Last shot of crack

"I have always looked at thirty as the barrier to any real or fierce delight in the passions." (J M Coetzee, Disgrace, p. 87)

I was pleased when people around me, especially my colleagues and those I despise, asked me why I quitted this job. "Well, to begin with ..." I talked as if I have to defend my choice. And I was keenly observing the recipients' reactions, when I discovered that he or she couldn't care less about my decision. I quickened to put an end by saying " ... you know, it's a hard choice giving up this stable and pension-carrying career ..." while my eyes with intent betrayed my puerile arrogance. And five out of ten times I was not brave or clever enough to finish the last sentence with "I cannot fucking allow myself to get stuck in this thick stinking mud bath. I am fear to death I will become one of them if I stay longer." Perhaps I had been trying to establish my reasons for quitting. But it is a brutal fact gradually dawned upon me that I am the only person really interested in finding out why I called it a day, and also the only person who needs to be convinced. Those who have heard me singing "I'm a sick sick boy in a sick sick world. It's not a big big thing if they fire me" would have never doubted that I would leave one day. The mean side of me sometimes imagines that they are hiding from me their grins over my stupor, the stupor which more than often drives a lunatic to jump off the roof to challenge the law of gravity or gets a desperate punter to put all money on the weakest horse so as to spite the frontrunners. It's the loser's last shot of crack up his arm on the threshold to thirty. It's the roar "see who has the last laugh" echoing between the four walls of an empty hall.

Sam Mok