stay in sight, and not fall prey to the backdrop that begs for abandon. Shadows are mere mimes, dancing beyond the gaze of the sunlight. 

They fade, however. As the light weakens so does their outline, paling away into the background and leaving nothing to show for their colourless existence. Not least until the next sunrise, the next flare, or the next flash of a lightbulb that reminds us that those same shadows are still there, ready to once again imitate the best of us. They never really left. They never will.

No-one remembers the ones who mingle with the dusk. It's hard to find an outline when the bright lights desert us. That, probably, is my biggest fear. I can't imagine myself living as a shadow, so content to match the footsteps of others, never straying from their own sheltered lives. I don't want to fade.

The funny thing is, most people do.
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Three Cheers

'Tongue tied and terrified.'

Emotion quells my eloquence.

I'm rarely speechless. Honestly, wordlessness doesn't come easy to me. It's an unfamiliar and alien situation, a strange reminder that some things are best left unsaid. Just felt. I'm not used to that. I'm unaccustomed to having nothing to say. Some might say that it's a bad thing, and I'd have to agree. The number of times my sarcastic comments or painful truths have got me into trouble surely should've taught me to learn to keep my mouth closed at all, if not most times. But they haven't. I can't help but continue with my lack of self-restraint, blurting out the most inappropriate sentences at the most inappropriate of times. It's only those sleepless nights where I can't speak louder than the silence that I succeed in saving my breath. The best and worst conversations always seem to take place in my head. Usually with myself.

Late nights and overthinking are starting to become a habit for me. It's just something about the empty loneliness of it all that begs me to fill my time with mindless contemplating. They're tiring.  I've never felt like saying so much, when so much of what I want to say shouldn't be felt. And as much as I try to forge the right sentences, those moments just strangle all my attempts at expressiveness. I'll lack the composure to choose the right words, choking on every emotion my tongue tries to convey. They become brash and irrational as my restraint loses out to fear and feelings. Fear of feelings, maybe. So I give up and let the silence overwhelm me. Silence is never simple though. Especially not for me.

We'll struggle with the ruptures that don't subside, or eyes that fail to hide what their tiredness really means. Because really, those nights are only ever about trying to make sense out of our most feared emotions. The ones that never fail to keep us awake as we lie restless, questioning our worth. They're harsh. We judge ourselves in the worst way possible, as the voices in our heads continue to gleefully toy with the despair we face. And yet, even with our dignity stripped and the words that do so well to slip, the truths that we've avoided for so long eventually surface. Honesty is hard to suppress when all you truly want is closure. 

I should get more sleep.
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The Man And The Secret

'Sorry sir, you're sadly mistaken. Our lies were just for fun.'


Those words played silently in the back of his mind, as children in a playground would. Hushed and content, yet somehow impatient for a chance to let loose. To break past his lips, the barrier which so forcefully contains them against their will. It's not that he doesn't want to free them. Quite the opposite, actually. He'd rather not have the responsibility of all this wordplay. He'd rather be rid of them and carry on, like before, in his ignorance. He liked not knowing. It was much easier that way. No worries, no watching out for word-slipping or tongue-tying, or any sort of thinking before he spoke for that matter. Now he fumbles his words even in reply to the simplest of questions. Someone had asked his name the other day. For some strange reason, he'd muttered under his breath a name which sounded similar to his, but as if it was coming out of the mouth of an old homeless man with no teeth and too much whisky. 

Perhaps the heady mix of a secret and a promise was starting to get to him.

Those words weren't playing now. They were shouting, screaming, like kids in a supermarket throwing tantrums because they 'wealy, wealy want to eat dose choklits!'. They were agitated, losing all of what little patience they had to begin with. His complexion is changed now. His eyes are nervy, strained and stained red from all the sleepless nights. Most were spent talking to himself, a futile effort at comforting himself. His hair is ruffled and unkempt, though he never notices, never even cares about that anyway. The only thing he sees in the mirror is worry. The most noticeable change though, is in his lips. Pale and dry, like a man parched, thirsting for a gulp of cool water to relieve him of the agony. They trembled and twitched, itching for a reprieve. He looked just as an innocent man on death row would. 

Those whispers were turning into screams. And he couldn't take it much longer.
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This Is For Lovers

I'm a sucker for romantics. Enjoy.

To see me make a complete fool of myself, click here. Yes here. Here. For the outtakes.
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Automatic Eyes

'Lies only work when they trust you.'

Trust is a mistake. 

