Secondhand beds

Tonight I had to head over to a friend’s place far down the East Coast Parkway. He left Singapore a few months ago, suddenly, which meant there was a lot of surplus furniture in his apartment that he needed to dispose of. Because he had a swimming pool and we don’t, he’d given me the key to his place so that we could take La Serpiente Negra there and enjoy the water and the air conditioning when Chinatown got too much. Every debt must be repaid, and now I was going back to his place to let in a potential buyer of his spare beds.

I arrived, to find the new tenant had locked the door, so the keycard I had got me into a stuffy antechamber and no further. Eventually the tenant arrived, a strange man with patchy skin and a grumpy demeanour. More of a misdemeanour, if you wanted to make a pun. He let me in, offered me a Diet Coke (at the last moment I realized I was meant to be avoiding caffeine) and then, seemingly embarrassed to have me around, bid me farewell.

Now, the new tenant had already had some kind of contretemps with the man who was buying the furniture. Something about being annoyed that the buyer was coming at 8pm instead of 7:30, when it appeared all the tenant was doing in the enormous flat was drinking beer on his own and doing internet banking. I’d been told to stay and supervise the transaction, even though as a diffident fourth party to the whole operation there wasn’t much for me to do. So I went down to the garage level, waited for the buyer, took him up, showed him the beds, and then left with him.

He had pulled up in a brand new Mercedes. As we left, he asked me if I’d driven down. "No, I got a taxi" I said. Which was his cue to leave without offering me a lift anywhere, because it wasn’t like I’d gone out of my way to do him a favour. Honestly, the whole secondhand bed buying extravaganza seems to have been orchestrated solely for the purpose of me meeting people I won’t get on with.

Now it’s about 9 km from where I was on Upper East Coast Road, back to Chinatown. And the Fitbit was registering less than 40% achievement for the day. So I began to walk home.
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Another hard track session

Apart from porridge in the morning, I think the healthiest thing I’ve eaten in a week has been the taco I had last night, and though I brushed my teeth before I went to bed, I woke up still tasting the taco, no longer a joyful Mexican snack but instead a doleful reminder of past glories. According to the scales I’d actually gained weight last night.

Today, though, I drank my required amount of water, walked around a lot and actually had salad for lunch, which felt like the start of a journey back to health. Weirdly, mid-morning I had my usual post-coffee gloom and fatigue, and I haven’t even had a coffee since Friday. I hoped tonight’s track session would be the cure for all of this.
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Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Tonight after Spanish, I decided not to eat my customary burger, but to get something more healthy. After an hour walking through the brightly lit food desert that is the Bugis+ mall, I admitted defeat, and settled for a bag of crisps and some cookies from Subway. This was not a meal that brought me great cheer.

Like the eponymous Bernadette of Where’d You Go, Bernadette (is anyone else but me exercised by the absent question mark in the title?) I tried to keep my flagging spirits up by cultivating rage at everyone and everything around me, but it was no use; the antiseptic spaces of Singaporean shopping malls make it futile to take umbrage. I should have concentrated on how much I enjoyed Where’d You Go, Bernadette[?].
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Slowed down by truffles

Again today I started very slowly; perhaps it was staying up too late reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette, or perhaps,it was not having had any coffee since Friday. It took until 2pm before I left the house and got down to the PS Cafe on Ann Siang Hill for brunch, which was a late hour for lunch, let alone quasi-breakfast. (Since today was Hari Raya, it was a holiday and brunch was all day, but even so…)

I ordered pancakes. I don’t know why, because I’m always disappointed when I order pancakes in a restaurant. Perhaps I’m a glutton for disappointment. They were ok, but not brilliant, and I’ll say no more of them. One of my co-conspirators ordered truffle fries though, and delivered to the table was a mound of them, covered in salt and what we at first thought was cheese, but turned out to be more salt, bound together with truffle oil.

Now I like the taste of truffle, but truffle fries always seem to have far too much of that taste, as if the chef was desperate to pour every drop of truffle oil into the meal just for you. Between us we made a sizeable dent in the fries, but they defeated us.

They were also the kind of enemy that keeps attacking: I had foul, truffle-scented belches all afternoon.
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Rush rush rush

Today, another slow start. I really shouldn’t have stayed up so late watching Blade II, but I was shocked to discover that as well as Luke Goss from Bros, Danny John-Jules from Red Dwarf was also an evil action-vampire. And whatshisname from Beauty and the Beast, that unlamented 80s TV show. This morning I coughed up phlegm while the sky darkened: another rainstorm that justified not going for a run.
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Blade II and closets

After last night’s boozing (4 pints of beer, two gin and tonics and a couple of shots of Jagermeister) I felt unsurprisingly horrid. I didn’t get out of bed until 2, which was even worse than after last week’s home brew misadventure. I sat on the sofa and watched The Celluloid Closet, a documentary from twenty years ago about the representation of homosexuality in cinema. It was surprising to me that at times British cinema was ahead of the Americans – but under the Hays Code anything that didn’t depict a monogamous middle class white family life was expected to be a riot of such destructive obscenity that it would melt the brains of every good American. We didn’t have that in the UK, just a very strange set of obscenity laws that depend much more on interpretation than somebody stipulating things to be the Love That Is Not Allowed To Speak Its Name.
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A friend is leaving Singapore this Tuesday, so we took him out drinking. This was probably a bad idea; after a whole day without sleep (awake until 2am) and a hard day at the office (twelve hours with paltry amounts of water) I was in no mood for fun. I wanted to go home, not to enjoy myself.

Happily I made the effort to stay out, and, a pizza and two gin and tonics and three beers later, it was time,to crawl into a taxi and go home. Head wobbling, far beyond the normal levels of drunkenness I can sustain, I wobbled home, stopping only to pick up my tax return and then flop onto the sofa. I hope tomorrow is better.