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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Signs of disturbance

I always knew that there was something about me that was different. There are times when I know that I am going nuts - when I feel mentally unstable, but it seemed more apparent a few days ago.

For a long time I had my suspicions of seeing things that I thought existed but they actually didn't. Perhaps they moved, perhaps the world was playing a huge practical joke of moving things about so I thought I saw them but when I turned around to check they moved away and snickered at their successful attempt to mess with my mind.

About a few weeks back I had my suspicions on the KL Elevated Highway in Ampang that I frequent. Now, I know how many lanes there are, and what those lanes are for. We have your regular cash lanes, the Tough N Go lanes, and the SmartTag lanes. That's all well and clear. Until one day when I saw a Tambah Nilai lane, which would enable me to top up my Touch N Go card without getting my lazy ass out of the car. Now here's the best part. Since I missed it the first time, I told myself that the *next* time that I use the highway, I'll reload my card.

With cash in hand, I eagerly approach the toll gates on the next trip, 500 metres from the toll gates, I look desperately for the Tambah Nilai counter. I don't see it. I slow my truck to a crawl. Cash. Touch N Go. SmartTag. An uneasy feeling creeps up my spine. I distinctly saw that lane the last time. Had I been hallucinating? Am I seeing things all over again? More importantly, am I going crazy?

I drive out of the SmartTag lane very, very confused. I start to question myself. I start to question my sanity. I wonder if I really haven't been talking to anyone for that long.

On the way back from town, I approach the toll gates again, but now from the opposite side of the highway. Curiosity gets the better of me so as I exit the lane, I glance at the side mirror to check on the opposite side. On a small corner of the tiny mirror, I make out the ever shrinking the labels 'Tambah Nilai'. By the time I take a second look I've already passed it to be able to take another look. So do I trust a 2 second glance?

This would happen for about 5 times, leaving me mentally more disturbed than ever.

I almost wanted to ask the customer service downstairs. I ran the scenario in my head. I would walk into the counter, where it was always dim. I would ask, is there a reload counter on your toll booths? The woman would look up and say, 'Sir, we never had a reload counter on our toll booths outside. This is the only one.' (cue scary music). I decided that that would leave me more disturbed, so I never asked.

Not until the other day, as I passed by the SmartTag lane, I drove really slowly and looked back. Using all my brain processing power, I scoped the entire area, and it was then that I noticed something that I should've done at the very beginning. The sign that said 'Touch N Go Sahaja' had a pulley system on its side, and on the flip side, in reverse, was 'Tambah Nilai & Touch N Go'. I don't know if I was relieved, or angry, or happy. Well, I suppose the best word to describe what I felt was: Screwed.

Then I wondered - how can someone actually create a flipping sign? Where they flip it as and when they like?? Signs are supposed to mean something. They are permanent means to display information. If they wanted something that displayed seasonal information they would've used one of those digital boards where if they changed it it would be understandable.

At least now I know that my sanity is still intact after all. For now, at least.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Pedestal bleeder

against my will,
prod me onto a pedestal,
and bleed me dry,
as I dissolve into the background.

see my reluctance,
acknowledge my objections,
ignore my thoughts,
for what is important to you?

the act of embracing,
a global thought, a unified decision,
is impossible to orchestrate,
by myself.

as I drift away slowly,
consumed by illness,
weakened by prescription,
fading away into darkness.

lapsing in and out of consciousness,
I seem to think clearer,
balancing on a thin line,
wondering which end I'll collapse to.

my arrival at this station,
bears no regret, for I've done it all,
till I can do no more,
as the road ahead suspiciously masks itself.

but I tire of investigation,
for empathy requires strength I lack,
so fate, work quickly,
and time will no longer require management.