I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts.
Virginia Woolf, “The Mark on the Wall,” from A Haunted House And Other Short Stories (via violentwavesofemotion)
ISSUE #7: ENVY is out! For the uninitiated, ISSUE Magazine is an online magazine/ collaborative platform based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that was started by my two friends. This is the last ISSUE for 2012, and we’re 7 editions old! 
My favourite reads from #7:
The Backups by Lutfi Hakim

“We are today’s Sad Young Men. Unwaveringly single and still living at home, we are the highly educated eunuchs of society. Smart and talented enough to be prized and entrusted with duties, we aren’t bold enough to be of any real consequence to our paymasters. We are castrated by a lifetime of entitlement, and silenced by the need to be respectable.”

Better the Envy you know by Haziq Hamid
A story that personifies the Sins; reminds me a lot of The Endless from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.
Dwelling upon sores by Syazwina Saw

“Go ahead. Hope you can live with yourself.”
“Not a problem,” I say to his back. And it isn’t, honestly. I don’t feel bad for chasing after something Sasha’s not brave enough to want.

A great follow-up to Syaz’s short story for ISSUE 6 The way you cut your meat, moving now to the mixture of envy, resentment, protectiveness and love that occur between sisters of different stripes.

ISSUE #7: ENVY is out! For the uninitiated, ISSUE Magazine is an online magazine/ collaborative platform based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that was started by my two friends. This is the last ISSUE for 2012, and we’re 7 editions old! 

My favourite reads from #7:

The Backups by Lutfi Hakim

We are today’s Sad Young Men. Unwaveringly single and still living at home, we are the highly educated eunuchs of society. Smart and talented enough to be prized and entrusted with duties, we aren’t bold enough to be of any real consequence to our paymasters. We are castrated by a lifetime of entitlement, and silenced by the need to be respectable.”

Better the Envy you know by Haziq Hamid

  • A story that personifies the Sins; reminds me a lot of The Endless from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.

Dwelling upon sores by Syazwina Saw

“Go ahead. Hope you can live with yourself.”

“Not a problem,” I say to his back. And it isn’t, honestly. I don’t feel bad for chasing after something Sasha’s not brave enough to want.

A great follow-up to Syaz’s short story for ISSUE 6 The way you cut your meat, moving now to the mixture of envy, resentment, protectiveness and love that occur between sisters of different stripes.

Orphan Stories

from The Tent by Margaret Atwood

ii) Orphans have bad experiences: in barns, in cellars, in automobiles, in woodsheds, in vacant fields, in empty classrooms. It is because they’re so tempting. It is because they’re so damaged. It’s because they’re so easily broken. It’s because they’re so available. It’s because they’re so exotic. It’s because no one will believe what they say.

vi) On the other hand how sad, to make your way like a snail, a very fast snail but a snail nonetheless, with no home but the one on your back, and that home an empty shell. A home filled with nothing but yourself. It’s heavy, that lightness. It’s crushing, that emptiness.

x) It’s a good excuse, though, orphanhood. It explains everything – every mistake and wrong turn. As Sherlock Holmes declared, She had no mother to advise her. How we long for it, that lack of advice! Imprudence could have been ours. Passionate affairs. Reckless adventures. Of course we’re grateful for our stable upbringings, our hordes of informative relatives, our fleece-lined advantages, our lack of dramatic plots. But there’s a corner of envy in us all the same. Why doesn’t anything of interest happen to us, coddled as we are? Why do the orphans get all the good lines?

xi) (And consider: It is loss to which everything flows, absence in which everything flowers. It is you, not we, who have always been the children of gods.)

Life Stories

from The Tent by Margaret Atwood

I’m working on my own life story. I don’t mean I’m putting it together: no, I’m taking it apart. It’s mostly a question of editing. If you’d wanted the narrative line you should have asked earlier, when I still knew everything and was more than willing to tell. That was before I discovered the virtues of scissors, the virtues of matches.

I was born, I would have begun, once. But snip, snip, away go mother and father, white ribbons of paper blown by the wind, with grandparents tossed out for good measure. I spent my childhood. Enough of that as well. Goodbye dirty little dresses, goodbye scuffed shoes that caused me such anguish, goodbye well-thumbed tears and scabby knees, and sadness worn at the edges.

Adolescence can be discarded too, with its salty tanned skin, its fecklessness and bad romance and leakages of seasonal blood. What was it like to breathe so heavily, as if drugged, while rubbing up against strange leather coats in alleyways. I can’t remember.

Once you get started it’s fun. So much free space opens up. Rip, crumple, up in flames, out the window, I was born, I grew up, I studied, I loved, I married, I procreated, I said, I wrote, all gone now. I went, I saw, I did. Farewell crumbling turrets of historic interest, farewell icebergs and war monuments, all those young stone men with eyes upturned, and risky voyages teeming with germs, and dubious hotels, and doorways opening both in and out. Farewell friends and lovers, you’ve slipped from view, erased, defaced: I know you once had hairdos and told jokes, but I can’t recall them. Into the ground with you, my tender fur-brained cats and dogs, and horses and mice as well: I adored you, dozens of you, but what were your names?

I’m getting somewhere now, I’m feeling lighter. I’m coming unstuck from scrapbooks , from albums, from diaries and journals, from space, from time. Only a paragraph left, only a sentence or two, only a whisper.

I was born.
I was.
I.