A cockroach, Oumuamua, and squirrels.


A cockroach, Oumuamua, and squirrels.

I suffer from mindlessness. When coupled with other cognitive distortions and natural selection, I am the optimal lab rat for any socialists psychologists and Buddhism monks.

It was 4:30am. I woke up naturally. I wondered, if I were famous, would this fact earn me an entry into one of Business Insider’s perennial re-runs of “10-morning routines of successful Asian people”? I downed my two glasses of pure water. I sat on my sofa, and my brain asked me not to move. My default mode was in full effect. It brought me to the dark yet strangely welcoming future of nothingness. It then took me to re-experience the dramatically and liberally elaborated scenes of last night’s dinner. Then it trapped me inside the loudest debate between right and white, wrong and grey.

I asked Meditation to take me out. I noticed where the default mode was. Somewhere beneath my jaws and slightly to the right of my underdeveloped Adam’s Apple (more like Adam’s Almond). I was not able to examine it well enough hence it did not detach from me and get blown away like a river of flying yellow Post Its.

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I stared at the balcony, for eternity. Then, a cockroach, with its full essence, entered my consciousness.

I disliked cockroaches. I feared them, but I have had enough mental training to elevate my fear to kill. I was instructed that my next task was to figure out what I should use to kill it. There was no flip flops slippers or Nike shoes that were shitty enough (Nike could never be shitty. This was a fact) nearby. I spotted my daughter’s L.O.L. Surprise doll’s cocoon. I hated that planet hurting piece of plastic shit, so immediately I felt hopeful. It’s like I had found Darth Vader’s own red lightsaber right before the moment I got to kill him. Plastic ball in hand (yes I don’t understand how on earth I decided to choose something round to try to kill a cockroach), then I executed my well-practiced ninja-glide towards my foe. …🕺🏻…🕺🏻…🕺🏻

You know how cockroaches would always do this deer in the headlights thing, where when they sensed something was approaching they would somehow freeze? I made just enough movements to make it realize something was there. It stopped moving. I knew any other sudden movement would trigger it to run at that much faster “fuck my life!” pace.

Cockroach was motionless. Me aiming. 2 secs.

🕺🏻 ……….

Then I shotput the ball at it with just the flip of my forearm. I nailed it. It was squashed into pieces. One of its legs flew and stuck onto one of my daughter’s Frozen dolls. I was very proud of myself. I killed the cockroach, and also that damn baby blue doll (“hey sweetie, I am sad. A cockroach left one of its legs on Frozen’s 21st twin sister. “ “Ewww! Throw 21th away!!”).

I also woke up. Well, the cockroach woke me up.

***

I had been walking for 5 kilometers already. It was a humid and warm January winter afternoon. The air smelled like sneakers factories from Putian. I have caught up with all my podcasts: Tim Ferriss found a guy who taught essentialism; Tony Xu explained DoorDash’s rapid growth, and some Millennial VCs discussed what service market fit was.

I was not able to walk any further. The last two rounds I circled the fruit market did it. I finally came to the realization that none of those expensive cherries and Kirin fruits would take that noise away from my ears.

Earlier that day in the morning, after my workout, I treated myself to a pineapple bun. I relished it, and I let that good feeling linger while watching overweight men playing old men basketball.

Actually, let me rephrase this: I relished it and pinned myself down at the basketball court, one of the few places I had found might help extend good feelings.

Let me rephrase it again.

I relished it and pinned myself down at the basketball court, one of the few places I had found might help me from falling deeper in a spiral.

Back at the fruit market, I no longer knew where else to go. I flipped through my phone, quietly scrambling. Then out of the cosmos, Oumuamua entered our solar system: How it might be shaped like a pancake; How it might have traveled billions of light years and the civilisation that created had probably all died by now; How those scientists shared their theories were ridiculed.

As I was reading it, the 2nd theme from the movie Interstellar returned. This was the theme first showed up in the movie when they were chasing the drone in a cornfield. The melody was one of bittersweetness and yearning. The organ made one feel this yearning was a wishful and lonely prayer inside a cathedral.

The mind was really a beautiful design. It went deep into the database, extracted from the dormant memories and emotions, and composed the most emotional serenade, to drive the monkey that it controlled into complete nostalgia.

Also at that precious moment, I escaped.

***

Dog, “I want that biscuit. I want that biscuit. I want that biscuit. I want that biscuit. SQUIRRELS!”

Biscuit survived.

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