Thursday, 27 September 2012
The games are at stations all over the school compound. And we go round in a large container truck to set them up.
One game involves a trick ring set. The rings are in concentric arrangement and the aim of the game is to knock them so that they each turn a certain angle. My dream eye sees a set turned at slight 15 degrees from one another. Somehow, they remind me of the '@' sign.
Another game involves a mat of fat spikes. The mat is orange and made of flexible silicon. It is placed on the floor. I am not sure how this is played though. It was never explained.
The third game I recall involves a pencil case with some white plastic powder, the sort used for injection molding and such. It is not unlike salt in texture but shinier and reflected light in a lively manner.
These three games are played side by side, like a 3-in-1 station similar to the Army's IPPT set up.
There is a lady who is helping me, a tall athletic one in track suit and with a whistle round her neck. Each of us carried a pen-on-a-string too. This lady tells me at one stage to remember to return the pen. I wonder why is that important. The lady has straight hair and is Asian but she somehow reminds me of Jane Lynch from Glee!
The games have run late, the sun has set and it is night. We worry about a group girl students somewhere who has yet to return. I set off to look for them. I arrive at their game station but cannot find them. I instruct some other girls to help pack up, and then drive around some more. I eventually come to a road that has broken off. I screech to a halt at the edge and get off to walk the rest of the way.
I next find a group of teachers and students in an open yard packing stuff up. They seem very organised and are making sure everything has been returned. The situation feels like the time when my guys and I had to pack up after a reservist ICT stint. The speed, the attention to detail.
A pen in that pencil case and powder set is missing. I find it on me and give it back. I scoop up the white powder and wonder how that was used. The rest is then packed into a box and loaded up the container truck. There seems to be some urgency in getting everything packed up. Is there a storm coming? I still worry about the missing students and go look for them some more.
A game, they are playing a game. The tossing of three coins to see who lands nearest a to a white tape. That kind of tape similar to those used in the Army. We used white tape a lot didn't we? White tape to mark out minefields; white tape to mark out our barang-barang; white tape to mark out a 'cleared' track.
The girls run off the moment they see me, giggling. They are playing truant and I shake my head. Incredible!
A lady who had played a game with me at the beginning of the dream appears. In that game we each had to spin a short stick. They both had to line up a certain way. It's like a version of Lom, Chiam, Pass - the local version of Scissor, Paper, Stone, but different. It's more casual and players could sit and talk and spin the sticks in an idle way. There were various tokens to keep score.
I won one time and she got amorous with me. She's buxomy, tight in her white blouse-shirt. I could see the buttons straining in their job as she moved and heaved. The buttons finally popped and fell to the ground in a slow-mo clatter. Noooo!!! I silent screamed.
The lady is now standing here with her hands cradling and shielding her breasts. Her hands are small and delicate but her breasts are full and ample - they spill over. A wicked smile grows on her face. That settles it then, she says. And falls onto me. We roll into a dark corner and bump right next to three pairs of eager eyes. The girls!
They laugh and throw sparkly things on us. It's that same powder we have been using in the games. They run off leaving the two of us on our elbows shimmering like fish out of water and wondering how to proceed. Her breasts are starring at me and wondering the same thing too. They are sparkly and perky and I find myself drawn to them. I lean forward and in a poof, the lady turns into a mermaid looking very much like Sofia Vergara in her simmering gown in a recent red-carpet Emmy event. I recall saying "Oh my god!" in a nasally way and wake up.
Monday, 24 September 2012
The place I am 'sent' to is a rural village of wood and stone structures. It is situated on a mountain top. I begin by knocking on a pair of big wooden doors. A bent old man in a white dhoti and headband (Indian?) on the other side gets up to answer. He slides a wood beam away to open the doors. It's the same mechanism found on ancient Chinese wooden doors.
I walk in and continue to cross the room. I see wooden pillars of a strange grain quite similar to old pine. The floor is cement and familiar; it is worn smooth and looks cool. I turn to look back through the doorway from which I had come and can clearly see a green mountain range riding on the horizon. The range slopes down to a valley of terrace fields in various shades of green, red and yellow. It reminds me of a place I have seen in Bali.
