DEC 23 – It had to happen.
Standing beside the an electronics store staring at rows of television set showing Thor destroying a bridge to his world. Somehow, in an empty mall, it was me and this other dude, with sponge and glass cleaner in hand.
I don’t know where he’ll be tonight, both the cleaner and Thor, but I wager all of us fictional and otherwise will be thinking about the worlds we belong to and want to belong to tonight.
It’s that old chestnut. Year end.
Met two old friends these past days.
My old debate team mate was in town. Teh Tariks and roti canais set the scene as we chatted about the old — us getting wet in Ireland daily as Christmas weather can be trying — and the new, on her settling her children at school and uni, while selling the family home in Seremban, the theme resurfaced.
She lives in Melbourne now, a late departee — since they moved only this decade — but a happy one. The evidence she encountered in her four day stopover in Kuala Lumpur from Cape Town back to what is home today to her, only reinforced her decision to quit.
I smiled. You have to smile when you try to keep the country in perspective.
The second, always a combination of meal and drinks piecemeal.
When the skirt conversations are over, and after a healthy dabble into characters racing to the bottom of national politics under the guise of lending colour to a shambolic play of jingoism, we got into the topic of us.
Us is always the last thing old boys talk about, when they meet.
It is always easier to talk about things than the people commenting about these things.
So before we stumbled into the topic of where two men in mid-career needed to be soon, there was the expected whack about my writing. He said, I was impenetrable.
In hindsight, it appears it spoke about more than my writing, and its eight readers.
I lost a reader recently.
I said to him, that age has a sinister way of leading us to our own diatribe against us. We want less, because the idea of rejection for those ambitions become quite telling.
It is akin to being humble, but needing witnesses. Otherwise, why bother?
Though the summary, well at least from my side, was that if we are to matter, who are we to curtail our own future because the uncertainty is murderous?
Fortunately, lunch hour ended and we had to head back to those choices we have made. That meetings, like that, are stark reminders that real life is far less daunting than when it was before conversations with your past.
So, Christmas it is. Time for a few toasts, and a disproportionate amounts of laughter. I like it that way, and the future is what I said before, less daunting.