Golden Years


It’s what you get when you think that the best days are the ones in the past.

It clings to you as you pull aside the blankets, step onto the cold hard floor and saunter drowsily to the bathroom. Even the morning shower isn’t able to wash it away.

It rests upon my aching shoulders as I walk towards the new busy school environment I’ve been thrown into, where I wait to escape every day. There’s not much inspiration when you know your best friends aren’t beside you anymore, and that adapting has taken longer than anticipated.

It’s hard to be yourself in a place you find you not yet belong.

Age has left me with something: It’s not exactly homesickness, but then again its not quite like anything else. It provokes thought of “I’ll never be able to… again” and “It’ll be a long time before I ever see…”. It brings out lament and regret, and a feeling that the future won’t be as special.

As we roll by with the years, it’s always advised we move on.

“Look ahead”, they say. “What’s in the past remains in the past.”

“Let go.”

But how often are we truly able?

There are the numbers of such fond rememberance you wished that time, perhaps on a little time train, could bring you back, for you to relive or even prolong those moments. But time won’t stop, and it forbids you to return, no matter the strength of your longing.

Are our golden years behind us?

I can’t tell for sure, but when the sun rises on another stilly morning, I hope it’d be the start of a new one.


Searching in the Fall

I’m falling.

But this time, I land softly into the arms of consciousness and find immense relief in realisation; it’s one of those dreams again. It’s the one you awake to with your ribs rising and falling, taking in deep nervous breaths which gradually fade to reveal a morning replete with silence. You’re only certain you’ve roused when the colour of the walls are familiar, the ceiling is in place, and when the gentle coziness of your bed and blanket hugs you and reminds you of home.

There’s probably a soft rumbling from a car engine moving by in the distance that your ears pick up, but it’s not enough to get you out of bed. All of a sudden you’re exhausted, your legs weighted; it’s as though you’ve been running the miles your mind had flung itself in the depths of the night. It is as if I’ve been running and galloping in search of someone.

And in fact, I have.

This person’s difficult to find; he knows no fear, hardly a reflection of myself. Just yesterday I suffered the wrath of my most formidable enemy. You may shrug it off as mere flight turbulence, but ‘the fall’ or ‘the drop’ is a fear unlike any other. I had seen it coming. From the comfort of the soft cushioned seat in which I reclined, I could pick up the muted patter of pelting raindrops starting to raise into a violent drumming on the airplane body. There was a short sharp tremor which vibrated through the small oval windows as the plane began to shiver in the blistering cold. The stewardesses vanished from the isles with deft footsteps. Little choppy waves rose and fell in the glass of water in front of me, which sat in a holster attached to the back of a seat where a child began to cry. I closed my eyes, picturing everyone aboard the plane, doing their own thing and unperturbed.

But like a hypnopompic jerk it came without warning, hauling my heart down towards my stomach and sending it into a pounding frenzy within against my chest. My vision takes a step off a ledge and enters a brief but startling plunge. It is like the moment a loose picture frame slips and slides down a wall; everything moves, and for just a split second there comes a thought that the momentary descent would never end.

Thank goodness and bless the pilots.

Somewhere encapsulated in that drop, however, hides someone. There is a boy in the moment that doesn’t fear it. He is silent, brave, but overwhelmed by the older boy’s ironic phobia. It hadn’t been in him.

There was a boy who was once young and free, and loved adventure whenever it came. Adventure camp had high ropes, and the high ropes he would conquer. When it was close to the end he knew he was going to make it. The breeze wasn’t going to push him off his feet. His hands held firm as the next rope was in sight. But as his foot left one plank to the next, the other slipped and off the course he went, downwards through the air, falling, holding on to life by a mere safety harness which he didn’t seem to bother about. The boy looked up fearlessly at the glistening sun, half eclipsed by the swaying plank he had lost his footing on, and beamed.

Maybe I’ll find him one day.


We’re on a subway train.

Her eyes meet mine, and I greet hers with a mild countenance and perhaps a small smile. I can’t tell if its there. It is a quick reflex; not the most noticeable but neither all that regrettable.

Her bright blue gems have caught hold of me. They remind me of the ocean and lure me irresistibly like the dazzling summer’s sky. My mouth draws slightly agape to resuscitate my mind to consciousness. I didn’t want to look away.

Had she noticed the gesture? Would she return it? Was she the type who would talk to strangers? I wanted to know. Maybe she’d laugh. That wouldn’t be too bad.

She smiles.

My heart turns into a bright little red balloon, floating insouciantly in the air with blithe ignorance to the world.

I begin to wonder if we should start a conversation, and if we would ever meet again somewhere.

Maybe I’d go forward and ask her where she’s stopping, and if she takes the train often. Maybe she’d reply in a sweet voice that would take me to the clouds, and up there, I’d ask her to join me. We would board the train up in the air and cruise high above the busy city and feel free and alive and bursting with vivid ecstasy.

Maybe we’d even fall in love.

After the twists and turns through the clouds the train would slow and stop outside her place. I would stand at the doors and watch her leave, and whisper a goodbye through the frosty glass. Without looking back, she would open the gate and stroll up the porch where someone would be waiting. She would get smaller and smaller, until in the distance, she vanishes before my eyes.

She looks away.

We’ll probably never meet again.