Childhood’s End (My 2015 InCoWriMo 7 of 28)


Dear S,

Greetings from Australia. It was party time here today, with people coming and going and up to seven kids running and screaming in and outside of the house the whole day. The hot and humid weather did not help, but seeing the birthday girl’s smiling face makes it all worthwhile.

Again I cooked too much – chicken nuggets, chicken sausage rolls, vegetarian sausage rolls, pork dumplings, green onion cakes, salmon quiches, mushroom quiches, basil pesto pizza, garlic and parsley pizza, seafood sushi, vegetarian sushi, fairy bread, two types of chocolate cake, and a whole lot of nibbles and drinks. It is lucky that we love leftovers.

Doing birthday parties for kids always reminds me of the science fiction novel Childhood’s End, published in 1953. I have never read it, but it is Arthur C. Clarke’s favorite own novel and has always been considered “a classic of alien literature”. While the concept of apparent utopia at the cost of one’s identity and culture is attractive, the title itself fascinates me. It symbolizes the end of innocence, the conclusion of pure, happy, worry-free feelings and dreams. The lolly shop is shut, its curtains drawn and neon signs turned off. There is no turning back after this.

What happens next is serious intellectual thinking, idealisms and ideologies, goals and pursuits, responsibilities and obligations, passion, jealousy, sorrow, love and hatred. Adulthood is not a bright and blissful period of time — we are simply too busy to enjoy anything. The library is open and we are lost in it. In order to search for a light, we need to first create darkness. It is as boring as those “muffin movers” — simple old containers dressed up as fashionable items for posh new-age commuters who have money to burn.

Still, as everybody sat there, bloated with all sorts of food and drink, sweating even in the shade, like a group of beached whales so close yet so far away from the cool ocean – life went on. When the house was finally quiet, we were all exhausted. It would be another dreamless night, then the next day would be back to normal.

Do you like parties?

Sincerely Yours,



Leave a Reply, Please

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: