I grew up with meager everything. We didn’t even own a house. We didn’t have a television set and there were no neighbours to go to to have some interaction. The only two gadgets my father had were both essentials to our living; a transistor radio to track the ever-changing weather and a flashlight he used to patrol the fishpond in the night. 

We didn’t own a table and chairs aside from what my father fashioned himself from bits and pieces of wood he could find lying around. Beds, closets, cabinets, sofas were unknown to us. We had plastic plates and cups, few cutleries, a couple of pots and one pan. Nothing we could not bundle and take in a moment notice which usually the case. 

Our pillows were made by my mother from cotton-like fluff obtained from Kapok tree seed pods we gathered wherever we could find them. We, siblings, shared two blankets between the six of us and slept under one mosquito net. No wonder I have insomnia.

I saw and held a telephone for the first time when I was fifteen. I finally owned a wristwatch when I was 17 (almost eighteen) and by that time, I was already married to my ex and could afford a little bit more than before. That was when the bad dreams turned into full-blown nightmares…