In a few paces, I am out of the hall and walking along a sandy dirt track into the village. On the left is a row of stalls and shops all made of bamboo and mat. I see ethnic goods on display. Ahead, I could see a temple-like wall structure made of what I surmised correctly to be raw coconut shells. It has that same milk-beige colour. Must be new, I remember thinking. Around it are open grass spaces and coconut trees.
I then run ahead in happy anticipation. Sure enough, a little further up the road is the more impressive temple made out of the same but seasoned material and darker. I am happy to see it again, the same sort of happiness that comes from recognizing a familiar landmark after many years of absence. It looks like an Indian temple but with short two Moorish towers. It think I have seen them on a computer disc cover before.
For some reason, I do not venture further forward but turn back. There's a wooden portal on my right, just after the temple. It's a step-over entrance to a Chinese village. The same scene replays from my first visit many years ago: A dirt track leading into a village centre that is a hub of activity. A wayang stage. A row of mothers in samfoo with their toddler kids in tow queuing up for something. I look at the last mom and and find her familiar. She is pretty and acknowledges me with a smile. She seems to say, "Welcome back."
I get the feeling the mothers are lining up their kids for vaccination shots like before.
I do not enter the village but continue on. I next turn left and come upon a family home. It's not rustic like the rest but feels more like a flat. The flat is fronted by a pair of cream-colored doors that are metal frames and vinyl and very 50s in design. An aged couple with greying white hair welcomes me. Their daughter, young and about my age, is in there too and they introduce me to her. She looks a little abashed, a mixture of surprise and coyness.
We sit down for a meal and talk. The topic seems to revolve around voting and the coming election. We get all animated. I look at their faces closely and try to form an opinion. They are nice folks, these.
Soon it is time to leave. The daughter is going to bring me to a terminus building to take a coach bus. We walk past a row of simple concrete buildings the likes of which I could find in less developed areas. They seem to be selling a all manners of stuff including phone cards. The terminus building is a Chinese-style bungalow with wide staircases and fat balustrades. It somehow reminds me of the interior of Singapore's National Museum.
I descend one such staircase and find myself at the rear of the building in a sandy compound. It is fenced in by a low concrete wall the shade of which retreating grass patches have found refuge. The wall has an opening but is not gated. I can see a coach bus waiting for me right across the kampung road. Its engine is running and grayish smoke is puffing out from its rear exhaust.
The bus is full. The daughter and I say goodbye. She cries, sad at my departure. There is a longing in both our hearts. I don't want to leave but know my time as a Traveller is up. I tell myself that I cannot trip up the universe's space-time continuum, that I must return, or so that is how I feel. For some reason, I do not nor can share this with her.
In my last dream, I did get on the bus and leave, heart heavy. This time, however, a friend has volunteered to take my place. Not just this friend but a group of them, actually. As the bus leaves, they bunch up behind to wave me a final good luck in a rather enthusiastic fashion. I wave back at them grateful for their intervention.
As the bus disappears leaving behind a cloud of dust, I am left standing in the dirt track. I turn to look back at my girlfriend who has gotten up from her bench seat, just outside the compound. She looks happy, demure in her samfoo and holding a handkerchief. I am happy too that this time, I am able to stay behind. I smile a broad smile and walk up to her. We hold each other in a long embrace.
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Wendy is bubbly and happy today. She seems to have just gotten off work as she is still wearing her office power suit. The color is nothing flamboyant but the usual dark, safe color senior management typically encourage. Wendy is laughing and skipping along with her boyfriend. The scene looks like some Canon camera TV-ad featuring happy folk out to have a good time and capturing their moments in sun-drenched snapshots.
We pass a stall offering a fun-fair game. Players shoot water cannons from behind plexiglass portholes. The cannons have big round tubes that could fire tennis balls. We run into a room behind the stall and can see the people manning it. They throw water at us playfully and and we duck, laugh, and giggle some more.
We scamper out of the game tent to emerge by the edge of a cliff. The ground is grassy, the cliffs rocky and the ocean beyond blue and cleft with fleeting whitewash. It's all very windy and Wendy's curly, busy locks is blown about. Her bouncy hair reminds me of Keri Russell, that actress from the hit show, Felicity.
We stand by the cliff and think dreams.
I am building a mansion and has sketched the plan using diesel oil on a wall, not thick opaque paint. The wall itself has lines and huge squares which help make the drawing look symmetrical. I paint along the outline of these squares but prefer curved arches over the doorways. A young lady on my right does not agree and paints her own version with straighter lines to match.
