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(The queue outside Max Brenner’s.) Every minute we waited in line brought us closer to 10:45. Even so, the temptation of chocolate was strong. But chocolate consummation seemed as far away as ever, and we were beginning to anticipate something far sweeter. So, we left.

(Stage door, stage right.) We arrived in time to stand by him before he went out to receive the award on our behalf. I would have liked to be able to say that my hug meant, ‘Do or die, whatever happens, I’m proud to have done it with you.’ But really, I can’t be sure of what I meant, or if I meant anything at all. Then he had to leave, and we were left with our anticipation and each other.

(Stage door, stage right. 4 minutes on.) I think even the chocolate would have been unbearably bitter.

(Passenger seat, lorry.) “How? Win?” “Nope.” “看你们的态度就知道。” Were we that obvious, Ah Sam? My halting Chinese was inadequate to the moment, so we talked about nothing-things on the drive home. When the ride ended, the silence had shrunk, and I was alive enough to be grateful.

I suppose this is a coda.


  1. How can I blame the circumstances when I would only truly have been happy if the circumstances had been overcome? To blame the circumstances would be to have been defeated by them. (Even the rules of English grammar make looking back difficult!)
  2. Could I have done better? ‘No’ would be a lie, and ‘maybe’ and ‘probably’ really mean ‘yes’. Yet “we cannot live hating ourselves”. Those are the words of one of my heroes. I’ve often thought about them, but last night, for the first time, I felt the force of the profound compassion behind them. It was something I needed, and something I want to share.
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  1. 1 January 2009 at 12:13 am
  2. 1 January 2009 at 3:13 am

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