This Valentine's Day, 20th of my life, was as lonely as the last 5. Yeah, 5. Before that I was too young anyway. Well, this time I had the slight exception of the timely arrival of my XKCD tee.
Went to GT, eager to record 65bits but there were too many guests already (fine, just leave me out), made a hard decision to buy Street Fighter IV from Gamescore instead of waiting for my usual game shop to receive the second cheaper shipment. Helped my friend buy another copy and he swung by in a lovely new MX5 to pick it up, played it, sucked at it, went for the musical production my brother was starring in (basically, the who's who of Hwa Chong actors/resses were on stage).
And this was one of the parts that I missed.
I knew I was going to learn things that my JC friends won't for a few years yet, when I went to SIM with my parents' (financial) blessing. And as I went through the crash course of maturity that uni brings, I began to realise and accept that there will be things that JC kids will endure and enjoy, that I will miss out on. There's no CCA to have to join or face the MOE consequences in SIM. There weren't proper avenues to unleash our passions, to destress (not that we had alot to destress compared to them).
Come to think of it, there were. There were clubs. There was the... I dunno the Theatre Club or Drama Club or what had they in SIM. But we lazy buggers felt we had enough work on our hands to want to pick up on more responsibilities. Which we did. Shitloads of projects and research papers to think about. Except the JC kids (I should stop calling them kids they're my peers but who cares we all know them as JC kids) had that, and CCA(s), and still can pass with 6 A's. Us? "Have you seen the latest Bleach episode?" "Omg, fuggin' awesome, the bankai." "Totally. Hi 5."
Yes. We never did bother. With no law or grades to threaten us we didn't bother. But I realised today that I missed acting. The rehearsals where we broke down and giggled at stupid lines, quarreled about whether the chair should be a 1m stage right or 1.1m stage right, gossiped viciously about know-it-all prima donnas. Those few hours on the other side of the universe where you put all your energy, your heart, your soul, into being someone else, and that someone could be part of who you really are or a textbook polar opposite, it didn't matter. The applause, the blinding lights, the butterflies and racing heart, the applause.
Tripping over a mic cable and sending the mic and yourself flying smack in the middle of stage.
No that never happened to me. Or to anyone else in my life. God forbid.
There's something about live performances that make them magical, isn't there? But there's nothing enchanting about it. It's magical only because it had life in it. Life, passion, living breathing energy.
Once, I went to see my friend's three-man band play at Blujaz. Bass guitar, electric guitar, soprano saxophone. And they started playing Kenny G's famous hit, whatever the hell it's name was, and the whole cafe piped down, like a magical hushing spell, and listened with held breaths to the rendition. He wasn't Kenny G, I don't think he was omg genius-good, but it was all his passion, resonating in our ears. My friend raised his eyebrows and smirked at his mate at the sound of the applause they got.
The singers at my brother's performance, they were good. They were above average, in fact rather talented. But they weren't anything scream about. They weren't The Beatles, or OneRepublic (yep), or Nat King Cole. But they were real. They were there. Their mental weight was all leaned on the meaning the songs had in line with the play. And again, like magic, the crowd was deathly silent as a confused girl sang Nature Boy, as advising friends sang Hey Jude, as a boy hurt by rejection sang Apologize.
And as I watched, and applauded, I felt a little sad. Sad that I had to let my chance go to take a path less travelled. Actually, yet travelled. I was the first batch of my course. Yes I'm showing off.
Because amidst all the mindcrushing stress of having exams that would, as always with the Singaporean system, decide your life path, these JC kids could have a little fun.
And they would remember, in retrospect, that these two years were to be the last two that they were able to enjoy absolutely carefree fun. Before all the grown up shit comes in. God, they're worse than Left4Dead zombies.