Monday, May 05, 2014

The Ambiguity of Usefulness ~ 4

I remember about my brother's second visit to my current "home". Bounded by 2 hours on a plane is not a bad idea, I guess. According to the social rule, as far as I know, the older brother ie expected to become the role model. But I didn't, don't, and (probably) won't follow. Back then, I was overruled by the third party, which means, my role as the role model was invalid. "Just get the good grades, and get the bachelor degree" was my main function. So, you see, thanks to that, we're not having that kind of "good-friend" ties. For me, it's a pure formality, and probably it's way too late to fix it.

The first day of his visit was filled in with both of our current workspace: "how's work", "how's the management", "how's mom and  dad", and so on. Until, late that night, the mood was perfectly ruined with the question about relationship. I suspect there's an army who will hunt down those 30-and-still-single, especially for women. Long live patriarchy, eh?

"So, girlfriend?"
"Not yet."
"You're 30, and you're ready for that."
"Says who?"
"I stand corrected. Nobody will be ready for anything, but you're 30. You need one."
"Again, says who?"
"You are aware that dad is 60 years old."
"And not working, and no saving. Yes, I'm aware that much, thank you very much. Don't even try to change the subject. I ask again. Says who."

Oh, boy. Things will get ugly from here.

"What's your point?"
"My point is, I'm staying here for work. Not for a girlfriend."
"Make a time for that."
"If I can, I will. Problem is, I can't."
"No work, no money, no food for you guys. Is that what you really want?"
"Hey, I have a job."
"Will your saving cover your plan to buy a house?"
"We can manage something. You don't have to worry about that."
"I bet there's nothing in that something you mentioned. Don't throw a fake ball."
"But you're 30. The moment you reach 40, it's already too late to become a parent."
"Then you can go ahead. I don't mind. I never asked you not to overstep me in marriage."
"But it's not according to the standard."
"Did our family grow according to the standard?"
"If you worry about the money, I'm sure that your income will doubled. Or even tripled."
"Again, says who?"
"Look at our parent!"
"No saving. Reality check. You forget the neighbor. Divorced, two children, no saving."
"You're stubborn."
"Let me do my own part. For you, get yourself a girlfriend, marry her, and prove me wrong."
"It's useless talking to you."
"Not for me. At least, I finally see what's in your head."
"Which is?"
"Being single will always be labelled as useless cause it won't grant a child. If that's your point of thinking about filial piety, then I shouldn't be here in the first place. I could stay as a close-minded person with the basis of living-from-paycheck-to-paycheck."
"You've changed."
"Everybody is."

The Ambiguity of Usefulness ~ 3

That particular night, I dreamed about getting a kiss from a friend. Let's call her Soy. Not a vivid dream, but I remembered the words that I said after the kiss "Better?" When I woke up, I bet I made that face-saying-seven-hell. In reality, Soy and I are not that close, although it's fun to have several small journeys with good meals and good stories. As for why I got that dream, I didn't have a clue. Not a single one. Until this day, that dream doesn't make any awkward situation. A good sign? I don't know.

Unrelated with Soy, there was one time I got a happy dream combined with a confusing message. Let me ask you this: will you make a happy face even if you get a dream with 'If you're lying, I'll kill you' message in the dream? Yes, that kind of dream.

"Dreams are the touchstones of our characters." - Henry David Thoreau.

Although Freud said that dream is, probably, an interpretation of repressed wishes, as for my case, it will become a small flick that may trigger actions that I'll use to analyze stuffs. Useful? Probably. Or probably not. Besides, there's no guide book or holy scripture about dreams. Whether it's better to do something to get that dream but fail, compared to wait-and-do-nothing; whether you believe either one of those are useful or useless, again, there's no holy scripture or holy formula for it.

Even if you know about the Akashic Records, things seem pretty much useless. But putting that aside, most of the times, I don't have a particular reaction with déjà vu. I am fully aware that life cannot run backwards as I don't have the skill to control the flow of time. A dream is a dream. Whether it's a déjà vu, whether it's useful or useless, I always try to see it from different angles. Pretty much interesting, I believe.

