Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sweet Sweet Victory, Bye Bye Freedom, and other Famous Last Words

OM was great today. Even though not all the teams won something, I really hope they had lots of fun and enjoyed the whole experience. It was quite evenly spaced-out this year, meaning I got to watch all four teams, and hype them up beforehand and everything. Of course I'm biased, so I thought they all were good, but I didn't see many other teams so I can't really compare. But they're all really really cute and I'm so going to miss them all when I enlist in 36 hours. I was actually really really happy for all the winning teams when the results came out, so if I don't sound as enthusiastic here, it's because I've had six hours to think about 36 hours from now, so.

Something one of the parents said today kind of stuck with me. A few of the girls all made small little cards for me with little messages in them, and I was really touched by all their words. One of the mums said that I should really treasure these cards, because what a kid says is really from the heart. So it made me think about innocence, like a child's innocence. Why do we lose it as we get older? When we see how the world really works, both good and evil, why do we stop seeing like a child? I mean, interacting with people in society today is based on manipulation and concealment. But a little kid will tell you what they're thinking straight out. And the excuse parents give for them telling the truth is that "they didn't know better". Why is that? How does that work out? Why are people's feelings so important in this society that we try to keep everyone on good terms? Why can't adults be as innocent as children?

I realized that I'll never be a kid again. Not even a teenager. My next two years will be spent in the army. When I'm out I'll be twenty-one. I've got to become another "respectable" member of this contemptible society. There are so many things you can do as a kid that you can't do as an adult. I don't think I can see myself coaching OM when I'm like, thirty. For one, I'll be out of touch with their pop culture, which is changing at an incredibly fast pace. For another, I don't think parents will be very happy letting a thirty-year-old guy alone with their eight-year-old daughters. It's going to be very different. I miss my youth already, and I'm not even middle-age yet.

I'm really going to miss all the girls I've coached this year. I guess this is the first time that I can feel a bit like they're all little sisters to me, and I'm their big brother. But the bittersweet thing is, I'm never going to have that kind of real brother-sister relationship with them. I'm just a funny guy that can make them laugh and is an easy target for their teasing. And in a couple of years, they'll grow up, and they'll all be different. It's really quite amazing how people can change in just a few years, especially at their age. Today, I met a couple of girls I coached two years ago, and they've both changed quite a bit. Will I even recognize them five years from now? Ten? Twenty? Will they remember me?

I also realized this year that I can't remember a lot of names of the girls I've coached before. So this year to make sure, I'm writing them all down here. So Time Travellers: Sophie, Andrea, Elena, Stephanie, Kathleen (Kate), Roxanne, and Keianna; Lightning Bolts: Beatrice, Caitlyn (Cheese), Caitline, Sophie, Claire, Cara, and Charmaine; Lollipoppers: Mikaela, Sophie and Megan, Ely and Sonia, Ashley, and Renaeta; and Yummilicious: Elsa, Hannah, Jessica, Nadya, Jan, Amanda, and Natalie: if you're reading this, Hi! Now I only hope I can remember the faces attached to these names. And of course all the parents, who I only know by "Auntie" and "Uncle" and by who your daughter is; and the coaches, Tess and Danielle.

Now all I'm afraid of is the culture shock when I'm thrown into camp. After two weeks of nothing but OM, I'm scared that all the regimentation will just destroy my personality, mind and spirit. I guess I've just go to tahan through the seven weeks, and try not to die.

Speaking of which, death is another worry of mine. It's not the unintentional death that scares me; I know everybody has got to die, and it just depends on when. But I'm sure the chances increase exponentially just a few hundred metres offshore. I'm not saying that it's likely, or that it's likely to happen to me, but that it's possible. And if I do die, these might be my final words. It's not easy to think of what you want to say to the world in the event of your death, but in the wake (haha) of recent events, I'm going to try.

