Where to begin. The year started off with the usual occurrences; New Year hangovers, resolutions, more hangovers, broken resolutions, big plans, little plans and a jug full of optimism. This was 1st and 2nd January.
3rd January was one of my best friends' wedding and he was getting married to my sister. It was a day for celebrating life and the union of two souls. I bought the only suit I have ever owned and looked the sharpest I possibly could. It was a good day. All my friends were in attendance, we got drunk and got up to all sorts of things. It was one of those nights that will always be memorable.
Two weeks later, the once happily married couple was separated. My dear sister had after all rushed into this without knowing exactly what she wanted and now the enormity of it all had sunk in. She was scared and wanted out, she told my dear friend as much and their lives fell apart. The storm clouds were just gathering.
Two and half weeks later, Brenda lay in the hospital dying. I watched helplessly as things went from bad to worse. Sarah called me one rainy morning in February to tell me Brenda had passed on. My world crumbled. I retreated into my head and have been there since.
I had come to hinge my life on her, whether she knew it or not, that I couldn't make sense of it anymore. I wanted to die and perhaps if I was less of a coward I would have slit my damn wrists. As it was I opted to run to far off lands, to spend the rest of my years seeing the world and giving back all that I could. This was April; I had spent the months before my departure dazed, saying my farewells, attempting to leave with as clean a slate as possible. I tried to tell my friends that there was nothing more important than the bonds between us; I hope I got through to them.
Two weeks later, on the other side of the world, I lay dying, afflicted by an exotic malady aptly named "break bone fever". Much to my dismay, I survived it with the handsome reward of destitution. I made my way back here with one goal in mind, to find my way back across the seas in a few months and to start a foundation while I was here.
On returning, I tried to figure out what kind of life I could hope to lead here. I set my mind to understanding life as humanity has known it and what I learned was depressing. Human beings suck! Yes, you suck! Life is so hard on its own but somehow we're not content with that, no sir, we must always find a way of making it harder for each other. We have persecuted each other since the dawn of time for being different. There are those among us who would have everything and not care if the rest had nothing. There are those who would kill others for the sake of material things. Others still will kill for their religion, apparently on the instruction of an unseen deity for the promise of a piece of heaven. I am taught to believe that all men are inherently evil and wish me harm, that no one does a good deed because it is simply right but because material benefits will accrue to them as a result. The world is such that without money, my life is worthless and my voice does not matter.
Anyway, as things were attempting to get back to normal, with new goals set and a new desire to enjoy life and do something meaningful creeping up on me, Eirene ups and leaves us, after only a month and twenty days here. A true visitor if ever there was any. I asked myself what possible meaning to take from that; the comfort that she did not get to see how ugly this world can be? The idea that she is an angel (whatever that may be) somewhere up there? I wondered what I could possibly tell the heartbroken parents to make anything better and I had no answers. I still don't. If I have learnt anything this year it is that "Life is suffering".
I have had no desire to work at all this year. I can't see what good it does, mankind is still headed in the wrong direction and I don't think anyone is ready to give me the reins. Many a time, I have not cared whether I went hungry or not, there doesn't seem to be much to live for. The conventional things to aspire to don't hold appeal for me anymore, I have no desire to etch my name on any piece of rock and call it mine for I know the truth is that it will never be mine. I am a visitor here; this strange blue green orb is not my home. I belong somewhere out there in the vastness of the universe, I simply keep this place for those that come after and my only duty is to make sure I pass on a world that will be better for posterity than it has been for me.
The months have blended into each other, helped by a steady dose of alcohol, tobacco and other herbs but I still feel hopeless and helpless. I have finally hit my low point, I knew it was always coming but depression has never been this bad. I need to get away from here. The world makes me sad, this place, doubly so.
But, here's the irony. This has undoubtedly been the worst year of my life yet, but it has also been the best. I like to get to the heart of things; if I have a problem, I like to deconstruct it down to the base elements and find a solution from the ground up. I fell in love with a girl and life denied me any chance of experiencing what could have been and I would have taken my life had it not been for the fear that wherever she is, she would hate me for that. Maybe I will overcome that fear, I don't know. All I know is that from that first moment I heard the news, I wanted to let go of this life and I decided that I would simply expend it doing some good. I decided that even if I never achieve all these lofty heights that we all aspire to, I will simply do the best I can. I have come to have an understanding of life and what it truly is all about that makes me yearn for nothing less than peace. I want to live in peace with my fellow man, I want to sit by the fire, drink and get caught up in the wonder of being alive.
I like to think that I am blessed with a modicum of intelligence; I have always been one to incessantly ask why until the would-be teacher admits the limit of their knowledge. I am humble enough to know that what I believe is not necessarily what the rest should believe and that I cannot hope to know everything, but as human beings, we gravitate towards the company of those who share most of our views. I have been fortunate to meet a whole bunch of you. I will take from this year among the many lessons I have learned, the knowledge that there's a good bunch of people out there. Having never really felt a fundamental part of any family, I believe that my friends are as much my family as anyone else, perhaps it is a display of naiveté but I frankly couldn't care less. So I would like to say, it's been one hell of a year but thanks to all you guys for pulling through and for dragging me along with you. To all those who got hitched, mazel tov, those who got unhitched, well congs to you too, those planning to get hitched, all the best.
The Nook Club, The PIFF, Coffee Korner Phnom Penh, my classmates in Cambodia, the lovely Lisa Fields, Rama (who got me started thinking about the piff), The MerminBunnells, Bloggers (you're all mostly mad but you rock!), Couchsurfers, Javas Classic crew, Bubbles, The Workzine, Maria, Sarah, Penny, Trish, Pat, Stella, Scharlyne, Phillis White, Dincy, Beqy, Jaq, Brenda, Fez, Darlyne, Baz, Joanna, Fifi, Dimples, Rosette, David and Niki, Angie, Suze Peru, Rob Percival, Becca Schwartz, the bajaj guy who sped off with my 5k the other day, the chick in Bangkok who conned me of a pizza promising me kb and all those who have bought me a meal and a drink here and there, thank you all. I could list all y'all but we would be here til the second coming so I'm just going to wish you a very merry Christmas and happy new year. May you find the child in you that makes the holidays magical. See you on the flip side and just so you know, "I aint dead, I aint done"