Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A little story...

The rain was cold and sharp as it hit my face.

"Man, could've picked a better time for a walk..." I thought as I walked down the ramp to my apartment complex. "Then again, rain is nice, helps you think."

I continued down the gravel road towards the back gate of my community. Sri Wangsaria, I'd lived here since I was 7, it was familiar, it was comfortable, it was home. So many good memories, a few bad ones too. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to leave home, to strike out on one's own to find your own means of living, your own life to support. Ah, but that would come in due time, right now life was good.

I was 19, a student, and living with my parents, life was easy. I didn't need to worry about bills, or mortgages, or loans. I was a young man living life in the city of Kuala Lumpur without a care in the world. Life was good.

I splash my way out the gate and down Bangsar Hill towards Telawi street. "Should not have worn slippers..." I mutter as my bare feet get splashed with mud. It was a wet Wednesday evening and I was headed down to Telawi for some dinner. I had chosen to walk because I was trying to lose weight. Being 19 and overweight was not something that I enjoyed. For one, there was the teasing, for another, there was that thing about supposing to be at the peak of physical fitness and all that. So, onward i trudged. As I walked, different thoughts kept coming into my head.

As a lad of 19, the main topics for my day dreams and ponderings were rather predictable. It was either crushes, computer games, football, parents, or college. All of these ran through my head as I walked. I wondered whether I was making the right moves with the girl I fancied, whether she thought something could happen between us, whether I even had a shot, whether it was the right time. I noticed how much I had matured from being the boy who wondered if the girl like him or not, to the young man who looked at the situation more analytically. As I pondered these things my mind drifted to my upbringing. My parents didn't meet in the most romantic means, they actually met in a bar in Holland where my father was working as an oil rig engineer in the North Sea and my mom was a nurse in training. I thought about how unlikely it was that a Malaysian china boy would go to the Netherlands and land himself a beautiful woman. I thought about what was in store for me. If God was able to get my parents together, no matter how ridiculous the notion, He must have something similarly amazing in store for me.

Splash, another puddle, more mud. My train of thought got derailed. I saw a Manchester United crest on the back of a passing car and my mind immediately thought about how much I wanted them to win the Premier League this year and kick Liverpool off their stupid perch. We were level on domestic trophies with them, with both of us holding 18, and one more would dethrone them as the most successful club in England. As I ran through the forms of the different players and what I'd hope they'd be able to accomplish, I reached my destination. Devi's Corner Bangsar, one of the best mamaks around. I sat down and ordered my usual during my weight loss program: "Teh O' ais satu, kurang manis dan Tandoori chicken satu, dada ya." "Wokay boss!" The waiter replied. As I ate, I thought about random things and watched the TV they had. It was showing ads on what they called the "Teh Tarik Channel" I was bemused by the apparent lack of grammar and spell checkers that handled the ads. Did these people actually check for errors? Or did they just read it once and say, "Put it on, we need the money." ? Sometimes the laziness of Malaysian culture really irks me...

So after dinner I continued my walk back up the hill. By now it was getting pretty dark and the street lights were turning on. I saw a Starbucks and thought to myself, "There was a Starbucks just behind Devi's... why do the people up in Starbucks headquarters think that setting up two Starbucks within 2 minutes walk of each other will help them get money?" Then I remembered how lazy the populace had become in this modern age and deemed the decision valid.

Up the hill, water running down the sidewalk into the gutters that were probably filled with rats trying to stay dry and alive. The side of the road had become like a small river, flowing down with leaves floating on top like little ships. I thought about BB, about the place that molded me into the young man I am today. I thought about the people I had met, the friends I made, the things we'd been through, then, as the rain continued to hit my face, I thought of her.

She's only joined in 2007, but she had already made such an impact on the people in the Company, not necessarily in a good way. It's not that I wanted to think about her, it's just that it's hard not to after all that's happened between us. I mean, before she arrived, everything was pretty simple. She complicated things. I became stupid around her. I did things that I wouldn't usually do. What annoyed me the most was that I just couldn't way no. She was my kryptonite. All guys have a kryptonite and she was mine. I thought I was in love, I told myself I was. Then, everything came crashing down. My lofty palace of hope was smashed. My naive heart broken. It was no one's fault but my own. You don't get the privilege of blame when you deceive yourself. I had tricked myself into believing there was hope for her and I. Told myself that it could work, that all that was needed was time. And now I had to suffer because of it. But I wasn't alone in my suffering, I was not the only one that she had hurt. When my world was damaged and my ego bruised, someone else's was destroyed. My other friend was is much more pain then I was, she had lost more then I had. I had lost a glimmer of hope and a chance of nothing, she lost trust and confidentiality. Her secrets exposed to those who didn't need to know them. So, I suppressed my pain and set out to make it my "mission" to help her recover. And now, nine months on, the wounds have not fully healed. It's still sore, it still hurts. Heartbreak is a fickle thing. It only takes a second to happen, but months and sometimes years to heal. But at least now I had moved on, I was well on the path to recovery.

I almost trip over a crack in the sidewalk that jars me back into reality. Home was only 5 minutes away. The rain had slowed considerably by now, and was barely a light drizzle. I turned my attention from that depressing topic and began to softly sing to myself as I walked through the front gate to Sri Wangsaria.

Life has a funny way of coming full circle, just like my walk. We leave the world as we entered it, naked. We go to school just to get a degree to get a job, which we need to get money, which we use to raise our families, so that we can send our kids to school and restart the whole damn cycle again. But sometimes something happens that slaps us in the face and wakes us up from that boring routine. What is that something? I don't really know, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna miss it =)

Sometimes we fall down and can’t get back up
We’re hiding behind skin that’s too tough
How come we don’t say I love you enough
Till it’s too late, it’s not too late

Our hearts are hungry for a food that won’t come
We could make a feast from these crumbs
And we’re all staring down the barrel of a gun
So if your life flashed before you, what would you wish you would’ve done

Well if you plane fell out of the skies
Who would you call with your last goodbyes
Should be so careful who we live out of our lives
So when we long for absolution, there’ll be no one on the line

Yeah… gotta start
Looking at the hand of the time we’ve been given here
This is all we got and we gotta start thinkin’ it
Every second counts on a clock that’s tickin
Gotta live like we’re dying

We only got 86 400 seconds in a day
To turn it all around or throw it all away
We gotta tell ‘em that we love ‘em while we got the chance to say,
Gotta live like we’re dying

Kris Allen - Live Like We're Dying

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