I am 22 this year.
Every time I board the train I am faced with a whole host of decisions to make. To sit or not to sit? An old person comes on to the train. I give up my seat but he refuses to sit down. He gives it instead to an old aunty next to him. “Aunty, 你坐”. I am slightly embarrassed even though there wasn’t any reason to be. Who would remember the girl who gave up her seat?
A few stops later, I find another seat. I shift my backpack on my lap and lean my chin against my laptop. An old grandfather comes on board, but I am too tired. I fiddle with my phone, look down and slowly close my eyes. I “sleep” for the rest of the journey until I reach my stop. I am not in the priority seats both times.
In school I find myself alone in the central library, panicking about my dissertation, panicking about how little time I have left. I told my parents I would TRY to push my CAP up by a class. My parents did not hear the try. They are sure that it is going to happen. And they think it is easy enough.
I feel the pressure mounting.
Alone again, I put off eating until 3.30pm. Then I walk quickly to the Arts Canteen to get a waffle. Quick and easy.
I am stopped on the way back to the library by hall residents who want to sell flowers for Valentine’s Day. They want to build wells in Cambodia. I stand there munching on my waffles as he talks about what he is doing. I am not really listening.
Every time I panic I feel like writing about it. But it’s counterproductive because I panic about the time wasted in writing about my panic.
Panic is such a strange word. How did someone, decide on putting all these letters together in this sequence.
“ early 17th cent.: from French panique, from modern Latin panicus, from Greekpanikos, from the name of the god Pan, noted for causing terror, to whom woodland noises were attributed.”
I am such a time