Saturday, 29 December 2012



  Trudging in the soft semi-dry sand on the lake shore was the down-cast figure of Krow as lifeless as the deserted beach. His hand deep in his pocket, the chilly wind blew the straw of hair on his head into his face, he did nothing to clear it of the locks in fact he seemed not to notice anything around him not even himself.
  Trailing behind him could be seen the footprints he’d made and each of them looked like they had a story of their own to tell, they were made by the weight of his body, they’d sank under the weight of his sorrow, the earth and the sand had parted to let him deposit some of his misery as he walked on- those were the scars of his life all coming undone piece by soft piece.
   He looked at the meandering grass that grew on blindly towards the water but could hardly make it due to the barren sand, he pitied the shrivelling grass. He pulled his jacket closer and trudged slowly on. The wind continued mourning around him his face down, his chin touching his collarbones Krow plodded on to nowhere.
    A tear crawled slowly unnoticed from the corner of his left eye, made a thin trail, stopped, hesitated, built up and succumbed to gravity and at the same time he stopped his eyes focusing on the ground below, the tear finally hit the ground unearthing some thing slightly which he saw.  He stooped and picked up the rusty piece of metal, blew away the sand and examined it, it was a tiny ancient necklace locket. He tried prying it open but the rust had spoilt its hinges and sort of glued it together such that it was impossible to open so he held it in  the fist of his hand and moved on.
    This was not the first time that Krow had come to the lake shore, he spent most of his days walking the length of the beach in a sombre mood and far at the end of this beach stood a lonely spot- a flat square concrete stone block just outside the water which had lapped at it through the ages and changes in tide giving it a jagged and rugged look. It was Krow’s favourite spot. He’d step on to it, stand rigidly still and gaze into the horizon for hours on end. Today wasn’t an exception only this time he had something else to stare at.
   He laid out his palm and stood on the Watchtower as he called the stone wondering at the locket whether it had a story and what its story was, at the same time figuring out the best way to open it curious at what he’d find inside of it. He tried to pry it open but failed again.
   He put it in his pocket and watched the sun set. Every day he came to the same spot with the locket in his pocket, he would extract it, look hard and then he started talking to it ‘ you know, i-I don’t know why I keep you, you piece a crap….’ ‘Whom did you belong to? I wonder…’ ‘Why did you end up here on the lonely beach …’ ‘why won’t you open damn it!’
   He’d joke, be serious, rant and rage at the locket and it patiently listened to him and for a long time Krow grew to like the locket more and more, his curiosity grew by bounds and one time he got so mad he hit the locket on the rock but still it would not open. He’d named it ‘tears’ because it had been discovered by his tear and for a long time this continued for Mr. Krow and his locket.
    The rust had slowly started to wear off and below it shone gold like in the sunset but Krow hardly noticed the change much, he was only glad he had a friend to share his loneliness with and pine into and slowly the locket transformed into the most beautiful gem ever beheld and finally Krow gradually noticed and became fascinated with the change.
   The day the last chip of rust fell off was an awesome day. Krow had gone to the watchtower as usual and sat down cross-legged on the stone momentarily drowning in the suns rays enjoying the lazy feeling it brought until it started to lose its warmth as it set then he removed the locket from its hiding place, the last chip of rust caught on the fabric of the cloth inside yanking almost free and thus loosened as he pulled the locket out of the pocket. Once outside it totally came off the locket and fell into the calm waters of the lake. As Krow looked at the locket he had the oddest feeling of peace and calm, he closed his eyes holding the locket between his index finger and the thumb.
   The feeling was so blissfully intense it distracted him and he did not notice the locket opening so that when he opened his eyes an amazing sight lay before him. He stared at it transfixed and could not move, every thing else seemed to fade away and it was just him and the locket, it was strangely familiar and so beautiful.
    In the locket he beheld an image and that image was smiling the happiest smile he’d ever seen, so genuinely happy it seemed then it hit him…
There was nothing in the locket except a tiny mirror and in the mirror what he saw wasn’t just an image, it was a reflection of his face and it was he who was smiling. The realisation seemed to knock the senses out of his body taking his breath away, his hands went numb and he dropped the locket into the water, he had a few seconds glance at it before it was swallowed by the wave disappearing forever but he did not care.
   Something inside of him had snapped at that moment it was like he was nolonger a prisoner of something, he’d been released, he was free at last, free from everything, tears had brought him freedom and he wanted to shout, dance and jump with joy, he felt like he could do anything and that is exactly what he did, he let out a whoop of joy, ran on the beach hardly leaving any prints in his wake, he did cartwheels, he spun around in circles his hands spread out, his head tilted up smiling so greatly he laughed like never before, shouted his voice hoarse, kicked the sand, tripped and fell down rolled in the sand got up and ran some more basically going wild with joy and as he trudged and disappeared into the horizon his figure looked so full of life his quest was no more at last he’d found the greatest quest of all, at last he was happy…



