"She said, “You need to be shocked into seeing things as they are. I think what you need is a long bicycle ride into the sea.”
I looked at her, puzzled. What was she on about?
“It’s like an extreme cold shower. But you do it fully clothed. The resistance. The pressure. Your trousers balloon, fill up with air, and you try to trundle onwards. But your wheels sink in the sand, the water rises around your waist and your balls shrink to the size of peas. And then you end up falling sideways, plopping into the sea.”
I sat there thinking, what kind of a challenge is this?"
Excerpt from A Long Bicycle Ride Into the Sea, a story in We Rose Up Slowly
A Long Bicycle Ride into the Sea:
- is about a young lawyer, coasting along in privilege, who is challenged to get wet to prove his love
- examines unconscious assumptions, and how a sense of entitlement and the shallowness of one's gaze obscures self awareness, intimacy and growth
- shows the effect of this on relations with others
- contains passing references to small law firms in shophouses in Tanjong Pagar, Prada suits, Raoul cuff links, Lloyds shoes, Louboutin heels, silver charm bracelets, Benny Hill flirting with Emily Dickinson, Halal eating houses, a HDB flat in Clementi, a Hokkien Sponge Bob Square Pants, Lau Pa Sat, Billy Wilder films, Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres, Amitabh Bachchan and Maggie Q, Kong Hee and Lawrence Khong, Ai Weiwei, Miroslav Tichý, Henry Darger and Beatrix Potter, Justin Bieber and Taufik Batisah, the planet Zog, and the song 无条件为你.
- Why so many names dropped? I wanted to show the pretentious superficiality of the narrator and how this obstructs his ability to achieve deeper relations with others.