It doesn't even exist. It's a lie we tell ourselves to calm the nerves that become desperate for relief. A light drug we take that relaxes our minds, allowing us to think that things will be fine, that people don't lie. But that's the thing with drugs, isn't it? They're addictive.

So we gladly stroll on the tightropes of optimism, treading gently above the disappointment that lurks way below if we ever were to fall. We'll smile to ourselves giddily, either due to the lack of oxygen at such heights, or the fact that we still assume that others don't take advantage of our trust. Probably the latter. We don't notice the games people play with our trust, the ones played so freely behind our backs. Not at first, at least. Sooner or later we turn around though. Sooner or later, we see. The shock of it causes us to lose our footing, and our perfect balance drawn from the ignorance of belief vanishes. We fall. 

And all the trust that was spent on them now seems worthless, like loose change lost in the labyrinth of streets and alleys that frame the steps we take. Forgotten, as the spoken words of promises so usually are. Forgotten, also, like those promises that never really made it. Because people forget. Grudges are so hard to hold onto, no matter how hard we don't want to let go of the resentment that reminds us not to trust again. We'll forgive. 
And the cycle repeats. 

'Chicago is so two years ago.'
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Second Guesses

'My compulsive bad habits do little but add,
To the convincing aesthetic I've built as a mask,
It's condescending to think that I'm new and improved,
I only twist the nails and hammer the screws.

And these monochrome rainbows survive long enough,
For me to see that the colours have turned into doubt,
The golden ring around my head just weighs me down.'

Those two verses are from a song I wrote a while back. 

We're paralysed by insecurities that freeze our hearts with such sad self-pity. Like a poison with no antidote, we can only wait. Hope comes along for the ride, at least until the path turns rocky and it decides to desert us for better company. 

Insecurities consume us. Minds rigid with discontent, the flaws that make us who we are now flicker into flames impossible to ignore. Shelterless, we run from ourselves. These moments when we question ourselves are mercilessly raw as we confront our own fears in the privacy of our thoughts. Old worries resurface. Sleepless nights encountered. 
Overthinking is a trap we lay for ourselves. I've never known why I do it.

Some days are just more depressing than others.
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I miss acting. 

It's freeing. On stage, we're thrust into that temporary escape from ourselves. The life we led no longer exists. We're someone else, a stranger we know well. Our fictitious past plays into our hands as we mould the very minds we're about to embrace. It's unexplainable how satisfying it is to immerse yourself in the skin of a person you never were, you never could be.

Actually, it's just lying really, really convincingly.

I took part in the SEA Forensics earlier this year, an international competition held at ISKL. This sounds quite braggy, to me at least, but winning silver for solo acting and duet acting has got to be one of the proudest moments in my life. I know where this is going, so I'll stop writing before I descend into more self-adulation. It would be very rude of me.

My duet acting piece, 'Accident', apparently made the principal quite angry when I performed it in front of the school after the competition. Everyone else thought it was funny. Purple shirt boy is my brother, for those who were asking/were going to ask/asked but forgot the answer.

My solo acting piece, 'I Quit Girls', was self-written a week before the competition. I didn't show any of my teachers the script before the competition because they definitely wouldn't have let me use it. At the start, I contemplate turning gay because I was so depressed with women. Apparently that's a 'senstitive' topic. It was just meant to be a joke. No, really.

Those green words up there? They're links. Try clicking them. 

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Hits, Misses, Dead Ends

'You kiss me like an over-dramatic actor who's starving for work, with one last shot to make it happen.'

Expectations aren't kind.

They won't speak gently into your ear, motivating you with tender words and warm encouragement. They won't pull you up, push you on, or ever bring up your sense of self-worth. They break you. Like a marathon runner shackled with a weight at the ankles, you drag this burden, heavier with every step. It's an unnecessary weight shouldered on the backs of success. The more you achieve, the more they expect. It's never enough. 

I have a fear of expectation. People tend to think that I'm encouraged by it, that I'll try harder if they tell me I can do better. More often than not, their words only wind tight around my wrists like handcuffs from the tips of tongues. They restrict me, causing a tide of anxiety to wash over my sight and blur the paths of even the simplest tasks. I'll feel the unblinking strain of their judgemental eyes on my back just waiting for a mistake to jeer, a fault to criticise.

So I let them down, and I let myself down. I fail, intentionally. It's better to give up and fail than to even bother trying at all. However twisted the logic may sound, it works. It succeeds where my effort hasn't, relinquishing me from the expectation that became too much to bear. People don't understand why I would choose to do that. They could never comprehend why I would waste my talents, my potential merely because I'm scared to fail. And that's where everyone is wrong.

