The night air was actually chilly last night, so we drove home with the windows down. The car-less route, along Sembawang road that leads into Thomson road, instead of the CTE.

Sembawang road is actually a really picturesque drive, with trees lining both sides of the road, thickset like those statues on Easter Island. Their canopies obscure the night sky despite being feathery as the wings of a bird- rain trees are like that.

I read in one of Beverly Cleary’s books that the fastest way to get a dog’s hair to dry is to take him for a spin in the car with the windows down. So I stuck my head out a window while he drove and it was really amazing. I felt like I was in India (where most of the vans and buses have no AC) but without the burning dung whiff (not to be racist or anything.) We passed open air pickup trucks of bangladeshi workers who were enjoying the night breezes as much as I did. I wonder if they’ve ever heard “Dream a little dream of me.” I think India is the most literate nation (in terms of the number of citizens who read) – I wonder how Bangladesh compares. Amrita inhales books as much as I do, although I think I read faster than almost anyone I know.

We opened the sky window and blasted the car speakers, exhibiting our true punk rocker personas by playing Ravel to all and sundry. We started out with Miroirs which segued into Gaspard de la nuit. Passers-by didn’t even blink an eye.

The night was as young as we were, and it was as if we were all alone in this world. Don’t get me wrong, there was no romance about it. The long drive home wasn’t about something as trifling as ‘us’. It wasn’t a wholeness with nature either, like they strive to accomplish in those hippie communes with their “unplugged” sessions and yoga. It was, in an instant, feeling your most true self, being completely authentic with regards to who you are. Part musical exhibitionist, part wet dog, part Bangladeshi pickup commuter.

My most true self sees stars winking away in the sky, not at me, but in general. Night breezes do not “seem to whisper ‘I love you'”, but are generated by speeding down the road, as evident by the hot zones at every red light. My true self draws a line between imagination and self-delusion.

Poeticism does not always have to be narcissistic.

You are alone when nothing else defines you.



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