Sunday, March 15, 2009

Almost A Perfect Day

After sleeping off most of the french vino induced hangover yesterday morning, I went into town chasing a frame maker for some small Vietnamese knock-offs a friend want me to sort out. Upstairs in Paragon where the screaming children jet about, I found the place I was looking for. That frame for this one, this frame for that one. Ready next Saturday? Done.

Downstairs, I had my breakfast of a Coffee-Bean & Tea-Leaf ice-blended mocha and a muffin. I sat there reading my book for about 30 mins, but amazingly in that period of concentration, time seemed to take on other characteristics. For an eternity, a blackbird, its outline etched and sharp, its eye brilliant red and focused, perched on a chair right by me, right now, as a woman slowly took her camera from its bag... But her retarded velocity meant nothing to the bird's accelerated frame-rate. Its rapid fluttering was over forever before the camera was exposed and it flew, the photo-op was a thing of the past. Detail, you notice detail, but that's not what is important when you are waiting. That is just observation, cataloging. But you can realize things in that time to yourself, that time which others control.

Image of On Waiting

In my book, On Waiting, part of the Routledge "Thinking In Action" series, the discussion on Elizabeth Bishop's poem 'In The Waiting Room' tantalized me... To be a me, to be an E@L, or to be an Elizabeth, to be seven years old next week. This is an amazing realization. Merely from looking at a 1908 edition of National Geographic while Auntie gets her teeth drilled and I suck the last of the ice-blended up my straw,

I knew that nothing stranger
had ever happened, that nothing
stranger could ever happen.

I have to read more of this poetry, I have to give it the time it needs. (I really wish I could understand more of what poetry says without it having to be explained to me like this, by a third party like Mr Schweitzer.)

On the way to Kinokuniya to look for Bishop's poems, I thought, hey, I'll duck through Takashimaya and check once more for a replacements of my favorite swim goggles, wide vision ones, with a broad bridge that doesn'tt slice into my impressively Roman nose. I can never find a set that meet all the relevant E@L criteria. Last time, in desperation I bought those Cressi ones that have the same wide-plastic face-seal as diving goggles. They leak. My face is too wide or something. Or narrow. However, today, the Cressi guy directed me over the to another stand, and there, a new delivery, was a full batch of the Tabata brand goggles that I wanted, had even searched for on-line, found at a Bangkok store and resolved to go there next week as I will be in Thailand. The V800 is my favorite. It seals well, doesn't cut into my nose and has UV protection and a dark tint for those ultra-sunny Singapore noon swims on the weekend when the pool is vacant, except for mad dogs, Englishmen and me. (What I should be doing RIGHT NOW.) Done. Excellent. I felt good, pleased, happy. And only $35. The Cressi's were $50.

I continued across the Ngee Anne City mall to the bookstore. I had barely brought myself beyond the border of the A to B's before I was bedecked with a bounteous burden of books...

Image of Paris PeasantImage of My Half CenturyImage of Collected FictionsImage of The Complete Poems, 1927-1979

The Elizabeth Bishop collection was there! Excellent; in fact I had a choice. The Complete Poems for $29, or Geography III, the small book with 'In The Waiting Room' for $19. I choose value for money and grab The Complete. Done. And the Akhmatova, a total surprise. Excellent again.

I received a text from Indy. Join him and GF for a steak at The Steakhouse tonight? Sure, but no more wine! (We had drunk four bottles at Max's place in Prinseps St the night before.)

Again, it was working out to be a terrific day as my steak was almost perfectly grilled. Really nice meal, even if they don't serve bread. Any bread. None at all. Why the no dough policy? Shrugs. We came back to my place afterward and watched "Pulp Fiction", which Indy's GF had never seen, and then I had another realization - one that came in the heroin-preparation scene - I had never seen the uncut version. Done. Zed's dead, baby. Excellent.

They left, eager to be alone for some reason, and I went to bed feeling relaxed - that was a really pleasant day... but I couldn't rest as easy as I should after such a great day, for a vague sensation of incompleteness kept haunting me, the idea that something was missing from my March 14th.


1 comment:

Stephen Folan said...

Sounds like a good day. You could work on a more climactic ending.

I'm off to the England v France rugby game today. I am looking forward to the soundof 60,000 englishmen all on their mobile phones explaining why they should've, could've would've won - but didn't.

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