I love the world. For all its imperfections, it is still a wonderful place, and the only one we've got. I love my friends. For we have shared many a laugh together. Most recently, I love the girls I've taught in OM, both past and present, and this year's especially, because you made me happy right before my darkest hour. And my only regret is that I didn't manage to find a special someone before my time was up. But life's (and death's) like that.

Oh I almost forgot. I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but I'll say it anyway. If I die, I would really like to have the words "He Died Laughing" carved onto my tombstone. (If no tombstone, then any other prominent place will be fine.)

See you all in two weeks! I hope.
The Edna Man

Friday, April 09, 2010

Echoes of Stories Never Told

So in two days I'm thrown into the national offshore prison for a two-year sentence.

I guess it's not the most opportune time for that, since tomorrow I finish my third year of Odyssey of the Mind coaching. So after the most incredible high, I'll be chucked into this incredible low of which there is no escape.

I am so going to miss Odyssey of the Mind. I wasn't even originally supposed to do it this year, since I was going in in Feburary. But then I got postponed, and I got to do OM again, which was a blast, as usual. I'm going to miss them all. It's the whole feeling of the 5cm/s thing, since I know I probably won't be seeing them again. I mean, I see a couple of girls I taught in the past two years and I can barely recognize them, let alone remember their names. We're going to drift apart; people in this reality always do. I guess OM is the only thing that links us together, and after that there's nothing left. They have their school thing and I'm going to have my army thing so there's nothing similar anymore.

I am also going to miss the freedom that I've enjoyed for the past four months. Getting up whenever I want, doing what I want, sleeping when I want. Doing whatever I want, especially. After Monday there's no turning back. You're stuck with people planning out your day and your life from dawn to dusk, and after that, (probably) a nine-to-five job. Then university, and I don't even want to think beyond that. I can't even imagine doing something like teaching OM for a living in Singapore. I guess I'll just have to take it a step at a time, and try to keep an open mind. Doesn't help this huge feeling of depression in my chest though.

I guess this is one of those moments in life where you get all existential and wonder what you are doing with your life. The two-year army wall makes you feel so helpless and unable to control your own destiny. Everything seems out of your grasp.

Oh well. Tomorrow will be the last happy day for the next two years. Smile!

Why do all good things have to come to an end?
The Edna Man

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April. First!

Today is a very special day. It is a day that only comes around once a year. A day of laughter and enjoyment; a special day. So I thought I'd do something special today. I'm going to write down some of the romantic ideas which have been bouncing around in my head for a while.

I think I shouldn't be watching all these romance anime and reading all these romance manga. IT IS NOT HELPING MATTERS AT ALL. Eh, but whatever. Ideas are ideas.

So I've got this idea of getting a large number of ping-pong balls and chucking them down a staircase. I considered those bouncy fun balls at first but I figured they'd be too hard and destructive if they were bouncing around a house (because what other accessible staircase would there be?). So I figured if you get around 500 plain ping-pong balls (rough estimate) and painstakingly write "I Love You" on each one, then get your significant other to stand at the foot of a staircase (preferably lured there on some false pretense or mysterious note) and then you release the tidal wave of bouncing love notes. IN THEORY, it should be magical. Results may vary. And obviously, I haven't had the opportunity to test this in real life. Sigh.

I had another idea but at the time of writing this I can't remember what it is. Maybe I will update as it comes back to me.

The last thing I was thinking about was weddings. I had this idea that (just to be different) the bride can wear this black lace dress and the groom can be in this pure white suit. You know, just to be unconventional. And I think it would look really nice. I checked it up, and there's no superstitous or symbolic meaning of the white dress anyway; it's supposed to represent virginity, but that wasn't its intented/orignal meaning, so it's technically not that important. The only hard part (I think) is getting the family to accept it. HAVE FUN GOING AGAINST A CENTURY OF DEEPLY-ENTRENCHED TRADITION.

Happy April Fools' Day!
The Edna Man