Back in the days when I used to work at the cafe, I used to hide the kitchen to excuse myself from interaction; shun people, thinking that i really disliked the awkward exchanges and dealing with the trouble that humans bring along with them wherever they go. Food and the dishes was not quite promising, but it did agree with giving one their much needed personal space and quiet and reasoned enough to relief you from making contact with others.
That was a year back.
These days, I find myself all caught up in an excess of humanly contact and it has been quite so… draining. Planning, organising and hosting a gathering may have been something I enjoyed in the past, but I fear I am too old for that these days: to do so, one must have an abundance of energy, three spoonfuls of optimism, and a social butterfly. Of the above, I can ascertain that my energy these days are limited, almost scarce; optimism… comes and goes. And no, moths are more welcomed than butterflies are. The past half decade has seen countless disappointments, and with each one, it just destroys that optimism, because oftentimes the self-centeredness prevails and overwhelms. It is so frustrating to put in so much effort to get things done, and all they have to do is make an appearance, yet many a times people simply can’t be bothered to respond, nor do they give a fuck about updating you if they cannot show up in the last minute, despite having confirmed their attendance: is that a lot to ask for? Being the ones to plan and execute the event, which i honestly have my reservations on hold, what is there in return for us? Who the fuck on this planet appreciates it at all? And what do we do when we see each other – choose which mask to wear and which front to display, merely to exchange awkward, tensed pleasantries?
I am honestly uncertain at what our intention or objective is, nor am i clear of what we are (hoping to be) driving at. The past burn scars, invisible to the human eye, have been a pressing series of tormenting lessons from humans. They are mostly ugly. They are dark. They are unpleasant memories i very much want to avoid. I do not understand why it is so inevitable though, for this pain is as if one were burying their nails into the skin, ripping the past out of its grave. To cut things short, I really dislike shallow interactions that residues little or no appreciation, or highly concentrates in superficiality.
What about during travels? Even up till that incident of mugging, i was with another traveler whom i just met. It is true that I am much more willing to talk to strangers than to those… who are merely acquainted for a couple of years; but they seem… way interesting. As foreign as we are to them, in a foreign land. But the interaction with fellow travellers, never mind it being merely brief moments, offer so much more insights: travelers along the way, where is their destination? What did they give up to embark on this journey, what are their regrets? What are they seeking? What is home like? Where are you hanging around here, and how long? Tell me a thing or two about yourself; tell me what’s your story. How intriguing – i have never-ending questions for them, and i don’t think i’ll ever be bored from any of it. Amidst the sea of questions, lies not answers, but the experience, and perhaps a glimpse of hope – a little like having your dream destination, or any place, brought closer to you, and it stirs all the excitement within into a little tornado, the chase faster than before. Along the way we spoke to countless backpackers, one from the States, a couple from Australia, a Dundee guy who’s work is stationed in Beijing, a French who shortened his stay in Sa Pa to a day due to the harsh cold; a British backpacker who’s 24, stunning gorgeous and resembles a little like Emma Watson, and some very remarkable drivers whom served us.
Yet, when it comes to the comfort of friends who have stuck around since forever, those whom I have found home in; i don’t think such company and companionship is one that i would ever grow bored with. Instead, it feels like these are the ones i cling on to so very tightly, i fear i might be the one who’s smothering.
Despite the ever-growing desire to travel, i would, very much, like to go back into hiding in the safe haven comparable to that of a hermit’s shell.