Here and Now

Suddenly, 25 years does not seem too long ago. I have Facebook to thank for this. The thing is I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing. Memories from a quarter of a century ago can play some pretty nasty tricks on you.

On the one hand, I still reel from the pain of kicks and punches I received in the ring when I competed in the kick-boxing circuit. But on the other, I have quite forgotten what the caress of the mid-spring breeze at Regent’s Park feels like. It should be the other way round, shouldn’t it? But it isn’t.

Similarly, the desolation I felt when I flunked my second year at law school is still very real to me. Somehow, if I can still dig up the elation of having cleared my A-levels in just six months, it would maybe balance things out a little. But I can’t.

Where have all the good stuff gone? They’re there somewhere. All I have to do is to maybe look a bit harder.

But not all of the good stuff is gone. Some of it is still fresh in my head – even though I’ve not thought of these memories for ages. For example, I still can remember what 53 Fermoy Road smells like – and how warm it was even in the dead of winter. I still recall the friends I’ve known – and how, in our bleakest hours, we stood by each other like brothers.

Perhaps it was a matter of survival. But I suspect it went deeper than that: it was a kinship forged in fire – and in love. When we took, we never had to ask; when we gave, we never had to think. That was what it was like. The stink of it is why is this no longer so?

But most of all, in the privacy of my most private moment, I still remember the love that I once had – and the love that I once lost.

It feels like it was only yesterday when I found her crying because I had been late in picking her up from school. And I still can see how her eyes would glisten when I played the blues on the guitar she gave me. But time changes things – and people. Perhaps it was just not meant to be. After all, isn’t everything we have really just on loan anyway? Still, I am thankful for the privilege.

All this has taught me to appreciate the present – the here and now. Yes, I may have known the love of one of the most beautiful women in the world. But I also know that this isn’t half as precious as the love of the woman who is now at my side – in the here and now.

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18 thoughts on “Here and Now

  1. Weh la weh comey nye pian 😉

    At my age i’ve realised that going down memory lane can be fun (tho sumtimes a tad painful lol) but one musnt dwell, let the past stay the past.. like you said its the now that matters.

    And nothing’s stopping us from making it the best years of our lives aight ;D

    justiffa

    Yes, ma’am. Going down memory lane is always a roller-coaster ride. And just like the roller-coaster ride, no matter how much fun it was, when we come to the end of it, it’s back to reality – we are back on terra firma.

  2. You write very well, mr bangkai.

    I know I’m much younger, yet I can be quite nostalgic at times. I wonder how I would sound like years from now ? I kid , I kid! … In any case, reading this blog entry has made me want to write like I used to (and not just draw comics)

    Jason

    Good to hear from you again, mate!

    Thank you. But I enjoy your comics, man! If I could draw comics, I wouldn’t have to write 🙂

  3. She’s pretty.

    I just had a conversation with a friend of mine via Facebook. She said, “past sucks”. And I said, “yeah, it always sucks you in”.

    Pok Deng

    Pretty she is, my friend.

    About your friend who says the past sucks: give it a a few more years, she’ll find that what seems to suck right now will feel like the best moments of her life. Old people tend to say things like this 🙂

  4. pian gemuk, sapa awek sblh hang tu?
    cun la.

    syed pendek

    Ya! Memang cun., kan?

    Nanti bila kita jumpa face-to-face aku cerita kat hang.

  5. I wonder if I’ll be around 25 years from now to reflect on today and yesterday…

    Nice pics Sofian, ermmm… pardon me for looking beyond the gorgeous exotic beauties, but is that a telephone hanging on the wall in one of the doorways? Very retro…. 🙂

    Zendra

    Yes, ma’am. That is a telephone. Belongs to the landlord who runs a garage downstairs from the flat.

    Insyalah, you’ll still be around to reflect on today and yesterday.

    Amin

  6. Bangkai-san,

    Today would not be possible without all those yesterdays.The present, the here and now, is important,undoubtedly, but it`s the accumulation of our individual life experiences, bitter and beautiful put together, which have forged us in the image, and the personae, of whoever we are today.

    And love, my dear friend, knows no boundaries, be they time, age, culture, right or wrong even.And
    it may even come knocking on your door more than once.If it dos, remember to welcome it with open arms, and more importantly,an open heart.

    Take care, my friend, and cheers.BTW, you`re the young lad with the glasses in those UK pixs?
    I`m only guessing.

    Cheers!

    Higashi-san

    You are absolutely right , sir: what we are today is the sum total of our many yesterdays – and our today will impact all our tomorrows.

    And yes, I’m the snot-nosed, not-so-bright kid you see with the glasses.

