On the eve of my imminent relocation, I was forced to clear out the drawers and cupboards that I have filled up over the last 2 years. Little objects crop up in the midst of all the junk that can trigger big memories and feelings. A photo taken with a colleague at work, a plastic name tag from a long forgotten conference on some strange topic, a piece of metal from an old watch strap, warranty cards, handouts, flyers, hastily written pieces of post-it’s and the list goes on and on. Each item drags out on old emotion for dusting and perusal, only to be filed back within the nether regions of the mind. How big exactly is the space within? Will I evetually hit against a wall?
Had an interesting half an hour conversation with a reformed drug addict yesterday which really opened my eyes. He pointed out so many things to me that I would normally not think about. I just hope that the summary below does justice to the greatness of this man.
1. “To climb out of the hole that I was in, nearly ended my life.”
2. “Now that I am out, I learnt never to judge others. I have lived for a time surrounded by active users and when I see them, I never feel that I am better than them in any way. I know my roots and am fully aware that I do not possess the mental nor physical ability to change the world. I just want to help.”
3. “Never give money to junkies. I would rather buy them a meal if I am financially capable on that day. If they ask for bus fare, I will give them a ride instead. I know how their minds work seeing that I used to be one of them. They will just use any small amount of money to feed their habits.”
4. “All of us come from our mothers but more importantly I remember being born again when I finally stopped using”
5. “Everyday is a constant struggle to not go back to the habit. I have to work at it every single day of my life.”
6. “Life is so very different now that I am drug-free. No more living in constant fear of the authorities. No more shying away from the light. No more avoiding eye contact. Its just a huge burden lifted off my back.”
To this man who shall remain anonymous, I salute you!
I am cynical to a fault. Don’t ask me when I became like this. Perhaps I am surrounded by too much duplicity to actually believe in something pure and good. And that saddens me no end.
For the past 24 hours I can’t seem to stop thinking about this Youtube video.
The man is all wrong. He is the anti-christ of the fashion world. All those magazines say to you is how shit you look. But suddenly the shit opens its mouth and out pours this voice that fills all the shallow puddles with pure honey.
Not that I am an aficionado of operatic music but I have a sneaky suspicion that he may not even be anywhere near the top of the pile but his glory does not lie there. And thats the power of Paul Potts. He does not have to be the top opera singer to gain fame. He just has to be Paul Potts.
Paul Potts is a carphone salesman. He is also the overweight man with bad teeth who shuffled into an audition wearing a shabby coat, all nervous and looking as if he wished the earth would just swallow him up. He is the everyday man who sang with the voice of an angel and brought an audience of 2000 to its feet. Like me they knew they were witnessing the very embodiment of our collective secret desire; to be possessed of a talent so out of proportion to our physical appearance that it must be a divine joke.
Yes, Il Divo are very talented and they look great too. But they will never ever hold a candle to the flame that is Paul Potts. Why? Because he is the rest of us.
The tail end of the year always feels a little strange to me. The evenings are extra dusky and the promise of something new and good on the horizon almost becomes tangible. Somewhere in there is the fear of having hope dashed to a million pieces. You can almost see it in the faces of strangers walking pass you who are most probably thinking, “This year is so bad that the new one can’t sink any lower. Or maybe it can……”
So how has my year been? It started off with a big move down to the big ‘durian’ that is Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of our young nation. Tragedy struck almost immediately with some nefarious being carting off my leather shoes in the dead of night. The side view mirror of my car got whacked. On a more personal front, my life was drastically re-wired by a new workplace. Like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs I treaded the boards the best I could. I am still alive aren’t I?
Did I grow as a person? I guess I did. Did I grow into a better person? Definitely debatable but I like to think so. I have more strands of white in my hair and I am almost sure that it in no way indicates wisdom.
To sum the year up in a single word – tentative.
I am no insomniac by any stretch of the imagination but I am a very light sleeper. The tiny sound of a light switch can wake me up in a wink. I love the silence or the lack of sound in the wee hours of the night. Well the lack of big sounds at least.
The creak of the bed, the swish of a turning body against bed sheets, the satisfied breathing of a restful mind, the melodious tinkle of the wind chime hanging in my neighbor’s porch; my mind marinates in it like a weary body in a jacuzzi.
The lack of traffic noise tricks my mind into thinking that society does not exist. We take our respite from modern life anyway we can.
Someone commented this morning that my whiny little self can probably survive anywhere. This is as far removed as can be from my opinion of me. I have never been much of a survivor and would probably end up being the first one on the plane home should I take part in “The Amazing Race” in an alternate reality. I whine and complain a lot by any standards, so much so that I sometimes get irritated with me (how many reference to self is that?).
Sitting back and thinking about it, I realize that I do withstand a lot of crap. I am quite capable of gritting my teeth and digging deeper into the trenches. I can take a lot of abuse but of course if you lend me an ear, I can complain till the cows come home. I guess that’s one way that I cope with shit. To all my friends and colleagues out there; the next time you feel like bludgeoning me to death when I go on and on, cut me some slack, ok?
1. Blog about how you don’t have anything to blog about
2. Go out for a walk. You might get some inspiration
3. Sit and watch people. You will see the strangest thing
4. Eavesdrop on the conversation going on in the next booth in a restaurant
5. Read other blogs and hope for some spark of recognition or empathy
6. Steal stuff off digg.com and post them
7. Get it into your head that you don’t actually have to blog . Its not like your life depended on it
8. Bitch-blog about someone at work
9. Switch off the pc and go to bed
10. Get some fresh air and sunshine. They are good for you
After years spent reading music magazines, here is what I would say of my fictitious hipper-than-thou band in an interview.
1. The new album is it. Everything that came before it is crap with a capital C. (Until the next album. Then this one becomes crap too)
2. We had to let the drummer go because of musical differences but we are still firm friends. (Bullshit! He is an asshole and he stole my girlfriend)
3. We are getting back after breaking up 10 years ago because we feel that we still have things to say. (Our bank accounts are dry and the only person who bought the solo record is my grandma)
4. The new record producer is bitchin’ (The record company paid the guy a sum that would feed a small country for a year, so he better be bitchin’)
5. Drugs are bad for you. Just say no, kids! (I have stopped drugs but am now downing oceans of alcohol. Hey its legal, ok?)
6. We have decided to ditch all real instruments in the spirit of experimentation and gone electronica (We have run out of ideas and now depend on computers to write the songs)
7. We are never performing live. I am a sensitive artiste and cannot stand the bright lights. (After years of alcoholic abuse I am now so fat that I couldn’t be arsed to get off the couch. Besides I would probably get a coronary if I as much as lift a finger)
8. I am not doing it for the money. I still can’t afford my own apartment. (I am so hopeless in balancing a checkbook that my accountant swindled all our money)
9. Our breakup was totally amicable. (I broke my guitar over the head of the bassist)
10. I called the last interviewer after he left just to make sure that he got home alright. (Please please please write a good review of our new release!)
What does ‘The Three Little Piggies’, ‘Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ have in common besides being fairy tales for children? They all involve the eating of one or more of the characters and in the case of Jack, the preparation to eat someone. It amazes me that these bloody and violent tales are considered wholesome staple bed time stories. Pigs actually boil and eat wolves for supper and in protest the wolf eats grandma and her pretty little grand-daughter after a game of deception. With the help of the kind hearted orge’s wife, Jack barely escapes being cooked in an oven.
What kind of message are they giving to our future generations? Feeling bored? Stuff your baby sister in the microwave and dinner is served. Its good for a laugh too.