Slice of Life: Sex on the beach? LOL!
You know those occasional mental flashbacks that make your heart sink, your brain freeze and your body shudder? Those little reminders of all our terrible moments of ill-judgement? We all own a cognitive documentary that charts a comprehensive history of all our silly mistakes and, yes, we all shudder at the mere thought of them.
I’m mentioning this because of a little beach party in Shek O a couple of weeks ago (if you were there, you’ll know the one we’re talking about). Ecstatic couples were copulating in the sand with their pervert friends crowding around as if they were watching an unstaged version of a red light district show. Next to them, a guy had slipped and fallen face first on a rock, blood spurting from every angle of his face after his friends had oh-so-caringly taken flight. There were drunkards rowing, girls crying and guys fingering their catches for the evening at the bar. This was a party scene from the underworld. And the most (un)surprising matter of all? Most of the protagonists were preparing for their GSCEs or A-levels.
We all have an unwatchable mental movie swimming in our heads. And no matter how hard we try to bury that footage, the uninvited sequence has a mind of its own, resurfacing unwanted at regular intervals, impossible to shut away and control. But, here’s the thing: they might make uncomfortable viewing but they’re a necessary evil. Making a life blooper is the emotional equivalent of acquiring a new physical skill through trial and error, akin to learning how to ride a bike hands-free. You might fall off the first few times, maybe scar a knee. But you’ll eventually cycle off, banking a new party trick for the future in the process.
Unfortunately, as Hongkongers, we love bubble wrapping ourselves. It doesn’t help that most of us grow up in bouncy castles with caring parents banning us from any form of dangerous exposure. We are forbidden from bruising – both physical and psychological – so it’s hardly a surprise that we’ve become so content with a storm-free life, happy with the idea of journeying to the grave not having lived and experienced?
And with our increasingly social networked world, our lives are slowly shifting from real to virtual. Sharing used to mean communicating experience, and it has now become a habitual clicking of the ‘Share’ button. Happy means :). Sad means :(. For stronger emotions, try LOL and the wailer emoticon. But with kids and teenagers spending increasingly more time online, how exactly do they grasp the ins-and-outs of life with so little exposure to real experiences? Will our future generations become so emotionally one-dimensional, capable only of ‘like’ and ‘unlike’? Since there are no emojis for jealousy, sensuality and sympathy, does it mean that these emotions will eventually become obsolete.
Which brings me back to the beach. There was no ROFLing or other webified versions of laughter, no reactions dictated by button – only sharing of a different kind, for which I can only give my kudos. We are better off learning the peril of growing molluscs in our v-jay-jay, expanding our collection of gruesome mental images than LOL-ing at that Titty Boom Box YouTube video.
Inspired by the inappropriate actions surrounding me, I stripped off my bikini and swam off in darkness with a man I had only just met. Lesson number one: don’t stop making silly mistakes in life. Just live it.