Tag Archives: Night

The Middle of the Night

On three separate occasions last night, I dreamed that I was screaming. Screaming, other people around, no one looks up. No one seems to notice even when I’m looking right at them.

I woke up after the second dream, which seemed to immediately follow the first, and placed a hand over my rapidly beating heart in order to let the rhythm lull me back to sleep. I awoke after the third dream surprised to find myself on the other side of the bed.

There’s a lot on my mind.

I am reminded of that when I wake up and all is quiet with the exception of whatever happens to be going on in my head. I live near a highway and you can faintly hear it above the white noise of the fan, but you could just as easily ignore it. Sometimes the dog who lives upstairs pads around, nails scratching on the floor. It only bothers me when something else is already bothering me.

I don’t have nightmares very often, but I’m a lucid dreamer (admittedly of the self-diagnosed variety) when I do. I am clearly making decisions, thinking about something else in the background, and I make the choice to wake up. In that sense, it’s a bit like knowing you’re going to fall when lead climbing – you move towards the next clip and as you’re reaching, you know you’ll miss. It gives you just enough time to call, “Falling!” to your partner. Lucid dreaming gives me just enough time to decide to wake.

What settled me back to sleep was not having woken from the dream itself but for admitting fear, uncertainty, a sense of moving without seeing into something resembling outer space. I say resembling because it’s not the kind of space you imagine when you’re young. It’s almost like moving under water into a blackness that folds, expands, contracts, shifts in colour and form.

It is not of this world.

And I think that’s the part that my senses do not like. There is a feeling of moving within something that I don’t understand and that my brain cannot easily classify.

Yes, this is right.

And I know it because as I write this, I find myself smiling.

There’s a world out there that may or may not be real, and it’s a world that I want to know and explore. But it’s the dubiety of this that leaves my mind playing with possibilities, and these possibilities do not fit easily into boxes.

There is also, however, a desire to have a single answer to a litany of questions.

This is impossible and it’s no wonder I’m screaming.

A storm gathering over Singapore – July 2020

Like Night and Day

I like to know how people live their everyday lives. I like to know the locations of schools, banks, post offices. When in new places, I visit grocery stores and take as many forms of public transportation as I can. In the places where I’ve lived, I’ve always really enjoyed visiting parts of time at the wrong of day – not night but day. When I lived in downtown Rochester, NY in my early twenties, it was not uncommon to visit the bar district on a Saturday morning run. Completely different place in every way – colours, lights, sounds, smells, people. Completely different place and often disarmingly so.

That’s what I really enjoyed about walking through Clarke Quay in Singapore on a recent weekday morning. Colours, lights, sounds, smells, people. Completely different place.

Because we usually see them in their glory, we sometimes forget that bars have to close up, too. Work continues after last call and begins far earlier than you or I would ever be there.

It’s eerie, in a way, ghostlike and still when it’s “supposed to” be loud and awake. Who was here last night? I wonder. Who went home laughing and who in tears? What stories were told in this spot mere hours earlier?

But at the same time, all is fresh and new. Waiting for new people, a new night, new stories.

We forget, sometimes, to look around. Out at night, immersed in all there is, we find our friends, enjoy food and drink, walk in the direction of the best music.

In the pulse of distraction, sometimes we forget to look around. But when we do, there’s vivid colour.

Where did the time go?

The following Beatles lyrics keep floating unbidden to mind:

Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

I’ve been feeling a lot like poor ol’ Eleanor Rigby recently. It’s a lot of preparing to go out, being happy with friends, coming home, looking frantically for distraction. More podcasts and playlists than usual lately. The silence when I’m alone leaves me with my thoughts, and my thoughts are spinning.

Our last day with kids was Friday and we have two days of “wrapping up” to do this week and then one more school year is in the books. It is all happening shockingly quickly. My friends and colleagues begin flying out Tuesday night, which means that this whole leaving thing is now very, very real. I don’t actually head out for another two weeks but I’ll be in Laos next weekend and the following weekend means losing my apartment and beginning a very long plane ride. This was my last real weekend here in Singapore, which took me by surprise when I realized it Saturday night.

However, thanks (as usual!) to Lauren and Jamie, it was a really good one.

The weekend started with a department end-of-year celebration at Hombre Cantina, a Mexican restaurant in Boat Quay where I had surprisingly spicy margaritas and a veggie quesadilla. Very fun evening with some truly wonderful people.

The delicious food theme continued on Saturday when Jamie, Lauren, and I went to the first annual Singapore Coffee Festival to sample brews and foods from Singapore’s best coffee shops.

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This was actually a guest cafe from Japan and the coffee was delicious!

The event lasted for four days and included the three-storey exhibition of coffee, food, and independent “lifestyle” boutiques; live music; lab demonstrations from brewers; and open chats about coffee, brewing, and local coffee culture. The price of admission also included a nifty tote bag and a couple cool mugs! The festival organizers actually stopped door sales of tickets while we were there on Saturday because the F1 Pit Building that housed the festival was very crowded. If you want to go next year, which I really encourage, I highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance! They’re discounted during the pre-sale, too!

A going away party for another friend Saturday night gave me one more look at Marina Bays Sands all lit up. The Singapore Flyer is over on the left.

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My bucket list item for today was a visit to East Coast Park. I’d initially been planning to rent bikes to go exploring, but we decided a walk would suit our needs (and other plans for the day) just fine. It’s so funny seeing the shipping lanes right off the beach, though. I still can’t get used to that.

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My primary objective overall was to spend as much time with my friends as possible, which we certainly accomplished. We made time for aloo gobi and garlic naan from Tekka Centre in Little India, too! That was a major highlight. Love me some Indian food, especially in this part of the world.

What I enjoyed most was spending this weekend in so many diverse environments. A mere 48 hours managed to cover Mexican food, hipster coffee culture, fancy bars, the beach, and the crush of people and delicious foods that represent Sunday in Little India.

I’m going to miss this place. A whole hell of a lot.

If you need me, I’ll be in a corner with my eyes closed and hands wrapped around my knees. And tomorrow morning, I’ll take that face out of the jar by the door and head back to school for the second to last time.