Saturday, 25 February 2012

Welcome to suburbia.

"This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you're exactly where you're supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are."
- Welcome To Wherever You Are, Bon Jovi
When I'm feeling contemplative, I like to look outside my bedroom window and think about what my neighbours' lives are like. The reality of having lived my entire life in the same small suburb but not having fostered any close relations to the people living around me, is sometimes quite shocking.

When I was very little, my neighbour Bryan was my best friend in the whole world. We used to "play sand" everyday after school, until we were nine years old. Our parents used to worry about the mosquitoes biting our legs when the day turned into evening. We even made a hole in the fence separating our houses - from a small hole where we could exchange small buckets of sand until one day the hole was so big that Bryan climbed over to my house compound. One time, I was in such a hurry to play but he wanted to pee, I made him pee in the bush in his garden. LOL.

When I was ten, eleven, twelve, I used to ride my bicycle and hang out in the playground with the neighbourhood kids. But apart from exchanging sticker collections and making prank calls to friends, we never really got to know each other past a surface level. Bryan wasn't allowed to play outside his house, his parents worried too much. The one time he was allowed out, he poked a dog and it bit his leg - he had to go to the hospital, and he wasn't allowed out again. :(

Sometimes I wonder what my old friends are up to now... what is Bryan doing right now? Does he remember the years we spent playing together? Where are the Indian siblings I used to make prank calls with? Some people moved to different parts of the country, or abroad ... even I moved to a different part of the same suburb, and Bryan wasn't my next-door neighbour anymore. But even while he lives only across the street, sometimes the forty footsteps between today and fourteen years ago is too far a distance to bridge.