I was an hour late for lunch today. Just as I convinced myself that I would take no longer than 1 hour for a meal, I found myself walking in circles trying to decide on what would be the tastiest calories that I would put in my mouth.
Finally made my choice, and collected the food before sitting down. I sat alone, eating in the less-than-crowded hawker centre, which was supposedly full and without seats (oh, late lunch. I’m sorry).
I put the food in my mouth, chewed it and enjoyed the taste before swallowing it down my throat. Then this huge tinge of guilt swarmed my mind out of a sudden like a flash. Before I knew it, I was full of guilt over the many things that I had done in my lifetime. I ate on while I list down the crimes that I had committed in my mind, and reminded myself repeatedly that I’d write it down once my lunch was over. Now, after rushing back from a hasty lunch, I’m sitting in front of my laptop, writing to the people whom I’ve mistreated. To them, I wish to say, I’m sorry.
To the lady who served me my food, I’m sorry. My greed got the better of me when I took the plate of noodles from your hands. I should know that for price I ordered, I should not have any complains with the serving size. Being an ex-cafe owner myself, I should know better than anyone that the overheads of a business, especially food business, are high. The costs of food are high, so are the rental that you have to pay no matter how your sales are.I was greedy, and I am guilty now.
That’s not all. When you served me my $4 worth of noodles, I had the $5 note in my wallet, which I should – morally and rightfully – use to pay for my order. Instead, I took out a $10 note to pay for my food, and you had to give me my change of $6. It was incorrigible of me, I know. Having loose change is of paramount importance to businesses with fast cash transactions, and I was egocentric when I chose to keep the small change for my drinks at a separate stall. I’m sorry.
To the drinks stall vendor, I’m sorry. I wanted a coffee, so were the people queuing in front and behind me. But instead of buying my coffee and scramming off after paying for it, I stood selfishly in the long queue of thirsty lunch-goers, holding everyone back as I waited for the packet of tissues I had also ordered from you. I know, I was wrong. Your time was precious, and I should not even be trying to waste seconds of your business time when I asked for a packet of tissues along with the order of my coffee.
I was self-centered; I thought the 30 cents extra would make you rich. My actions as a customer were condescending, and blameworthy. I shouldn’t even start to feel displeasure when you showed that annoyance. I’m sorry.
To the lady who I held the door open for, I’m sorry. It never crossed my mind that feminism is the in thing now, and masculism should be condemned to eternity in hell. When I saw you from the gaps of the door walking in, I should have walked out and slam the door on to your face. Yet I held the door for you. That was misogynistic of me; that was so wrong. I even had the audacity to expect a “thank you” from you! How rude! I looked into the puddle of pee in the urinal after my lunch, and did some self-reflection.
Now, I understand that social etiquette is no longer as important as clearing the Candy Crush levels or watching the Korean dramas with our smart phones now in the society. I was so outmoded, and most importantly, I was wrong. I’m sorry.
To the gentleman who used his walking stick to press the lift, I’m sorry. I thought you were a douche, until I saw how you walked into the lift and pushed and squeezed everyone in with your back. You might not notice that we waited for the lift together, and that’s not important anymore. After waiting for what seemed like forever (and in fact, it was REALLY very long. Like, 30 seconds.), you used your walking stick to continuously press the button that you were just standing right besides. I thought you were an asshole to use your cane instead of your fingers, because you know, the end of the cane might be coated with bacteria and shit, but hey, I neglect to realise that you were actually training to stand without your cane, and you wanted everyone around you to know that you could do it. We were just so insensitive!
That could also explain the reasons behind your pushing of people who were already in the lift, and squeezing your way in with your butt. Because no one understood you! You have shown me how tough a guy you are, even if you needed to walk with a cane. Instead of admiring you and giving you due respect, I mistook you for a douchebag. I’m sorry.
To all the people whom I had failed to mention, I’m sorry. It was never about you, but about me. I failed to do soul-searching on myself, and all I knew was just to put my feelings above you in the most miserable way a human could behave. Even when it comes to a time like this, when confessions are made, I still have you left out of my list. For my selfishness and my douchebaggery, I apologise.
Andy Lawson is the average man on the street that you’ll not even trouble yourself looking at him if he passes by you. He’s sensitive to bullshit, and he hates mediocrity in most people. He is the author of his self-published book: Facts and Fiction of Fengshui: Facts that Masters are NOT Telling You. He doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter, because he hates to be associated with people who tend to be passive-aggressive online, but he does have a very limited set of vocabularies, terrible grammar, a twisted mind that makes himself God in his own twisted world and an ability to communicate with people who wish to be his friend.