I'm not scared to fail, at all. Far from it. No, it's the complete opposite. I want the option to fail. I want it to be there, in the back of my mind, that small guarantee that says there is no guarantee over anything. I want it to keep me grounded, sheltering my perseverance from an ego's complacency. I want to be allowed to fail.  Expectation limits you, because it sets its minimum at perfection. It's all or nothing, there's no other way. Without it, I'm free to win or lose as I please, risks and chances abound. And I like it that way.

'Dream of demons while you sleep that make you stutter when you speak.'
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Needle And Thread

'One by one, the knots we've tied will come undone,
Like picking locks, we'll sow our seeds beneath the sun,
Our accomplice is the rain, with patience, that of the saints.
We'll try to document this light, with cameras to our eyes,
In an effort to remember how being mended feels like.'

I'm not much of a model.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a model, and I don't plan to be one. It's just that if I were actually a model in some far-off parallel reality, I'd be terrible. The fine art of picture-taking is lost on me. A shop window mannequin is probably more coordinated than me at posing, and most of them don't even have the luxury of elbow or knee joints. No, it requires a certain amount of pride and confidence in yourself, borderline arrogance maybe, to really be comfortable taking pictures. Especially so they don't turn out the way that any of my attempts at hiding my awkwardness do.  

I much prefer words.

They're irresistibly personal, freeing my thoughts with such tangible self-expressiveness. They're not static, not motionless like the frozen split second of a snapshot. They'll weave around your mind, leaving a trail of imprints, of impressions that feel almost dreamlike. We write in black and white, yet think in technicolor. We write words and phrases, but they conjure up rose-tinted memories and vivid scenes. Pictures just leave me with a sense of emotional detachment. They don't capture the moment, they merely capture moment. One that would otherwise be lost and forgotten by the time the next click of the camera comes along.

It's a paradox I find poetic, almost. That something written and read could be more beautiful than something seen. How meaning is so lost in the chaos of a picture that it seems eerily distant. We've all looked at pictures and not wholly recognised ourselves, but somehow we'll always feel a link when reading the stories we wrote as a child. It's because the lines and dots that appear from the tips of our pens are more than just that. They're an embodiment of our thoughts, more so than the exaggerated emotion we see in photoframes. Well, for me at least.

We rely on our eyes to see, not feel. People forget that.

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Time For Heroes

'We'll die in the class that we're born. Well, it's a class of our own my love.'

I'd rather be a romantic failure than a predictable success.

We're born. We go to school. We work. We retire. We die. A life like any other, bound by society and its unyielding reach that traps us in this monotony. Rigid timetables and bundles of paperwork keep us company as we sit, tired and uninspired. The commute home is silent, thoughtless, and blank. Whatever rest we manage to muster is only interrupted by our alarm clocks. Our days are like a Halloween pumpkin, moulded yet hollow, smiling wickedly at our dissatisfaction. We'll tire, and not the sleep kind. Imagine this repeating. Everyday.

I wouldn't be able to bear it. I can't even bear thinking of the possibility of this as my future. Such strangled repetition, and for what? Money, probably. That little palm-sized piece of paper that guarantees happiness, or so we're taught. I've never understood the value of it. People question me, asking 'Don't you want to have a big house and nice things?'. I've always said no. It's not about that. It's not about living an unfulfilled life for the sake of temporary pleasures. We forget those in the end. Our memories don't save space for such things. I want to do what I know I'd love to do, not something forced and meaningless. Apparently that means I'm destined to fail.

I don't mind. What would I be failing at anyway? Would I be disappointed that I couldn't impress people with expensive cars and pricey trinkets? The world is pretentious. We're deceived into pursuing things that we don't even want. A ceaseless chase which traps us with the belief that we'll be set free by it. We fear the dark, yet we chase shadows. I don't want to be tied down by that, to have to sacrifice my own happiness for 'happiness'. If that requires me to fail, then I will. I'll enjoy every second of it.

'Sleepwalking through every moment we took for granted.'
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Too Many Sorrows You've Enjoyed

'I've never liked puzzles. I always preferred to play with words.'

I've always resisted from writing about politics or national affairs. All those newspapers and TV shows forcing politics down my throat is enough for me. Sometimes though, I need to express these strands of thought that weave themselves into a pattern that becomes impossible for me to ignore.

Our textbooks tell us all the same thing. We must be united. We must live harmoniously. We must ignore our differences and focus on our similarities. It's a good effort on promoting unity, but it just doesn't cut it. Unity is an emotional bond. It possesses your heart naturally, growing through heartfelt ties and heartless episodes. You can't teach unity the same way that you can't teach love, or fear, or happiness. 

