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nothing’s gonna make me stay, hey hey

The first thing I do when I wake up is turn on the computer. I sit up in my bed, stand up—stepping over the various books and magazines stacked up beside my bed—and I press the big round button on the front panel of the CPU to turn it on. And then, while waiting for it to turn on, I go do some other things: maybe pour myself a drink, go urinate/defecate (depending on, well, what I feel like doing) and brush my teeth.

And then I sit down in the red plastic chair—although I may find myself in front of the TV for a while beforehand, especially if there’s a good-looking man/woman on it—in front of my computer and gear up for another day of mostly wasting myself away, of atrophying while I do nothing of importance. It’s telling that the most exciting part of my mornings/early afternoons is often the waiting for gmail to load after getting a popup saying I have “so-and-so unread messages.” Either that, or the difficulty of figuring out what I want to listen to.

On occasion, like this morning, I will wake up with a song in my head (in this case, “Hey Jelly” by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone) and proceed to listen to, if not the exact album that song is on, an album by the same artist/band.

In a world where people often complain about things moving “too fast” or life being “too hectic,” I’m just sitting here in this red plastic chair, letting life and time pass at their own pace, taking the path of least resistance. Study little, do little, “waste” quite a bit, and all at my own pace. And while, yes, this sort of lifestyle does have its risks (most notably the prospect of looking back upon these years and asking myself: “why the fuck did I waste so much time doing so little?”) I somehow feel that, yeah, this is right for me.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t spend all of my time stuck inside this room, staring at this HP flat-screen monitor. I do go to class, I do enjoy pursuing my trio of creative hobbies (writing, photography, music), I do spend time with my friends (and enjoy doing it) and I do, as many will attest, get out of the house. But, at the same time it’s all pretty safe, pretty predictable. When I go out it’s often either Central Market or Pertama Complex these days, and I’m nearly always alone (or with my dad). When I spend time with friends it’s nearly always the same friends, nearly always doing the same things (most of the time, nothing). When I go to class it’s always the same feelings and the same sense of “masuk telinga kanan, keluar telinga kiri” even if I make an attempt to actually listen. They’re no longer really “events” or “highlights” (or, depending on the occasion, “lowlights” [if such a term even exists]), but rather just your average, everyday happening.

I’m reminded of the advice Saiful Razman (of Gasoline Grenade and all those Pelan Cap t-shirts fame) gave me when I talked with him during my (sadly, one-and-only) visit to his Pelan-Pelan dan Bilik Gerakan exhibition. I remember him telling me, as a 29-year-old man to a 19-year-old boy, that I’ve just got to be clever and “pandai selit-selit” (said with the requisite hand gestures) and go my own path in life, and that in the end it will work out. Okay, maybe he didn’t say that exactly, but that’s pretty much the gist of it, I think.

And you know what? That’s what I’m trying to do. Selit sini, selit sana, and trying to go my own path in life. And while most of it seems taken up by me sitting in this chair and/or lying down in my bed with the music turned up loud, that’s just me trying to divorce myself from the hecticness of life itself and trying to walk through it at my own pace and on my own time. I’m not buying into your “keep up, or else” warnings and doom-mongering about how if I don’t live at everyone else’s pace then I’m going to “miss out” on things. No, I’m not. That much I know.

I also do know, however, that time waits for no man. Time, I do try and keep up with, if only when it comes to deadlines and their ilk. But, no, I’m not going to get caught up the hectic lifestyle lived by so many people in this day and age, the so-called “rat race.” Maybe in the future I’ll find that I have no choice but to do so, to succumb and get my ass into gear, but for now, while I still can, I’m going to try my best to not let that happen. And, God willing, it never will.

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