29.9.06

He was as young as newly formed mud, and he talked to himself as if reciting poetry

Written by Kiwi.
Published here with permission.

There's a kind of girl that's just about anything and everything and absolutely nothing all at once. A puzzle girl, a sort of Rubix Cube incarnate. Everyone knows at least one. She's the type of girl where you could gather together all her friends and they could each probably tell you her favorite color, her favorite movie, her favorite moment from the summer before last. They could tell you all about her strings of boyfriends and various neurotic habits. They could probably capture a general descriptive image of her personality for you within 200 words and they'd definitely have a story or two to tell as well. But ask everyone to sit down and piece together her life's story from birth canal to last night's sushi boat dinner for you and they wouldn't even be able to agree on the most basic of chronological maps. They might not even be able to agree on the correct spelling of her real name. Does she even *have* a real name?

She's a subconscious magician with invisible arms that are always protecting her with tricks and sleight of hand. She's the kind of girl that never lets you notice how truly elusive she really is. Those physically around her will confidently tell you that yes, they know her, and that she's open with everything about her. Yet look closer and you'll find that she'll have many more friends that she's rarely around who somehow know far more about her intimacies. She's the girl that likes a sense of distance one way or another. She'll keep you physically close but emotionally distant, emotionally close but physically distant. And even in those rare instances when you think she's allowed you both, it only takes you a minute to realize that she's still far away enough to run at a moment's notice. She's the girl that never stops balancing her own need for security with everyone else's need for comfort.
A changeling, a chameleon, a mystery, a coward. Whatever the name, the species exists. Always available, but only on her terms, always loving, but only at her pace. Always the same prism but never the same face. She's the girl that everyone knows everything and nothing about.

27.9.06

A Life Less Ordinary

Anyone who knows me to some degree of detail will tell you that I don’t do things by half but this past week, I’ve been spread so thinly I haven’t been able to give anything 100%. This grates on my nerves not only because it is against my nature to do things slowly, badly or incompletely but also because this month, being Ramadan, should be the one which brings the most focus and calm; elements that simply have not transpired over the past week. Perhaps it’s the lack of sugar that’s leaving me feeling low. Not to mention the lack of water that not only leaves me headachy towards the end of the day but has caused a continuous production of spots on my face. Yes, this should be least of my worries and usually I wouldn’t really give it too much thought but y’know, I’m getting married five days after Ramadan ends and no bride wants icky skin on her wedding day. Oh well, ho hum. 

Other than generally feeling close to zero, I’ve been reading books and grinding my teeth over the season 2 finale of Lost. I have also (after almost ten years) discovered Outlandish who are sort of a weird combo of European hip-hop/Asian fusion/rap group based in Denmark and no, it’s really not as bad as it sounds. The three members hail from Morocco, Pakistan and Honduras respectively and write lyrics that are important and insightful and they are actually quite good.  

Speaking of “good” leads me onto something else I have been considering this week. I am so glad that I started writing because whilst I’m not a Pulitzer prize winner or anything, it’s something that I really enjoy and something (I like to think) I’m relatively good at. And finding that one thing you love, enjoy and are good at is a rare gift. It makes me wonder how people who are truly great at something must feel. I am in awe of those people who are at the top of their game and who forge ahead with unwavering self-belief and commitment. From Mohammed Ali to Michael Schumacher, these men have done things that no-one else could achieve and that is both enviable and inspiring. 

I went through the fog that was Computer Science and whilst I still work full time in IT, I found my one thing. Everyone out there must be good at one thing. They must have one talent, one field that they love and are good at. I don’t want to go all John Keating on you but so many of us waste our lives on the 9 to 5 without ever discovering this one thing so I urge you to think about what you want to do and take it up. I’m not saying you should leave your job or spend your life savings but think about the one thing you might be good at and try it. Whether it’s something as simple as enrolling in an evening class to learn a language or taking piano lessons, do it. Attack life my friends because when all is said and done, it’s going to kill you anyway.

20.9.06

Kia & Killing

I have been told on more than one occasion that I have a split personality. After the day I’ve had, it’s half this personality that wanted to go home, curl up in PJs and listen to some Mariah Carey. It’s the other half that refused to take such a defeatist attitude. So instead I put on the angriest music I have and ran til I bled. It’s because of that half that I’m sitting on my bed with muscles that have lain dormant for years incapacitated beyond movement. But I’m ok. Sort of. I think.

