Thursday, December 29, 2005

watch your back

Not too long ago I was driving along the highway, minding my own business and keeping to the speed limit. It was a nice evening, the weather was great, I was comfortable, and I had good music in the car. Then I hear screeching of tyres. I've grown so accustomed to the moronic elements of our drivers that I just ignore it. But it kept going for more than what I felt was three seconds, and that's not normal.

The thing about screeching tyres is that either the sound of collision follows, or nothing happens and they drive at the speed limit finally. But anything lasting that long deserves a look, and so I check my side mirror, and what I saw was a car, just smoking its tyres trying to avoid crashing into the other car on the fast lane, but swerves behind my car to avoid hitting the car on the fast lane. I just floored it and went. Amazingly that stupid Honda was still skidding when I took off. It was surreal, like some overly dramaticized computer game of driftmaster. I turned around and shot them a dirty 'wtf was that about?' look, although I couldn't see into their cars, but its become an instinctive response for all moronic drivers.

So the lesson here is always watch your back, and you can just walk away from an accident based on reflexes. I would've hated to have my car smashed into. But what if that was really the case? Most people would blame it on bad luck, or fate. Everyone's plagued by an Aunt Agony syndrome. They want to be sad, they want to be unlucky, they want to be sympathized. Perhaps subconsciously we don't care for our surroundings. I know a few people who practice this thing I call walking-into-a-place-you-shouldn't-dressed-in-something-inappropriate, that would conjure up images of miniskirts and dark alleys. Their usual response is 'nothing is going to happen-lah!'. Until of course something happens, then they blame everything, the alley was too dark, the city is too corrupted, I feel so vulnerable, I need to get away from here.

For me, whatever happens, good or bad, its your fault. The map of our lives are based on the decisions we make, at every turn we are presented with options, and with these options, the decisions we make. If we make a wrong decision, we can't blame the consequences, because that is reality. Life is tough, and so should you be.

Just this morning I was listening to the radio, and one of the DJs commented that '...things need to change. We need to go back to the way it was,' in reference to all the violence and terrorism and the negative things that plague our society. But you know what? Things *have* changed. You can't change change, and hope to reset everything back to when terrorism didn't exist. It always existed, we just didn't know it that time. A statement like that sounds foolish to me, because its inevitable, it's happening, and you can't just close your eyes, click your heels and hope that it never happened. But some people do that, they join a society, starve, and hope for world peace. Perhaps that has some ritualistic or religious intonations but that hardly turns anything around. It will draw some level of compassion from people who aren't terrorists (aww, how nice, isn't that nice, dear?), but the best thing you can do, really, is to watch your back.

That's the ugly reality of the new year, and the other new years to come.