My gas line got disconnected 5 days ago. Apparently the Incorporated Owners of my building failed to upgrade the gas fittings and lines, or something like that. Anyway, its not getting fixed anytime soon. And so I can’t cook (no biggy in Hong Kong) but I can’t shower either (big biggy in Hong Kong summer). And its put me in a Bad Place.
The only option for cleanliness (from the comfort of my own home) for me is a kettle, a very short bath and a good dose of patience. The process gives me time to ponder. It sucks, and don’t give me the 1st world problem rant – of course there are worse situations. But if we don’t take time to think about our own problems in life, no matter how small, then that’s just as dumb as being ignorant of somebody else’s.
Now, I have been in much, much worse Places before. Not really postable material. But right now, on my 5th kettle of the evening, I realise how little things can eat at you just as much as big things. I was an absolute terror at work today – I was rude, grumpy, inattentive, I snapped, I barked, I bitched and vented – and I can put it all down to this kettle. I couldn’t separate the anger and frustration I had with an inconvenience and the rest of my day. The tone of my day was set by an inanimate electrical device, or what it symbolised. The Place I walked into this morning greeted me with a shiny 2.5 litre kettle. And the rest of my day was my choice, really.
It takes 4 minutes and 34 seconds to fully heat my kettle from button to bubble. I’ve done it 9 times now.
I do wonder sometimes if all other people get into these sorts of silly Bad Places. I know that everybody has problems, but some people seem to always be in good places, and others seem to be just in places that are constant, neither good nor bad. I just feel, quite irrationally, that it just seems that some people float above Bad Places as a rule – above all the shit, just to coast smoothly along life’s saloon bar until they find an open and willing hand at the end of the slide – while others are met with the floor, or less coordination from our Great Bartender in the sky.
It might be getting a bit too existential for filling up a bath with a kettle, don’t worry, I realise this.
I’m talking about Bad Places that aren’t big. Sometimes these places are so small that you can’t seem to fit anything else in. Tomorrow, I’m going to try and not think about the kettle, I really am. I might just embrace the stink.
But for now, on my umpteenth kettle and in the umpteenth odd minute of the process, the Bad Place I am in will temporarily dissipate.
I’m leaving my Bad Place.
I’m going to go and have a warm bath.
And this seems trivial and trite, but the “bad place” has begun t