Sole audience. Photo credit: Bujar Gashi
Have you ever watched a movie more than two hundred times? I have. The Matrix was released at a time when the internet had yet to bloom, where the best accompaniment to lunches and dinners were two-disced VCDs.
I can’t explain my intrigue. I had memorised the script by heart, but I was still mesmerised by the story of it all. Maybe it was the first time I ever questioned the meaning of consciousness. Perhaps I had an affinity to bullet-time. Maybe I just liked the wardrobe. One thing was for sure, I couldn’t get enough of The Matrix.
It was a breezy night, and the calm winds frisked the trees that grew above the rooftop bar we were in. I was chilling with Len and Jerry, both who just finished their shifts at the turntables. A foreign talent—we’ll name him Russo—had since taken over the decks.
I had somehow figured that the trials and tribulations of a writer made for great conversation. I guess alcohol does that to you.
If you could quantify emotions on a scale of one to ten, I’d be a solid three, and that figure’s never budged as far as I remember. If you attached an emotional Geiger counter on my hip, you’d only hear silence for days, save for the spikes when I’d have to make small talk with an unfamiliar acquaintance or make a phone call.
“Having a to-do list is like having a gyroscope to life. There’s a certain magic to committing your goals to paper.”
I’ve liberally paraphrased that saying, but it’s been a while since I was knee-deep in Zig Ziglar, so don’t quote me on that. Some ten years back, I was young and naive, working in a video-game shop, devouring self-help books by the dozens.
Photo credit: Tom Frost
I was on a plane to China and my head dipped and rose to the promise of sleep. I had the best seats in the plane for that, as I’d booked a spot in the Quiet Zone to alleviate the fatigue of an overnight flight.
I tottered the brinks of slumber before laughs screeched in the cabin. Apparently, two guys seated a couple of rows behind me found it appropriate to indulge in banter at two o’clock in the morning—in the freaking Quiet Zone. Another flyer was playing Clash of Clans with the volume turned to full.
I remember signing up for that Writers Bureau course when I was still dressing hair for a living. I spent years fantasising about having my byline in magazines, the wonder of reading feature articles and hoping to do something similar one day.
I didn’t complete the course, but my dream remained. This morning I just realised how far I’ve come since then, and how I’ve actually realised my dream without even noticing.
This piece is particularly meaningful because I really loved my time on assignment and the writing process. The formatting’s a little off when compared to the hard copy though, so I’ll try putting up the PDF version soon.
Click here to read the story!
Why am I doing this again?
It was Monday, I’ve ran four kilometres, and finally approached home stretch. I know, five-kilometres is paltry by runners’ standards, but it’s more than enough roadwork to set my lungs on fire.
Why? Just why? All for 300 calories? Who’s going to care anyway? I’m not even a decent runner. Why don’t I just walk the rest of the distance? God I need to breathe so bad. Why am I doing this again?