A Memento

“When you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life” (Samuel Johnson, 1777)

Leaving London to Singapore, and then Jakarta. Life hasn’t been the same for every second in the four years that I lived in the most vibrant square of this entire universe. Rather, the ups and downs of it that have made this thing called life totally worth living. I have learned an awful lot of things and I don’t think I’m ever going to stop.

Isn’t everything ironic? I mean everything. Truth be told, we never truly realize how much things mean until we lose them. We more often than not claim “oh no, but we do recognise!” but really, once the magic’s gone it all feels empty. Empty as a coke can. Empty as the ‘swooosh’ that sounds aloud in our head. Light, it feels very light. Like, unsubstantial. That was honestly one of my many feelings when sat on the plane, having finished with the infamous meal of chicken curry and some shitbland greens. Airy… So airy of  my feeling that I don’t know where it came out from, but it was lying there along several other convictions. I’ve always known I will never be depressed upon leaving London, although I admit that sounds like a bit of an oxymoron to my liking. I want to be depressed when I leave, I want to feel sad when I wave bye-bye, hell, I despair to CRY and feel those tears running down to my cheeks! But nothing. Nada. None of those happened. 

You may ask, ‘Why?’. Because, all that we have is indeed mystery. ‘Have’ as in to possess, and ‘have’ as in what is available in the future. My future is what I don’t know, and according to my observation, I tend to approach most things in a blur, uncertain, vague, dubious way. And leaving London has just left me alone with my future. I was done experiencing about the ‘past’ – OH, it is SO hard to refer to such a lovely living as your ‘past’!

I possessed London for 4 whole years.

That, ladies and gentleman, is a piece of fact that even up to this stage I sometimes doubt. I felt I had been in MY London… my very own city called London but with millions of influence. The cynicism, the distrust, the rush, the grayness of winter… and the rainy wind. All of those elements are the ones that construct my being in the progressing years. London, my own London.

So, reminiscing the past 4 years in less than 3 hours time on a plane isn’t the easiest task, I notice. It’s like trying to finish a 30×50 cm puzzle in 2 minutes by your own. This piece belongs here and it pairs up with this piece there. They should be at the edge of frame…oh no no, a bit to the bottom. There. Those chunk over there miss their match…where? where? Ah voila! Stay right there, boys. And then you realise that your 2 minutes is now gone. All that’s left is your missing pairs of puzzle waiting to be connected to each other and see what kind of picture will come up. Where in reality, it’s your haphazard memories that are scattered and best be assembled.

So 4 hours on the plane gone… Both my parents are asleep now and I, feeling too bright to sleep in, decide to watch un film en francais Paris, un film en italien Scusa Ma Ti Chiamo Amore (Sorry if I love you), listen to my random tunes chosen from better-than-expected SQ’s music catalogue, read Vogue, Her World, The Guardian and The Daily Mail. I brought Haruki Murakami’s Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World but didn’t manage to open a single page of it. Now that’s what I call human nature – that the grass is always greener on the other side.

To dwell more about London, justification is what I need. Why did I not cry at all? Perhaps because I’ve always known that I’m going to come back one day, sooner or later, when young or old, alone or with someone else. This is what keeps me strong and helps me through a lot of the emotional difficulties one would face with this sort of situation. At some point I was sure that I was going to shed a tear away, even if for just a drop, but right here right now, 12 hours on, my eyes are dry as they were when I woke up this morning. Quite strange and ironic for someone like me. Outer shell screams toughness, but what lies beneath is sliced up, chopped and floated away unimaginably.

Again, London has taught me so much. And all I know is that every memory is stored safely at the back of my mind and anyone would need a special code for it in order to open up the access and for me to enjoy the reminiscing. I still cant believe how much I’ll miss the Tube. The legendary tube. The one thing that makes me feels certainty in the crazy circus world.

“I read the news today, oh boy. About the man who made the grade” (The Beatles)
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