I was at a friend's party over the weekend, and it was a fairly good time. We were at the Fairypoint Chalet in Changi Village, which had an excellent view. Sometime during the night, Adrian, Mark and myself set off to Changi Village to get some drinks and the like.
And whilst on our way back to the chalet, we walked past a couple of kids playing with some toy cars; the sorts with weapons and all (Crush Gears, if you must know). And they were playing happily with the requisite lasers, gunshots, explosion noises that children make (PEW! BANG! KA-PA-BOM!).
The level of immersion and imagination that these children had, with their toys, is something that I have lost over the years, as I become an older, wiser, grumpier, fatter, impatient old man. I can barely capture the magic of a simple toy in my hand, and the power of my mind's eye, and my imagination.
I had a number of toys when I was younger, as most children do. And each toy could entertain me for hours, if not days. I remember my GI Joe action figures (I only ever had two), who'd go on death-defying missions to save their non-existant counterparts. I had only one Ninja Turtle (Leonardo) and I could conjure up the images of the remaining turtles to battle the forces of Shredder, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady. I had two M.A.S.K toys (Raven and Condor), and they would travel my imagined world to face off agents of V.E.N.O.M.
And when I didn't have toys available in my hand, my mind kept me equally occupied with creations of my own - Superheroes, fantasy warriors, a captain of a spaceship. There was no limit to my creativity and imagination. I should tell you of some of the characters I had fantasised about being.
And as I look upon the two children I walked past, I remember the days in which simple pleasures would suffice. Everything seemed bigger, more significant, and the adventures that I created for myself seems to become a matter of life and death. I had to save Leonardo from being swarmed by the Foot Soldiers. I had to defend Castle Greyskull from Skeletor. Their world, and mine, depended on me.
On some days, when I'm really, really quiet, I can still capture a bit of that magic that I thought was lost. And for those few fleeting moments, I remember what it was like to be a kid again.