Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Satellite of Love (Danny Saber Remix)

He is excited that at this very latitude and longitude, but 36 storeys below, there are probably 20 people squeezed into the same space that they have all to themselves up here. There is no background noise from traffic here. There are no prams to make way for. There is not another soul in sight. Every album he plays hits the spot. Even Ms Jovovich's screeching does not irritate them.

Friday, December 14, 2012

You Haven't Done Nothin'

He admits, indeed, it's a valid accusation. He can but try to explain where it went wrong.

So many decks.
So much better at PowerPoint.
So many discussions.
So much cross-pollination of ideas.
So much travelling.
So many, many lies.

So little knowledge gained.
So little satisfaction.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


He wakes at his usual time but lingers a little before getting out of bed. He drags his feet to the kitchen and drinks from the full glass of water, as he is told to. During breakfast they discuss the plan for dinner. Since he has a work call, she suggests they eat in; she volunteers to buy something to cook on the way home. He nods, but requests that they eat fish.

He gives her a peck on the cheek and leaves for work. His day, which had begun the night before, is filled with fruitless and countless meetings, discussions and 'brainstorms'.

"More like drain-storms ha ha", he chuckles.


On the way home is when he remembers their morning conversation. As a thank you for the hearty meal that awaits him at home, he buys a small bouquet of flowers.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Glasgow Megasnake

"And here we go - there's the bell for the final lap! But still no one's making a move. The three leaders are keeping pace with each other, literally neck and neck."

In his first race back from retirement, he's somehow managed to keep pace with the front two for the past 31 laps. Now he clings to the inner edge of lane 2 as they go round the bend. He's ready to overtake them on a clear path.

"Here they come into the back straight, and Mr Coe starts his move. Is it too early? Those calves of his must be in some pain!"

He glides past the leading duo and drifts back into lane 1. He can hear the two of them panting, sucking air like a Hoover. Now he is in the final bend. As he enters it he looks to his left and sees them falling away behind him.  Their arms are pumping violently, but their heads are lolling from side to side. A sure sign of tiredness. It motivates him tremendously.

"Mr Coe enters the final 100 in the lead looking very good. They're not going to catch him today."

He can go faster. All the frustration and fury from years of not winning build to a deafening roar in his head. He hears and sees nothing in the stadium except his lane leading to the finish line. His feet are pounding the ground rhythmically,  pulling the track from in front of him and kicking it far behind.

The crowd erupts when he breasts the tape. He beats his chest and screams, "Me! Me!". The camera circles him, capturing his intoxicated state.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pigs (Three Different Ones)

1. He finally has his hands on the latest issue. It is two days late. During that time his frustration at not knowing what his favourite celebrities did or said has become almost unbearable. Walking away from the convenience store where he purchased it, he crumples the receipt and throws it to the ground and begins reading while walking.

2. She is with a couple of friends at a nice Asian restaurant on the outskirts of Chinatown. How cool to eat where the locals eat. Her friends talk loud enough for everyone two restaurants away to hear. That's fine though, she thinks, their accent is so awesome and so desirable that naturally everyone would really want to hear about their extraordinary lives. She beckons to the waitress, with that beaming smile of hers, and gestures that they need another set of chopsticks. Her friends look at each other with the same thought in their heads - can they not count here? When the waitress arrives with the utensils she puts on her most saccharine voice and asks in Mandarin if they could please have some chili too. How cool that she can speak with English with an accent AND Mandarin. They must be so impressed with her here.

3. He is 3 kilometres into his 8 kilometre run when the personal trainer steps onto the treadmill next to him.

"Hi, is your name Bunka?"

(Panting) "No, it isn't."

"Because I looked on the list of people who signed up, and there was only one non-Chinese name there. Are you sure your name is not Bunka?"

(Panting) "Yes, quite sure."

"So how is your workout today?"

(Panting) "Please excuse me, I'd like to concentrate on running. Maybe we can talk later?"

(Offended) "Oh, alright then. Sure. Please enjoy your, um, jogging."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I Remember

He begins with the intention of simply discarding all of his old notes, books and items. He is dead certain that the challenge will be the volume of material to go through, rather than the decision on what to keep or throw.

It all starts according to plan. He is flying through items in the first cupboard. He has two piles - one for chucking and one for keeping. Old chemistry notes - throw. Old math notes - throw. These can be looked up on the internet anytime, he reasons. Yearbooks he keeps. Language exercise books he has to pause for a little. He decides to keep them. While flipping through one of them, he reads a paragraph of his own essay. He is shocked and impressed by the number of words whose meaning he knew at age 13, but not now. He pushes aside the newsletters from his secondary school days and finds a box of letters. On top of it is a diary that still smells of bubble-gum when he opens it. It was a gift from his first school-teacher. The diary begins with entries describing his first ever overseas trip, 25 years ago. It continues for a couple of months after that trip ends. The little boy writes about hanging out with his Uncle, who has since passed away. He continues reading for a good 15 minutes. He cannot bear to throw this away. It has no use to his present self but it would be wrong, and far too cold, to say it is useless. He must show it to the Wife.

That was an unexpected delay; hopefully there are no more. As he continues combing through his belongings, he finds a journal that his secondary school teacher had asked him (and the other students, of course) to keep. He is so surprised to see himself in those entries. Sincere ramblings from an introverted kid, slightly lacking in confidence, and slightly too harsh on himself. With a little editing, those entries could be transplanted straight into his blog, he thinks. Well, the child is the Father of the Man.

The most moving find, by far, were a couple of touching letters from Senior to him. He has only a very slight recollection of reading one of them; the other he cannot remember at all. What was the context they were written in? Well well, it looks like the Father is also the Father of the Man.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Love You I'm Going To Blow Up Your School

She brings him to her old primary school, which is located past the river. To get there, they cross the main road in town, using an overhead bridge with two very long switchbacks in place of stairs. Punk motorcyclists have taken to using these as a turn-off into the town. Just as he and his Wife are about to descend from the far side of the bridge, one of these punks sets off a string of firecrackers behind them. They turn around startled. The reminder to never cross the main road pops instantly into his head.

Outside her school compound, she points out the main building, the canteen and the playground. She tells of how she once broke up a fight between gangsters outside the girls' toilet. Her eyes are sparkling as she reminisces about her school days. She recounts how she would dash home from school, have lunch, take a nap and then head back for an afternoon session of games. She confesses she had no real answer to her Mother's query, "Didn't you just see them, like, 2 hours ago? Aren't you tired of seeing them?".

She picks up two rubber seeds, one in each hand.

"This is a game we used to play as kids. See, this one is yours", she says, holding up the one in her right hand with just the finger and thumb.

"The other one is mine. I'm going to press them against each other, between my palms. The one that cracks is the loser." What fun.

"I can see how the days used to fly by here", he quips.

He picks up a rubber seed of his own and starts to rub it against the ground. She tosses hers aside and starts running away.

On the way home, they stop and buy a pack of cigarettes. As always they do a currency conversion, and then express their astonishment at how expensive things back home are.

Upon entering the house, he pumps the cigarette pack into her sister's hand, right in front of their Father!