Friday, 28 April 2017

End



It's the dead of the night and the outskirts of the city have fallen into a trance. Old wooden street lamps with peeling skins of red and blue paint illuminate the hushed narrow laneways. Rusted metal bikes, plastic crates, and bits and pieces of gnarly wet cardboard are stacked high into hills of junk against the walls of people's homes.

In this part of town, the folks lived in low rise tenements; sleeping, eating, and shitting in rooms so small they could barely be called 'rooms'. One man's flat could be the equivalent size and stench of a cockroach infested, piss stained subway bathroom. Worse, he'd usually be sharing with others. A housewife. Young children. Septuagenarian parents. Colleagues from the local toxic chemicals factory. All these people stuffed like sardines in a weathered, dented, cold war era can... rotting away their souls in a frothing stew of boredom, spiced only with what was available - wanton crime and adultery.

Some of these buildings were like prisons. They were grey, and boring, and the windows adorned by a facade of steel bars to supposedly keep burglars out. But of course there would likely be nothing of value to steal. The more accurate answer was to keep little kids from falling and splattering their brains on the asphalt while their parents handled and inhaled poisonous amounts of ammonia at the nearby factory for an unlivable wage. Poor kids. Poor parents. Poor town.

It was freezing and I could see whispers of my breath dance in front of my eyes, fogging up my glasses. It probably wasn't a good idea to take a stroll in this weather, time, or location, especially being a petite, short statured woman with no phone or items on me that could be utilised as a makeshift weapon at any given moment. But it didn't matter. It didn't matter tonight if the skinny guy with the permanently crooked smile from the tobacco shop decided to follow me, corner me, assault me. At least, I don't think it matters to me anymore. Not right now.

Finally, after weaving through several more laneways and trudging past mounds of inexplicable textiles, a syringe, an old broken scooter whose parts have yet to be taken by entrepreneurial passersby, and more plastic crates, I arrived at my destination.

I inhaled.

I had never been this far and was surprised that the river had not yet transformed into black still ooze strewn with Coca Cola cans and plastic bottles. Surely, despite its somewhat healthy appearance, the chems from the factory two kilometres ahead would have poisoned it already. Regardless, this wouldn't make any difference. Perhaps, it would simply make the end more pleasant, which would be kind of ironic.

I walked over to the shoddy steel bridge and looked over the water. I knew it was deep. Many children have drowned here over the last decade. When the parents were away, toddlers were either falling out of storeyed buildings, running in front of trucks, getting stuck in drains, or wandering into rivers. Gruesome. Would there be any bodies left in here?

I climbed up onto the bridge railing, and it shuddered beneath me. My hands gripped the pole, but my fingers were trembling. For the fifth time in the last few minutes, I inhaled deeply, sucking in the air until I could no more. But this time, I held it. I had played this over and over again in my mind and I knew I was more than ready.

Goodbye friends. Goodbye mum, dad. Goodbye James. Goodbye earth. 

I leaped away from the railing, arms wide open, eyes closed, and suspended in the air for those brief milliseconds - I embraced my newfound freedom.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Dear Diary [tag: feelings]

Edit: why do I have to write another melancholy as fk existential post. I've written too much now and I don't want to waste it, so I'm posting it. lol.

Last night, I had the weirdest pang of nostalgia. It hit me so hard I started getting super emotional and reminiscent about pretty much all the strongest and best cyberpunk/friendship memories of my entire life. Yeah, it's a weird combo, but it really defines me so well.

A montage of me from when I was a toddler, till now, started playing in my mind like an old school vaporwave film reel with the grungy 80s style music and flickering effects across the screen (yes, 'vaporwave', don't fucking judge me). It helped that I had just finished watching a video on Facebook celebrating the 18th anniversary of The Matrix's release, which is one of the earliest movies I ever remember watching as a kid, and it was undoubtedly a huge influence on me and my imagination growing up. Seeing those clips of The Matrix, and being in this particular sleepless, slightly tipsy (I was drinking), introspective mindset, really set me off.



So I'm laying in bed at 5am. It's still dark and I'm fully awake, scrolling aimlessly through my Facebook feed. I had just finished a two hour long video chat with a friend I've only known for a month. So far, he's one of the greatest persons I've met. He's super friendly, interested in everything, has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, consumes 'mass media' en masse as he claimed, he's funny, and I generally get along so well with him that I feel like we've known each other for way longer, and would be very close friends if we kept this going. We don't even really talk about 'deep' things, you know. We just talk about books, and films, his love and my avoidance of sports, and dealing with creepy people.

