Sundays are essentially not much different from Saturdays―time flows at the same speed. An alarm set so luxuriously late I awake multiple times before it goes off. The remnants of last night lingers: books on the bedframe, thoughts in the playing shadows above, dreams dancing in an elusive blanket I can’t hold. Your absence in the way I fall asleep, diagonal between strewn pillows to fill space.
I stay here for a while. The pillows no longer have your smell. I know that no matter where I reach out to, I won’t find the warmth softness of human skin. I remember with acrid lucidity scenes playing like a badly taped film reel, the reality only in my head. Here, it’s just me and the bed in a void of sound, encased somewhere within the outside world. Patience. My senses are learning how to deal with ghosts.
But there are new things to remember.
The music of Sunday is of astonishing clarity: the all encompassing flute of birds conversing, cruising traffic a baritone. A neighbour hacking his spit out with an angry determination, rudely interrupted by the screaming play of young ones. There is a family who favours radio; a particular channel with an eccentric taste in music. An erhu joins in. All these punctuated by the honk and call of the karang guni. Today, it’s the ring of an ice-cream man that used to excite my entire household (below the age of 20) to scramble to our gate and look back at the adults with winning, optimistic grins. Yet now, it’s the ring-a-ling bell that sounds hopeful for visitors.
When I close my eyes, I feel the aliveness of the HDB block, each household window only a little path to an intricate pulsating body.
But it is Sunday, and ghosts belong to the night. I open my eyes and leave the bed in search of light and coffee.