Dusk arrives earlier in Melbourne than it does in Singapore. We are walking along Collins Street and the fading sun lends a golden glow. It’s getting darker, and it’s getting colder. I zip my jacket up and wind the scarf around my neck. I am not yet sick of the cold. We find a table outside Lindt Chocolate Cafe and share a box of macarons as the evening stretches into night.
It has been a long day. Twelve in Melbourne, probably ten in Singapore. I am outside on the balcony wearing a cardigan over my clothes. The cold does not hit me at first, but as I sit down on the cold metal stool the wind chills me down to my bone. I am trying to text someone but my fingers are numb and I am already starting to tremble from the cold. I may be the only one with the shakes. The rest have already adapted to the cold.
End of the first day on the Great Ocean Road. It’s barely eight pm and the roads are empty, the stores closed, the town dark and quiet. We check into a motel and I step outside to light up. It’s so damn quiet I can hear the crash of waves, the sound of the ocean just a block away. I remember thinking to myself that I would like to stay there forever, it’s so damn peaceful.
We get out of the car and walk to the beach. Someone is burning their garbage up across the road and the smoke drifts over the stretch of sand. So we continue walking on, to the slippery rocks and seaweed tendrils so long and large that they resemble kelpy octopuses. There are waves, huge waves, at the end of the rocks. Bless wants to go to the edge of the rocks to see the waves and I follow, but at the same time I am afraid. Despite my fascination with the ocean I have a deep fear of it, and the further we get from the car the more nervous I am. We are so far away from the car now that the car is a miniscule black rectangle in the distance behind us.
We decide to head back.
I tell Bless about the topic of parallel universes on the way back. Quantum physics believe that there are an infinite number of universes out there, and everytime a choice is made the universe splits into two. Every time you flip a coin, the universe splits into two separate realities – one in which you get the heads, one in which you get the tail. Every time you make a decision, every time you make a choice, the universe splits. Infinite number of universes, infinite.
In returns she tells me about this Chinese horror show that she watched once on cable and never knew what movie it was. This female writer stumbles into another dimension where all the forgotten things of the world are, including a child she has aborted years and years ago. I would like to watch it but Googling doesn’t help.
I miss how liberated I feel when I was in Melbourne.
Like many other people around the globe, I am not sure what I really really want.