freshman year, a few days before it ends

“Ono’s consistent failure to grapple honestly with truth makes him a wholly unsympathetic character for the reader.” Discuss. (1200-1500)

The essay for my text, An Artist in a Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro, is due in two days. It’s almost done. In fact, it’s done, but there’s that nagging feeling that it could be better, somehow.

I open a new tab and let a song play in the background.

My sister had introduced me yesterday to the song ‘Baibaba Bimba’ by the Japanese band the Tenniscoats. Or rather, two days ago; it’s Tuesday in the morning already. I can’t seem to stop listening to it; it touches the raw soul so tenderly with nonsensical lyrics that somehow communicates with the heart better than any cookie-cutter love song.

Sitting alone in my room, the solitude fills me with peace. I couldn’t have felt like that last year; I was too insecure to want to be alone. Being alone, nose buried in a book, ignoring the world, was so much easier when I was younger.

“Ba-ee-baba bimba, ba-ee baba bim.”

There is no noise outside my door. For once, I might be the last one awake.

It is established throughout the narrative – mostly in very oblique ways – that Ono has much to regret.

This semester has been pretty decent so far. Have had more time to enjoy myself, and I’m enjoying my work a lot more. But while it’s been stressful the past few weeks, I’m entering a lull now, creating a dangerous sense of complacency, which isn’t good when exams are in two weeks.

The difficult, arduous semester of yesteryear almost seems like a nightmare from long ago. Although funnily enough, the extra time I have seems to have been taken up by other things. So, there’s been less writing, especially without the emotional catalyses of the last semester to force my hand. Also because this semester has been full-on arts modules – it’s been writing, writing, writing, essays which only teachers see, and reading, reading, reading, all sorts of scholarly texts about heritage and disasters and how war made states and vice-versa that I barely remember in the end.

I miss my novels. Literature was a reprieve in that way.

This current semester felt way more rewarding that last semester. Just looking forward and being satisfied with what I have and what I’ve become, unremarkable I may be. Dwelling on past mistakes or inferiorities just made it worse.

Hope is for the future, after all. Regrets are for the past.

“Forget the former things; 
do not dwell on the past. 
See, I am doing a new thing! 
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way in the wilderness 
and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:18-19

Because I discovered that the only way I could be truly happy was to look within myself. Not towards other people, or results, or a girl. All I need, is inside me: just God and myself.

But if we understand that his reluctance to approach these parts of his past allows him to live on for his family, and through his selective narrative he finds meaning in life’s smaller satisfactions – overcoming the psychological effects of his tragic errors in order to live for them is worthy of admiration, and should garner our sympathies for the tragedy of a misdirected but ambitious life.

Poor Ono.

I shut off Microsoft Word, and head to bed.


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