gum under a shoe
(dec 22, 2002)

listening: shadowboxer fiona apple
reading: the devil's larder jim crace


Sydney was nice. I got to drive after having not touched the wheel for almost a year. One mile after another dropping behind me, like done deals, like leaving a trail of snowflakes on a warm skillet. The road was mostly quiet, the coastal route we took going back to Melbourne was even more so, with its winding corners, keeping its users alert and away from complacency. The rest of the family would be asleep, and I'd be alone with one of the many CDs I brought for the trip. The feeling is something I'm keeping for future reference.

Also loved just checking out the city on foot, on (wrong) buses, on trains, with my younger brother, just the two of us, making mistakes and plans as we go. Felt a bit like something out of that Amazing Race show. I've probably got him addicted to the habit of walking around with a Starbucks takeout in hand, to the detriment of my own pocket. It's an expensive habit for two, especially when only one is paying.

Also loved just checking out the city on my own. That slight trepidation, the one that dances gingerly on my gut's lining, each time I have to venture into unfamiliar territories alone, fearing mishaps, misjudgment, mysteries, made me even more daring. My ego doesn't take holidays or vacations. Just go ahead, even if foolishly.

I want to sound chirpier and more light-hearted about the trip. I mean, a family trip almost always guarantees me enough stories to last me a few entries, usually involving me extolling the virtues of self-restraint, from killing your own family member. Especially since I haven't done this travelling with family thing for quite a while. Five days! I could save myself from finding new things to write about for at least a few months.

But lately, and tonight, I'm feeling worn. This weariness feels familiar, and it worries me. It feels like an old foe is trying to make a reappearance. It's not exactly depression, I don't know what to call it. Gosh, how long has it been, seven, eight years, and I still fumble for the words each time I try to explain it to family or close friends, even the strangers experts who deal with these sort of things. They ended up sympathetic yet still perplexed, I ended up tired and desperate. I don't think I've ever managed to explain it as honestly and accurately as I should. Trying to explain it halfway honest and halfway accurate usually took all of my energy and articulation.

Except for once, sometime this year, to a really close friend. I think that was the closest to being fully honest and accurate about it as I've ever been. And it was the most relieving compared to all the other times I tried to explain this to other people. If you're reading this, Friend, I really don't know how to thank you enough. I know I've never really shown or said it. And I also still think Daniel Johns is an emaciated female-looking man. ;)

But you're not here tonight, nor do I have anything new to tell. It's the same old sickness, the same old enemy.


previous entry: friday the 13th (december 13, 2002)