The anthropology of gemstones

There comes a time, in every little girl’s life, when the only kind of gem that makes sense is a diamond.

It’s called growing older, more materialistic, more desperate and more cynical.

It seems a mighty shame though, to throw away all those rhinestone rings and teenage baubles….nothing would ever quite match their cheap sparkle against sweaty teenage skin. Continue reading

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Singleton seeks to be alone

Much as I like to moan about how I can’t keep up with the circle of lovely marrieds surrounding me, deep down I guess I like being single, up to a point. Can’t quite conceive of a life of shared intimacy, however happy…except maybe in separate flats, in small doses and at scheduled hours.

Even back when things were going swimmingly and I have a more, um, varied pick of suitors, I was the type of person who thinks Valentine’s Day is a joke and would rather get a new piercing than get into a long-term relationship with someone. My periodic bouts of sociability back then was already stretched to the limit by those crazy intense friendships with unattainable females. Oh, and did I mention I broke up with my first love via a typed ‘resignation letter’?  (granted, my handwriting had always been atrocious. Continue reading

The Sounds of Summer

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Surf’s up on Repulse Bay

So it’s goodbye to blue skies and long days drinking in the summer; hello to a work desk and clocking in/out again. Yes, ’tis the season for work after a long hiatus away from employment. (Blame it on the recurring blues) This is make-or-break time, unfortunately…my last-gasp attempt at middle-class propriety. But I’m trying to convince myself that I should treat everything with the utmost lightness.

Until it gets so light that I cancel myself out.

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The Road Home

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Around the Neighbourhood, circa 2014 (Home is just round the corner, after the steep stretch)

“In the beginning there was a river.  The river became a road and the road branched out to the whole world. And because the road was once a river it was always hungry.”  The Famished Road, Ben Okri

It’s a long strange road back to the land of happy valleys and blue skies, full of detours, dead ends and monsters in the disguise of white knights, as well as a few good men (and women). I’m not sure I’m fully there yet, what with the sudden darkening of my mind even on a good day like this (matched by the capricious weather, all sudden showers and squirts of sunshine), but slowly, laboriously, I find myself rejoining the ranks of the sane. This is a strange feeling, happiness, and I am unable to savour it except with caution, for fear it might disappear in an instant.

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All My Literary Heroes

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From left to right: Jean Rhys, Carson McCullers, Primo Levi

“I will tell just one more story… and I will tell it with the humility and restraint of him who knows from the start that his theme is desperate, his means feeble, and the trade of clothing facts in words is bound by its very nature to fail.” – Primo Levi

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The Anthropology of Hell

Hell is pretending to be well when you are anything but. It’s walking down supermarket aisles with next to no cash in your pocket and even less in your bank account, unable to buy even a chocolate bar for sustenance. It’s attending events and function where old friends gather and chit-chat about their various successes while you mime their gestures and try your hardest to blend in with the wash of small talk. It’s dressing in borrowed finery and knowing one day there will be debts to be paid.

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The Interpretation of Dreams

Woke up towards the early hours of the morning with a sudden and insatiable desire to post something on Facebook about the nightmare I was just in, a desire which I curbed. I haven’t posted anything there for ages and I don’t intend to start now.

But the nightmare stayed, lingering, sticky, radically unnerving. Somehow I need to deal with its spillage into my waking life.

And so I stagger to the computer, in hope of putting it down for virtual posterity.
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Unhappy Days in Happy Valley

Nostalgia is a bitter but useful drug. The best part of my memories keeps me going, reminds me that if things were that wonderful, they could potentially return to that state in the near-future (or to a state which is near that state). Of course, indulge too much and your end up denying the present, and as the Zen masters say, to pin down the gift of happiness is to live firmly in the moment…

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