One night I just woke up
3am and I was wide awake.
I sit up and put my earphones on
Blare music from my phone.
When your ears are plugged and you hear nothing but the beats and the echoes
it creates the illusion of being separate from the world.
I think about how random this moment is
and I give out a small laugh as I recognize
How I am at a point in my life
when I can actually afford moments like this.
Just random moments of sitting around and thinking about life
My life, and life in general
I think about the times when I would go off alone
wandering in places like the city lagoon
or just lounging in a café
I often come to places like such,
and just watch people.
You know, when you’re someplace alone,
away from all the frills you call your life
And you watch people from afar—closely, yet from afar—
you see things you often forget existed in the world.
Things like happiness found in simple moments—
a kid gleefully enjoying a soggy cone of dirty ice cream,
a pair of little girls enjoying their swing rides
a woman smiling at a page of the novel she’s reading from beneath a tree
a baby smiling about—err, just smiling, dunno what it’s smiling about
Things like carefree laughter
and moments of tenderness
and acts of simple kindness.
Things like getting up after scraping your knee
from landing the wrong way down the playground slide
and daring to give a go again anyway.
Sometimes it feels like I am watching all of it from behind a glass wall.
I see the people moving and smiling and talking
but the sounds are muted and I am left to guess what to make of the scene.
Then when it is time
I take a deep breath
And I get up from the bench I’m sitting on
And it’s like somebody turned up the volume again
And I am back immersed in the life I know.
Then I get on with life as usual.
Now, some people might find this habit weird.
Like, what are you doing it for, they ask
You are putting more thought and feeling in this life than is necessary;
you are going to drive yourself crazy, they warn
Why can’t you just be more like the rest of us (read: normal), they say
But the alternative, see, is unconscious living.
Looking without seeing
Experiencing without feeling
Existing without living.
Mindlessness and empty busyness—there is no meaning to be had there.
So should they ask me again,
If I could pretty please
Be just a wee bit more normal
And not have nights when I wake up with a start at 3am
feeling a compulsion to grab a pen and paper
about days when I would go off alone and
watch the world from behind a glass wall
This, I shall say to them—
I’d rather be weird. ♠
• About the Author •