a wisp of white and yellow lights
an apparition of wistful faces
a fly hovering around the burning lamp,
a lady poring over a blank, white paper.
It’s the memories that we want to take home with us. We take the good, and we leave the bad, so was the remark of a friend. We aren’t really that close but somehow, we managed to survive the night with zero percent awkwardness in the air between us, save for the first minutes, maybe, at the start of our conversation, when we were still groping for something—anything—to talk about, until we found our common ground: passion in travelling.
I asked her what she liked the most in travelling. She told me I’m ridiculous, “You can never have one single favourite food or one single favourite spot or one single favourite person when you travel, unless you travel because of your dad on business, in which case the only thing you’d be enjoying is the airplane food since that is where you spend almost all of your time, literally running from one place to another.”
I told her I hate airplane food. They’re all full of adult meals. Gluten-free cookies are nearly all I order. Even bottled water tastes like adulthood. It’s bland. I wish it comes in different flavours, like bubblegum dream or cherry red. She said I’m weird, and contradicting, because we were in a restaurant that is supposed to be a place where adults starve themselves with ridiculously small servings of food, trying so desperately to look thinner so other people would love them, but there I was complaining about how I don’t want the concept of being an adult. The interiors were sophisticated and constricting. The lights were dim and yellow, the kind that you would see in an adult’s reading room rather than in a children’s playroom. But this restaurant was my choice. She made me choose, and I made a decision on my own. I decided for another person, just as an adult would. I, myself is confused. I told her my dilemma. She said, “You have to move on, you can’t be one thing forever. Travel with me.”
She was a balloon floating
in the air but fastened
to the hands of a child.