I just don't feel that in Malaysia. I want to, I really do, but with all the splits and divisions, we're heading so far from that goal of togetherness that I've become lost in my own country. Where do we stand when our own people don't want to be part of their nation? There's only one time when I truly feel as if everyone cares about the same thing, no matter what differences they may have. Sports. It's a rush, that moment seeing thousands of people in a single stadium and not defining them by race, but just seeing them as Malaysians supporting their country. I love that.

It's because we've never had a common enemy. Post-independence, we've never had any incident which the whole country was against. No great war, no revolution, no famine. Nothing where all of us had to genuinely band together in the hope that our willpower would get us through such a traumatising tale. Fear and grief; two basic human emotions, yet so strong and uniting. In times of terror, our vulnerability leads us to find comfort in the vulnerability of others. We see ourselves in the fear around us, and it makes us feel safe. We look past our faces and grudges, connecting through emotion. We've never had that.

If I were a politician, I'd create a ghost enemy. A fabricated terror, something to unite everyone against. United in fear. It sounds Machiavellian, it sounds immoral, and it sounds deceitful. Welcome to politics. Naivety gets you nowhere at the top. Politics is a game; politicians should learn how to play.

Our lives are too comfortable here, too safe. It breeds complacency and disillusionment. Look at us, we fight over the smallest things. Humans are creatures of conflict; peace never lasts long. We just create our own problems, over and over again.

What saddens me the most is that some people are only Malaysians by luck of the draw, merely because they were born here. They feel nothing for the country, content to live their lives without even glancing behind their arrogant backs to remember where they're from. It's not for me to tell them to love their country; that would make me as bad as any of the textbooks we learn from. No, it's all up to them. I just hope we don't need World War Three to truly be united. 1984.

'Negaraku. Tanah tumpahnya darahku.'

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My brother and I were oh-so bored. The fruits of our procrastination. We aren't the best singers in the world. Enjoy :)
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Fault Lines

'Wake up, try on your new disguise. Would they recognise you anyway?'

We're all strangers, even to ourselves.

It's unnerving when this thought runs through my mind. We know people, yes, but we don't really know them. Masks are all we see. Everyone wears an imitation personality, a synthetic shadow that casts doubt in my eyes on who they really are. We all portray ourselves as someone better than we actually are, and like makeup our masks highlight our best features while subtly veiling those all too familiar blemishes. It's a facade we accept because no-one is exempt. All we can do is imagine those fronts as a reality. That, and trust.

Trust isn't real though. It's just an imaginary bargaining chip, a forced trade where the outcome isn't even confirmed to meet our expectations. We have a word for when it doesn't. It's called 'disappointment'. Why we rest so much hope on something so flimsy as trust, I'll never know. I guess those masks that people wear look real enough to be believed.

Maybe that's what love is, isn't it. How I cringe at some people's views on love. That it can be bought with money, with time, or with words. That it must be expressed everyday in the most public spaces available. That it needs no effort, that 'true love' just is how it is. To me, love is the chance to bring down the masks we've all grown so accustomed to wearing for others. When our shadows give way to what we really yearn for others to see. It's probably the only time when trust feels real.

Please, please, please, please forgive me for that cheesy monologue on love. I just had to say it, and when you talk about love it always sounds like a greeting card.

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Forgo the cliches

'Disillusionment has taken over all my stray thoughts,
And I'm delusional, my view obscured by things that she was,
The sun won't dare to move, in fear that it may never rise again,
It sits there patiently as I wait for dusk to break the light.'

A verse from a song I wrote a few months back. I quite like it.
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You can rely on me, honey

Originality is dead. 

She has been for a while, actually. It's just taken me a little time to realise it. A few fragmented memories still and will live on in the best of us, but it's safe to say that she's gasped her last mouthful of air. Left for dead by the persistent, purposeful chase of the generic. May she rest in peace.

There's nothing inspiring anymore, is there? I'm desperate for a spark, something that really awes me. Inspiration is easier to come by when you're younger. You haven't seen enough of the world, too naive to grasp what it really means to be a cynic. Everything amazes you. But then, sooner or later, you notice that everything has been done before. All we're left with are imprints. Of imprints. Of imprints. Disheartening, to say the least. And I'm only eighteen.

It's all become so mundane. We're locked within the borders that we raise in our heads and our hearts. We're not led by our own emotions or thoughts, but by how others might perceive our actions. It's unfortunate how peer pressure never lets anyone out of its grasp. We'll reluctantly accept its audacious demands, too scared to act against it, dreading the jeers that are sure to follow. It's normal though, isn't it? We all crave acceptance, it's human nature. A sharp, piercing desire to be recognised, a lusting for pride. We're not human in the absence of an ego. 

