I want to walk, and let it goSeptember 07, 2016

Kyle told the class that he wouldn't join the young backpackers in Cusco, all eager to know more about the Inca Empire. Machu Picchu wasn't included in his bucket list, and he would look for a job during his gap year. He had a change of mind after his family went to South Africa. He wanted to stay in Cape Town, as he couldn't get enough of the panorama of Table Mountain at dusk. It turned out that the travel bug bit my coursemate, and he was looking at the opposite direction. I was disappointed at him, and I may be exaggerating about it.

It was a humid afternoon, which didn't help me make up my mind. I was having conflicting feelings about my possessions. There would be little space left in my room. And then I heard my sister playing the "Frozen" soundtrack one more time. Let it go. Why would I let go of the things that could bring me guilt? My mates were thoughtful during my last birthday. Some cost me a fortune. (There was some truth to it, as I bought them during our holiday in New Zealand.) And some items have sentimental value. (My collection of children's books is still in good condition.) My mother suggested a donation, which didn't cross my mind before. Pay it forward.

I recalled the Light the Night campaign, which I wasn't interested at all. My mates were persuasive, insisting that the new experience might end up in the pages of my first novel. It was a cool evening, literally and figuratively. A sea of lighted lantern reminded me of Chiang Mai many moons ago, but this one was dedicated to the victims of blood cancer. It would be the thought that counted the most. And then I looked at my possessions one more time. I have to go through it, as I would choose which ones I must give to charity. Mum might suggest one or two.

I can hardly relate to kitchen sink drama

What can be banaler than the water in the kitchen sink? Perhaps kitchen sink drama. Mum was watching "Blithe Spirit" the other day, and tears were welling up in her eyes. The comedy was a break from her routine, as she saw a number of black and white films that depicted the working class in England. Factories, pregnancies, and pints were the common themes, which reflected the frustrations of the working class on their lot in life. (She happened to be a fan of black-and-white films.) My instructor pointed out the rigid class structure wasn't working anymore, which drove the young men to date the women they didn't quite love.

Kitchen sink drama became a genre of its own, where it hardly deviated from the original. I saw (and wrote) "The Dreamlife of Angels," about two young women who would live day by day in a small town in northern France. Past experience treated them harshly, which was why to have a connection. And finding a place in life was like walking a long road. It was a touching story, but I could hardly relate to it. The Catch-22 element was missing in it, which would make the angry young men (in England) a serious study.

I almost forgot my afternoon stroll. It was my tutor who encouraged me to make it a habit, as he gladly drew a map of the university and the vicinity. It would help me become a better writer, he said. It had nothing to do with literary aspirations, which he called a pretentious nonsense. (And he would enumerate the Homeric, chromatic, and visceral aspects of it.) Walking would require the heart to pump blood into the different organs, and the brain was one of them. And then imagination set in.

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