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Listen up children, this just in:
Giant Tortoise Captured By Loyal Security Guard during Flood and Delivered to Hotel
Now we all know that his exact occupation has always been absurdly, funnily, amorphous. Where he is exactly, what he does, who he is in that world – not really sure. Sometimes we get real glimpses into this other home of his, but they’re only ever bizarre snapshots which, when pieced together, make for an even stranger setting. Quaint village with background of military abuse and deep roots in syncretic superstition (think chain-smoking witch doctors). Added with a general atmosphere of laziness, petty deceit and kitschy past-season trends.
So today’s episode wasn’t new in its absurdity, but as usual, it was a welcome respite. Walk along evenly-spaced roads for too long and you lose your sense of wonder
Anyway, the story:
A few weeks ago, heavy downpour caused a small, dumpy animal retreat somewhere in West Java, to flood. The rain was so persistent that the two oldest residents of the shameful institution were forced out of their home and into the streets of Indramayu. The two tortoises, some 1 metre in width each, floated all the way downstream to where the ABRI was evacuating residents.
By chance, these two monuments caught the eye of an attending lieutenant. Now, at 6 feet and with two dutiful wives who had the requisite culinary skills, this lieutenant was a beefy man. With said beefy legs, he launched himself off the sidewalk and onto the tortoise.
The tortoise remained generally unfrazzled by the pounce attack but the currents began to pull it away. At which point, more soldiers pounce onto the lieutenant, on and on until they manage to drag what must be more than a hundred-year-old relic onto dry land.
After all the clapping and cheering, the soldiers surround the tortoise and a question which hitherto had not been considered, collectively surfaces – what to do with a Giant Tortoise?
Some discussion ensues before the group decides on a course of action equally absurd as jumping on a floating tortoise. They would bring the tortoise to the Hotel where the lieutenant worked as a security guard. (How can a lieutenant also be a security guard? Another question that confounds the storyteller. Of course he can. Forge a personal friendship with your local army commander and you’ll have disciplined soldiers running all your errands.)
So the tortoise arrives at the Hotel in a truck. Now it stays in the man-made lake on the Hotel grounds.
The other tortoise is nowhere to be found.
Just like how bad moods and short tempers and tight-around-the-chest anxieties are often inexplicable, so are Happy Days
These surges of smileyness that can’t be controlled
We can try to rationalize the happiness but its unlikely that these optimal conditions can be re-created
Perhaps it was that delightfully private lunch in the usually gross canteen
Perhaps it was the joy of realizing that I’ve found a really beautiful book, to be placed on the third shelf (eye level, prime space) when done. And the added thrill that I wrangled it from MPH for FREE
Perhaps it was seeing Maya!! Nice to see your best friend, although seeing them isn’t what makes them Best
Maybe it was finally feeling like less of an imposter and more ready
I remember in 2005, the first day of school,
I boarded the school bus, an impossibly chubby girl with unkempt hair parted down the middle. I waddled my way to the front to take my usual seat with the other NERDS but just as I did, some gangly, super cool p6 boy said “eh u p3 now right. u can sit at the back.”
And I did!! I did everyday till P5 when I became too cool even for the back. I remember this so vividly, the exhilarating feeling of finally being able to observe what all the ruckus was about. Turns out it was just regular ruckus but it was nice to feel like I knew this from experience, not speculation
ah, the familiar struggle of trying to do something productive
Most of my heroic monologues on freedom! youth! carpe fucking diem! are quite easily sizzled out by the reminder that time is tick-tocking, drip-dropping away
Mmm, when I think of what’s at stake, its very easy to see a straightforward, economical allocation of my time
The complication then, is when I start to reconsider what’s at stake
Small adjustments in expectation can lead to significant drops in motivation, or, more positively-speaking, stress, anxiety, pimples. In a similar way, small thoughts, small teeny tiny ideas, have the potential to change my entire world view
What these mean is that the tiniest idea, image or fictional character can inspire me to change my system completely
My whole struggle can be made irrelevant just. like. that.
Think about it: every time you read a book or watch a movie or listen to a song, your conception of what constitutes a Good Life morphs. Your requirements from your future-self and from the future-universe, changes. So there’s no need to treat what we want Right Now too seriously. It’ll probably change by tomorrow.