tomoro is gona be boring
today was no fun ether
mum says go slep becos ined to gro
if islep itlbe tomoro morquickle. donwana.
also idonthink ineed tobe big. plenybig alrede
no excape frombordom inmy lief.
today annow. tomoro althesam
mumdad problydonkno yet theyrallways working
ihop my drem frends willbe fretoplay with me wen i getin
i’m a child clutching a handful of strings.
my tiny hands struggle to grasp them all at once,
refusing to let a single one go.
i had been adding to my collection of helium balloons
for as long as i could remember
and i couldn’t bear to lose one now.
at this age i realise that
one day, i might just lose grip of them all,
sit and watch as they float out of my reach.
or i could continue to gather my precious balloons,
go on like this until my feet come off the ground. that sounds like fun.
but like most children, i’m never quite sure, at any given time,
of whether i should stay on the ground or reach for the sky.
Thai Milk Tea
Ice cubes and milk twirl along with my spoon, painting white spirals in the pool of terra cotta orange at the top of my glass. The escaping aroma is like that of a flower, which smells sweet enough to eat, minus the nasty prickle of pollen. Served either hot or cold, its flavor is always warm and rich, the type that sinks into your chest as you take a sip. Thai tea feels like staying inside on a rainy day. And whenever I need a boost, Thai tea is like a gentle nudge on my shoulder on a lazy summer afternoon.
I’ve found the perfect drink for me - Thai tea becomes exactly what I need it to be when I need it. Pity I don’t get to have it that often.
After a night out, we were allowed to muck around at a friend’s house. It was my older brother, his two friends and I. Nice guys. Hours passed us by. Full of food and tongue-tied, we sat in a bedroom in each our own corners, thoroughly occupied. All lazy-eyed and sleep-deprived - best described as braindead. Back of my neck on the foot of the bed, solving a Rubik’s with tar in my head. We jump at the buzz from receiving a text, then I slump back down into my spot on the carpet. My brother gets up for the toilet.
Boy 1 on the bed lets out a smug chuckle. Boy 2 spins his gaming chair to ask him, what’ll we say? Just wait, Boy 1 says. All the while, they’re both on their phones, tapping away. They’re messing around on a group chat, I guess, but I want to find out what the jokes are about. I ask Boy 1. He grins, turning his phone around.
There’s a group chat with other boys from their grade and a picture of me where I sit, cupping my face. The cube hides behind a convenient bed frame. If my eyesight is right, Boy 1 has claimed that I am -what I can only describe as- erm... servicing them both for the night.
Boys can be stupid, right?
Well, I’m pleased to say that the only “service” Boy 1 got that day was a nice taste of Rubik’s cube straight to the face. After that, it was all fun and games; both boys said sorry and I had my way.
Some protests can be held without wasting air - with words, I wouldn't know where I'd begin. It was cool after that, though. Nobody cared. We were all back to normal when my brother came in.
Ah, memes - the Gen Z edition of conveying one’s sense of humor.
A great invention, I might say.
The image, coupled with a witty caption and/or reimagined context, provides an inside look into the mind of the creator by conveying their unique blend of visual and semantic associations to the masses. With the ongoing global pandemic, what better way is there to share jokes than through posting intricately-crafted memes?
Well, there’s the issue of genuine human connection, or lack thereof.
Quarantine has led me to me realize that relating to and laughing at memes only create the illusion that we are understood within the wider community, or in other words, it’s only a pseudo-connection.
A proper meme should contain a joke, often a remark regarding a photo or video. The text either embeds the joke in the frame of reference or strips the image of its context altogether. Regardless, a functional meme should provide sufficient context for the audience to grasp the creator’s comedic vision of the given scenario. Whether or not a meme caters to the viewer’s sense of humor, it was created with the intent of it being understood. So no, you aren’t special for getting the joke.
Unlike with a riddle told manually, the recipient of a meme, in most cases, is sat alone in their room, scrolling through social media at a time they probably shouldn’t be. Identifying with the creator and comments doesn’t mean you’re laughing with other people, it means you have a brain. Your brain works and you’ve just viewed something that people find funny. One can also compare this analogy to other forms of media and ask, So what’s the difference? Literature, film, theatre, etc. are bound to invoke richer discussion unlike most memes, which often invoke nothing more than a nose-huff of laughter and a double-tap at best. Memes are addicting, but are they worth our time?
Sharing memes with one another, however, is a different story. Similar to discussing common interests, the back-and-forth sending of memes has the potential to reinforce existing relationships and add a fresh dimension to both monotonous and prosperous ones alike.
Once in a while, I still allow myself to wallow in the cesspool of memes that is my Instagram feed - and by once in a while, I mean one hour maximum per day. Maybe.