Once upon a time there was an ungrateful lion. This lion was so ungrateful that he depressed everything around him. He was ungrateful about his family, in fact he blamed them the most for committing the biggest crime- that of bringing him into the world a lion. It was their fault he was born and a lion at that, their fault he had the looks of a lion, their fault he had to act like a lion and take responsibilities the way lions did therefore he totally refused to do anything that any self respecting lion was entitled to or was known for.

He hated having to work for what to eat hated the world for being what it was and yet any sort of change that affected him worsened his liking so he spent most days cursing and blaming life along with everything in it. He hated everything that tried to identify with what he was and so he had very few friends if you could count zero, he was not even a friend to himself. Most of his young days as a cub were spent in idling, cursing and sulking at the world. He was truly an impossible cub, a headache and burden to his parents, siblings and the rest of the animals of the wild at large. He was bound for trouble every one agreed. He was fast cutting out a straight road to disaster and doom, he almost enjoyed it.

He was master at hunger strikes, disliked everyone and everyone in turn loathed him. He became a plague and everyone fought to avoid him and his foul attitude. He was the first to desert the den, barely old enough to fend for himself but all the others thought it was good riddance. He unbelievably also hated the fact that he was a powerful species among wild creatures and scowled at the fact other animals were in awe of his abilities, to him he had none and despised the lions way of life. He often got his food through cheating and bullying others. He especially envied the cheetahs because they were faster than him and thus he maliciously befriended them so that he could exploit their abilities. He also started associating with the hyenas and like them would spend the day waiting for captured prey and scavenging and as a result he became greedy like them hungry for anything that crossed his path regardless of whether he had need for it. He became fat and lazy due to lack of exercise.

He also sought the company of the leopards who no choices but tolerate him due to his status in the jungle. The leopards were carefree, agile and cunning, they did whatever they chose, broke most of the jungle laws. He copied this and became a very bad example to the royal blood. He despised himself the more he deviated. His arrogance got him into a lot of trouble in that he even started invading man’s territory making himself a total menace and idiot. He preyed on the forbidden animals-the domestic creatures because they were easy prey and he enjoyed the fact that he could get away with his sick games. He despised man who was his greatest enemy and threat hence he could not get enough tricks to play on him. He was very selfish during hard times when food was scarce. Due to his dirty tricks he always had what to eat mostly gotten through stealing and raiding man’s traps and his domestic animals or when the worst came to the worst – begging.

When the animals came to him, he laughed in their faces and gave a mighty roar – the only thing he was proud of – sending them scampering off. Such was the life of our ungrateful lion but his thieving was not long to be tolerated and soon his conniving friends the hyenas and leopards ignored to warn him of the trap that man had set for him. He got himself snared in a net and promptly caught. He got the beating of his life which left him with many broken bones and time in a cell in the zoo next to a cage of annoying monkeys and nagging cell mates. Ungrateful as usual he‘d not allow to be treated until he was too weak to resist. When he got better he was so mad at his cell mates and disliked the keeper the worst. He became angrier each passing day which turned into months and then a year and still he raged on.

He was given his own cell and fed the worst food; he lost a lot of weight and became the talk of the zoo ridiculed by mostly the monkeys who laughed at his stupidity. He abused himself by lying around dung, lied to his neighbors and cheated them out of food until none could trust him so he starved a lot. He realised his cunning wont get him anywhere so he settled for sulking. He became a most wretched creature- hated, lonely, bored, bad-tempered, despised and malnourished, what a great lion he’d turned into indeed!
The monkeys cheered his majesty in his great palace.

