Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
[This short story was originally published in the summer 2007 edition of The Hawai’i Review and republished in installments on my previous, now defunct personal blog.]
I’ve always thought that the little moments in life count just as much as the big ones. If you really stopped to think about it, you’d probably go insane. I mean, let’s say your shoelaces come untied. If you bend down to tie them, you just might end up meeting the love of your life. But if you decide to ignore the situation and walk just a little bit farther—WHAM!—you’re flattened by an out-of-control eighteen-wheeler. One little moment changes your life forever. Or ends it.
Now I’m not sure how many of those little moments it took to get me halfway across the world, but there I was—stranded in Singapore attending an academic conference on “Words in Asian Cultural Contexts.” And it was all thanks to fate, God, or a world of happy coincidences. Hell, maybe L. Ron Hubbard was to blame.
Whatever the reason, this whole conference business had taken its toll on my patience. So as the day’s proceedings came to a close, I detached myself from the crowd and discreetly slipped out the back of the room. Luckily, none of the people milling around outside the conference hall seemed to notice me as I made my way to the hotel lobby. I wasn’t trying to be anti-social; I just needed a break from everyone. Once I got back to the hotel suite, I thought I’d mix myself a nice Scotch and water, watch a little idiot tube, and then call it a night. So much for seeing the sights.