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04 January 2016 @ 01:56 am
I started 2016 in a slouch on the sofa. I had been there for a couple of hours already; UnREAL, a modern soap opera about the cynicism and calculated ruthlessness behind the scenes of a "The Bachelorette"-esque reality television show. How meta: a show about the show behind a show. It wasn't particularly sublime, nor was it particularly bad. The characters were gritty and mercurial, just like how real people are. I like the emphasis on character development on television nowadays. There is a small voice in my head that believes (and trumpets) that the more I watch, the more I will be able to learn and apply, when I eventually do buckle down to writing. I came to that realization most recently: that I haven't been writing, forgot the joy that it brings. It is so much easier to give in to the seductive blankness of written narratives. Whatever writing had been limited to Instagram, and even then, not many. An unspoken rule exists: long captions are tolerable if they are evocative, but people don't appreciate being prodded too much. Sunsets in high definition, sizzling textures, and jewel tones, they fill up just right, lighting up the mind in grey time, of pauses and ellipsism.

Reading people's summaries of 2015, their lessons and resolutions, I was being gnawed by a slight bitterness. They had a stimulating year; their lives were in technicolor!; they have flashback reels with dazzling and dizzying bursts of good times. It must be nice; I remember it was nice to have bookmarks and a cogent way of summing up the year. Neatly wrapped and packaged; that month I learnt this, and though there were ups and downs, this saltiness I gleaned from the perspiration of my clenched fists, and for the magical windows into another place: Maldives!, Nicaragua!, London!, Neptune!; the more frequent and the further the better. The best memories of life are really the days when we are not living our own (and by such deliberate design: taking leave, snapping flight tickets on sale, swapping itineraries, trawling through location tags). I am guilty, so so guilty, and even then, I don't reckon it is true. We learn things until we forget them, then we learn them again, and actually, they were never lessons in the first place, just pat coincidences and/or paranoia. Why must everything be attributable to something; why do we seek such solace in explaining or finding meaning? (Because life cannot just be a waste. We cannot bring ourselves to admit that we are destroying what is most precious, because we know not how else to handle it.)

Tis not a slight bitterness, but a full-on pungency hahaha. That, of course, I had traced to something: the inadequacy of this job. Work is deadening; it is killing me on the inside. But other jobs may do the same. At least, I get to live half a life in relative comfort now. Consolations are soft in conflicts. But that is not the reason I started this post.

It is the weird yet familiar feeling I get reading an old friend's blog. A hidden side; I had always known she was introspective but it was beyond what I had expected, almost what I had hoped for. It is comforting. It is akin to coming home, to years ago, when things were simpler. A recognizable form of sadness, no, melancholy, no, pensiveness. A younger wistfulness, of days yore, of sunshine without warmth, but still golden. It is hard to explain, but it made me happy to read what she wrote, and it made me feel closer to her, even though we haven't spoken in ages. That aha, so that's how she feels, and it was reminiscent of how she had been years ago, a decade even, as if there were signs, -through the handwritten letters, the illustrations, the stickers, indieband appreciation and adolescent jokes, pulpy things that shouldn't have mattered, that ought to have been forgotten,- a whiff of how she was, and here she is now, growing into her own, full-bodied yet also picking at her new skin. I saw her then, and I can still see her now, vaguely and barely, but I haven't lost sight, and that, I had been afraid of. The creeping fog of time, it obscures some, but the veil lifts. The veil lifts, and by some unfathomable grace, we have had clear eyes, clear hearts all along.

A Bon Iver kind of feeling (but not a well-worn and retreaded song. A forgotten gem, or newly-discovered when one expected no more to be found, a ceaseless stream of pleasant surprise, a smile to suit the night as long as the music plays on).
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♫: Alice Boman - Waiting