As time passed it started weighing on him how despicable he had become so he cleaned up, started treating the keeper with wary politeness, allowed to be petted a few times and purred to show he liked it. Due to this improvement he started getting better food; his neighbors detected a change when he no longer raged at them although he still sulked a great deal. An old lion laughed at him and made jokes to provoke him but he was ignored until he gave up and realised the young was almost broken. So it came to be that when the old lion talked he listened but rarely participated in the conversation but in his heart for the first time he was grateful others were not so afraid and hateful of him. He quietened and grew strong and healthy; he delighted in the peace and being left alone although he always missed the freedom of the wild. With time on his side, he thought of all the wrongs and bad behavior he had relished and was so ashamed of himself.

During the third year of his prison life he was released when the keeper realised that he was pining after the wild and then came the hardest part of his life. None was glad to see him back; even the cheetahs and hyenas sensed a change in his old bad self so they stayed away. But lion was so happy to be free he did not mind any kind of attitude towards him which was largely enemity. He had a tough time fighting off fellow male lions for territory but he had an advantage of being stronger and better fed than most of the others so he lost no time in making his presence felt.  However all the years of doing nothing had softened him, he knew no honest lifestyle, he almost failed to get a mate but luckily some misfit of a lioness felt pity for him and taught him the rules of life. He also had  developed a keen insight, its like he was seeing things for the first time. He became very interested in how easily most creatures fell prey to their predators.

Mostly he was interested in the prey itself which included gazelles, antelopes, impalas. He did desire them differently, he admired their grace and beauty and pitied them for being easy prey to the cheetahs and most animals. He also observed how cheetahs were fast in pursuing their prey but as soon as they got what they wanted from the fallen animal, they off chasing another leaving the rest to the vultures and hyenas. Then lion also noticed that the cheetahs somehow knew how the gazelles behaved especially in groups and hence lost no time singling out those of their choice immediately signing their death warrant.

Those that survived longer were the loners that kept away from the herd and these became game for our lion. He no longer wanted to be like the cheetahs that predicted their game and made short chase. They no longer valued the meat, just the chase because they knew the prey was available in plenty. He was ashamed of what he’d been, like a hyena he’d waited for fallen prey and realised there was no satisfaction or pride in that and like cheetahs he’d been a mere conqueror, had basked in his conquests and now he had no self-esteem. Therefore he completely changed his game. He sought out those unique, tactful and clever ones that would provide the greatest challenge. Sometimes he’d chase one for a whole day almost giving up to pick easy prey but he’d remember the effort he’d already put in. was it all for nothing? And right back to the chase he’d go.

Whenever he managed to capture his prey which wasn’t always, he’d make sure he treated the meat with the utmost respect it deserves, feed himself until it was all gone. It was all his not to be shared with the likes of the hyenas and due to this, nature started being good to him and he was well provided for. Other animals began respecting him and some took up his example therefore more prey was spared the humiliation of falling to the teeth of base creatures like the hyenas and vultures that also started working on getting themselves food instead of nsegarizing , they had now turned bitter enemies of  the lion. Consequently easy prey became hard to come by. At last the lion was no longer worthless, he’d done the wild a good turn and he lived to be remembered for many generations to come.