  7. Salam Bro.,
    Nostalgic habis! Yep, u r right, its the here & now that matters…

    Baharudin

    Yes, bro – in a nostalgic mood. But, as you say, let’s get back to reality: the here and now.

  8. Dude, that last paragraph really did it — you made me weak at the knees, man! *laughs*

    But seriously, I find that this Facebook thing is like your past colliding with your present. Whenever I see all those old photos that my friends post, I can’t help but get misty-eyed. Of course, when you start comparing the person(s) on your dreams then to what they are now, I must admit that there have been a couple of “What was I thinking?” moments. I’m shallow, bite me. *grins*

    As you’ve pointed out, it is nice to walk down memory lane every once in awhile. It provides us with a gauge of how far we have come. But ultimately it is the Here and Now that counts. We should never let yesterday use too much of today.

    Andrea

    “We should never let yesterday use too much of today” – I like that. Nice. Very Nice.

  9. wow does are really cool pics of yourself. i can’t help but to stare at them.

    one of the simple pleasures in life for me is looking at old pics of my parents and uncles and aunties and all back in their institutional days. there’s just something about y’all that i dunno, i can’t stop staring at it. maybe it’s the hair and the fashion, and the texture, colour, whatever of the film-developed pictures. it warms my jaded post-millennium heart.

    penyelamat dunia

    Glad you like the pics. I think good old Facebook will unearth quite a few more.

  10. My dear friend Sir Boe, you can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again.”‘I hope.

    Zaini Zain

    Yeah, we old fogies wind-up our clocks; the younger generation just plonk in new batteries. 🙂

    But winding is so much more fun, don’t you think?

  11. Hey Matt, someone told me long ago, ‘You must keep one foot in the past & one foot in the future and you PISS on today”. Hahaha guessed I’d never got rid of my past but then again only a hand full of very close knitted friends knew this ‘dark’ side of me and are avoiding me like a plague, unless they need some ‘happy pill’ therapy…muahaha.

    To All The Girls Who Shared My Life

    Who NOW are someone else’s wives…..kekeke.

    Cheers,

    Tommy

    Tommy

    You are right, you know. You are the go-to guy for happy pills. You never fail to make me smile.

    Now lets sing that Julio Iglesias and Willy Nelson song:

    “To all the guys who share my wife…” (wait a minute… that doesn’t sound right 🙂

  12. Salam Boe,

    Cahaya lampau tidak selamanya indah dan terang; adakalanya akan bertambah kelam dan luput ditenggelam malam. Bahagia dan bertuahlah seandainya hangat dari kesuraman itu masih dirasakan.

    Such “light” is…

    _deli

    Whoa! Double meaning ka?!

  13. Feeling nostalgic eh bro? It is a good feeling to have, once in a while. Especially when we know some of our closest friends are sadly no longer around. Makes us appreciate the present all the more, doesn’t it?

    oldstock

    Yes, my friend. Appreciation is the order of the day!

  14. ..salam sofi..but if you r the future, as I am now, you keep both feet in the past and piss on everything..hehehe..and memories of past love are always fresh..like dews on petals..and a girl’s tears have a way of burrowing into your heart..no, they r not half as precious..they r just as precious..

    pakmat

    How poetic. I never fail to learn something about myself when i read you comment.

  15. Sofian, old chap.

    About that special person in old blighty long ago in distant past, you will always remember her as always young, beautiful, fun, etc … your memories with her shall always be that … evergreen and priceless.

    Me, I had married that special person. I remind myself she was … and etc. The evergreen memories help that she’s today priceless!

    red alfa

    You, sir, are a very lucky man.

  16. Well Sofian, there is this quote that says that the past is strapped to our back. We do not have to see it; we can always feel it. But then again the quote was from the 60s. Facebook unheard of.

    It is a nice feeling, this looking back at a younger us. Soft supple skin with no lines or wrinkles and definitely no love handles! And for some, a lot of hair too, no?

    You are one good husband. Your wife is one lucky woman. Good husband + good wife = good parents for the children. Blessed family, Insya Allah.

    V

    What you say is absolutely right: the past has power over us because we feel rather than see it.

    Me? A good husband? I have a string of ex-wives who will violently disagree with that statement heh!heh! Be that as it may, thanks for the vote of confidence.

  17. She’s beautiful.
    Sorry i know it’s in the past but wow… she’s gorgeous !

    percicilan

    She was gorgeous, wasn’t she? She probably still is. But as you say, all that is water under the bridge now.

  18. A string of ex-wives? Very rich man, you… Anyway, just wondering if you and your guitar playing son have seen August Rush. A movie, I mean. If you haven’t, please do. It is a beautiful movie…

    V

    Not a very rich man,V: just not a very smart one… heh heh

    I will hunt down August Rush.

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