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In transit

April 5, 2010

Feb: I’m in Changi airport on a 4 hour stopover. I had a massage, walked through the orchid garden and chatted with a cute barista who sorted me out caffeine-wise. My reading for the flight was American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld; not my usual choice of book but it was easy reading and my nervous energy wasn’t going to allow me the room to concentrate on anything else. I sat down outside the gate to continue reading and took in the surroundings. I’m by no means a frequent flyer but I had been in the airport 6 months before that, heading for Bangkok, teetering on the edge of the break-up feeling displaced and anxious about everything I held in my life. I could remark about returning and the surrealism in that, but instead, everything just felt as though it should… just normal. I was jittery, and perhaps coffee wasn’t the most sensible choice of substance, but at that moment, I felt utterly content and I never imagined that it could be possible because of the choices I had made only months before. Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, going back to the book, some of the narrative was implausible (my grandmother’s secret girlfriend performed a secret abortion for me as I got pregnant by my dead friend’s brother, who I was fucking in secret) but without being too mean, this little treasure leaped out at me and I found myself reading it out loud to R on the beach, post-lunch mid-cigarette,

‘Of course, I later wondered: When you are the object of a person’s affection, do you naturally credit him with a sympathetic heart and an understanding of the world? Perhaps your impression is right only insofar as it applies to you; in your presence, he is indeed possessed of these qualities for the very reason that you are the object of his affection. He is not observant so much as observant of you, not kind so much as kind toward you.’

Sometimes words are so profound they hit me like a bullet. When that happens it’s easier to let it go.

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