It seems kind of silly now but there’s something about red lips and blue eyes that strikes a chord in my heart. It could be the contrast, because it feels like they belong on a pale face, but mostly it’s just because the colour combination tends to make anyone look pretty (like Snow White! White, red and blue. Like France too.)
So anyway, J. D. Salinger is dead. I always feel kind of sad at these authors’ passings, as if they used to be an old (but distant) friend. The kind you used to sit next to in primary school, huddled together looking over comic books under the desk (the kind you knew intimately) — the kind that drifted once you entered secondary school, different classes, took different subjects, and ended up in two different countries now that you’re twenty-two. Then you hear the news, and you’re kind of shocked. One never really knows what to say in the face of death, especially one as distant (but impactful) as this.
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The first two weeks of the new year have been kind to me (but not my waistline). Increasingly I realise events that I thought would have been more significant to me pass me by without me noticing, which makes me realise that oftentimes things are not as important as we think they are at first. I spent the first few days of the new year in Taipei, where random people wished us 新年快乐 in the streets. It sounded a bit discordant at first, mainly because I still never get used to this whole idea of new years till it’s too far in to deny that the dates have changed. Then I went to Hong Kong to attend a wedding, and it was beautiful. Every wedding I attend brings with it some wistfulness (I’m a girl, don’t expect any less) — ever since I was a little girl I’d think to how it would be like when it was finally my turn. (I know when I finally get married I’ll look back on all these posts and laugh at what a silly person I was. That’s the beauty of hindsight.)
I used to laugh and joke with R about this, when we were overseas. I remember spending the few days after Christmas, before we left for Paris, in W’s house. It was one late night, after S and M (haha) had come over from Charing Cross Road and we littered W’s carpet with mulled wine and chips (Walker’s Sensations!). Talking about life and love and weddings, and how we feared we’d never have enough time to find a boyfriend within the next few years. We have no more time!, we lamented. I was twenty-one, teetering on the edge of twenty-two. I was young, but not as young as I ever would be. I was not eighteen, or nineteen, or any of the ages where I could freely discard everything I knew about life and society and all the things that would actually make a relationship work. We were clear about that. Where were all the boys in our lives, and where would they be? When would the next one come along? What was the probability of one actually coming along, in the next few years, that love of your life that you absolutely must marry? We continued talking about this, way into Paris, talking about how at fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, one never cares about whether the boy you like is likely to do this, or that, or cheat on you. At those ages love, or whatever we thought it was, was enough. He was tall. He played basketball. Or rugby, or softball, or ran the 200m. He played the guitar, he wrote you poems. Both of you walked around Orchard Road, or Junction 8, or Parkway Parade, after school, holding hands tentatively. You were scared to bump into anybody else, or it would be all over the class the next day. We carried these moments in our heads, all the way up to that night in London, where we let them all out again.
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I kind of liked Taipei, but Hong Kong brings with it a familiar smell of laziness. I’ve just spent my time here walking around all the old places. I feel like I need to venture out somewhere. Tomorrow I attend a wedding! Excited.