We are now in a room. Somewhere outside, a play is going on. A child is crying and the sound gets worse. The cry is not that of hunger but one that is sad, very sad. -The desperate sort that tugs at the heartstrings and causes animals to flee.
My mom wanders in and asks what is going on. She gives me the impression that we are on vacation. I tell her to not worry and to get some rest. She's old and has a problem with her leg. Both of us are in a white room with a large bed. Strangely, the bed has no covers.
Some Arab men come in and speak with my mom. She hands over their neatly pressed laundry and accepts payment. The Arabs are happy and leaves a calling card. It is just a small leather tag shaped like an olive. On it is the name 'Shoob'. My mom surprises me with a name chop of her own and she stamps it on the tag and returns it to the Arab gentleman. Job done, it seems to imply.
I bring the gentlemen outside and notice that the house is a white beach-front unit. We have a drink on the patio deck and I then approach someone lounging in a deck chair on the beach. That woman is dressed in a one-piece bathing suit: dark with three colorful lines striping the side. I seem to remember her from a previous pool visit and offer her a drink. Her actions are languid and reminds me of a GP teacher from my JC days. Like that teacher, she also has her sunglasses on.
A loud noise makes our heads turn and we all look up towards the sky. Before I can see what it is, I wake.
Friday, 7 September 2012
A lamb in sunglasses hops by. It has a thick gold chain round its neck. The large pendant hanging from it looks like a stylised letter 'C' with two vertical strokes turning it into some kind of dollar sign. It gives me a salute and swaggles on. It hops beyond a small knoll and enters into a scrum with some other waiting sheep. I notice that some of them are actually wearing tuxedos. Their beige white wool is very stark, as are their shiny black hoofs. These sheep reminds me of those in Wallace and Gromit.
There is a flash and the whole scene toggles between real and x-ray. The lines of the landscape jars from smooth to jagged, polygon-like, reminiscent of some wire-frame CAD drawing on a computer. The shapes connect and make sense. As I roll over the landscape, numbers appear. First '3', then a dot. Next, it is '1', '4' and then '2'. I realise that the numbers represent the pi sequence. More numbers turn up as I fly ever faster over the digital landscape. It does not last as eventually the tension snaps. I am back at my window looking at the sheep and meadow.
Everything is back to normal. In the distance, lightning appears from a grey cloud. A storm looks to be on its way. I gather my books to leave, ignoring the commotion around me. A girl tugs at my shirt and motions a friendship band towards me. It has the letter 'D' on it. I am not interested and tells her to keep it. She is disappointed and the floor of the classroom gives way. She slides, I slide. We all fall in.
I find myself in a cavern that is semi dark. A blinking tablet calls out from a corner. I pick it up. It's a smallish smartphone not unlike an LG Optimus. On it, a blinking dot on a digital map. It seems to represent where I am. I unpinch the screen to zoom out. A bounce but nothing else happens. The map remains the same. I pocket the phone and walk towards the path I see in front of me. All around, the cavern twinkles with light from black liquid crystals.
Not far in, I come across a crystalline mirror. Inside, someone is furiously scribbling away. The figure reminds me of a hunched witch - same garb, same troubled hair. All over the floor around her are crumbled pieces of paper. She seems to be frustrated by what she is trying to write. A few violent scribbles and another ball of paper gets crumpled and tossed. The 'witch' turns and looks at me. Her eyes are red and pained. I realise she is the same girl from the class before, the one who tried to give me the friendship band.
I want to ask her what's egging her but I do not. I seem to think that if one must write, one SHOULD JUST WRITE. Write for one's pleasure, that is. Nothing else matters.
I ignore the Writing Witch and move on.
I next walk into a hall dripping with bead curtains. The beads are made of pink crystals and matches the black liquid cavern walls very well. Kind of goth. A disco ball spins from somewhere throwing sequined light all over. A dance looks set to begin.
Across the room sits the four members of KISS, the heavy metal band. I know it is them because the white letters on their tee-shirts together spell K-I-S-S. As I watch, more KISS members step up from the shadows bearing more letters. Eventually the message reads "KISS & MAKE UP" I am astounded and wonder how they knew.
