Now listen to me, I have thought this over. I have thought this over long and hard.
At first I was going to release a bottle into the sea. There would be a piece of paper inside the bottle, my wishes would be written on that piece of paper. It would contain everything, but cryptic enough so that no one, not even those closest to me would understand what I was trying to say. Yes, I can be that secretive. Surprise, surprise.
But then I had this great epiphany: releasing a bottle into the sea would be the same as littering. As polluting.
I thought of using glass bottle instead of plastic, but it still felt the same.
“Why don’t you just etch your wishes on a plank of wood?” he said.
That sounded like hard work. Too much work. So maybe not.
It’s difficult to be an environmentalist and drama queen. Decades ago, people released bottles filled with wishes into the sea, balloons filled with wishes into the air, without any sense of guilt. But today, oh no no. I don’t eat meat nor support the meat industry for environmental reasons. And yet I pollute the sea? Won’t someone think of the fishes!
Maybe I should end my life. For some people, life begins at thirty. For others, it’s the end. One less human to worry about. Just throw myself into the sea and let the fishes take care of me. Hey, that rhymes!
But this was what I thought: I thought, on my thirtieth birthday, I would stare at the open sea, ruminate on my life, my failures, my accomplishments, my love lost, found, lost again, heartbreaks, heartaches, those whom I’d hurt and nurtured, those who had become my friends and my foes, my allies and my enemies, the bridges I’d detonated as I watched from afar and sang and played my harp, and I would write my wishes down.
I would list my wishes down on a piece of recycled paper, or on the back of a used paper, or perhaps a shopping receipt, then I would throw it into a trash can. Why? Because wishes are trash.
Ancol Bay, photo by yours truly.
Then I received another great epiphany. there I was, sitting on the side of the beach, the breeze from the sea kissing my face and the pale sun was hanging there, shining but not too harshly, and the tropical Jakarta air was not too moist and not too dry. There I was with my wishes and I thought how superficial they were. How shallow they were. How unworthy and pretentious.
Why? Because my life, as ruined, as destroyed, as damaged as it was at that point of time, felt absolutely perfect in the sense that I didn’t need anything else.
I realized it ought not be the end, and I have to believe in it. And I do believe I am right, because I have thought this over. I have thought this over long and hard.
* This post was supposed to be published on my birthday several days ago, but I placed it in my draft and posted a haiku instead. I felt something was missing. Then this prompt from the Daily Post came and I remembered I had the second epiphany. I put it in, and it all fell into place.