Friday, May 02, 2014

The Ambiguity of Usefulness ~ 2

Not long after that dinner, either by a struck of bad luck, or karma, or malice, whatever it is, we got another gloomy information. J's contract would not be extended. According to her, the company was not in a good position to keep the business going, so the management made several cuts. Her contract was one of the plan. In short, she went for another job hunting while fulfilling the current contract. Dinner time will always be the perfect set for me to retrieve information.

"So, did she call you guys?"
"Yes, just to inform us about that."
"Does she share the plan? I mean, whether to stay here, or go back."
"Nope. We don't know. Probably she doesn't share about it, except with her husband."
"Well, probably."

It's not unusual for us (by us, I mean me and J, who's my cousin) to be 'easily' compared by using money. It's the easiest parameter that we can use (or, at least, to see the things 'born' from money). So you can see the "atas" class in a single glance(by "atas", I mean the upper class).

But then, how about the middle and lower stratum? Simply put, struggling for balance: food-education-bills-etc. Unless if they want to mutate their own status. Probably that's the way the society works. Yet, the show must go on.

Later that night, I called my parents. I'm not staying with them, due to some circumstances. A usual chit-chat, asking for the latest information about neighbor, weather, economic, and so on, until my mother pulled the string about J.

"Probably J will come back."
"That, I don't know. We'll know about it soon."
"Probably it won't be useful. You know, it has been one year since her wedding, and her mom already snaps about baby."
"But she's already has grandchildren. Plus, it's not like she will participate in taking care of the baby."
"Well, you know. That's just her style."
"Kind of a useless tantrum."
"So, how's yours?"
"Nothing, really. Money comes first."
"I see. But just don't pretend that you have total control of time. Nobody does."
"I know that."

After the call, before I hit the bed, I kept on thinking about the partnership in starting a family. Do we have to, even if it doesn't bring any benefits? What's the point?

Thursday, May 01, 2014

The Ambiguity of Usefulness ~ 1

Sometimes, I have a dream about math exam, in which, I develop a fear of getting a really bad grade. Probably I'm not the only one, but by having such dream, along with the fear itself, perhaps I cultivate it out of self retaliation, without purpose. Why? No reason. Maybe it's just there, together with creation and destruction business. Apart from the fear of bad grade, if I can recall a part of my own history, I believe being labeled as useless is the root.

A friend of mine, let's call him Queen for a while, were asking "Will you detox yourself? Nobody will help you, except one, you can pay for the process, or two, you meet a rare non selfish person." I don't know the full details about Queen's way of life, but he did tell me a summary of his history, which goes like this: "I was knocked down seven times. Yet, I'm still alive." Speaking about vigor, probably he doesn't give a damn about labels.

Label. A stab made by poisonous words, or elixir contains joyous words. Depends on your path, probably we'll encounter more pitfalls of destruction. Easiest sample? A destructive gossip.

Talking about gossip, one year ago (sort of, but not exactly one year), while having dinner with my aunt and uncle, they raised a topic about someone inside the big family. "You know J? Her husband is jobless now. And, as usual, J's mother is a pitfall of doom. Nothing good will come out from her mouth." I tend to agree since I was backstabbed by her in the past. But let's forgive and don't forget.

"So, how's J now? Did she call you guys?"
"Nay. Probably she won't. Unless it's a matter of life and death. Or money."
"And her husband?"
"Still looking for a job."
"Not easy, I guess."
"It depends. But looking back at his achievements, probably he'll get something soon."
"We'll see."
"Since that woman always yell 'useless son in law'. We pity J, but we can't do anything."
"That will pass. I think."
"How about you?"
"Me? I'm fine."
"I mean, do you want to become permanent resident?"
"A good question. I'll think about it once I get the permanent job. After the contract, of course."
"Seeing my current setup, I don't have a single clue whether it will be useful for me. No impact during these 4 years."
"Well, up to you then."

The conversation ended along with the dinner.

From my point of view, there's no book that will clarify the usefulness of something. Even if someone makes it, soon the book will be forgotten.