Saturday, March 10, 2018

I Don't Know Why

There is a certain nervousness that starts moving in your blood, when you haven't moved enough. You become suspicious, paranoid, you pounce on words that have no meaning, no intention behind them.

This is me.

I sat in Coffee Bean having my dinner and reading my book and a strange man followed me out of there and tried to strike up a conversation. He looked harmless and I felt vaguely sorry for him but any attempt to answer his question and cut short the conversation led to another question, another attempt to prolong this pointless conversation...and suddenly I felt weary.

My body recoiled. I don't like people who steal my energy. It is unbecoming.

So I cut short the conversation abruptly, since he hadn't allowed me to do it politely, with my body half turned away to flee...he hadn't respected my time or space and I had no choice. I realised that Malaysians don't like confrontation and we don't like being rude when strangers accost us in shopping centres to ask what book we are reading. Even if there is something vaguely suspicious about these strangers. Even if they carry blue canvas bags and sit in Coffee Bean without buying anything. Even if they say that my newspaper is way too expensive and we should distribute it for free. Even if they get on every last nerve. Even if their eyes are desperate and they want to talk and they want to talk.

So I cut short the conversation and turned to leave. His face fell, it shut like a parasol and I felt sorry but I wanted to be away, not there chatting in the middle of a shopping centre with an uninteresting stranger who sought desperately to be interesting, who pinioned me to the ground, demanded my time.

You can't have my time.

You can't have my time unless I choose to give it to you.

And I don't choose.

Not anymore.

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