Felt like I was disconnected from the rest of the world without internet access for the entire day. So while things were happening in the capital city of a neighbouring country, I was plodding through a nine-hour work day, trying to understand how things work at the new place.

It wasn’t all that bad. I managed to observe things that I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise since I spent almost all of my time at work being isolated from the rest of the general populace. Basically, it’s about working style and personality. From day one, I know full well that I had my way of getting into the groove of things. I value substance over everything else. Therefore, instead of small talk, I simply smile and keep quiet, letting others dominate a conversation.

I want the proof of my abilities to be in the pudding. I’m not looking to gain popularity.

Modus operandi of a typical introvert? I’m not sure. But I know that this behaviour will allow many people to think that I’m some sort of a Heathcliff – broody types who smother in the background while the rest of the world around them laugh out of politeness, mutter the over-used word “cheers” and clink their champagne glasses.

I could never love people openly, although I feel for those who should be given some love and compassion. Whenever I hear or read of such people, my mind will go into a bit of an overdrive, thinking about how I should be their voice and tell their stories. So that somewhere, somehow, someone would give the gift the love they are so deprived of.

But because of the need to erect those high walls, I became wary of allowing my heart to grow too soft. I would be reminded time and again of faces – belonging to people whom I’ve reached out to only to get a rejection, no response, or worse, nonchalance. These thoughts pull my hand back the next time round when I want to offer something – whatever I can – in love. I don’t like being spurned.

Then again, I’m not some saint. I’m capable of evil. I’m capable of inflicting pain and hurt. I’m more than able to get someone to shed tears.

Tonight, I think of the people I’ve tried connecting with again. As the face of each person – who simply doesn’t bother anymore – comes to my mind, I wonder why they’ve not chosen to walk together with me on this journey a little longer. Is it fate? Is it something I’ve done? Is there something they no longer value?

Funny enough, I have things to say to them, unfinished words, phrases and sentences. Just that they either didn’t have the chance to say “goodbye” or took the chance to slip away.

Fade to grey

You know it’s time to lie low. You might have said too much, shared too much and opened up way beyond your comfort levels. So I guess it’s time to simply fade into the background and allow life to take its former course once more.

Yes, it’s time to build those walls again. No, you haven’t been betrayed. It’s not that, but it is my responsibility to remind you about the vile tendencies of humans. They may be your friends. They may not have ill intentions. Until you find yourself in another plane and another time, be on your guard.

Have you forgotten how someone once admitted to you that she manipulates? Remember how your suspicions were raised once again? Remember how thoughts formed in your head about the possible times when you could have been manipulated?

Remember how someone blurted out something about a couple of friends that was meant to be kept under wraps? Remember how you manipulatively asked that one of the two friends to see if they would share that secret with you? Recall the emotions that welled up instantly when you realised you weren’t part of their inner circle anymore?

You can and should dismiss these thoughts or any evil intentions. But hold them as memories or markers in your life at the moment if you will. You haven’t figured out all aspects of human nature. All that you know is their (and also your) inclinations towards evil.

So lie low, contemplate, and build those walls. Again.


I could have chosen to be sad. Think sad thoughts. Listen to soppy songs.

But it’s funny how things have reached an equilibrium. The pessimist in me says that the shit has yet to hit the fan. The difference now is how the opposing voice is stronger. It whispers gently in my ear about how things are technically better now and joy is within my grasp if I choose to find it in all the right places. Or simply be contented.

Love still eludes me. It is drowned out in a sea of voices. Collectively, they speak of delusions of grandeur and fairy tales that will never happen. Perhaps I’m slowly slipping into the next phase of singlehood – entirely comfortable being alone.

There are signs of how it seemed as though I have mellowed down. I find myself dismissing issues which would otherwise get me up in arms years ago. The culture at work, the disconnect with a group of youths, and bits of self-conscious behaviour are examples.

Maybe it’s all about entering another phase of life – the early signs of middle age.

It’s like fate telling me that I’ve access to all forms of love, except for that one thing that has eluded me all of life. And seriously, I’m at the point now where I’ve gotten tired of asking.

(PS: Please bear with me. Grammar has gone to the dogs.)


Anything more than four people in a social setting, he will fade into the background. Or so he thought, until lunch today.

For nine months (or thereabouts), he lunched alone almost everyday. It wasn’t that he hadn’t anyone else in the office (of his previous employer) to lunch with. He had but one colleague. The thing is he didn’t like people who were spineless enough to diss their own work just for the sake of agreeing with subjective criticism of their superiors.

So day after day, week after week, he would set off for lunch at a time when people would be sipping their afternoon teas. It was usually at the quiet food centre near his office where he found some solace.
After chomping down his food, he would grab a copy of the afternoon tabloid from the convenience stall, walk to the fruit stall, grab a packet of cut watermelon and then settle down on a bench in a shopping centre (near his office).

It was the one hour of solace he treasured before dragging his feet back to the office to another half a day of incessant madness.

Throughout the lunch hour, the only person whom he exchanged thoughts with was himself. Steadily, he got so used to solace that it became a close companion.

Now, he had colleagues. New faces creeping into his life, and every character starts on a fresh page in his head. Lunch hour was the time of day now when he felt more social conscious and awkward than ever before.

Even with three lunch companions, he faded into the background, allowing the banter and conversations to fly over his head. When once he had time to contemplate on observations of every life around him, conversing with his thoughts were limited to finding out where the nearest convenience store was or how he would be making his way home after work.

So now, he had to revise the theory. It’s three in a social setting where he would feel comfortable enough to let down his guard…