Photo: Ivan Karasev
“I suspect more damage has been done to my sanity in jail, in months; than years, decades, in the woods.” —Christopher Knight
The first time I heard about Christopher Knight, I thought I had found my spirit animal. He’s the last true hermit who ran away into the woods, just so he could be alone.
He braved harsh winters and survived in the wilderness for 27 years, before he was finally caught for trespassing and burglary.
I had mixed feelings about his arrest, because on one hand, he did steal people’s belongings, but on the other hand, there’s only so much food and gas you can find in the wild.
Photo: Dios Darius
Much like religion and politics, I’ve found some topics to evoke a certain passion in people. There’s the “Is it rude not to reply on WhatsApp,” and the “Should you wash your jeans,” but my favourite questions has to be: “Is it okay to dine alone?”
Of course, whenever I broach this topic, the conversation naturally steers to other social activities, and I enjoy watching people’s faces slowly fade from amusement to horror.
Would I watch a movie alone? Yes.
Travel alone? Done it, love it!
Visit a mall? Attend a dance workshop? Skateboard in the park?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
One of my first views in Japan
Foreword: Apologies for the lack of posts. Got a lil’ worded-out and had to take a step back from storytelling. Writing is a surprisingly unconducive day-job for writers. But hey, here’s a story of my time in Japan!
I went through every possible scenario of my first steps in Japan while on my flight from Kuala Lumpur to Hokkaido. Home to a mix of innovation, tradition, and tentacle porn, Japan had always held a special place in my heart. Were my first experiences going to be about pachinko and panty vending machines? Or would I not even get past the sci-fi toilets? There was so much I wanted to find out.
Photo credit: Boris Thaser
Sometimes my mind plucks out memories at random, and as part of the collateral, visions of people who’ve left a mark on my life without actually being a part of it get pulled out of the muck. These are strangers whose names and faces have escaped me through the passage of time, with only their actions serving as proof of our acquaintance.
I call these people randies, and I was thinking about one as I opened the door to the Jiu-jitsu gym. The thought barely even matured before Josh waved a phone at my face. “Hey! I heard Sandy’s getting married?”
“I don’t understand why you can’t get a girlfriend,” Craig said.
I looked up from my Word document. “What.”
“Yeah, it’s not like you’re butt-ugly or anything.”
“Thanks… I think.”
“No no no. I didn’t mean it that way. I meant—”
“Haha!” Diane chimed in. “No need to apologise. He is ugly. Maybe not butt-ugly, but regular-ugly.”
Photo credit: Thomas Leuthard
I’m at the neighbourhood coffee shop sipping on a bottle of beer. Visits here are always a quiet affair. The customers tend to be alone, just like today. Some are nursing beer bottles, while others tuck into their dinners for one. I’m aware of my flatter-than-usual jeans pocket, because I left my phone at home today. It doesn’t matter. I could use some time apart from the internet anyway.