Joel Gn writes about...
Turning 21 in Singapore
Joel describes the importance of one’s 21st birthday in his country.
To the editors, Bewildering Stories,
It took me 7 days to complete this short story, spending less than 2 hours each time on the computer. On the 4th day, I took a break from my work, because it was the 21st birthday of my earthly muse.
In Singapore, 21 is the legal age to do the following
- View art films in the cinema (porn is banned)
- Change the particulars on your ID
- Buy an apartment
- Be legally employed with government benefits
- Have consensual sex without being prosecuted
- Trade the stock market
- Get married and divorced without parental consent
- Not be tried in the juvenile court and going to a delinquent home if convicted
- Commit murder and suffer the death penalty
- Access to 50% of all clubs and pubs in the country
So you see, there are countless trivial restrictions in my country. Thus most 21st parties are drunken orgies with lots of wild sex. Conservatives like us have been repressed for so long, turning 21 becomes a sacred rite of passage.
OK, I think I have digressed quite a bit, now back to the story. A week ago, I read a book entitled "Archangel," written by Sharon Shinn, and I was really impressed by the concepts and ideas used in her writing. On the other hand, I was also reminded of the ancient Chinese classic, "The Legend of the White Snake," which tells of a forbidden romance between a poor scholar and a snake spirit.
Romance isn't my forte, thus doing the tragic love story for "Roxanne" became a personal challenge for me. I've tried very hard to be poetic without being mushy, so please pardon me if your hair stands during the read. There are also elements of "Guns N Roses," ET and biblical references, to develop a cinematic setting.
Well, last but not least. I'm thankful that I've completed this story. It has helped me explore areas within my art I never knew existed. Enjoy the read.
P/S: Mr Webb, I've started on Cryano's Voyage to the Moon, and it is indeed a tour de force into the philosophy of science. Its metaphorical and complex, like a DaVinci masterpiece.
Thank you for a very informative and eye-opening letter, Joel ! The next time one of your friends has a 21st birthday party, may we come, too? I’m glad you’re enjoying Cyrano’s novel. It is indeed what you say, and it has a lot of humor, too.
To the readers: “Roxanne” begins in this issue.
Copyright © 2004 by Joel Gn