The woman behind the clear, glass wall watches life with VR glasses on. Nothing is real so nothing can touch her. Not the hurtful emotions, not the tangled mess of human relationships, not drama, not pain.

The glass wall is impenetrable. To love, to compassion, to feelings, to the mechanics of life that make us all human. All the memo plastered across the glass wall, fading with the wind, as she comprehend but does not fully sense.

A small part of her thought she was going insane, loud thoughts emitting from the gradually calcifying, corrugating shell of a person, only to have their routes foiled by the impenetrable glass.

But another part of her knew that the wall had sprung up all around her, because a visit from her old friend was imminent. She could feel its familiar shadows darkening in proximity.

I’m ready for you. Hello darkness my old friend.



I’ve always lived life on the outside of me, outside of this world. A passing traveler always on the outside looking in, latching upon the slightest warmth, fantasizing upon an entire world based on each morsel of heat. I am doomed to walk from window to window, house to house for subsistence, never stepping foot into their interiors.

Cold is my soul, chilled by abject loneliness, my heart frozen still, frost bitten by indifference. Fingers stiff from hands raised against the blistering winds of solitude. I walk on narrow cobblestone streets, shoulders grazing rows of houses, watching, walking, watching.

Maybe this is how I age, shrinking back within myself, hardening, hurting, helpless, dying. Surrounded by people, open doors, “Welcome Home!” mats, warm fireplaces, yet I trudge forward, boots crunching in the snow, obstinately clutching my independence against my chest.

Last year I’ve learnt that loneliness is a dangerous thing that have led me down needle-riddled, thrash-strewn back alleys into the mouths of blood thirsty wolves. I was vulnerable yet hopeful that redemption lies in the warmth of bodies who have lent residence to too many vagabonds.

This year, I peeled off the grimy coat that clung onto my body with false security. Wholesome 2017. I am clean and pure. Yet I am teetering on a treacherous tightrope, braving the Siberian winds of loneliness, above the carnal flames of lust licking my bare feet with every trembling step.

This chapter ends shrouded in the mists of self-doubt and abject loneliness, the downsides of a life of no commitments.

But the pages keep flipping. And then what happens?

(I do hope it does not commence with a relapse)


Today it manifested itself again in the warmth of my bedroom, contrasted against the chill of the weather. The perfect combination of circumstances for instant sleep the moment I hit the hay.

28 minutes into the nap, it slipped into my shorts and laid its right palm on my hip. Jolted out of a blissful reverie, I attempted to widen my eyes only to find them glued shut, Ronnie’s arms still wrapped around me.

It felt so real, like the first time I’ve experienced it. But this time, Ronnie was malevolent. Countering my success in raising my head a slight inch, it slammed its head down upon the back of mine, a searing buzz at the back of my head, a warning.

The first time I encountered Ronnie was there on my bed too, after nights deprived of sleep. It too had its arms wrapped tightly around me but it was nothing but warmth and love radiating through me from my back. I sleep on my side and it was Ronnie spooning me from the back. Even as I lay awake unable to move my limbs, there was never a pinch of fear.

There Ronnie was again today, its arms wrapped tightly around me, stronger as I gained consciousness. It’s palm in my shorts, its intrusion into my comfort zone. My instinctive response met with hostility and pain. Fear welled up at the back of my throat as I urged myself to awake, remaining immobile in its arms. I did not want to feel the outline of its arms under my head, around my arms.

He is my desires. He is a product of my experiences in all its entirety, a record of my past encounters with different men, who loved in physical ways, delivering them to me through parcels of pain. Pain is the vessel that activates my capacity to feel.

Ronnie, the protagonist turned antagonist of my sleep paralysis episodes.


How far I’ve strayed from the light, from goodness, from God.

How disproportionately I’ve devoted my time to brawn while my brain festered.

How valiantly I wielded my shield of solitude to find my nights lonely as the moon.