On the bus to the symposium on Wednesday morning, I got strange looks. I’m not sure if it was the way corners of my mouth tend to curl uncontrollably while reading the Economist (which I often find ha-ha funny – gems from that particular issue included “Yet, for the first few months in office, Mr Bush managed to focus relentlessly – sometimes even comically – on his campaign promises. Thus his tax cut was trumpeted as an answer first to an overheating economy, then to a sagging one and finally to higher energy prices. It sounded silly, but he got his tax cut.”) and trying not to chuckle audibly, or the fact that I abandoned the Economist for The Muppet Show when it started showing on the TV (yes, we have TVs in buses in Singapore), and then couldn’t help a suppressed giggle when Kermit got surrounded by a group of cheeses who wanted to perform various numbers on the show, such as the Cheddarnooga Choo-Choo.
After the symposium I rushed to RJC for the Creative Writing Club’s annual Afternoon of Poetry and Music, which always tends to turn itself into a CAP reunion of sorts, which is good in a way, but has the potential to turn everything into too much of a masturbatory clique if taken too far. So I tried circulating, cocktail reception style. I suppose it was just my bad luck that the first person I talked to who I didn’t already know then followed me around for the rest of it, trying to make conversation that I honestly wasn’t that interested in listening to, because he bored me, and I then had to seek refuge in people who I knew. I chastised Yi-Sheng for dying his hair, not to mention actually starting to comb it, and for wearing a proper shirt and trousers. I felt this burgeoning attention to appearance marked an unwelcome break from his previous genius-poet image, where he went around in uncool clothes and ignored hair.
Dinner was in Holland Village with most of Council 2001, and Terry, and then us oldies went to Orchard Road in a failed attempt to watch Save The Last Dance, which was sold out. We ended up in the Borders bistro where Luke started drawing me on the (paper) tablecloth. Don then drew Luke, Zakir drew Don, and I drew Zakir. I still have problems drawing lips. It’s always the lips that scupper it all, dammit. Zakir looked reasonably like Zakir until I got to the lips, and then he looked like Marilyn Monroe with short hair and specs.