Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Silent Screams

“Don’t you get homesick being away from home?”

18-year-old girl

“No. Home isn’t very far away for me at all.”

18-year-old boy

“Well, I know Malacca is just a two-hour bus ride away but…”

18-year-old girl

“That’s not what I meant [He took one step forward and hugged her warmly]. I’m already home.”

18-year-old boy


The conversation above is a memento from a time of Happiness shared by a Boy Who Loves a Girl, and that Girl Who Loves Him Back.

Inwardly, I was screaming in joy when we have an early dismissal for our Microbiology SDL today – and I would have literally screamed had I managed to find the strength to do so. Counting the allotted one-and-a-half hour of lunch break we usually get, there was a total of two hours worth of potential sleep time that I could squeeze in if I opted to skip lunch.

And skipped lunch I did.

I don’t get much sleep these days, despite classes starting at 9.00 am daily in Year Two. I can turn in at 10.00 pm, but I’ll inevitably stay wide awake in bed till about 3.00 am, or usually, even later. My mind works sort of like those television channels that broadcast reruns of really old flicks after midnight – though unlike those television channels, I couldn’t switch off my reruns.

And even after managing to slip into some semblance of unconsciousness, the reruns would weave seamlessly into my dreams and become more vivid. More lifelike. More painful to watch. That was why I picked up the habit of jogging every morning before class at 6.45 am. I couldn’t sleep past that 6.30 am mark however hard I try. The dreams, they wake me. Every. Single. Day.

I became desperately sleep deprived; having big bits of time missing as my mind spontaneously turned itself off in classes - I think they are called blackouts. I struggled to keep up with the lectures, an exercise I performed effortlessly the year before. I had to do something about this - so on Monday, I paid a visit to the wine store and bought a small bottle of Smirnoff Vodka. I’ve heard that a little alcohol before bed helps. Maybe it can help me.

I took a thimble-full at first, being cautious as I drank less than four times in my entire life – and never before something as strong. It did little more than burn my throat.

So I took another.

And another.

I wrote my last post – the one with the animal pictures.

I started chugging it straight from the spout.

I prepared my notes for my Problem-Based Learning Class scheduled the morning after.

By 5.00 am, the bottle of vodka was empty. I stumbled to my bed and fell into a feverish slumber.

At 6.30 am, I was wide awake again.


My temperature was spiked for the entire duration of Tuesday and today. My entire upper body; my arms, my neck, my chest was red, puffy and itched insanely. I guess I must be allergic to alcohol or experiencing some form of virginal intolerance to it. I suppose I should find out more about that being a medical student and all – but frankly, I don’t really give a damn.

Well, let’s get back to where I was at – about my early dismissal from Microbiology SDL;

As I crawled wearily to my doorstep, I spotted something wispy lying on the ground. Something white. Something so delicate that even my merest breath would make it quiver. I gingerly lifted it up and brought it into my room. My botanical knowledge hovers a bare inch above nil, but that wispy, white, quivery entity was unmistakably a seed of some kind. As far as I can tell, none of the trees in Acharya Compound bear seeds like this. Maybe it came from somewhere far away.

Maybe it’s like me – lost and alone, a million miles from home.


I spent that two hours playing with that feathery seed. I held it above my head and let it hover slowly to my feet. I blew at it watched it dance gracefully about in mid air like a miniature ballerina. I photographed it in motion over and over and over again as if I have never, in all my life, seen something quite so achingly beautiful.


If you’ve accidentally walked into that moment, you would not see a wearied 20-year-old, insomniac student of medicine. You would instead see a boy of maybe 5, smiling gleefully at a wondrous new toy he couldn’t seem to tire of. You would see a boy deep in the excitement of discovery and the exhilaration of first-time pleasures.


You would see a boy that was.



At 1.40 pm, I had to leave for a Pharmacology lecture – the seed now lying half-buried in a sunny spot beside my house. I dare not hope but perhaps, it might just be a tree someday.

And I did not sleep a single wink.


