safety



When I think about 'the end of the world', I don't really feel anything, not much at least, only a mild indifference. It's a little like watching television and seeing apocalypse arrive: it's all so sensationalized and dramatic and unreal, like it's all just electronic signals projected via a flat-screen TV, with the volume turned off.

I was 11, maybe, when I put my hand up in class and explained to everyone what 'Y2K' meant. A teacher had asked the question and I had stood up to answer it with my scrappy 11-year-old voice and those ugly mid-90s metal-frame glasses hanging off my nose. I don't know what gave me the courage to do that. My heart thumped hard in my chest. Thump. Thump. Thump. It's a sensation that I can recall even now, years and years later. And then there're the other details: the whirring of the fans, the bland quality of the air in the classroom, the female teacher, the OHP sitting among the tables and chairs, a mysterious, unreachable piece of high-tech equipment (it really seemed like that then).

We skipped class once. It was the same year I explained the meaning of 'Y2K' in front of all my classmates. I was in a clique of 3 other girls. One of them laughed in a funny way, swaying back and forth. It was like she was always on the verge of collapsing into a heap of nothing. Back then I was a wallpaper, always there but never really contributing anything, just there, just existing. That was who I was, and I didn't know what to do about it.

So we skipped class one day and went to the neighbourhood mall. We made it back in time. Nobody even noticed. The day passed and nobody said a word about it again, and another day passed, and then another, and now I am 25. I can remember the scent of that mindless afternoon, humid, sticky, crossing the road, wanting desperately for my friends to like me, entering the cool air-conditioned mall, wishing I could be back in class, wishing I could be safe.

It isn't that the world isn't safe. The world is the how the world is supposed to be.

3 comments:

May 9, 2011 at 8:24 PM susie said...

this post is so nice, thank you for writing

May 11, 2011 at 11:35 AM R said...

thank you susie! :)

May 11, 2011 at 6:04 PM Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying reading each and every single of your word - verb, adjectives and nouns - that are sweet, simple yet seamlessly strung together. Much like a carelessly knitted, woolly shrug that provides comfort and condolences on a monochrome Winter's morning.

Though subtle, casual and sometimes, heart-achingly naive, I adore the how genuine and guileless your thoughts and posts are. When everything else is seemingly superficial, sensationalised or even seeping with pseudo-isms on the Internet, it's inexplicably touching to be able to find a spot as yours.

Please, keep it simple; keep it real and above all, KEEP ON WRITING.

Much love,
Isa