The 41st Monday (11 October 2004)
Question (just before the water boils, and just before I continue with FreeCell Game #4025): What work would I ideally like to complete before the last day of this month?
Well, the water has boiled, I have brushed my teeth, drank half my tea, smoked another cigarette, lost FreeCell game #4025 and in the process of also throwing #5039 in the water, ABBA is singing, “Does your mother know?”, and seeing that it is Monday in an autumn on the way to yet another Taiwanese winter, I am wondering: What if someone – a friend of mine if I have to be more specific – wants to move further on the temporal plain (meaning not on a more spiritual plain as understood in the popular idea of disappearing and becoming part of the Big Nothing), what would he need to do to become … shall we say, a Super Man?
Questions about why one would want to move on to “Super” level aside, I believe the following ingredients are essential: money, health, female companionship (seeing that my “friend” is a heterosexual man), and maximum time for his own agenda.
The 41st Thursday (14 October 2004)
Love is a matter about which much has been said; love is a matter about which not much needs to be said.
A character revealed himself to me recently: a man who has so far in his life not been a partaker in bountiful amounts of love. It is also important to mention that even the present counts among the times when he does not taste so much as even a bit of it.
Needless to say, love in this text is defined, not as the variety you get from friends and close relatives, but as the kind you feel on your skin before you go to sleep at night, just before you get up in the morning, when you make yourself another cup of tea in the evening, when you sit on the couch watching TV, when you get home from work, and when you go on vacation and have to be in transit for eleven hours between flights.
Of course, like most characters, this man has parents and siblings, and certainly he has some good friends. It can be said that these people love him, as he loves them. But this kind of love, as I have already pointed out, is not the kind you feel on your skin in a way you sometimes need it most.
Digging a little deeper, I can reveal that in his early twenties he did experience love of this nature. This period was, however, followed by a totally unplanned seven years of celibacy. (“Amazing how time passes,” is an often repeated remark of his.) Then, for a few months, the unmistakable scent of love was once again in the air, and on his clothes, and on sheets and pillowcases, even in the bathroom and the kitchen. But now more than two years have again passed into nothingness.
It is also necessary to indicate clearly that this love I am referring to is not confined to what is traditionally seen as sexual intercourse. It includes the all-important element of touch – holding hands while the two people are in a movie theatre, or watching TV. It includes a light brush on the shoulder late at night when one is busy … making tea. And it includes the few moments early in the morning when you feel the warm presence of another person near you, right after you realise another day is upon you.
This, then, briefly, is a description of a character who revealed himself to me recently – on a good day, the 41st Thursday of the year.