What Being (Me) Means to Singapore

Tis a Pity I’m a Whore

When Ms. Molly Meek invited me to pen an article with the title, “What being (Molly) means to Singapore,” I was hesitant about accepting the offer. I hardly know who I am and I can hardly imagine expressing myself. My face has always been painted by the ventriloquizing pimps who are in charge—their fingers are my limbs, their movements my expression, their will my being.

I have known Molly ever since she was born, but what is Molly Meek in a territory where citizen and dissident are mutually exclusive categories? And what is a citizen in a space where patriotism is only possible via dissidence?

To me—that is to say, to the people who form my soul—Molly is an anonymous anomaly. She would be faceless if not for her anonymity because she is but one of many who form the fabric of me into which those nimble fingers penetrate. Her audacity to be anonymous, to have a face via disappearance is something that is frowned upon. She owes it to me. It makes me an incoherent whole. Or glass fragments exquisitely glued together into a smiling figurine. Try embracing me and you will be cut. But back to Molly. She is technically a Singaporean, I suppose. And technically not. It depends on where your technicality lies.

As a citizen, Molly Meek does not quite exist. She is just like any other. She is a target to be managed. If she is male, she is made for killing. If she is female, she is made for making. Like all citizens, she is made in me and thus made for me. This will not change unless she renounces her citizenship at the right office. She is mine, but I am not hers. Possession is never mutual. Somehow, I hate to say this, but it is true.

But Molly Meek cannot be Singaporean. Sure, she serves as one. She is a unit of productivity. She sustains me. I hate her for it. But I feel her resistance . . . Or perhaps I feel only when she resists. I am because she is not. But, still, she is not. I smother her with my hands while the fingers spread my legs wider. She struggles and I almost enjoy it—perhaps sadistically, perhaps because the struggle stirs something deep in me. She is not Singaporean. Neither is she a valued foreigner. She is a stateless stitch, a blemish on an otherwise flawless mask. While others are nationalistically writing about what being Singaporean means to them, she comes up with this.

She wants my love. How could I love when at my core are fingers, and not a heart. I want her love. In another incarnation, I may have her love and the heart to reciprocate. But how do I . . . Oh Molly, my voice is fading . . . there’s see a disfigured doppelgänger in the mirror. It’s not me . . . it’s become me . . .

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