461: it’s those restless hearts that never mend

All those times ago, you knew. Those were the times you felt most alive, thinking about your friends around you, sitting by the canteen during recess time round a round table, playing pretend-war with your cardboard drinks. When you were in junior college you hung round the edge of the building, staring across the courtyard, perching on top of your little hideout (and of course it was, who else went there? Your own little elitist paradise. Your moral high ground. What else was it?), waging mock battles across the lecture theatre. 

There we were, brown in our uniforms, sometimes white and blue, each the same as the other. Every day we ate the same things, did the same things, pulled the same tricks. I slept in almost every class. I had a whale of a time. I brought my own cushion. 

Now my cushion is being dry cleaned, and it will come back pure and new, for a new work day and many more late nights. I have said this so many times, but something has changed. When you are working day to day you feel nothing and you think nothing, but when the nights come and you are still awake because this is the time you are always awake (and still working), you remember the times when you did nothing. Thought about everything. Had thoughts about everything and wanted to write about everything. These days we are quiet and tired. Sometimes I think I drink mostly just to remember how I felt when I had nothing to care about when I was younger. 

Which is not exactly true. But nostalgia is powerful, and always available when you need it. At the end of the day the memories only get better with time. Were they really? I’ll never know. But as with these things, they are only what you think they are. 

Tomorrow I will be on a boat. Sleep is precious, but weekends are more so.

460

It’s been a very eventful (and long) four months. I feel like I keep getting thrown off-course by some unexpected frustrating event, and each time I try to just, you know, settle down, something else comes along again. In between all the funerals, the holidays, and the sicknesses, it seems as though I will never be able to get down to work, and to be honest I’m not sure if I want to. As it is, everybody knows that my attention span is woefully short. 

It’s not that I hate my work. But I’m just — bored. And while I’m bored, I don’t want it to become any more exciting, either. Really all I want to do is sit around and bum. And be on holiday forever. Sit in front of my computer and blog about what I’m cooking or doing today, finding beautiful stuff on the web, etc. But you know. Reality hits. 

I spent the flight back from Hong Kong sandwiched between two Chinamen. It was a strange experience (and certainly not wonderful). Strange because they were clearly on two ends of a spectrum, both about the same age, and clearly heading to Singapore for the same reasons. But one was dressed in a business suit and tie (tie? On a plane!) and the other, tanned and weary and in a polo shirt and presumably his best pants and shoes. Presumably, because by no other person’s standards they would be considered so. Yet he was flying a fairly expensive airline, which puzzled me. And it continued to puzzle me as he fiddled with the inflight entertainment controls like he had never seen them before, handled the cutlery like he didn’t know what to do, and spooned a bite of the Haagen Dazs icecream before making a face and leaving it by the side. I felt a pang of sympathy when he looked around and everyone seemed to have headphones (but he didn’t) and he could have looked under the tray table to find them (but he didn’t, and didn’t know they were there) and he also could have pressed the button to ask the stewardess for a pair (but he didn’t, and he didn’t know he could). I wondered if I should have helped him. I wonder if he would have appreciated it. But I didn’t, and I felt bad. 

Ah well. I feel restless.