A pair of headphones, a tattered old wallet, a Turkish bowl, a McLaren F1 model car, a blue teapot, DVDs borrowed from friends, and DVDs not borrowed from friends, amongst other things. I see a mess. But I like it. I know where everything is.
Pictures too. My eyes rest upon my little sister’s picture. In it, she couldn’t have been more than 10 years old (she’s now 12). She had given it to me as a birthday present. Unsmiling, seemingly shy, almost afraid. Incredibly smart and funny, she clams up whenever she is around people. I always tell her not to be so. I wish that others get to see a side of her that I see everyday.
I blinked, the humid air welling my eyes. The window is open, me wanting a breezy air would get lost and find its way into my room. Instead, its humid cousin is here, the days almost unbearably hot. I swiveled and shut the windows.
Turning back, a paper flower in a pen holder. A close friend gave it to me (I suppose you could say she gave me her flower). She made it during a debate training session during the semester break. I remember being surprised to see her that day, but it was of a pleasant kind. By that time, we had yet to know each other as well as we do now, but I’m glad I did.
I picked it up, having not touched it for a while. A thin layer of dust couldn’t disguise its beautiful construction. Sturdy, compact, its folds neatly lined. There were times in the past when I considered conducting reverse engineering on it, to know how she did it. I have meant to ask her, but I keep forgetting.
A set of unframed photos. I specifically printed them, for they are great reminders of some really good and fun times. I had never gotten round to getting a photo frame, but that’s because I like to change it every now and then.
Right now, it’s my sister’s birthday last year. My sister is holding aloft a CD player, with my parents and my little sister looks on almost in adulation. They are smiling. My parents are divorced now. Looking at the picture, I find myself wondering whether that was the last time we were all happy together. In the background of the picture hangs a family picture taken at Greenwich Park. It is one of my fondest ‘family moments’.
That picture is no longer there.
I picked up the photos, and flicked through them. Lunch at KL Tower on Mother’s Day last year, the day that my mother told me I have lost the “human touch”. Next, a picture of me and my classmates. After that, a frozen moment of my autistic brother, a reminder of how lucky I am. Eventually, I settled for my and my friend at the ball. I remembered that night well. It was a good night.
My Star Wars books, in chronological order, teaching me more about life than most teachers I know. My music collection, charting my rise from bubble gum pop to evergreen, via rock, techno and ballads. Empty boxes of computer components that I purchased after a month of hard working in a carpet shop, during which time my boss tried hard to not pay me. My Tamashi CD player that has served me well since 1999, comforting me through cold nights when I first lived overseas, away from my family.
Looking around my room, I don’t see inanimate objects. I see people, memories, pain, anger, love, happiness, joy, life.
My life. A mess.
I love it.
*Entry for a competition at The Particular Ordinary.