I have been making a lot of friends of this calibre in the last year and a half, and it is honestly shocking. Because I think for most people, it is so rare to make so many new friends in such a short time, and to make such great friends with people... Yeah.

By the way, I fucking never do video-chats. Or web-cam. Whatever you want to call it. It's just not something my friends and I have a habit of doing, so being asked to video-chat with a guy I've only gotten to properly know for the past three weeks is a little daunting. He does it a lot with his friends so it's nothing to him, though he clearly knows how much I was reluctant about it.

Anyway. Damn. Like. Snuggled up in my bed at ungodly hours, having a really good conversation with someone, feeling totally relaxed... it was so nice. And I just feel like I haven't had this particular experience with a friend in a long time.

I definitely have other friends that I talk to till 3am sometimes, but the mood and atmosphere is usually very different. Tonight, I had other friends sending me videos of them getting wasted on a beach alone to 90s sex-pop-RnB anthems blasting through their phone, and another by default of his personality, sending me dank memes and joking about penises (mostly about how his penis is the biggest in the world and would rule all other penises etc. - he's two years younger than me and understandably immature). Altogether though, it is reflective of what a beautiful and quirky mish mash of friends I have.

After I hung up the call with the first friend, I sighed and even started feeling sad that he was an international student, so would only be here two years. And you know, I'm leaving for China to work after June, so I won't be here for the rest of the time. Then he'll fly back to Pakistan or wherever he'll be going. And staying there. Like, forever.

This made me a little sad. And bear with me - after I watched that Matrix vid (which was after we hung up), I started thinking about my childhood, including of course that time I sat in front a friend's massive home cinema in 2001, being five years old, and watching Neo and Trinity kick ass for the first time.

In my mind, I could really clearly see myself  -  the tiny figure of this little five year old kid, sitting cross-legged in the dark with bright flashy images of latex clad gun-wielding action heroes, having me in silent rapture. I even reminisced the screen projecting a flurry of light and shadows on my probably half-agape, awestruck face.

Then I started thinking about my adolescence - walking to the high school gates under the glaring morning sun, passionately reading Dan Brown (which we talked about), having lunch at the local food court with friends, watching anime immediately after I got home, making public announcements about how much I wanted to marry Edward Cullen, and staying up super late on MSN chatting to A and H, two really good high school friends I had at the time but don't speak to anymore.

And having this existential montage, I just got this fucking lame as thought... like - damn. Who am I? What am I but the sum of all these weird, unique experiences? What am I but the product of those I am closest to? These experiences have all shaped me so distinctly, and given me my current sense of identity.

I suddenly started getting super nostalgic, and really acute memories of certain sensations, smells, tastes, sounds, atmospheres - bombarded me.

e.g.:


  • getting the Scholastic Book Club catalogues and spending ages picking out new purchases
  • the smell of sand on a hot summer's day. Sandboxes. And young, sweaty children
  • linoleum corridors
  • that slight damp smell at the locker bays in high school
  • staying up till 4am to watch a football match with A while we chatted on MSN
  • going on MSN and the satisfaction of getting a message notification beep at you
  • MSN
  • watching Bleach (an anime) and neglecting all homework
  • going to M's house after school once and being introduced to mando-pop
  • making a paper crown with the word 'Hitler' written on it and wearing it in Chinese class because I don't fucking know
  • the smell of new school books
  • having TVs that were still three dimensional and not flat
  • watching Godzilla under the table cos I was scared 
  • school bathrooms (ew)


 ANYWAY. Most of all, I started thinking about H, whom my new friend reminds me a lot of due merely to the fact that we seem to be able to talk about anything and everything until 4am. And that made me even more sad, since H left for Canberra when we graduated high school and though we were in the same country, we drifted apart.

I haven't really seen or spoken to H at all since then. One time, he made a surprise visit to my uni halfway through my first year, and I actually cried when I saw him. We hugged for a long time, and though it's not like we actually hung out a lot during high school, it was the connection I felt with him that was special.

S-special.

*echoes inside my brain*

Damn. This is fucking sad. Time to go listen to Drake.