Peer pressure is more of a pull than a push a very gentle pull that takes you in bits and pieces and before you know it, it has all of you. It is like a gentle flood of water that comes sipping into your little cocoon of a house, you think its compact and locked up pretty good, it invades your safe haven and embraces you in your safety but you hardly notice it so slowly the water slips under your door, sweeping under the rugs and soon it takes over the whole floor – your base, takes over the place that had your stability and then this accomplished, it starts rising so calmly, so naturally such that  before you know it, you’re knee deep under it and that’s when you start feeling the pressure but of course, it is still minimal, it keeps rising till it’s waist high and that’s when the initial panic sets in. Frantically, you rush for the door, to escape or let it out.
At this point, it has become a deal because unnoticed; the water has actually gotten not only around you but to you and into you. Some have the strength to break free others not really, so some after the initial rush to the door manage to open it before it’s too late and escape it but for most, the door is the defining moment. Once you reach the door, hand on the door knob, you pause, look behind and that’s when it hits you that you might not exactly want to leave the room because it has gotten to you in a small way and somehow you realize that the feeling you gave you ain’t that bad after all. You think of the times before the invasion, you were really lonely, confused and boring and you realize that the water surrounding actually brings some great sense of comfort, at this point you wouldn’t mind, you think of the downside of opening that door, is it really the better choice, it might be sunny or it might be rainy outside, you shake your head, you are not willing to take that chance, you’re not willing to go back to that cold world, besides as you reach the door you feel the pressure, the magnetic force pulling you back now that it gas gotten a big part of you in its grip, its sunk its claw deep into your flesh, and tearing away is actually painful, so slowly you  let go of the door knob and slip back away from everything else and the things inside that room is all that matters, so you lose yourself among these things but before long, the water reaches chest high and suddenly you feel so crowded  and at this point, it stoops being such fun, everything and everyone is struggling to have the little that is left, you start regretting why you succumbed to the jury of your peers just when you had a chance to get it easily, you look to the door and now it is crowded with all those struggling to get out, the distance to the door now feels longer, the water got so absorbed into your body it weakened your system, you make a weak effort to try to escape only to be laughed at by those who gave up a long time ago, you totally have no support, you ignored the calls from  the outside to  get out while you can, you are scared of going outside anyway because you got used to the life of a water-filled room that has left you incapacitated, that’s when you actually feel the pressure everywhere, all around you and in your veins, you feel the hold it has on you, you never realized as one by one heavy blocks were placed on your shoulders, heavier and heavier, they grew as more got added on and in trying to hold yourself up, you never realized you were sinking under the pressure and soon you can hardly breathe, you are neck high under water and that’s when you start struggling trying to save yourself, but the pressure fights back sinking its claws deeper into your flesh, but this time you actually feel the pain, it’s brutal and it’s pulling you under, you are on pressure from all sides, even from inside you , the things you swallowed are extremely demanding too, you are backed into a corner and with one helpless gulp you sink under never to re-surface, your last thought that of utter loneliness and regret.
Having given up, helpless, feeling the life ebb out of you, you think of the wrong choices that led you to that point, it’s amazing how wonderful they looked at the time so with one last effort, you cry out to the Almighty, The One who hears and sees everything, so he heard you cry and never-failing, he swoops down, a powerful hand shoots down through the water and clutches your hand pulling you back to the surface and out of the water filled room into the sun and the wind away from the toxic clutches of the water panting and dripping wet but drying fast you are filled by an overwhelming sense of gratitude. You realize how lucky you are and there is no one who can understand the feeling of having been saved but he who saved you! Only then do you realize that you never want to be where you have been neither would you wish anyone to go where you have been, you dedicate your life to Him who saved you, the never-failing Him who delivers people like you, He who never gave up after all else failed but most of all, you never forget the power of peer pressure, never to be underestimated…


It’s a long way home, I have lost myself. This is the part when you wish your life was fiction. it was going so well but then you have to go mess it up, you run into the very things you were running away from, the very reason you left home in the first place, you want to be the horrible bad who meets a very deserved bad guy’s ending but then you are the hero of your life, you are the good guy who doesn’t deserve the good guys good ending, you try to say it but they think its part of the plot of your life until in the end you come to accept it, you have fooled even yourself so in the end you don’t know who you are but deep down you know that’s not you, at the back of  your mind there is that pestering reminder that this is not home because actually your heart is not there that’s why you keep messing things up and you keep asking why things are always going so wrong by you, you are running from yourself the whole of your life and you don’t even know it, you want to turn back, but you wont, you simply…cant!
It requires too much so you choose to get, rather be stuck on a long lonely, bleak and unpredictable road, you meet strangers on the way but really your focus is ahead trying to figure the end of the road and your mind is behind trying to remember the way back so that when the stranger leaves and another one comes along, you hardly notice, you are trapped inside yourself and do not want to come out because its lonely and scary and you are afraid that if you do, you will freak out and may be feel worse. It rains, it shines, it blows and still you trudge on, it’s the only security you have, the monotonous trudge but there is something to the trudge, you smell the sweet yellow and blue flowers by the roadside laden with memories of the innocent times of utter careless joy and mischief , there is music in the wind, it not only keeps you with the times, sometimes one strikes you as pleasantly familiar, a shadow of a smile creeps on your face and things are not so bad after all. Being the good guy is better than the horrible guy when you are by yourself and there is no audience to spoil everything with their expectations that you gave them in the first place and that they want to remain stuck to regardless of the fact that you are on a trudge which progresses. They want to idolize you and yet you are going to leave them behind, they don’t understand the trudge state of mind, you did not ask for them and neither did the trudge, it just came to be that all things considered your trudge came at crossroads and its no longer about the trudge but which trudge, all the time on the trudge spent in trying to steel yourself against this very thing just cant make up for the reality of the decision at hand and these voices in your head that it is too late to turn back now, you close your eyes as if that might merge the two trudges so you can be on your way and then it hits you that it’s the first time in a long, long time that you are at a standstill and suddenly it feels so good just to take a simple break to catch your breath, the two trudges become a blessing and the shadow blossoms into a real smile, you haven’t made it but that’s not the point, you probably will never really make it, what if you don’t? it doesn’t really matter at all, what matters is that you have made it to this point and you realize that no one told you to smile, it just happened, you decide to make this point your home. Home is not where you choose to go, home is where you’ve realised you have reached and you’re happy there and regardless of where you’ve been, you are not afraid to go there, you did not push yourself, that voice in the background, that best friend guided you home without showing off because that’s what best friends do-look out for you, guide you home, even when you were too pre-occupied with being mad at yourself for being so yourself…                  

