In A Strange Room

Today, I finished the book Sam gave me. This book records three of the author’s personal stories: “The Follower”, “The Lover” and “The Guardian”. How the author writes as an observer and then putting himself back in the first-person perspective as the incumbent makes a refreshing narrative style, albeit sometimes confusing. However, the stories being personal chronicles have a way of tugging at one’s heartstrings. Especially at the end of the day, some bits and pieces ring true with our own slices of memory we would rather keep tucked away in the hippocampus (where hippo kids run rife with their under-developed crunchers, nom nom memories, Sam! Hahaha …)

Well, in spite of it being the slowest moving of all three stories, I found “The Follower” to be the most impressionable, perhaps my favorite of em all. Imagine having little aim of your own, simply following the one person you admire who doesn’t really give you a damn. Imagine wanting to connect yet this massive gulf keeps growing between you. There is immense loneliness, sadness and loss that is so piercing you curse at the prick that is the source of this, only to realize it is not him that beckons the protagonist to follow. He does it out of his own freewill, and then the reader gets washed over by a fresh bout of intense loneliness, sadness and loss. Oh how familiar, we exclaim!

There is one contemplative paragraph that I find exceptionally poignant, because it is true in describing every journey, traveler and the trail we leave behind. In spite of modern contraptions that enable us to immortalize every (un) forgettable moment, we are in the end, this:

“A journey is a gesture inscribed in space, it vanishes even as it’s made. You go from one place to another place, and on to somewhere else again, and already behind you there is no trace that you were ever there. The roads you went down yesterday are full of different people now, none of them knows who you are. In the room you slept in last night a stranger lies in the bed. Dust covers over your footprints, the marks of your fingers are wiped off the door, from the floor and table the bits and pieces of evidence that you might have dropped are swept up and thrown away and they never come back again. The very air closes behind you like water and soon your presence, which felt so weighty and permanent, has completely gone. Things happen once only, and are never repeated, never return. Except in memory.”


About transez

Design researcher: curious about people, passionate about life.
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