Sunday, October 11, 2009

When friends and lovers meet

It is a remarkable aspect of human cognition that when something passes, it remains unnoticed for a long time. We recognize the golden time of childhood only when we have lost it.

Used to be that when friends and lovers meet, they would make appointments quite well in advance, designating subway stations and landmarks as the point of meeting. Then something would happen. When the time passes and the counterpart does not show up, anxiety and uneasiness would grow in the heart. Every minute that passes becomes a dance in suspension. And then, the final relief when your boy friend or girl friend appears around the corner. The sunshine has come out of the clouds again. O what joy!

Now, with the advent of the mobile phone and other means of communication, the torture and bliss of waiting is gone forever. With the SMS and emails and calls, you can "adjust" the meeting point in space and time anyway and as many times as you like. When you look back on how it was 20 years or even 10 years ago, you realize that an era has passed, for ever and ever.

Ken Shiotani, my beloved philosopher friend, is the only one that I know closely who does not possess a mobile phone. So I do have the now ancient joy of the suspense of waiting when I make appointments with Ken Shiotani. His manners of independence from the mobile network might be outdated these days. But he does remind me how sweet and fragrant the yesterdays were.


(ma)gog said...

Yes, I remember waiting for my boyfriend in a coffee schop in Shibuya for nearly three hours! I was almost crying when he finally emerged, terribly upset of course, for having been so late. I was certainly so naive then, that's incredible.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. But is a poundling heart to wait for a sweetheart unchanging now?