Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Days Of Our Lies

There are mornings coming to work when I'd be just compelled to examine the world around me and everything in it--- both natural and man-made--- would feel new, fresh and pleasantly unfamiliar. I'd see a tree I had never noticed before, or the cracks on the pavement, or how high the water is at Sunny Bay, and begin to wonder how high it was the previous day and how high it will be in the days to come.

There are mornings, too, when I'd just sit on the train and watch people. How they sit in relation to what they wear, what books they read, how they manage to keep sitting upright while sleeping in transit. Sometimes, I'd close my eyes and just listen to them. Then I'd single out the most distinct of the voices and build a picture of him in my imagination, before I open my eyes to look. Sometimes, I'd try to catch familiar words in Cantonese and guess their subject of conversation, or make up my own narrative.

There are mornings when I'd put on my dark sunglasses (even with the winter overcast), set my Ipod to play Ryan Cayabyab's "Dancing In The Rain" album and start reading a book as soon as I get out of the house. I'd shut out the world around me and contain myself in my own little bubble where nobody is welcome. Not strangers, not friends, not even the lady that announces "Please stand back from the yellow line." at every stop of the train. Only me, and the sometimes funny, sometimes miserable, sometimes triumphant characters in my book. These days, they're Izumi, Hajime and Shimamoto from South Of The Border, West Of The Sun.

a novel by Haruki Murakami

There are mornings when everything just seems pale and gritty and sad. When everything and everybody and every activity, including breathing and smiling, seems superficial and mundane. Some days, I so desire to be the hero that would show the world that there's one thing we could make a reality: love --- and it would make a huge difference. Some days, I just don't care at all.

There are mornings when you'd ask me, "How are you?", and I'd say "I'm fine." with a smile. Mornings like this, are the days of our lies. Yours. And mine.