Friday, 28 December 2012


Alone feeling left out, he sat down and wrote. Some people sing, others talk, pray or paint. He writes. He sat down and wrote his heart out, wrote about how misunderstood he is; wrote about his dreams and goals. He found a best friend in the pen in his hands because only then, only when he wrote did he feel understood fully. He poured all his sorrows and joys on those fine blank pages; smeared his pain all over, let the pain drain out through the ink bleeding onto the bright fresh pages. On these pages he picked and resolved all his fights; lived here ever so fiercely and expressed all the things he’d always left unsaid.
We all have our expressions but to me nothing empowers as deeply as him who writes. The beauty is in the creative process and the creation is just an added reward. There’s an artist in all of us. Whether we use gadgets as our form of expression- invent machines, paint; take photos or animate them with special effects; we are all drawn to an infinite need to express creatively.
Life is art not science …
Every chemical finds expression in its function, non living things are ARTificial for a reason, they were born out of a need to express. And here are my expressions …

Y’know some people never get the luxury to go back to their beginnings but I do every year. Some people just never realize when to stop! Just stop adding things. Getting more things is not the way to achieve fulfillment. I suggest you streamline what you have; let it blossom for you. Some people never realize they have everything they ever wanted. Truth is, no matter what you get, it may never be enough. You’re always worried about ensuring you never lose what you got and you think the solution is to heap on more stuff.
Being back home I got a chance to observe my lil cousin sister. She is so happy watching boring telenovelas on local TV stations and I can’t imagine ever having been thrilled by local TV programs which obviously every one in my generation did. I cant recall having the simple pleasure of  watching just TV. Now I need a TV, digital TV decoder, laptop, home-theatre with surround sound, laptop, internet, smart mobile phone, video calls et al to achieve the same thrill as my lil cousin. Even then, upgrades, upgrades is the name of the game. We are drowning in this stuff and I miss how simple life used to be when my only entertainment was the family TV. I miss how personal relationships used to be. Being home reminds me of the simplicity of it all.
chilling in the stillness
 I would love for my kids to have a starting point like this so that even if they fell this far, there would be so much beauty in starting over; in being back at your starting point, in not fearing to take the fall because it’s well where you have been.

Has anyone ever contemplated the term ‘STILL’?

There’s a total standpoint to it, a perfect pause; a total lack of action and yet …

A resounding unendingness to it  like … like something unresolved; like its never over; like a pattern of continuity that you can’t quite place your fingers on, a hope for something more, a reassurance of eternal presence …
Am come to that point; am at still. My mastermind is smiling. It feels great to meet still and its revelations.