I miss creativity. Flickers of magic do appear every once in a while, and they raise my spirits in the hope that maybe all is not lost. Sometimes I see people actually being different for once, daring to smile back at the cowards who'd never try. False hope. Everything ends up a shell of what it used to be, falling back, hiding behind plastic smiles and pretentious eyes. Recycled lines and stagnant minds. 

I guess, we're not ourselves if we're not ourselves. 

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In Desperate Conversation

'Fear not your ships,
Nor any to oppose you save our lips;
But come on shore,
Where no joy dies till Love hath gotten more.'

Procrastinating is sexy. It's like a siren singing my name, constantly calling out to me, crying until its voice cracks at the core. If procrastination were a person, it would be a woman. Trust me. A voluptuous seductress in a crimson red dress slit at the legs, bedroom eyes piercing the hearts to heights I'd rather not fall from. I just can't resist her. 

It's not my willpower, it's my lack of it. I battle with temptation, but I never win and I don't think I ever will. Maybe I don't want to.  Distractions are so much easier on the mind. They're a welcome escape from the unwilling effort we put into things that make us feel as belittled as a child in the mines. Forced labour, working against your will because you have to. I like giving in to procrastination, embracing it as that guilty pleasure we all indulge in. It breathes the sense that I still have at least the slightest control over what I want to do; or in this case, what I don't want to. A fickle rebellion played out in our heads, a small win for small time heroics. 

Of course, afterwards we have to deal with that regret of doing work at the last minute. We'll come under fire from ourselves because we know we could have done better. The conscience just doesn't shut up. Does it really matter though? Would anyone actually want to know their full potential? It scares me, finding that out. Imagine someone telling you 'Here's the best you can do; that's it.' My hands would tremble with disappointment thinking that I knew my limits. Our intentional failures are just an expression of our own longing for limitlessness. I find it comforting. I'd rather underachieve than know my best wasn't good enough. Damn. Cliche. Sorry, I couldn't think of anything else. Ignore that.

'I can resist anything except temptation.' I wonder if Mark Twain procrastinated as much as I did.
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Chasing Skirts

I only apologise when I'm wrong. Problem is, I'm wrong almost all the time.

Do problems even exist? Sometimes I tell myself, I even believe, that sheer optimism is enough to break through any barrier. It's not a problem if you don't think it's one. Or something along those lines. And then there are times when everything goes so horribly wrong that hope doesn't even bother to look over its shoulder as it trudges gently in the opposite direction.

I've truly been feeling mentally tired. It has to be because of the way I deal with guilt. I take it personally, shouldering the weight of a thousand sorrys, embracing it as my own responsibility until sweet forgiveness removes it from my list of burdens. With each rejected apology, the weight only multiplies. So does the restlessness. But that's just me. Guilt is my kryptonite, it eats away at my conscience like a cancerous disease, tormenting my mind with a hundred ways that this feeling could have been avoided.

I'm being melodramatic, of course. It doesn't kill me literally; but it does run me into the ground. It's a sickening feeling, isn't it? When sorry isn't enough, or when forgiveness eludes you to the point of utter delusion. The word restless doesn't even begin to describe my mind when staring back in hindsight. Mistakes are the worst type of teacher. All they do is punish you. I bet they enjoy it too.

It's what I say, I'm sure of it. I honestly need a filter in between my brain and my mouth, a way to learn how to think before I speak. Or I am seriously just going to keep getting into more and more trouble. It makes life interesting, yes. But sometimes you need that boredom to remind yourself that this is actually all real. Sometimes you need a little tedium to know excitement. I'm fine with that. 

On a lighter note, the world is still spinning, I'm still breathing, and the sky hasn't yet fallen. Lovely.

'Stop crying your heart out.'
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Three Months

I entered an essay writing competition earlier this year. The title everyone had to write about sounded like an exam essay; 'Teenagers Today.' As always, I did things last minute, writing my essay 24 hours before it was supposed to be sent in.

I lost. I don't mind losing, but apparently the winner wrote about Malaysia's multi-cultural society. How fascinating. Like we've never read about Malaysia and 'masyarakat berbilang kaum' before. 

Definitely not my best writing, but I was pretty satisfied with it considering the time I put into it. Oh, and yes, I had to throw in that MGMT reference at the end. 'Twas a must.       

