New craven

I am afraid of dangers and being close to them, because I am afraid some sudden sense of despair or resignation may so overwhelm me that I will let go of everything and step over the edge. I am not afraid that my legs will tremble or my heart will faint. I am afraid my will to stay alive and the will to brave tomorrow and morrows may suffer a momentary stoppage. 'I have had enough,' I might utter, take a deap breath and then see clouds, birds and distant crests flying upward before my eyes. Abysses, windows on high flats and the back-end of train platforms are scary to me now. I did not find them scary in the past.

New environment scares me too. A new job will scare me because a new setting entails a liberation from old hindrances and old habits. Therefore I will find myself surrounded by many ways to take the fatal plunge. Affront a tyrannical boss, touch a sexy colleague's thigh, join a colleague's sins--unthinkable mischiefs in the old snuggy nest can become thinkable on a new stage. At least I think so.

I am afraid of exposing myself to any self-devastating opportunity. I try not to let my family members go out of my awareness. When I am not conscious of my obligations to them, I may do the strange things more easily.

If I think that some self-sacrificing heroes, for instance the doctors who volunteer to fight a deadly plague, give up their lives out of a blighted will for living, am I mean?

'So I chose freedom. Running around, trying everything new. But nothing impressed me at all. I never expected it to' (Don't cry for me Argentina). 'Nothing really matters to me' (Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody). 'Nothing turns out like you want it to' (Manic Street Preachers, Yes). 'Do you want to travel back in time and be young again?' 'No, once is enough. I am tired.' (from film A One And A Two, directed by Edward Yang).

Years have convinced me there are at least five types of disturbing thing I must learn to regard as inevitable: 1. a passionate relationship turns cold. 2. my favourite band or song writer fail to write songs as well as they did and they are getting worse and worse. 3. my body suffers irreversible downturn due to age. 4. my favourite radio programmes are terminated and the hosts get sacked. 5. injustice in public affairs.

My friend R said our friend W had become very timid since he had married. 'He is afraid of all things,' said R. I smiled. R and W went abroad together for a holiday last year.

We were sitting at a bar. Though our table was out in the air, the place was so crowded that our voices were drowned. Tired of pricking up my ears and yelling, I trained my eyes from left to right in search of handsome faces. Two or three of the ladies around might almost be rated so. One looked into my eyes for a trifling moment.

Aren't we all getting chicken-hearted as we grow in years?

Sam Mok