Writer . Editor . Author
It has been an oversleeping kind of weekend. Afternoon naps that ended up in insomnia that ended up in oversleeping and waking up in the afternoons. Oversleeping also means light sleeping, and light sleeping means dreaming dreams that you can remember as soon as you wake up.
I found myself in a grand golden marble lobby kind of hotel, the type that has an oblong-shaped indoor elevator that looks out onto the lobby itself. I walked up to the second floor and instinctively knew that I was in the wrong wing. I got out of the hotel, and a Japanese man on the street asked me where Sentosa was. I shrugged and said, “You have to take the MRT”.
At last I was at the Holiday Inn, and I couldn’t open the door to my own room, so I went down to reception to re-activate the key card. When I opened my room door, it turned out to be a HDB that I was sharing with my childhood friends from Convent Green Lane. There was Nadia, the Malay girl, Sakunthala, the Indian girl, and a few others whose name I could not remember. They were all crowded around the foyer and it looked like there had been a party of some sort.
The first thing I did was push pass the girls and went straight out onto the balcony, where my garments were hanging onto a bamboo pole that looked out onto the sea. I had seen from below that a vehicle had been spraying faeces onto the balconies, and that was why I hurried up to retrieve my clothes. There was najis all over my new Nike sports bra, but it was only at that angle that the spray managed to get at.
“Nadia, can you clean up the toilet?” I shouted at her as I made my way to my room. From the corner of my eye I could see that the toilet bowl was rammed full of cosmetics – lipsticks and make-up brushes of all sizes. It was a four-room HDB flat and my room was at the end of the corridor. I had just come back from holiday and I didn’t lock my door.
My key, short and single, was jammed into the keyhole with the door left slightly ajar. I saw that the room to my right and to my left were both locked, and I cursed under my breath at how foolish and trusting I had been for not locking my door while on holiday in Thailand with my sisters. I wondered if any of the other girls had been snooping around in my room.
My room was the largest in the flat. The king sized bed stood on traditional mosaic tiles, and the brown cupboards creaked as I opened them. I pulled back the maroon curtains to see the street view outside my window. We were no more than three storeys above ground. At that, I felt at home, yet not at home. It was a strange feeling to find that this was indeed my dwelling place.