As I laboured over which bag I was going to be bringing to Australia, I suddenly thought of my trusty old “camp bag”, so-called because it was the bag I used to bring in to my army camp.
It’s a great size, and I liked it quite a lot — only thing that was putting me off was that it was a little dirty.
I took it out, dusted it a little, and realised I hadn’t taken anything out since I completed my NSF (National Service (full-time)) stint. Besides the more usual “army stuff” like black string and blue sticky tape, there were knives, coins, beetle carcasses, as well as an old notebook.
I had used this notebook all the time in the army to jot down notes during lessons and meetings. But as with all the notebooks I have ever owned while in the army, there were more personal writings in this than “professional” ones, such as, “what the fark am I doing in here? I should be outside. enjoying myself. yet here i am pretending to take notes. bah.”
I then came across a poem I don’t ever remembering writing. Apparently it was written while I was doing duty in camp. I had always thought of girls (and the topic of love) while in camp, and this just bellied that.
I found the poem amusing, though the sudden turning of emotion in the last part took me a little by surprise:
Tired. I am tired.
But a duty has got to be done.
Thinking. I am thinking.
How do I make duty more fun?
I think of landscapes,
Grass so green and fresh.
With mountains; blue skies;
Think only of the best.
A certain girl comes to mind.
Her smile a million watts strong.
A girl so unlike her kind,
But I wish that I was wrong.
At this point, the poem appears to end. But I turn to the next page, and I find this:
I like her so much;
I wish she were less;
I wish she were nobody;
I wish she wasn’t the best.
I want to cry,
But cry I cannot.
My love for her
Is less than what’d I said I got.
I do not remember if I had written both pages in one sitting. Based on the poem itself, “page 2” didn’t seem to deviate from the theme, lending me to believe that it was a continuation. However, the writing was different. The strokes used were lighter on the second page, and the paragraphing was different as well.
It brought back memories — I remember being vexed that she didn’t love me the way I loved her, then realising that I didn’t love her as much as I claimed I did. It was confusing, to say the least; yet somehow, I preferred it that way…