lone drive

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I drove alone for the first time in months.

I visited Beneh today on the first day of Raya and was treated with generous servings of lontong (which she took the liberty to cut for me, thank you) and rendang, which satiated my rendang craving since this morning. It felt so pleasant and nice to catch up with her, talking about nothing specific but everything in general. And then it was 7 and I had to leave to buy dinner for my mum who was working today.

I was quite antsy during the drive to Beneh’s house (when am I ever not anxious, sigh) because, as I said, it was my first time driving alone in months. But on the drive back, fuelled by triumph of reaching Beneh’s house by myself in one piece, suddenly, I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to just keep on driving forever with STRFKR playing on the car stereo, all traces of anxiety eliminated.

And that’s what I did. I looped around the neighbourhood, basically, passing by my friends’ houses and dropping mental greetings by their doorsteps, marvelling in the possibility that they might just pick up on that. The sun was just setting, I was singing at the top of my lungs to songs that don’t even have lyrics, just music; wonderful, seep-into-your-bones kind of music that made you forget that you were actually making rounds in your own neighbourhood instead of speeding down the deserted lanes of Iceland (or something).

It felt nice to be alone, whilst in control of a powerful automated vehicle. It felt nice to be alone, period, something I must say I haven’t been able to feel for quite some time now.

And then I drove back home and my dad and I went to get dinner for my mum.

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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