“i have grown to love secrecy. it seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. the commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. when i leave town now i never tell my people where i am going. if i did, i should lose all my pleasure. it is a silly habit, i dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one’s life. i suppose you think me awfully foolish about it?“
– basil hallward, from “the picture of dorian gray” by oscar wilde.
almost every weekend, around lunchtime, i sneak off to a bookstore somewhere and spend a couple of hours reading browsing copies of “calvin and hobbes” collections.
i don’t tell my parents where i’m going. i just take the car keys and go.
i don’t understand where this need to be anonymous comes from. after all, i whine constantly about having “no friends” and being “clique-less“, which clearly indicates a dysfunctional craving for attention. i maintain a blog, for goodness’ sake. if that doesn’t scream “attention-seeker“, i don’t know what does.
still, i find great pleasure in being somewhere without anyone knowing i’m there.
i’m not an artist like hallward, and the muse i know is more brit rock and less adonis “made out of ivory and rose-leaves“. however, i was instantly attracted to wilde’s idea of secrecy being the only way of injecting romance into an otherwise dreary world.
who knows where the appeal of mystery lies? perhaps it’s yet another vain attempt to fill an emptiness that only God can, or an ironic method of compensating for the loneliness i feel when i wait at the door of a lecture hall to see who i could walk with and find there is no one.
i’m tempted to believe that i make myself invisible for a couple of hours to test the notion that maybe, just maybe, i’m visible to someone and one day they will come up to me to say, “hey, i care enough to be able to see you.“
for now, i’ll indulge in secret philosophical conversations over failed toboggan rides that teach me nothing about medicine. i suppose you think me awfully foolish about it?