          Perhaps I’ve been misled. I use the word ‘misled’ because the words ‘lied to’ may come across as a little too harsh in the eyes of the people I’m about to criticise. Misled is much softer, it conveys the sense that I was lied to in an accidental way. I don’t particularly care for liars and charlatans, but the blatant hypocrisy that is displayed does sicken and confound the best of us. Mum and Dad, I want you to know that I love you. However, in my opinion, both of you are part of a global problem more detrimental to our society than a fast food nation. It is a problem more harmful, in fact, than reality television. Parents worldwide are tyrants. They are the bullies from the playground, the Stalins to our comrades, the Toms to our Jerrys.  The most tragic thing about this is that parents today were once the teenagers of yesteryear. Parents of the present have forgotten how it feels like to be youthful. They treasure the memories, yes, but they have forgotten. They have forgotten how it felt to watch one’s very innocence ebb away as their own innocence was exposed to the trials of adulthood. They have forgotten how to perceive the world as it seemed, undaunted by fears of taxes, marriage and stock market fluctuations. They have forgotten that teenagers never change, that teenagers today are the same creative, rebellious individuals as the teenagers of the past. With the widespread availability of internet and a limitless amount of knowledge at our fingertips, this teenage generation should be the one which impacts current and future events. Firstly though, we must remove the tyranny of parental obligation.                

         The entertainment industry has played an important role throughout the past century as a unifier of the teenage generation. From James Dean to The Beatles, a large number of illustrious figures have seen out their role as their generation’s preacher of who the masses congregate. Every teenage generation has craved for the same freedoms as today’s teenagers do. The parents of today were those teenagers who rebelled without a cause, the same ones who answered John Lennon’s rallying cry to ‘Imagine’. Why then have they conformed to society’s will, consigning themselves to the same mundane tasks they once promised they would never submit to? This is the challenge that today’s teenagers now face. We must at all costs avoid the mistakes that our forefathers made, which is the restricting of the creativity and expression only found in the innocence of youth. Pablo Picasso once poignantly pointed out that ‘Every child is an artist’. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. We have today infinite possibilities for the future. Do we really want to limit them by limiting what can be achieved by our teens? We must learn from our mistakes by making sure parents do not deny the same freedoms they were once denied as teens. What is the world, if not explored? Imagine if Christopher Columbus’ parents had told him that there was only one way to India. Imagine if Sun Tzu’s parents had warned him that fighting was for scoundrels. All of humanity’s progress has its origin in the boundless curiosity of Man. Ask yourselves this. When else are we more curious than at the peak of our adolescence? Imagine if today’s teenagers were allowed to ask questions and find the answers without the restraints of logic and common perceptions. Our civilization would surely develop at a rate more rapid than any before us. Parents today have the opportunity to realise their very dreams of idealism, optimism and expression. Not through themselves, but the ones they nurture. Roger Lewin summed it up by saying that ‘Too often we give children answers to remember, rather than problems to solve’.  

            Though we often ignore this fact, teenagers are the world’s most valuable natural resource. What makes them so valuable is their curiosity which is not locked down with reason and logic. We need this to be capable of envisioning a better future for the entire world. As with other resources such as oil, coal and natural gas, if mismanaged, teenagers can cause disastrous environmental effects. However, with the right planning and strategic thinking, we can avoid the mistakes of parents of the past and make sure the potential of today’s teenagers is fully realised. As I have mentioned, over the centuries, teenagers have continuously been portrayed as scapegoats and rebels. The irony of it is, the parents of our teenagers today were once given that very same label. It is a vicious cycle we can term as ‘Animal Farm Syndrome’.  In the book ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell, there happens a revolt as farm animals overthrow their human oppressors. Led by a pig named Napoleon, the animals succeed in wrenching power from their former human masters. However, Napoleon’s thirst for power turns him into the same tyrannical leader he once worked so hard to oppose. It is a tragic case of the repressed becoming the oppressor, and though the parent-teenage situation comes nowhere near as close to that gloomy circumstance, it is very similar. As quoted by Karl Menninger, ‘What’s done to children, they will do to society’. Parents who conform must not force their children to. Our generation, all of us, must be the ones who end the twisted cycle. It sounds na├»ve, as teenagers always do, but we can change the world. 

           Perhaps I have misled you. I may have been a little melodramatic by insinuating that parents share the same moral standards as Muammar Gaddafi, but my message is clear. For too long, the youth have been restricted by the artificial pressures of money and materialism. Not this time. We must break free from these shackles of greed and power. We must break free from the shackles of conformity if we are ever to progress. Teenagers are told to get good grades, work hard, and retire. That is all. Should it be? Life isn’t tedium, and should not be defined as such. Teenagers have a creative spark; they have that potential to imagine. Potential is one thing though; realising it is another. The great thing about it is, simply put, we can. Currently, teenagers have their voices in the mouths of the world-renowned indie band known as MGMT. In their song, The Youth, they ponder that, ‘the youth is starting to change, are you starting to change? Are you?’ We must.

