8.00 a.m: belacan
I keep coming back to them. It’s been years. They were there when I was fourteen, nineteen, and now, twenty-three – I just keep coming back.
As I grow older and the more I get exposed to music, the more I start to appreciate it. Led Zeppelin feels like finally being able to absorb your favourite book from start to finish, in its entirety. There are things that will only make sense when you know how to make sense of it.
For one, you get to appreciate the incredible distinction of their playing and the absolutely batshit unpolished rawness they exuded, back when heavy music was just starting to rise. It was different, new, and the combination of Page’s guitars + Plant’s high-pitched guttural wails was almost like a breath of fresh air – if fresh air smelled like thick cigarette smoke, running beer taps and the occasional cold wind blowing. People loved that shit. It was the era of experimentation, the vast divide between what kind of music was accepted and what wasn’t were slowly closing in, lines were blurring and it was exciting because the notion of rebellion often is.
But among all the 6-minute solos, the orgasmic moans Plant was fond of doing on stage and JPJ’s incredibly underrated precision on the bass, the one thing I love about them are the sentimental values that seem to come with listening to them. Of course it would be sentimental. You can fall in love with the music, you can fall in love with the ingenuity that strings these puppets but where is the impact if it’s not sentimental?
Their BBC Session was the first album that I’d listened to – and it makes me remember long drives in the car with my father. We used to drive back to Kelantan (that was an 8-hour long drive back then, mind you) and I’d be in the front seat, picking out which album I wanted to listen to and my dad would explain what made the album tick.
He would give me in-depth explanations about them. Like.
“Jimmy Page was in a band called The Yardbirds with Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. They did okay music, but Yardbirds was a stupid name, let’s be honest.”
Very in-depth. Very.
I remember listening to Stairway for the first time and I fell in love, much like everyone else did. Completely and utterly in love with the melody – and at this point I realise I’m geeking out over one of if not the biggest rock song in history but you know, I’d imagine other people to have felt the same when they heard it. And being able to play it was my biggest achievement when I was in my teens.
I don’t really know how to end this post. Obviously I’d just spent a whole post gushing over a band that is well over their 60s by now. 70s, maybe? I just have a lot of feelings la.
“Hot or iced?”
“We don’t have. Only hot or iced.”
“…okay, so, hot with a bit of ice.”
“So ice water lah.”
I have a fever, and not the good kind.
When has a fever ever been good?
Don’t know. Maybe the Friday evening rush to get home from work? Or swimming in a newfound obsession perhaps? Those are good, I don’t mind those.
Instead, my feet are freezing while the rest of me is burning up. My mouth is dry and no amount of water can quench my thirst. Every time my eyes are open, hot tears escape and sand my eyeballs up, wheedling me to rub them even drier. I have a headache from lying down too much but when I try to stand, the whole room starts spinning and I get nauseous. My body’s had enough of my efforts trying to deny this fever, to be honest.
I’d imagine her going “sit yo ass down girl you’re not going anywhere.” Okay.
Maybe I should start listening to my body. I’m going to sleep now.
Ever had one of those debilitating moments when you feel like you’re spiralling out of control?
Like suddenly your whole life just stops having substance and you simply flow, like a helpless baby fish coursing through a rapid current.
I have no idea how to stop and is it bad I’m aware this is happening but I’m doing nothing to stop it? To try and take control?
I’m guiltily indulging this trip in the bullet train but as soon as it slows down to one of the stops, reality comes violently knocking on my window and my mind gets plagued with scribbles. So. Many. Scribbles. All jumbled, entangled until no coherent thoughts are possible anymore and all I can do is feel.
Guilt, shame, worthlessness, hopelessness, all of it crunched up into a jumbo scribble filling my mind up.
Ugh. Sometimes I really shouldn’t write my thoughts, I just sound like I’m whining most of the time. But I mean, as long as it goes somewhere and doesn’t fester inside my mind. Am I right?
I’m lying down in bed, bathing in my own sweat. The heat today is unbearably hot, even my AC isn’t doing much help. It’s not nice to say but I can’t wait until dusk when we can finally say goodbye to the sun for the day.
