-brendon 2-

    I think he has changed since he went over there. I heard of his activities and his classes before he stopped talking to me. He wanted to pursue his scriptwriting dreams. He loved the music scene in Berkeley and San Francisco. For once he wasn't complaining about horrid banal music.

    He seemed in a hurry to throw away his roots- the privileged background that marked his life one of restaurants and guesthouses in District 10. In San Francisco, he spent his father's money on old records and visits to the Haight, walking amongst the hippie-esque, the drugged and the stoned, the dirty huddled shapeless forms sleeping on the sidewalks and the destitute young punks with their skateboards and broken dreams. It was as if he was trying to become one with the other side of materiality - of poverty, of desperate faith in an uncertain new day. I think he realised after a while the process was pointless. There was no certain way of finding oneself.

    Gradually, he learnt to love aspects of his life instead of raging. Instead of throwing himself whole-heartedly into a single mantra or philosophy, he detached himself but he did this with a hardened unattractive edge that seemed almost pretentious - I care not for the world because the world cares not for me.

    He left me here in Singapore listening to stories of the world beyond the four square concrete walls of my hall room. While he enthused about the better life I tried to grapple between my present and my desires. Fanning air into flames, he made me wonder for the first time in my life, what I could have become if I could fly. It was the most dangerous thing he had ever done.