All of my friends think that i'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess
No, they don't know who i really am
They don't know what i've been through
His vision had begun to deteriorate long before he sat in the briefing room of the medical centre, penning his thoughts in a black notebook with a picture of himself with his grandmother on the first page. Use of his swollen and reddened eyes had been put on hold an hour earlier as he lay on the crumpled blue sheets that limply wrapped the lone mattress in the middle of the room surrounded by a fortress of ugly orange chairs, dreaming about classrooms and imaginary people named Elaine Foo and a panel giving him ratings based on his looks and personality.
These dreams were a strange relief to the sorrow and uneasiness he felt every waking minute since his eyes had been infected with the sores. The veins bulged and stretched his eyes, making them seem to pop out of their sockets, causing him much discomfort. The slimy discharge could be seen long after he had wiped them from his eyes using his sleeves, a whitish residue resembling mucus. His eyelids weld shut each time he slept and required flexing when he woke, a distinct cracking sound when he forced them open with his fingers. It was an unpleasant feeling he certainly did not welcome.
Snaking my way through the shops at Geylang East Central reminds me of the period when I spent most of my nights doing exactly the same at Serangoon Central. The old shops sold cheap goods, pirated gaming cards and once shiny watches through old and yellowed viewing panels.
It makes me sad to think much of Serangoon Central has changed drastically in the past 5 years. I wonder if the same shop owners still parade their wares there or whether spanking new owners have replaced them.
We can never prevent change. We can hardly even cling on to the sentimentality these memories make us feel. The phrase "love always wins" doesn't quite ring true either. People grow old and die. New managements make changes. Memories are relegated to the very back of minds. Nothing stays the same.