It had to end

The script’s done after four months of work trying to string conversations and scenes together. This and the attempts to create a story that fits at least two themes and slot in places where songs – written before the script – fit.

Sadly, many things had to be sacrificed just to get it out.


Dear ***,

Something died yesterday. This was something I held close to my heart for the greater part of three long years. It was hope for me. With it, I had the opportunity to tell myself there’s something to look forward to, even during those darkest days of my life.

I don’t know if you think the conversations we had were intellectually stimulating. For all I know, you might have faked it. I’m not even sure if you enjoyed my company, our time together, whenever we met. If you didn’t, then you could have been a sucker for punishment for those lunches, teas and dinners we had when we met. Either that, or you were just being nice.

Maybe you were so nice and obliging that something was created in my heart. It stayed there for three years. I nursed it only because it is one of those rare things in my life that has the ability to make me happy.

When I saw you – a fleeting three-second glance – the other day, I was happy. But that sense of “life’s all good” dissipated the moment I noticed how you had someone else with you. This was the first time I’ve seen you with … another person. And you’re not the sort, I believe, who would ask any Tom, Dick or Harry, to be your companion for such a routine activity.

Throughout the two hours, I was invariably distracted. At first, I tried to pick out the two of you from the sea of faces. Then, I had to cast a glance every few minutes – first, at you and then, at him. Every glance raised questions — same and new ones; and conjured thoughts that constantly hound me.

Yet, there was an answer – to one particular question – that I knew but couldn’t come to terms with. And on seeing that one simple but intimate gesture both of you made, I knew everything had come to an end. I don’t think you’ll allow any ordinary bloke to do that. Something was razed in my heart and I have all the time now to scatter its ashes.

I’m now broken, again. A dream died. A hope lost. The inquest begins. I’ve to find a fix.

But I wish you well and I’m glad it’ll be a special Christmas for you this year (and maybe many more in future).

God bless and love,


Breaking the silence

He’s living the life I want. No, make that … a life that I’ve dreamt.

Artist. Musician. Plying his trade. Doing whatever he wants. Living in a city where I’ve always wanted to stay, work and play. Beautiful wife and capable wife. Beautiful kid. Brave enough to delve deep into things that interest him – like reading historical novels about the Qing Dynasty. Or learning Latin in university. Composing songs that overshadow the words, the phrases and the lines I crafted for a script. Or meeting a particular HK pop star – who was there with his kid – at some playgroup event.

It’s easy to feel sorry. It’s easy to gripe about time and opportunities lost. It’s easy to get all emotional when the weekend’s almost here. It’s easy to follow the faint traces of the dream, mulling over what went wrong.

Cheer Chen’s Fish will be the salve to heal some re-opened wounds and drown out these unwanted emotions and thoughts.

It has to be.


Just around this time two years ago, there was this magical surge of emotions when I heard the words I wrote being spoken. There isn’t anything I can think of that explains how my heart just expanded just that little bit and the world becoming a happier place. Suddenly. Pity these words became poor cousins to the superior melodies and lyrics written by someone else. Nevertheless, these moments lived in me.

Last night was the second time in my life when I experienced the exhilaration of hearing the words I penned being read / spoken. In earnest. I shoved my hands on my pockets, sat back on the chair, closed my eyes and listened intently. It would be four months later before everything would be played out on a stage.

This morning, a discussion revealed how some of these words caused a couple of people to get all emotional and teary.

I haven’t been writing. I’ve been spending my time on an brainless activity. I haven’t been reading (probably not since 2000). I haven’t been meeting people whom I have not met for the longest of time.

These days, I only get fleeting images of incidents from the past. The resulting emotions could never linger beyond the five-second mark before a torrent of thoughts – associated with the said brainless activity – flushes them all away.

My emotional life is now likened to a rudderless ship.


I spent Christmas Eve dining with you and reminiscing about the good old days. I remembered where we ate. I remembered the places we went and the people we met later. I remembered how I turned down the invitation to join you gals for a Christmas Eve mass at the Catholic church nearby. Because I wanted some time alone.

But because it’s just one of the few pleasant moments in my life, it won’t be forgotten that easily or any time soon.

Thank you.


Time for Cheer Chen’s Fish. Happy weekend.