At some point last night in Fabric, blinded by smoke and battered from almost all directions by too many pilled-up people crammed into too little space with music that was probably too loud (although I’ve probably already damaged my hearing enough to have lost awareness of this), I thought about how one day, I might look back on these antics of my youth and shake my head in rueful amusement.
And it will be a sad day.
Because last night, when the bass was so powerful I felt my bones shudder in submission, and the beats so compelling it seemed as if they’d assumed control of my pulse, it was visceral and euphoric and exhausting and uplifting and (shall I use it? shall I use it? It’s way too overused but what the hell…) transcendental, all of those at once, and even though I know there are moments far worthier of immortalization and with far greater depth than a night in a drum ‘n’ bass room, I arrived at one of the many little epiphanies that brighten up my life in the UK, that this was one of the things I came here for.
They come to me at wildly different times and places, these epiphanies. The last one was when I was sitting in my debating society’s annual Foundation Debate, watching MPs engage with each other and the students in the audience in a way that was stunningly different from the sterility that permeates Singaporean political awareness.
They’re not an indication that I will go home to Singapore and look at it as a poor substitute for life in London – over the summer at home, I had similar little moments of clarity when I suddenly realized I was in the middle of something wonderfully unique which I would have to go without during my next nine months in London.
I guess you could say they’re moments when, wherever I am, I am suddenly aware that the fabric (no pun intended) that is my life will be variegated and Technicolored, and I hope I’ll be able to look back on both the glamorous and the mundane and wear it all with pride. At the same time, there’s the awareness of the inexorable passage of time, and how “looking back” will still only be looking back, which is only ever bittersweet at best.
And I am here in London for these three years, and I feel that old, cliched fear, redolent of high-school prom night sobbings and adolescent angst, but still resonant to me nonetheless, that things will never be the same again.