To blank out the residual mean reds, I picked up Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult in which a mother kills her son’s molestor. There is a part where she questions how she could have killed another person. This theme of “Am I capable of murder?” comes up in many books and films. There is often a moment where the good guy has the evil guy in a vulnerable position but just can’t bring himself to shoot/stab/strangle/etc because he is inherently good. I questioned myself on this issue once and I came to the definite conclusion that I could commit murder (under the right circumstances of course). Perhaps admitting this openly to the world isn’t the smartest thing I’ve done but we’ll ignore that for a second. I know murder is against my religion, against the law and pretty much against everything we have been taught but I still feel that I could do it.

Am I a minority? Do most people out there shake their heads and say, “There’s no way on Earth I could kill someone,” or do they have the same attitude as me? I guess it’s all to do with the situation. If someone posed a real threat to me or someone close to me, I know I could do it. Hell, after the day I had, maybe I’d have open fired on the Northern Line just to get some breathing space! Ok, now I sound like a sociopath so I’ll stop.

And, er, if someone pushes a person under a Northern line train sometime this week, it wasn’t me.

12.9.06

Smoking

I’m often castigated for my zero-tolerance attitude towards smoking. People start quoting Niemöller at me (“First they came for the ‘smokers’ and I said nothing…”) and bandying about words such as tyrant and totalitarian but as many of you are aware, once I form an opinion, it takes about five solar eclipses to make me change it. Call it narrow-mindedness, I call it strength of belief.

Despite all the uproar over the various smoking bans, they were readily welcomed by me. I don’t spend my time in pubs but I still felt it to be a small victory in the battle of Kia v. World. I was especially pleased when Pizza Hut placed a ban on smoking in their chain of restaurants (pizza being one of the main staples of my diet). This strict anti-smoking attitude was instilled in me by my father at a young age. Not because he didn’t smoke but because he did. I saw him suffer a number of heart attacks and as we all know, smoking is a large factor in cardiovascular disease. But I don’t want to excuse my tyrannical stance by personalising the problem so we will move on.

I not only believe that smoking should be banned in public buildings and restaurants but that it should also be banned on the streets. If people want to smoke, they should do it in their homes and on their property. Why should I have to endure second-hand smoke being blown into my face by a pedestrian ambling along in front of me? Not only does the disgusting smell permeate every item of my clothing along with my skin and hair, it is damaging to my health. Why should another’s weak-will affect my health?

Lock them all up in a zoo I say! But seriously, whilst parts of this blog entry are tongue-in-cheek, the basic message is genuine. I honestly think that smoking should be banned in all public areas. If that sends out images of an Orwellian type autocratic state, then so be it. Smokers can either give up or shut up.

5.9.06

Faster, London, faster

Firstly, a quick apology. I know there is no excuse for abandoning the blog for three weeks so I won’t make any. I have kicked off the torture contraptions that are my sexy shoes and have nestled into the worryingly comforting chair on a Southwest Trains train. I’m on way back to London Waterloo from Chessington North, which for a born-and-bred Londoner is kind of like being in the middle of Deliverance; I kept expecting incestuous banjo players to come and grin at me wildly. So anyway, as I journey back to civilization, I silently thank God that I live in London. Yes, I have the typical Love-Hate relationship with London but I definitely love it more than I hate it. Quite recently, I was told that Londoners have a chip on their shoulders and that’s probably true but that’s only because we’re better than everybody else (kidding, just kidding…)

A friend from Birmingham complained that everything is so crowded and fast and people are so rude. Even my sister who lived in London for years found it difficult to deal with after a three-year-long stint up north (don’t ask me where, surely England ends on the borders of the M25?). But my complaint is that London isn’t fast enough. It takes just about all of my self-possession not to scream at women who plod their way up or down stairs in front of me simply because they can’t walk in heels. If you can’t walk in heels, don’t wear them. Even in my torture-contraptions, I don’t slow down to the pace of a stoned tortoise. People texting on their mobiles, fiddling with their iPods or reading their paper are also culprits. What ever happened to multitasking, people? Walk and talk, walk and read, walk and text. Is it really that hard? Faster, faster, faster. 

But then again, I’ve been spinning so fast that these thirty minutes of sitting in one place undisturbed seem like a decadent luxury. Surely when you find a Southwest Train seat invitingly comfortable, you know you need to slow down?