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Last words are for those who haven't said enough

In times of sickness, the bed becomes a prison. 

Save for a few energy-sapping forays outside the walls of the bedroom, much time is spent waiting for health's re-emergence in that cell of ours. However much it consumes our time and will, however much we long to resume our everyday activities, I've found that when ill, the prison for the body becomes the utopia for the mind. You see, during ill health we become so restricted that we go back to our original source of entertainment. The imagination.

With so little on our mind, we begin to think, contemplate on subjects that would usually occupy the space at the back of our heads, saved for precious moments such as these. Now, subject matter differs from person to person, of course. But it's an eye-opening experience. It allows us to have the heart-to-heart conversation with ourselves that we've always yearned for. A step back from everything to realign our thoughts in the capacity of our own heads.

Prison has never felt freer. 

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Floral Reflection

Everyone's a narcissist. 

People rarely look up, or look around anymore. They're too drawn by their reflections, angles, mirrors. The focus has positioned itself on building one's reputation. There's nothing wrong with that I think. What's wrong is how most of them around me carry it out. They're slaves to cheap publicity, using every avenue available to earn a name. They think nothing of sacrificing their dignity and self-worth for the sake of attention. The worst part is, they're all doing the same thing. If you want attention, at least be creative about it.

It might just be me, but when people copy and paste love quotes they find from the internet, it riles me up to no end.

Any publicity is good publicity. Who does this even apply to? 12 year olds with internet access? It's all so reflective of our society, where the only people we want to know are ourselves. I wish  people realised that there's more to the ersatz lives they lead on the internet. 

“On Facebook and Twitter, you are performing to attract people – you are dancing emotionally, on a platform created by a large corporation. People’s feelings bounce back and forth – happy Stakhanovites, ignoring and denying the system of power. It’s like Stalin’s socialist realism. Both Twitter and socialist realism are innocent expressions of the ideology of the time, which don’t pull back and show the wider thing they are part of. We look back on socialist realism not as innocent but as a dramatic expression of power; it expresses the superiority of the state, which was the guiding belief at the time. I think sometime in the future people will look back at the millions and millions of descriptions of personal feelings on the internet and see them in similar ways. This is the driving belief of our time: that ‘me’ and what I feel minute by minute is the natural centre of the world. Far from revealing that this is an ideology – and that there are other ways of looking at human society – what Twitter and Facebook do is reinforce the feeling that this is the natural way to be.”

-Adam Curtis

I hope people understand my references more.
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'If only I'd known that this habit actually kicks back.'

Dreams fascinate me. In a completely non-cheesy, no-I-did-not-get-this-line-from-tumblr kind of way, they do. Everything is real in a dream. Everything makes sense.

My mind just jumped. Could you imagine a dream actually being an alternate life, where we only remember certain parts as distant memories when we wake up? At the moment we arise from our slumber, we still feel the emotion coursing through our veins, our breaths still short from the suspense, but we can't even recall what happened. That's what attracts me to them. They free us from the constraints of reality, and in that escape we actually feel the environment to the point that we let our emotions run their course, for us. 

And how it unfolds! Familiar characters, familiar scenes, and familiar objects made unfamiliar by our subconscious. It's like a a twisted version of what we know, looking into the mirror and seeing more than our own self.

We're there, but not there. We see ourselves as the narrator of a story written as it goes on, with our heads held in our hands. Brave, instinctual, like a blind man leading the way through no-mans-land. But in a split-second, we wake up. And all is forgotten.

It's quite poetic really.
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She's gracing pavements,
And I'm cautiously convinced,
All the streetlights agree.

That the shadow, 
That's been keeping her company,
Is right where I should be.
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Kissing The Lipless

Garden State.
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With lives like these, who needs dying?

I've been so unproductive lately. Time wastes faster than the regret that sets in afterward. My days feel numbered. I assume the logic my brain uses is since I'm not doing anything productive, why continue breathing? I need a short-term goal to fill my time. Yep. That sounds good. And no, I haven't been reading any motivational self-help books. I'm just worried with the fact that I can't remember the last thing I felt satisfied about achieving. Especially since someone told me that eating one large pizza alone doesn't count as being 'productive'. 

