• Ou Ming
  • Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    the comfort of strangers

    On the bus, the other day, I helped a beautiful, old lady’s neck to feel better. It wasn’t in my intentions at first but it was plain to see: her neck was desperately looking for comfort. She started the conversation by asking me if my neck was in pain. I didn’t feel any pain apart from the occasional, pc induced ones. What she mistook for pain was my efforts to find a comfortable posture on my bus seat. I had been restless and fidgeting for a few minutes due to many nights’ lack of sleep. So no, I wasn’t in pain but for the sake of communicating with a stranger, I gave in, said yes.

    Before I had managed to say something, she started firing away about her neck problems: the neck is stiff, it makes weird cracking noises, her doctor is not sure about the cause yet, she’s having x-rays taken the following week… One thing led to another, from my mum’s problems to osteoporosis and menopause, from the importance of a good physiotherapist to my vast opinions on all these (I had never realised I had so many!). There was me, advising like an expert, an admittedly younger-looking, very elegant, Maida Vale, 72-year old lady. When she stood up to get off, she smiled gently thanking me. I smiled back because I noticed her neck was straighter, half an inch taller, as supple as a young girl’s.

    The favour was paid back to me later that same day. At the Luminaire, a soft shoulder of a 30-something Japanese guy came to the comfort of my trembling, camera-holding hands. Well, it didn’t really come on its own initiative, I snatched it! Lighting was low, I needed a place to rest my camera on, so I leaned on the shoulder without asking. He shied away at first, thinking I was gently pushing him out of the way but when I asked him to “help me, please sit still”, he did it with grace. The shoulder was warm and comforting. It also gave off a sweet smell. However, my picture of Colleen still came out blurry like this:



    Anonymous sage said...

    I miss the comfort of you... :-(
    xilaren dear..

    May 15, 2007 6:49 pm  
    Blogger Xilaren said...

    yours too

    May 17, 2007 8:26 am  

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