January 09, 2006

# 22

The more I remain in this country the more recognition and acceptance I have of things that have a positive effect on me: the people, the actions, the small things that often remain unsaid, often without so much as a second thought about the significance of it. I'm extrovert as much as I am introvert. I think. I have discovered certain flaws about myself that have stemmed from being in a foreign place, not only by dictionary definition but by standards of common held perception.

But just like so many things around me, inside me, my way of life has too many dimensions to define in a single sentence, within a single context. I don't regret the decision to come here. I won't ever do that because the opportunities that have arisen from being here will ensure I'll have choices in the future; no ropes or blinkers to bind me to someone else's ways, to keep me from pioneering the path of my choosing.

I recently spent some time away from my surrogate country in my surrogate rented apartment; a large place for this country which would rival any claustrophobia inducing residence in Australia. There's nothing remotely resembling a backyard here. Or trees I can call my own. Or a dog. In fact, without the presence of too many places to play within my immediate surroundings, over the course of time I've had no choice but to resort to a lifestyle of pseudo pursuits to keep me occupied and sane by clinical standards.

One of them is travelling when the luxury is made available to me, which averages out to twice a year.

Writing has always been a major interest; a pursuit that's as cleansing and rewarding as anything I'd care to devote serious time to. The only recreational drug I do these days is alcohol. It's reached a stage of uneventful familiarity but I imagine it to be significantly better than injecting my eyeballs with heroin. I think.

I used to be a journalist (if claim to interviewing musicians and actors can be labelled as such) but the thought of reporting on people's lives and events or writing without fiction as the primary guiding force has no appeal. It hasn't for more than ten years. News, to me, is the handy work of writers who have nothing constructive, original, insightful or controversial left to say. Sadly, some choose this as their introduction to the written word post study. Many stay firmly rooted within its boundaries, never knowing the rush of experiencing freedom of expression, no matter how ordinary in practice.

I've had a keen eye for colour in the things I see around me: Mother Nature's daily offerings change vastly if one looks closely. I don't consider myself to be a photographer. A clicker of a button? Guilty. A snapper of landscapes, people and situations? Conclusively so. A photographer? With monumental doubt lingering all around me. Taking photos is a hobby which has increased the more spare time I've had within the past two and a half years.

Apart from that, things I used to love doing religiously: going to baseball practice, cycling for fitness as well as unequivocal enjoyment of being outdoors, being with friends - whether out and about judging beer from around the world or laying back, passing spliffs around and talking shit about shit - were long ago laid to rest. The metaphoric headstones reveal the words' To Be Continued' as reminder that these aspects of my life aren't over by a long shot.

Most of the things that drove me and kept me happy back home have been transformed into hobbies and pursuits that help me get by; things that help time run its natural course and protect my vulnerability to being exposed to negativity. The notion of not knowing what to do with spare time gives me chills.

For me, the magic month now is August. The magic week now is the first week of August. That's when everything I currently cling closely to my chest and recognise as constituting my life will be pushed aside. The headstone will be demolished and the contents of the grave below raided. I hope.

No longer will language be both the bane and the reason for my existence. No longer will travel be major cause for concern instead of forming part of the reason for every new setting being something to treasure; a way of adding to the growing number of places I've seen since I've been here. No longer will my mind be racing at the speed of light, wondering about the next entry into web space and how it will be received by people I don't actually know. I have long ago stopped checking statistics to my site. I haven't done so since reaching the 10,000 hits mark with my good mate on another site. Statistics and I no longer dine together. I don't see the point. It rivals the absurdity of rating a poem or handing out awards for songs.

No longer will I interpret life as being something I have to get through. It will be something I choose to enjoy for whatever it's worth no matter how trivial it seems. It used to be that way. And it will be again.

Friendships with people I've met here and with friends in Australia have gone through peaks and troughs. I value friendships with those I care for more than any accolade, compliment or virtual pat on the back. Yet the virtual pats of the back have been the very foundation to why I've got through this far.

For that, I just want to say thanks.


Jen said...

Quite a profound post. I like.

You're a great writer. A hidden reader, I sometimes came by and whilst there were times I had absolutely no idea what on earth you were talking about, I knew you wrote well.

The notion of not knowing what to do with spare time gives me chills.

I wish I knew what to do sometimes. I do something but I do nothing.

Anyway, goodluck with it all..

Saathiya said...

I think you are underestimating the possibilities of heroin eyeball injections.

No, really, good post.

Chloe said...

I always shied away from getting a counter on my blog because there's something romantic about imagining (sans proof) strangers the world over reading my words.

Awesome post, Mr. K!

Mrs DC said...

I must admit to knowing what you are talking about on this one. I'm stuck here for a further year after you go, though I am saving the last 3 months for a thorough play the like of which has not been seen since the words, "what did you get in your A levels", passed my lips at University.

Does this mean your online presence will only be with us til August? If so, lay a few more onus before you go. And I know you will appreciate all those little freedoms more when you do go.

reverendtimothy said...

Yes, I would like to leave the onus on you to lay some on us as well.

Hear hear, Mr Kaufman. Many happy returns for 2006, and thankyou to you too. :-)

Kaufman said...

I've been overdosing on the TV show Scrubs for the past few weeks. The thought of being flippant and dismissing every comment here as detrimental to my manliness - rrrraw! - did cross my mind.

However, methinks there's been another shift of momentum in the confined space within my head, so much so that I would feel two centimetres tall if I didn't express how grateful I was for what each of you has written. I really do appreciate your comments.

Jen: Domo arigato. To me, part of what constitutes being a writer is a story line with a hint of unfamiliarity. I haven't written a fictional short story @ this site but I dare say I will. I'm glad you persisted when the going got confusing. I hope you'll continue to do so.

Saathiya: Let's give the heroin + eyeball thing a go when I'm back in Adelaide. Alternatively, we could shop for brown pants and sit down in them at the Austral with only Cooper's pale ale to keep us motivated. Thanks.

Chloe: Counters have the audacity to reveal how (un)popular we are, even when we don't seek that kind of information. I'd rather just write and chew the fat with my virtual buddies when they're ready. It's so much more civil and rewarding.

DDC: Thanks again for being there throughout this prolonged journey of ours, and for opening your door time and again. It would have been better if you and Mrs DC could've been there more during my most recent visit, but there'll be another opportunity for us to misbehave before August. Then, of course, there'll be the opportunity for us to jetset between Oz and England for misbehaviour of the intercontinental kind, with several well chosen 'oi, oi, ois!' thrown in. I'm definitely going to lay a few more. I promise I'll even write a few posts after I'm done laying.

Reverend: The double entendre King of Adelaide strikes again. ;) Cheers, mate. We definitely need to do beer when I get back. And a solid night's appreciation of Bill Hicks.

*bows graciously*

Aminah said...

Interviewing musicians and actors CAN make one a journalist if dropping out from a community college course in journalism can make you one. Just ask my dad... he's also a novelist.

Kaufman said...

That sounds very novel. What kind of novels is he responsible for? And who is his publisher?

I'd like to be a novelist, although the turtleneck sweaters, patches on the tweed jacket's elbows and constant blowdrying would would age me prematurely. There's nothing more annoying than flakes of skin falling from one's face while in pursuit of a frightened deer. Wouldn't you agree?

Ms Smack said...

My uncle is a published writer too, sans dandruff.

I totally dig your style Andy K. Wish I had of started awhile ago. I have alot to catch up.


Kaufman said...

Thanks, Catherine. Take your time. I don't intend to go anywhere for at least seven months.