One Leaves;The Other Arrives

/ Wednesday, May 25, 2011 /

He looked outside the bus window and the idea of life as a stop motion of departures and arrivals slowly made its way into the recesses of his consciousness. The once green lawn of the old bus stop is now a patch of scattered browns littered with plastic cups and empty amber bottles. Everyone has left, except him.

Today is all about leaving the familiar and familiarizing the uncertain. He remembered what they talked about the last time they saw each other- her views on random stuff like Bisrock, durian candy, the perils of capitalism and what makes life a life. For her, he recalled, everything that breathes and has life follows a cycle. A cycle of leaving and arriving; of packing and unpacking. He thought he already understood what she meant that evening, but it was not until today that he fully grasped its meaning.

On that same night, she handed him a piece of crumpled paper before they parted ways. Underneath the crooked lamp post, the note in the paper read:

one leaves; the other arrives.
which of the two are you,
are you still in limbo?
P.S. forget about us and try getting a life.
look for me when you already have one.
i shall do the same;
you'd know where to look by then.

An hour later, he found himself buying a new SIM card in a nearby convenience store.
Two days later, he deleted his Facebook account.
Three weeks later, he got himself a new Murakami book as a birthday gift from his lover of six months.
Four months later, he has mastered the art of insinuation, learned how to poeticized his presence and cheated more than twice. He got away unscathed. This is the life, he wrote later in his journal.
Five years later, everyone has left except him. He opened his tattered journal, found the crumpled note and read what she wrote:

One leaves; the other arrives..

On the same page where he found her note, he recognized his own handwriting that said,
“This is the life”.

An hour later, he left and found himself looking outside the bus window.


{ kendi } on: June 6, 2011 at 11:34 PM said...

this kind of sadness is oh so familiar. still, beautifully written, kai. :)

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I usually say, in the end, okay, it’s love and it’s work — what else could there possibly be? -- Maira Kalman


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