In my shock, I don't realise that I am holding on to a bunch of pink beads. I instinctively pull on these and they break, spilling rounded hopping things all over. The beads turn into pink bunnies and I laugh. And like the beads/bunnies, I slip and roll into a burrow.
Bunched up, I am now looking over my ass and could see a man-made pond in front. As I swing my ass a jet stream of water shoots out. I move from side to side, the spray follows. It seems as if my ass is directing a jet of water, not that it was actually issuing forth anything.
I decide to stop cycling on my back and roll myself to an upright normal position.
A nurse bearing the Khoo Teck Phuat hospital tag walks by. She is a sweet young thing - probably a resident doctor instead of a nurse. At the bike stand she unlocks a bike and rides away. I quickly follow her, wondering what happened to my nurse-friend Karen from years ago. She was a nurse turned writer.
In the distant, lightning again announced itself from behind a grey cloud. Small drops of rain fall at first, then bigger ones. In no time, a torrent. By now the nurse has become a speck and no more. I battle to go on as the track beneath me become muddy and owning. Stuck like that, I call out to Karen. But I know it is useless. She is gone.
Monday, 3 September 2012
"That's the best way to get feedback from the man in the street," she says. We find it quite incredible and still cannot believe our luck. We ride on in silence, observing her. After a while, we get worried as Mrs Clinton is looking rather disassociated, 'spaced out' if you like. I think she is about to faint. We ask her if she is alright but there is no reply. She then slumps in her seat. Ahead of us is a blue wall. We scream as we crash into it.
The taxi lands in a public park accordians into a tree. The front part is a mess and steam and smoke are everywhere.
Mrs Clinton is now lying on the floor. She is wearing a kind of granny dress and she is lying face-up separated inches from her wig. He own hair is a thinning light-brown mess. My girlfriend and I have been thrown out too but we are not hurt. I half-drag and pull myself up to where Mrs Clinton is and try to feel her pulse. It is weak. Still lying by her side, I try to palm her chest to get it beating, careful to avoid her breasts. In any case, they are lying quite low but I can feel a lump above. All the while, I am pleading: "Mrs Clinton, you are going to be alright, please fight, please hold on!"
The first time doesn't work. I try again.
At the second attempt, she stirs. We sit her upright. An older couple in blue dapper suits is not far away. The man picks up Mrs Clinton's wig and hands it to us. We try to make her look as presentable as possible. An ambulance arrives and takes her away.
It's the next day. The accident is all over the anchor news.
We find ourselves at an awards ceremony. Mrs Clinton is presenting us a kind of 'life-saving' award for having rescued her. We receive it from her and are grateful. A roomful of guests and journalists clap. For some reason, the old couple also got an award. I don't seem very happy about that as they did not do much at the scene of the accident. But I decide not to mind; it's a small matter.
A news anchor asks Mrs Clinton if she would continue to drive a taxi. She says yes to much applause from the audience.
I pick up certain things and head for the toilet at the rear of the house. It looks like an old one with green painted window sills and horizontal bars for grills. A guy in singlet and towel emerges and heads to his own room there. A pile of something green lies next to the squat toilet; it looks like vegetables. Was the guy washing veggies right by a squat toilet? I find that incredible. Getting closer, I discover it's just a bunch of clothes. White clothes with a patch of bright green. Is there a significance?
The guy re-emerges. He is fair, has nice cheek bones and neatly cut black hair. He reminds of some Hong Kong star from the 60s. He asks me if I was interested in Wendy. I don't answer him at first not sure why he is asking me that question. Wendy and I have always been platonic in our relationship. And I'm not the kind of guy who sleeps with women I hardly know.
The guy is suspicious and annoyed that I did not answer him. Just then, Chan, an artist friend, appears. He wants me to help him with an art project. Chan and I have done a moving head sculpture together before - he the art, me the electronics. Well, with the both of us, it doesn't really matter; we could easily switch roles. Chan seems to be working on an electronic mixed-media piece. I recall thinking how timely, what with so many of us these days staring at either smart phone screens or tablet ones; even the large screens of LED TVs. And super large displays are now the norm in shopping centres throughout the world's tourist belts.
Wendy returns and tells me that she has found what she has been looking for. A camera tripod kept in a white bag. She asks if I would be back for dinner. I say yes, but she doesn't commit. She grabs her tripod and leaves. A female companion follows. She looks kind of butch, and I wonder about their relationship.