The Next Chapter

…or ‘My Inability To Come Up With a Title That Isn’t As Cheesy As That One’. But gods of the modern pantheon, I’m not writing about games this time!

***

I fell asleep on my way back from school today. This is by no means a great revelation, as anyone who’s shared a bus ride with me can testify how easily I doze off (bus naps count towards my four-to-six hours). Now on this particular trip, I missed my stop by a bit so I ended up hoofing it back home.

That meant getting re-acquainted with the sun, which was scaring all the lovely dark clouds away. It also meant getting re-acquainted with a part of my neighbourhood I haven’t visited in one too many years.

It’s funny how memories work. They anchor themselves to all sorts of things and on this unscheduled detour of mine, I was wading through a swamp of them. More than anything, they reminded me that it’s been a decade since I last walked down those streets.

The realisation made me stop, alone in the shadow of a building. Time really does fly faster the older you get. Yet I could still clearly remember that section of curb across the street from me, where I spent a day trying to mate it with the axles of my skateboard (and never succeeded). That was 11 years ago.

Further down was a manhole cover, the very same one my friends and I entered to retrieve a wayward Tamiya car – those Mini 4WDs were all the rage back then. Hell, I still remember how it feels having a centipede land on your ear while climbing back out. That was 12 years ago.

The list goes on, a forgotten plot of history just a few minute’s walk from where I live. What else would be history in another decade from now?

I seldom dwell on the topic these days since I’m always busy doing something, but really I avoid it because the idea of personal history only reminds me of the weight of my regrets. Neither do I ponder over the future much, since I’ve always joked about dying young but never really got past the joking.

As I stood there like a complete idiot, lost in the depths of my mind, a teenager crossed my view. One hand burdened by a textbook, she was clad in the colours of my former school uniform, a youthful air about her. That uniform… nine years ago.

And then I continue my reminiscence: the sign post my friend pissed on in defiance; the vending machine I drained dollar coins from periodically; the spot where I loaned my mobile phone to a friend (which later grew into an eventful few weeks worthy of a crime drama).

The memories that trouble me the most, the ones that date eight years ago, are slowly losing their clarity. The details grow vivid – a red ribbon, a word, a Happy Meal – but the overall picture gets hazier. Instead, here’s a memory of me sitting by the playground, sucking on a homemade popsicle while listening to my friend comment on the girls walking past (I never understood either of those pastimes).

I suppose then, that in a decade’s time I’ll have my head crammed full of more fond memories. Ones such as getting back on track with a poly admission. The first household cats. Attending my first games event as media. Maybe I’ll even laugh at how I always fell asleep at every opportunity.

But I guess the real highlight of this moment in time would be learning that “trying” really is a good concept to apply in life. Followed by “communication”, though I’m still working on that one.

The glorious rain clouds are back now. Guess I’ll accidentally take a nap at my computer later.

 

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