I scrunched my face, buried it in my hands and tried to cry. I mean I really wanted to cry, but I had to force it. Trying to cry, that sounds phony, makes it cheap, the thought almost made me give up trying. I sobbed and I heaved, I tried to force the tears, like how you might stick your finger in your mouth to vomit. I wanted to cry into someone’s shoulder. I wanted to wail at the world, I’ve had enough of this, I give up. I know there’s nothing stopping me but myself. But there are all sorts of reasons not to quit: I tell myself I’ll stay for another year because I don’t want to return the sign on bonus, because it is better to get a bit more experience. Or maybe I am overreacting, I’ve just had a bad day. (It wasn’t even a bad day, more a day when the cup is not half full) Or look at how no one is quitting. Just stay on for a while more. Quit when you have a bit more money. Or will I ever get another job if I quit this one? The door was ajar, so I got up and went over to close it. Back again at the desk, but I had lost the moment. Like a methodical actor, I went at it again.
It really isn’t the job. It’s more than that. It is the lack of direction that eats at me. I stand on the MRT to work, another day, another day, I eat the dinner that I do not want to eat, I come home and tell myself I will train tomorrow because tonight I’m too tired. I work because it is the safe thing to do. But when will the money be enough? This prostitution is killing me. Whatever happened to the immediacy of happiness playing soccer in hot afternoons after the bell rings. This happiness did not worry if my ECA skipping subterfuge would eventually be found out by my parents. Leave that to the cunning careerists. Sure, it speculated idly on the impossible drudgery of work, this from a safe position far removed in time and ensconced in the careless invulnerability of youth. It seems as if that period is like a falling snow globe, swirling happy just before it smashes itself on the ground.