"I entered a large room with plush red carpet on the walls, dark vinyl booths, and a raised podium in the far corner where some girl was singing “无条件为你”1 robustly and off-key. The lounge was loud, musty and hazy. It was busy with lots of blokes. Smoke lingered from cigarettes and Filipino cigars. It was hard to see as the only light came from lasers flashing coloured lines across the room and the glow of TV screens showing balls bouncing across the tops of lyrics as couples walked through tulip gardens. I wondered about trying to find a drink."
1 “Unconditionally for You”
Excerpt from A Long Bicycle Ride Into the Sea, a story in We Rose Up Slowly
A Long Bicycle Ride into the Sea:
- is about a young lawyer, coasting along in privilege, who is challenged to get wet to prove his love
- examines unconscious assumptions, and how a sense of entitlement and the shallowness of one's gaze obscures self awareness, intimacy and growth
- shows the effect of this on relations with others
- contains passing references to small law firms in shophouses in Tanjong Pagar, Prada suits, Raoul cuff links, Lloyds shoes, Louboutin heels, silver charm bracelets, Benny Hill flirting with Emily Dickinson, Halal eating houses, a HDB flat in Clementi, a Hokkien Sponge Bob Square Pants, Lau Pa Sat, Billy Wilder films, Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres, Amitabh Bachchan and Maggie Q, Kong Hee and Lawrence Khong, Ai Weiwei, Miroslav Tichý, Henry Darger and Beatrix Potter, Justin Bieber and Taufik Batisah, the planet Zog, and the song 无条件为你.
- Why so many names dropped? I wanted to show the pretentious superficiality of the narrator and how this obstructs his ability to achieve deeper relations with others.