But I’m not here to whinge. Rather, to share what I did yesterday! Assikin took me to KL for the day promising good food for berbuka. I, like many, am a sucker when promised food in general. Let me point out that it was 35 degrees and I’m not the type to leave the comfort of my own home for the outside – especially in this kind of weather but I braved myself, curious to see what KL had to offer when we’re so close to Eid.
We parked our car at Kelana Jaya station and took the LRT to KL Sentral. Is this a bad time to admit that in 22 years, I can actually count the amount of times I’ve ridden public transport in KL? No judgement, please. Upon reaching, we went to Bath and Body Works in NuSentral, of all places, and I ended up buying a candle because I’m a sucker for candles. In all fairness, they were half off!!! Assikin suggested Sungei Wang after, and I grew excited because I’ve never been there. Again, no judgement, please. I heard it was a cheap place to buy things and I needed things. Lots of it. With limited budget but a burning desire to shop, I said lehgo.
We spent about 3 hours there – fitting in perfectly with the rest of the giddy teenagers roaming around the place – and burnt holes in our pockets because why not??? Everything was cheap there anyway. Made new glasses for the both of us because it was a deal of 2 for a fraction of the price I’d usually have to pay. 20 minutes to berbuka was when I really felt my patience being tested but I persevered! Broke my fast on the train on the way to this place Assikin had promised that served bomb-ass lamb (because I was craving for lamb, man.) which was all the way in Pasar Seni and even then, was another 15 minute-walk? Felt like an hour, more like. Apparently it was this inconspicuous little restaurant (explained why we got lost like 3 times) attached to a hotel behind SEGi KL. But it was so worth the walk. We talked and caught up for a bit before walking back to the station and then home.
I felt like a tourist, exploring the little nooks and crannies of KL and going to places I’ve never gone to. In my 8 years of living here, yesterday was when I truly saw KL, if that makes sense? I don’t know why suddenly I felt like I’ve been missing out on a lot of things and that I should’ve experienced them when I was younger (particularly when I was still in school) but it’s good to have these experiences now rather than never.
This might’ve seemed a little bland -to some – to be excited about but I had a good time! Kinda made me a little less inclined to drive now knowing that the LRTs and Monorails are at my disposal (sort of). Besides, now that the LRT stops at SS15, I can say goodbye to horrible Subang jams and parking!
I’m not the type that makes a habit out of exercising. Rather, I muster enough willpower (and courage) to go on a jogging binge and don’t see my sports shoes for another week or so.
Yesterday I went for one of said binges after work. As I’ve completed probably 10 minutes, I decided to do one of those dramatic loud exhales. You know the type, the frustrated AGHs after an intense session of running – even though I was only lightly jogging – where your knees buckle and your head tosses upwards.
What I noticed yesterday was the clouds were of a different formation.
A minute’s search on Google later…
And they were breathtaking. I mean at this point I didn’t have any breaths to give already but if I had, they would’ve taken it.
What I realised was that these clouds, no matter what form they were in, were still calmly moving at their own steady pace. They are the definition of ‘going with the flow’ and that is a term I identify with greatly.
People who ‘go with the flow’ are often dubbed as going through life without a definite purpose in mind. For some reason, they seem to be getting the short end of the stick; forever deemed indecisive or lazy but fact of the matter is, most of them aren’t. They choose to live cruising through what life has to offer and frankly, I don’t think that’s something to be frowned upon.
It’s just one of the things I’ve been thinking lately; how much pressure society puts on you to figure your passion out and go after it. How times have changed and how incredibly different the mindsets of Millenials are. We’re all driven young people expected to go after our passions and interests without deliberating first. I don’t wish that unnecessary pressure on myself and so I’ve made it a point to just ‘go with the flow’.
I’ve beaten myself up for not being sure about the things that I want to do and saying yes to things I didn’t necessarily want to because I had the slightest inkling that ‘this is what my passion is!!!!’ No more. I’ll stick with going with the flow, thanks.
When in doubt, ride it out?