If you’d remember, it was raining heavily last night. I was running towards the bus stop in Bugis street, it was already packed and since it was raining, everyone had to squeeze into the tiny shelter, ensuring that no one is left out in the rain..Or is it?
Thinking back it seemed quite unreal. 40 strangers huddled together, brought together by the rain– its as if we’re playing the game they always play during orientations. 40 people, a class is supposed to stand on a mat, which is gradually halved and halved again. I remember they had to carry someone in their hands at one time in order to squeeze into a mat folded 5 times.
But over here at the bus stop, everyone heaves a sigh of relief when a bus arrives and takes away 1/5 of the ‘class’, leaving more space for everyone. Perhaps that is why I felt cold at that time– we were all together but apart, selfish beings in our hearts.
On the bus, I went up to the second level, I never could stand the ground level but its troubling how the ‘corner’ seats were all taken, I don’t feel comfortable sitting outside. Psychologically, this means that I like to be left alone, squeezed up onto the top, into the corner..or is it?
40 people looking forward, strangers bonded by the rain, bonded by the choice of seats, bonded by the time (10.07 pm), all on the way home, or the place where they call their destination. It feels nice to know that the person beside you is taking part of the same journey home. Although he’s sleeping with his earphones on and you’re reading a book, you two share the most similarities at that time.
This is what I call ‘cold’.
And incidentally, that was the title I chose for my picture.
One by one we got off, and half the people are gone. Strangely, the place seemed more real after that. Everyone’s doing their own stuff, or at least pretending to, I am. I can’t see through the windows, its already so dark and the windows are fogged by the rain. I wonder how I’ll be able to find my stop like the guy beside me who instinctively rouse from his sleep, took off his earphones, without bothering to look outside, got off the bus.
I’ve been wanting to take a picture of the bus for a very long time, but can’t bring myself to, so I moved into the corner seat and stared into the black night. I remember there was this similar night when I was down there..
I got off.
At the bus stop, it was still raining. There was a middle-aged man without an umbrella, going out into the rain to hail a cab. He seemed desperate to get to somewhere. After a while when I looked back, he was sitted at the bus stop, waiting for the bus instead. I’ve been wanting to take a picture of “bus stops at night” for quite sometime, but never found the opportunity to. I turned back and took some shots of him, but they didn’t turn out very well, so I got home.
Isn’t it? Isn’t it?
In whatever we do, we’re searching for a feeling of warmth. Some of us do drugs to search for the feeling, some of us fall in love, have kids, hoping that it’ll bring us warmth. We pursue a certain line of career or interest, we smoke, we eat fast food– all to search for the feeling of warmth.
Somedays its there, somedays its gone. When its there, you feel that its there forever. When its gone, you want it back, so we do certain things, dangerous things, we murder people, believing that without the person, warmth will come back, life will come back. We help people, we give money, lend our hands to the children’s home, to search for the same feeling.
As humans, we’re all bonded by this.
We’re innate optimists, we make decisions, carry out actions to make our lives better, even if it means dying makes our lives better. Some of us kill ourselves, finding warmth in death, some of us live till a hundred, finding warmth in longevity.
We’re all the same.