actuality.log


All entries tagged 'desires'

Sunday, September the 13th, 2009

“Hope for everyone”? “A loving home for every child”? “Home is where the…”?

I was staring at the clichéd words on the sheet of paper before me when I first sensed her. I had promised to help Crayola with the branding and publicity campaign she’d embarked on for Shelter, a small home caring for orphaned children infected with H.I.V. And on a sheet of paper colourful options for logos sketched upon it, I was doodling potentials for a suitable tag line; hoping to come up with something that was relevant, heart-warming and not hackneyed.

I think it was her sweet-smelling perfume as she approached that I picked up on first. I casually glanced upwards with a curious smile only to have her beam back at me with her wide grin and big, lively eyes. As I returned to my doodling, I unconsciously hoped that she would make her way through the crowd to the vacant seat beside me.

“What about, ‘A home for hope’?,” asked a lovely voice interrupting my thought. I had been too engrossed in my scribbling—I really thought I was getting somewhere—to notice her make her way through and sit down beside me. She’d glanced over and gathered what I was doing; and now she was trying to help.

Soon, we were giggling and going through one cheesy phrase after another. When it was obvious we were actively playing with hackneyed phrases just for gag value, we gave up. I folded the heavily-scribbled piece of paper and the lively conversation turned to other things—who we were, what we wanted out of our lives, where we were along those journeys… It was fascinating, and most unexpected. Here I was, talking to someone I’d just met and baring some of my deepest thoughts and opinions. The fact that she had an interesting point of view on just about everything made the affair heavenly.

The minutes spent in the rush-hour traffic had whizzed by, and we’d reached her stop. She grabbed that piece of paper from me and somehow found enough room on it to jot down her phone number—telling me she didn’t want this to end and would love for it to continue. By now, the bus driver was becoming impatient waiting for her to get off. When she hurriedly returned the sheet to me, I didn’t bother looking through it for space to put down my own number. I just got off the bus with her, hand-in-hand. I didn’t intend on letting her go anywhere.

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Tuesday, July the 29th, 2008

Or at least, what’s left of it.

Reduced viewership

What do you think it means when a woman tells you she’s “not sure” if she’s single? Does it make a difference that she brought up the topic and volunteered this information to me? (We all know I’m too chicken to speak my mind on the matter.)

What am I then supposed to do?

  • Do I go, “OK, that’s uhh… good to know.” (Not how I feel.)
  • Do I probe for more information? (Scary, and the thought of what I’ll find out puts my tummy in knots.)
  • Should I speak my mind? (Potentially too forward.)
  • Must I sit back and wait until she figures things out for herself? (Might blow my opening while I wait.)

Life ought to come with some sort of instruction manual; one with really pretty and colourful pictures, so it has a prayer of being read.

Thursday, April the 17th, 2008

My fingers are refusing to type this; they’ve been numbed by the cold outside.

But I had to go out. I had to get away. Sitting at my desk was becoming too claustrophobic. It was as if the words on the screen before me were crawling out to smother me.

I seem to have blacked out the specific words I saw, but whatever they were, I heard them exclaim: “Leisure? You don’t have a right to leisure!”

When I formally concluded my graduate studies at the end of last year, I’d reached a crossroads in my life. So much of the past half decade of my existence had been devoted to the creation and completion of that one humongous document, I conveniently opted to ignore just about everything else. I hadn’t even contemplated the basic question of what I intended on doing thereafter, now that this chapter of my life was drawing to a close.

Thankfully, come new year’s eve, it dawned upon me that it’s better late than never, and I ought to pause now to think about things; to seriously contemplate the state of my existence, and search for where I was going with my life.

And I did. It’s what I’ve been doing for these past few months.

This period has been good for me. It hasn’t been particularly exciting or eventful, but I have a better idea of what I want: I want to be free. I want to be under the radar, not bound my society’s expectations. I don’t want commitment and I don’t want to be tied down by responsibility.

I want to read, to write, to express. I want to shoot pictures and sing in the rain. I want to spend my evenings at a smoky night-club under a Parisian cafe, reciting poetry, passionately debating the iniquity of a purely Neo-Marxist society with my beret’d friends.

It doesn’t matter if my activities can sustain me, or help me save toward a down-payment of a home, or impress a gold-digger enough for her to spend the rest of her life with me, or pay college tuition for the kids we’d likely have.

No, I just want leisure. That’s all I want—I want the time and space to pursue whatever I fancy.

And that’s why I stepped out into the cold. I had to get away.

I’d just learnt that as an international student here, it was new U.S. policy that one can’t amble along unemployed for too long after graduation; they have to do something with their lives. And since I can’t yet put my finger on what my something is, the next moment I did the only thing I know how—I returned to working at the uni; to spend even more time confined in a window-less cubicle.

Because somehow, it’s this that makes me a desired and productive member of society.

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Thursday, January the 17th, 2008

In a little town far far away, I once tipped a waitress more than what my clique’s dinner cost me. Quite plainly, she really was breathtaking and I absolutely could not resist the urge to do so. Perhaps it was just my imagination running amok, but I believe my act elicited one of the warmest smiles I have ever seen. I don’t think I was alone in feeling that way, for the men in the group I was with for dinner kept insisting we return to the same table at the same restaurant three times that evening. And quite certainly, they couldn’t have been that famished.

But this was a long time ago. So why am I recounting the tale now?

Being the kind of person that I am, I rarely remember the specifics of any event, and instead only carry with me a vague notion of how the event made me feel. It’s experiences such as this that leave me feeling warm and fuzzy every time I think of that little town so far away. And, it’s perhaps why I’m actually looking forward to a research position that’s slowly coming my way.

I get to move to that little town.


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