Haven’t written anything in a long fucking time. Fuuuucking Kuala Lumpur. That past month was a total disaster, and it’s rolling into the present. But why, Scott!? Why was it so bad? Because, at least for the moment, my health has suffered tremendously. Well, what happened with that? Well, it starts with M.S. (almost certainly after this recent episode, though I’ve never actually been diagnosed by a doctor) which I’ve likely been “suffering” from for sixteen years now, but have treated with remarkable effect thanks to the efforts largely of Jasper Lawrence, and others, until my last two weeks in KL. I mean my whole time there I wasn’t terribly happy or feeling good physically, and there are so many reasons for that—the dump of a hostel I worked at and slept in, the selfish manager who I worked for, the food that while delicious I could feel was affecting my health in a not positive way, and my time spent working at the hostel which limited the amount of time I could apply to more preferential things (while also preventing me from seeing other parts of Malaysia)—but the last two weeks, when I suffered from IBS for a week from something bad that I ate or drank, and then the “attack” that I had the night before my last day there that had me exhausted and sleeping through the day because I was so weak and so tired that I could do little but sleep: that is what soured my time in Kuala Lumpu the most for me. Oh, and I left my Patagonia jacket at the hostel.
At this point I don’t even think I have any memories that I wish to put down which, when I was considering a final journal entry from KL, I thought I might. Now, I think not. Or I just don’t care to. It could also be that I am exhausted due to my current condition.
There is perhaps one small anecdote which I don’t mind jotting down. On the night of my “attack,” as I was out looking for my supper, an Indian boy approached me asking if I would be so kind as to buy him a meal, just something cheap, maybe from McDonald’s? He was wearing a backpack hung loosely from his shoulders, and he sort of shuffled along in an odd sort of Quasimodo-like way, but he had these brilliant, glowing eyes that shone like two polished gems with an unquestionable warmth and friendliness. He kept insisiting on sharing his food with me—a generous gesture but one which I refused over and over as McDonald’s isn’t my thing (though I can’t say I wasn’t curious to try), but also because I just wanted to buy him a meal and be on my way, alone. However, he insisted on following me around, or rather, guiding me to various places he thought I should see. I’m not sure if his asking for food was a pretense for finding someone to while away the evening with, although I’m quite certain he was hungry as he scarfed his food like a half-starved animal (offering to share with me all the while) once we arrived at “The Place,” it seemed quite plain to me that he was lonely. “The Place” was the Sultan Abdul Amad Building, a late nineteenth century colonial government building with simple gardens, beautiful tilework, and numerous fountains, just across the Gombak River from the Masjid Jamek Mosque, one of the more beautiful and popular mosques in KL. It was unsurprisingly a peaceful place as the two of us were the only ones there, though he ruined it a bit by talking so much. He couldn’t stop telling me how kind I was, and then went on a long rant about how self-righteous the muslims in Kuala Lumpur are, and how the Chinese don’t care about anyone who isn’t Chinese, but how I was so kind because I bought him a meal and listened to him. He said he has not been able to work for a long time on account of some sort of illness or inury that he is only now recovering from. We continued walking together mainly because I was too nice to tell him to get the hell away. I only wanted to buy him a meal; I wasn’t paying for his companionship. And while he was a very nice guy, I simply wanted to be alone. Eventually I told him just that, that I wanted to be alone, no more and no less—to eat alone, and to walk alone. He told me several times how sad I looked, which, while not entirely inaccurate, was not what he was seeing. His interpretation of sadness in my visage was simply my desire to be without his company. It’s rather sad that in order to achieve that, my solitude, I had to insist on it in such a forceful way.