Off the top of my head, a list of things I want to do before the end of the year:

1) Be able to write with my left hand.
2) Learn enough Tamil to carry out conversations which make sense.
3) Figure out how to speak in an Australian accent.
4) Climb a wall.

No joke.
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Closed Doors

'Love of mine, someday you will die, but I'll be close behind. I'll follow you into the dark.'

Death has its perks. Firstly, well, you're dead. You don't have to bother your mind with the petty nuances that we, the living, get bombarded with every day. It may have something to do with you being dead and losing the ability to think, but it's a fair trade I'd say. 

Secondly, you're one step closer to Heaven. Or Hell. The latter isn't really a perk, but for the sake of this argument, let's just assume you've been a nice little human while you were alive. We're told that heaven is the place to be, the eternal party in the sky. Seventh Heaven. It even sounds like a club. 

I'm a little confused. My mind is so disjointed. I was supposed to tie this all in with a grand, emotional third point about how people only remember you once you're dead, but I realised halfway through writing this that it's not a perk when you can't even enjoy it. We're so stubborn. To me, post-humous recognition is an insult. A farce, an insincere afterthought merely capitalising on a person's passing. It's a shame really. 

I'm unsure about dying. It's not something you prepare for, is it? The fragility and balance of everything somehow possesses me to think that it's all a matter of time before everything goes awry. 

I think I'll appreciate my boredom a little more from now on.
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Fear is relative

I have an obscene fear of snails. The slime, the translucent trail it leaves as it pointlessly squirms along at that unbearably slow pace. They freak me out. Oh, and don't forget the goosebumps I feel when I unintentionally crush them under my foot. I don't know where this came from. They're just so snaily. 
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Days Like Masquerades

“Hey you, this is me. 
The idealist inside that holds your love on a string,wound and tied like kites to all your hopes and dreams. What a tangled mess that they’ve turned out to be. Take a breath, and ask yourself what matters.”

-The Academy Is...
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I Can Feel A Hot One

'I could feel a hot one taking me down
For a moment, I could feel the force
Veiny to the point of tears
And you were holding on to make a point
What's the point?'

We go to school to get a good education to get a good job so that we can earn enough money to pay back the loan we took out so that we could get a good education in the first place. It's such a redundant cycle.

Eighteen going on extinct. I'm almost at the point where I start earning my own living, relying on no-one else but me. All those years asking myself 'What do I want to be when I grow up?' comes down to this. And yet, I still have no idea. I'm still asking that same question. Well, not exactly. It's not what I want to do that's hard to find. Writing, acting, music, I have a ton of interests. But you can't live off hobbies. A stable job means a boring job. Something I'd never feel fulfilled by. Maybe I should just take the risk and try and do something that's actually meaningful to me. I might end up homeless though.

It's like the world was programmed so that we'd never be satisfied with anything.
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In general

Nice is boring. People use that word to describe something, or someone, when no other words suffice. And not in a good way. It's used to describe something so bland, so devoid of essence or presence that the only word that can be used to describe the utter dryness upon seeing said object is... nice. 

'Nice guys finish last. I guess I win then.'

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Sally can wait

'I like cliches. They're comforting. They're like a constant to run our lives by.' 

Recently I've been trying to break out of this relentless monotony. The days feel like they've merged, lines blurred. A quick glance over my shoulder to the past weeks provides nothing but a look at how my repetitive routine, however redundant that sounds, is starting to get to me. A few moments shine in recent memory. Unfortunately, I'm unsure on how long those will last before I have to create new ones to satisfy my mind's late night addiction to fleeting feelings and wishful thinking.

I'll assume that one day I'll miss today. I'm safe in the confines of school, home and thought. Or thoughtlessness, rather. You never know what you have until it's gone. I hate that saying. It's so overused. A pointless summary of a lesson we never learn. A grim reminder of how enough is never enough. I hate that saying too. Cliched, well-known, but never taken to heart. It's just representative of how repetition causes us to remember the words, but lose the meaning. Those words are empty. When people look at them now, tomorrow, whenever, they'll recognise exactly what to expect. Nothing more, nothing less. 

Maybe that's what's been on my mind. Maybe that's why it sparked up when I noticed that my routine has become cliched as well. I recognised the fear that if I allow myself to continue, I'll become like those sayings I despise so much. Empty, having lost its meaning through monotony and familiarity. Another footnote, another statistic listed for the sake of numbers and for the few who actually care about those tiresome details. 

Or maybe I'm just bored nowadays. Yawn.

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Dr. Sundown

There's just something amazing about one of my favourite bands covering one of my favourite songs written by one of my favourite bands.