Homeless,
k0k s3n w4i

13 comments:

michellesy said...

And in her eyes you see your life reflected, in her arms you find your whole world.

That was very sweet =)

And btw, OMG how did you manage to polish off an entire bottle of vodka in one sitting? Alcohol-fuelled blogging eh? ;)

However considering that you're a novice imbiber I am surprised you are not:
1. Dead due to alcohol poisoning
2. Suffering from the mother of all hangovers - although not a drinker myself, I have been assured that you picked a good drink in this respect, as vodka apparently leaves behind few nasty after-effects
3. Dehydrated your body to a fine, crackling crisp

The itching, swelling and redness I can explain:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALDH
Curse our asian heritage if you must =)

The sleeplessness and haunting dreams I cannot.
Only you can.
But meanwhile please take care of yourself.

Mischique said...

Hohoho...enjoy Pharmacology! Tripathi's book on Pharmacology is pretty good.

Kit said...

lol i caught one of those feathery thing in front of udupi police station. & since then i've been seeing these seeds around a lot lately. mating season prob?

Jen said...

we all have those moments where all it takes is the smallest thing to transport us back to a time where the world, wasnt such a tiresome place.

i hope my feathery seed comes floating by soon. i could use it.

and lay low on the vodka man. i get a nasty rash if i overdo it ;) so there IS a scientific explanation. gosh and all this time i thought i was a wimp.

k0k s3n w4i said...

@michellesy
Thanks.
There's a haze hanging over me for the entire day though (Thankfully, no headaches).
Guess I'm just lucky. I'm very surprised myself about the lack of any serious hangovers (or drunkenness for that matter - tho even if I am, I'm in no position to say so).
We did learn about aldehyde dehydrogenase in biochem 1st year and the general intolerance of the orients - but I was sort of imagining that it only meant that the chinese/koreans/japs get drunk more quickly. I wasn't aware of any physical lesions.

@mischique
Pharmac is kind of cool actually, and we do use Tripathi as one of our primary textbooks!

@kit
Yea.. trees are probably having promiscuous sex behind every bush as we speak. XD

@jen
Ah, a soul of kindred mind! And if you don't find one of those seeds, you can always head back to that rib place of yours ;)
Now you know that MOST of us are wimps.

gee said...

you know what.

you super tak han.
haha.but i am more tak han than u.
because i stalk on u .

FUCK!

michelleg said...

heys, wow! soo many comments, u must be really popular now huh? i mean as a blogger.

can't believe u drank the whole bottle! anyways, sometimes i have trouble sleeping too. i feel sleepy but when me head touches the pillow, just cant shut down. damn!

that seed looks really familiar. i think i've learnt it in primary school science. cant remember the name tho.. =)

k0k s3n w4i said...

@gee
Dunno why I so tak han la... Whole week didn't revise stuff d, haha

@michelleg
Popular? Nah.. haha
Just learnt in Pharmac class today that alcohol + anxiety might actually stimulate rather than debilitate. Hence, my sleeping even later than usual.
And I feel bad to all my visitors that I seem to write mainly emo stuff these days. Hitting a rough patch here... sigh

lingghezhi said...

chillz dude. COme over anytime ur really bored. Bring along a House episode and I;ll get us the company and drinks. =)

mrbherng said...

Chill mate, drinking is not the best way to get you to bed. Just try to adjust an hour each day or two. You will be fine in no time!!

k0k s3n w4i said...

@lingghezhi
Sleepless, I may be... but boredom, not quite yet. I have about 10 movies lined up to be watched :) ... But I'll keep your offer in mind.
Btw, House ep 19 for season 3 might be a good watch for 1st year, 3rd block students. Something on endocrinology.

@mrbherng
Yea, so I learned.
Am waiting for updates from you, mate.

Michelle Chin said...

I want to cry reading that.

k0k s3n w4i said...

michelle chin
Thanks :), I was just telling someone today that one of the highest compliments anyone can pay me is that.