It’s rather disorienting, returning to a late, quiet Sunday night in KL after what seemed like longer than one weekend singing in Penang. There is a hovering sense of estrangement. Yet nothing has changed, of course, because it’s only been 3 (wonderful) days. The condominiums still rise over the city in their shadowed, yellow-chequered grace. The buses and taxis are still bullies. The turn signals of all my fellow drivers still seem to be out of order. I feel the familiar pleasure of noting the pub downstairs is still open as I do every time I’m home late. But still I feel tentative, as if I am slowly reacquainting myself with practised routine.

This is what it’s always like, at the end a choir production. One bubble bursts, I reluctantly disentangle myself and step back into my other. I stifle the unrestrained shrieking and re-adopt polite, ingratiating tones. I throw off the costume, I don the metaphorical suit. It’s a tiresome process sometimes. It shakes my ability to concentrate on my thoughts.

So my ninth consecutive year of singing in a choir has drawn to a close. The question now is whether there will be tenth?

What about reading? What about writing? What about dreams…but which dream? But what is life without the regular envelopment of a warm, ringing, 8-part chord that is perfectly in tune?

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