Six years after a pleasant and mostly indoors life, the outdoors world paved my second coming with jealous vengeance.
Perhaps offended that I had so rarely graced the Outside with my charming presence, the Australian summer sun decided to exact its dire punishment on my blissfully oblivious skin. I won’t elaborate on the arduous details and scientific formulae of the sun’s interaction with my skin; the result, I can tell you now, is that I now somewhat resemble a char siu.
There is no better time than now, slathered in caking aloe vera gel and striped with patches of white and red, to ponder both my foolishness and the fact that I can never let my skin be exposed to sunlight again.
First: my foolishness. We like to think that, as Asians, we don’t burn. I can verify now that that is grossly untrue, and am convinced more than ever that only Indigenous Australians belong on this land (and, I guess, other dark-skinned people who live here. But not anyone else, no, not them). I should have dutifully smeared my stick-like limbs with sunscreen as the ancient Greeks once smeared their athletic physiques with olive oil, greasiness be damned. Never again will I subject my face to the vague, untanned imprint of wayfarers.
But in order to forestall utterly this wretched possibility, I am brought to – second: the fact that I can never let my skin be exposed to sunlight again. At this point, it is possibly most prudent for me to say a hearty ‘cheerio’ to the Outdoors and live as a pasty vampire in the dark bowels of my home. Thanks to transport and the Internet, I need not live an entirely solitary life. Coles and Woolworths can deliver groceries to my den. And without the potential for eyes to be confronted with me, I am obliged no longer to maintain a respectable appearance. It is indeed a wonderful time in which to live as a hermit. To those naysayers who tell me that I will become vitamin D deficient, think again – vitamin D tablets exist. Praise Be for scientific advancement. And so, to the world, I say farewell. Farewell, cruel world.