By Hans Ebert
The grass is always greener on the other side. That’s the thinking anyway when that restless heart takes over and impulsive decisions that have been going through one’s head for many years finally makes one want to beat a hasty retreat from the disappointment of those you loved and lost and the time spent on the mediocrity of conformity.
This is when one needs a vacation and divorce and from one’s self. And so, over the past year, especially, the travel bug has put me on a path of self discovery- nothing pretentious or particularly deep, but more of a sanity test to see what and who else is out there. Someone timeless and dangerous like her…Or going for it all and riding shotgun for Thelma and Louise.
It’s a better way to spend one’s time than becoming a semi reclusive creature of habit, and, like the addict needing another fix of co-dependency, sinking to those depths where misery loves company. This happens because there’s always been the need to have someone- anyone- around, even when knowing they’re bores with whom you have nothing in common and drown in a mojito in order to drown out their tales of woe to do with money- who’s making money, who’s losing money, and, like shouting out, “Where’s the beef?”, wondering and questioning, Where’s the money? Forget about finding your mojo or even a dumb mofo just for the amusement of it all. These are the times only a damn good mojito can help stop the clutter of a murder of crows flapping their wings and flying off in all directions. Either that or runaway from them. You could become one of them: Boring and repetitious and crippled inside.
This fear of surrendering to boredom has made me travel- not astral travelling online with those who can be anyone and no one- but actually getting to the airport with no idea what that next destination might be and with no direction of home, like a Rolling Stone.
There’s something recklessly exciting and rebellious about the unknown- deciding spontaneously where to go- Singapore or Perth, London or Europe, Sydney or Melbourne, or Lithuania or Chengdu or Colombo, and like a Nike slogan, Just doing it.
Having always been around strong women, and being accommodating to the point of being the 94-pound weakling who is resigned to have sand kicked in his face, and just brushes it off as one of those things. This is usually the result of having seen one’s parents co-habit, keep the peace, stay married long after love has gone, and, because as Neil Young sang, A Man Needs A Maid.
As good help is tough to find, one just gave in and caved in and became comfortably numb: “That thing you bought for the apartment? Can we put it in the kitchen?” Sure. “Can you watch the races somewhere else?” Okay. “Can you stop snoring?” Sure. “Can I put some other music on?” Sure. “Let’s go to Greece!” Okay. “When?” Up to you. “Or what about Mongolia?” Sure. “On a scale of one to ten, how was that?” Twelve. “Only twelve?” Twenty. And so it went. On and on and on with only sex for company. And with it went the dreams, excitement, writing, creating music along with a sense of adventure with nothing to feed the creative appetite that was silently running, crying and screaming, Feed me.
But no more. And nothing less will do than wanting more. Screw the small talk. Forget about going around in circles until the dizziness takes you where the mad women of Juarez, and Kiev and Brighton, and throughout Lithuania lie in wait. Stop making sense and stop making amends and receiving no forgiveness or anything in return. You’re invisible now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal. There’s no need to play these tedious mind games when like sands in an hour glass….
It’s not about sitting around with those making drunk talk, ogling at women and unable to have them at Hello. What’s the point? What’s the point of listening to what happened in the long distant past that’s come and gone with only memories to keep those days alive? That’s just a Mary Hopkin song. That’s just Golden Slumbers.
What a waste of time when you can finish those memoirs on a beach in Colombo with the bungalow behind you and young, tanned Nordic beauties to cook you curries and sambals and yodel when the time is right. Me, Tarzan, you, Mette. Or Heidi. Or Nina.
Hell, you deserve it, Kunta Kinte. You worked on Maggie’s Farm long enough, boy. You’re now finally living by your own rules and answerable only to yourself.
Make that movie about how far the influences of the Spice Island Wars have travelled. And revisit those places again and again because they all made you arrive here. History and a sense of it and what’s made you who you are before settling for conformity is very much underrated and not understood enough. Shouldn’t we all know who we were and not what we were forced to become and then end up living a lie while hiding the truth?
Take another giant leap and make music that makes you happy and which has nothing to do with Spotify or playlists or television karaoke competitions. And when needing a break, there’s always that home base that is Hong Kong, and which you just might see with new eyes after a much-needed Refresher Course because you’ve returned after shedding the old baggage and the sins of running with the family and ending up nowhere.
We live, we die, but it’s never too late to change Mr Inbetween and do and say what’s on your mind, delete the past, embrace the future, look fear in the eye, change the mindset, never settle for okay is good enough, and finally discover who you were really meant to be. As Dylan sang, But even the President of the United States must sometimes stand there naked.