With these revelations in mind, though, I have to remind myself that the resulting illusion of human connection may be preventing me from reaching out to people I know during quarantine. I’ve found that the healthiest way for me to devour memes as I please is to forward my favorites to a friend and start a conversation rather than scrolling past right away :)
The soles of her feet were raw and muddy. For what felt like hours now, she had been stumbling through the twilight haze, treading upon sharp gravel that bit at her toes. Her legs were half-eaten by mosquitoes. The shadowy blanket in front of her nose was suddenly pierced by a needle of light, which she knew marked the bottom of the spiral staircase. At once, she clambered up - time was running out. With each step came a brush of a shoulder or an elbow against the wild winding stalks that chased the upwards path. Leaves prickled and thorns drew blood as she broke into a sprint. Her sight was growing clearer, which meant that time was nearly up. She threw herself forwards, a smug spike drawing a final gash into her cheek, just below the eye. The roof, on which she had landed, was brutally rough; now her chin was cut too. Brushing herself off with a blink, she took a seat. She stared off into the end of the land, radiating delight from head to toe.
Lying back, she sighed through smiling lips for she had made it just in time to watch the sun climb into the sky.
D E A D C R U S H (my guy)
my guy fancies grub that work him jaw - open wide
for flamin’ hot sliders with dustbin buns an’ a gooey slice of manhole pie
my guy blabs with his trap filled, nose in the filthy bushes, won’t temme why.
like he’s debatin’ with critters of the juvenile kind
ask him why. all he say is
yu gotta see dem belly buttons flail
lak a rogue skirt on a windy-ass day
my guy loves to slink silent, hitched to them calves like a cabooze -
he press snooze.
goin’ down sticky toy tracks, see a green light an’ he up like a kite
a starry-eyed girl
began the uphill climb
to learn, with her half-sized instrument in hand,
the impossible stance -
barely scraping the surface
of a craft so refined
like an infant falls countless times
before taking its first steps,
many times i fell and cried as well.
cramped fingers, arms and brain
through half-hour-long lessons
that felt like whole days
after years of frustration and determination
came the very first breakthrough,
though almost unnoticed:
out came a sound worth listening to.
i could finally make the piece of wood sing -
no longer a box, it was a violin.
from then on, i grew. a lot changes as time flies.
the more i learn, the more i realise
that i’m still that girl with stars in her eyes -
further than ever from completing the climb.
one step forward,
fall two steps back,
back to a child walking for the first time.
each practice, my playing confirms that i am
a stain on the fabric of the flawless craft
but i love it anyway -
perfection was never my goal.
im no virtuoso, but even so,
i’ve grown close to the fingerboard, chinrest and bow.
though making progress is painful and slow,
the violin and its quirks are what i call home.
If someone had told me that would be my last day outside,
I think I would’ve put my homework aside.
Instead of going home, I’d have gone out to eat. Stood on the table to call for the waiter, asked them to dance with me. Then I’d have my meal. Stand up to leave. Slip them a napkin note with these words, I quote, “check under my seat,” which is where I’d have left them a tip with some sweets. Next, I’d make my way to the arcade, then grow unsure of what to play. Decide it’s too early to leave. Recline on the dashboard of a slot machine. Reach into my backpack, take a book out and read. Can’t focus with blops and beeps floating about and the words get drowned out by kids’ screams and shouts.
Sit there and realize that actually, I like it.
For months I won’t get to breathe air this exciting.
I’d scamper outside once I start to feel tired. Find a spot in the city and build a campfire. Maybe roast dinner. Pitch a tent under a streetlamp as the moon climbs higher. Come rush hour, I’d lie face-down on the sidewalk. See if I’m able to make a snow angel and fail miserably. Get dirt in my teeth. A crowd gathers around me. I flip over and scrape my cheek. Ignore their eyes and tickle their feet. I laugh and laugh at the sky until they leave. Maybe I won’t leave. I’ll just lie here. I’ll lie here and wait for the future to disappear.
A bit carried away.
I guess I just wanted to say that this is how I wish my last day outside went.
Of course, I ended up doing my homework instead.
arms float like fairy wings -
be strong as steel, look soft as lace
the smile is fake
by now you should be friends with pain -
go on, those legs will not give way
but muscles hurt
...I think they might.
there comes a point when body beats mind -
the music scoffs and leaves you behind
that’s why we must practice
before we can fly.
we’ll get it, they tell us,
on our hundredth try
repeat from the top! stand up! on your feet!
slouching is lazy! the floor’s not your seat!
back to jumps, turns, extensions, and rises
whilst bearing the pain of foot torture devices