I am sitting high up on the concrete steps with G, with a cup of ice-cold beer in my hand, feeling the notes of music pierce right through me, the amplified reverberations from the electric guitars sending shock waves into the very core of my being. The night air is saturated with sound, the atmosphere is charged with electricity and heightened energy, it's like a thick dense blanket that envelopes me in a warm embrace. I watch the people around me get up impulsively to dance, they move forward to join the sweaty mass of bodies at the mosh pit, where they can yell out the lyrics and thrash their heads in utter disregard and jump around together in an alcohol-fueled frenzy of reckless abandon, without any inhibitions. I am in love with all of this, this is amazing, this is what being young is all about, this is passion, this is what it feels like to be alive and conscious of it like never before, to have the blood rushing in my ears, to feel my heartbeat accelerating in time to the music, to have my nerves tingling, sweat pouring down my neck, to have to yell out loud just so I can be heard over the music. Experiences like this are so hard to come by.
And then, afterwards:
We are sitting at a tiny coffee shop at Serangoon, sharing a plate of prata and teh-tarik. It's close to midnight, but most of the tables are still filled with people having supper. We talk against the indistinct, comforting chatter in the background, the whooshing sound of the cars speeding by on the main road, the sound of hot oil sizzling, the weary-sounding voices of the indian stallholders as they take orders. We talk about everything- about her internship, about university life and newfound friends, about God and faith, about music, about believing in ourselves, about our dreams, about our secondary school days and how we've changed, about the unknown possibilities of what the future holds, about identity and self-expression, about true love and the idea of soul mates.There is no awkwardness between us, and I love how comfortable I can be around her. It's like a ritual, these late-night conversations where we never run out of things to say. This friendship- it anchors me, tethers me down, and for that, I am eternally grateful