 It grows darker and I must move on because it’s not good to stay still for too long or it might lose its magic and trap you on its forever paused side.
 There really are two sides to everything.
Even in the stillness there’s a playlist in my head. Even when I don’t have headphones on I can hear it. There’s more than one purpose to everything living. Take senses for example; they are gathering memories and here I thought there's only one way to do that. My memories are gathered and stored in my senses , sights I see, sounds I hear, smells and things I touch remind me of a time when some things meant so much or meant so little. It’s amazing that even blind men have memories of things colorful. 
something beautiful
‘I remember …” is the most powerful tool of exulting our aliveness. It means I have been here before and I still am.
This is a dedication to the things that influence us without our knowledge because today I am proud of whatever and whoever made me by acknowledging am proud of me. Cheers to that and to those who appreciate what am talking about.
For a while it didn't matter if I was out of touch. Its good to get away from it all for a lil while and get some perspective. Right now I see things clear.
We keep some friends in our lives for a reason and to those that aren’t in our lives anymore, look at it this way... what never made it in the journals is the biggest and best part we ever experienced.
Epic stories are not written on pages, they are written in the hearts of those whose lives we touched. 
I never set out to be a great athlete, I just did what I loved and at a certain point you get driven by who you meet; you meet people who get convinced that you have it in you to be a champion so for a while you feed off someone’s purpose for you and you accomplish his goals and dreams. It doesn't change the fact that you just wanted to do what you love in the first instance. So cheers to those who pushed you to greater heights; you made their dreams come true. He can go tell an epic story about you now.
Love doesn’t conquer all, it has always been in us, love just provided the means. Let love go tell an epic story about us. What is important is that we lived it. We made it happen. We inspired something beautiful. We made it a reason for there to be a reason. Every human is an epic story.
And with that I come to the end of my moment in the stillness …


During the holidays I always go back to the basics and this time I chose to do it with a pot of Malos. These heights from the local beer are quite the stuff of legend. The euphoria they bring with a taste of things past and how they slide over you; enveloping you in a magical haze of quiet contentedness was very refreshing and calming.
 No matter how far you fly somehow you always need to get back to the basics. Every year I get a fresh start; this is me hitting my restart button or should I say refresh; from here I get to launch into a space unmarred by my past and the only non-blank spot is my mind filled with memories of  my starting point. Here I find my compass and direction and like a master painter with bold strokes I use my memories to forge a new path using the old to create the new. I always find a plan knowing that without fail the master lifesmith will create the obstacles necessary for the story to be interesting in order for my plan to be a success story because like every great artist the challenge is in the journey not the creative process.
I think even God didn’t wanna spoil the surprise of envisioning what his creation will do and he gave them freewill which at one point may run crazily out of control that’s when he comes in and puts it back to a manageable track. If he ever envisioned how wide our imagination and creativity could go I think he would have gotten rid of the idea of free will or maybe he’s such a strong guy; he chose to risk it and let us surprise him. But how did we keep up with the link to him in the first place because we had the potential to stray so far away from him. How did we ever get to a point when we realized we needed a higher power to stay in charge?? How did we get so beautiful yet so utterly disgusting? How does such a good thing cross a line so dangerous and why do good things get so bad? Why are we ever fighting to break free of our moral constraints and why do they feel like constraints when they are apparently inherently good for us. And if we have so called free will isn’t these moral constraints part of the problem, hindering our inherent nature to be free to do whatever; was that God’s clever plan to keep us in check while keeping up the illusion that we are in fact free? Do we get punished for exercising our free will or only when the exercising of that free will hinders the expression of the free will of others? How far can our free will really stray? There is a leash, the trouble is in deciding if that leash is good for us or not. I look at the dogs on a leash and we know it’s for their protection but then if a dog truly loved his master, he would stay close without the requirement of a leash and he would probably know better but since our crime is that we don’t know better hence the need for a leash right?? Well on the bright side not really knowing better is the fun part. Let the almighty worry about our safety, we were born to experience life not discern its complexities; so enjoy the simplicity of being a mortal pips.
The problem with free will is that we are forever testing how far we can stretch it, when do we ever settle for what works for us? I know that probably somebody somewhere out there pities me for my principles and someone else admires them? Every time someone compliments me on how good I am, I am only reminded of how much more wanting I feel or of everything that makes me imperfect.
Some people are more for a particular stance. Am not one of those people. My stance is way more complicated but why do I feel like am wrong for being like this? But what makes the rest of us right for being different from my non-stance? For instance I don’t like something but don’t mind it either, that doesn’t bother me. How do I choose a side which I don’t have?  I might be standing on the sidewalk not sure if it’s my place or a temporary position. I feel everything infinitely deeper but outstandingly vaguer because I find no meaning and no answers. My definition is not a swimmer or a writer or a teacher; I could be a lover but does it count? I have an infinite ear for music even that frowned upon by a different me trying to be like a conformer.
I just lost track of my thoughts …