Shadows lengthened on grey tarmac as we sped past.
A group of teenagers were yelling raucously at a bus stop
Arms linked, voices tinged with reverie and jubilation
they screamed carelessly into the night.
(This cab is going too fast)
It was quiet in here.
Uncle had turned off the radio.
Now, all that was left for company
was the whirring of the old diesel engine
and the blinking lights of the worn stereo.
maybe turning off the music wasn’t such a good idea.
Jarring Chinese tunes
were a much-needed distraction,
because this pit
at the bottom of my stomach will not stop growing.)
My hands were increasingly clammy.
This cab was too cold.
(Can this pit swallow me whole?)
Vibrations ceased as
I balanced the warm screen against my ear.
Digging frantically, cursing quietly
as keys scrape against fingertips.
“Block five, level 2, room on your left,
don’t bother about visitor limits.”
I chucked two ten-dollar bills at Uncle.
“God bless” he murmured,
eyes searching mine in the rear-view mirror.
I nodded blankly.
(Really didn’t need sympathy.)
Clambering out of the car
and slamming the door
I ran into the antiseptic-filled hall
My thoughts were beginning to roar.
(I don’t know if I can take this anymore.)
The lift doors creaked open.
The screen was hot against my ear.
“I don’t know if there’s time,
hurry down dear.”
“Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.” – Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
A good friend of mine passed away recently. This piece captures my journey to the hospital on the night that he passed. Of all emotions, crippling anxiety and sheer regret gripped me the most.
As youth, we are comfortable with complacency. It takes situations like this for us to realise just how much we take our time, loved ones and even our mortality for granted. It is easy to get lost in the daily grind, where we’re working to secure our careers and futures. Even so, let us not forget to appreciate, live and treasure what we have in the present. May we live each and every day with meaning and purpose, and may we never ever let our time go to waste.