Saturday, January 10, 2004

One of my most hated words in the English language is "good bye". Unlike my feelings on "nice" and "interesting", I do not hate this particular word for being clich├ęd or overused. In fact, it can't help but be overused, given that it is a word we use in everyday conversation.

No, my main gripe with it is the amount of emotion that can weigh it down when it's used. Usually, it's fine. We say "bye" all the time, and don't think twice about it. But on other occasions, such as this morning, it comes with sadness, and uncertainty attached.

Yes, this morning, I bade farewell to a friend - someone who I've gotten to know better over the past two weeks after we had been e-mailing back and forth for the past four months before that. He's leaving to go back to the US to finish up his final year in university, and then going off to look for a job over there. He's been a good guy to hang around with while my parents were away, especially given that his home is located so close to mine - and has been for the last ten years or so. In fact, I haven't yet grown tired of talking to him even though we've been talking pretty much everyday. It does feel a little like we're catching up on all those years we should have known each other. As he put it, if he had been in London for studies, we'd probably have been pretty close.

At this point, I feel compelled to point out that as he studies engineering, the chances of our paths crossing would have been pretty slim. Also, I wasn't always the person that I am now, so there's always the chance - as it might have been with my ex - that we would have met earlier in our lives, but never gotten along as well as we do now.

But in any case, his flight leaves tonight, and I don't know when he'll return. No doubt we will e-mail, as we have before his return, and even after that despite meeting him almost everyday, but it just won't be the same. And as his flight leaves, I guess I should commence moving him off to the "Friend Zone". If you're wondering what in the hell that means, quite simply it means that I acknowledge that this guy could have been someone I would have been interested in. In other words, he's a "might-have-been". I can't say for certain. It's just that despite the fact that he doesn't fit into my usual target market, I do very much enjoy his company and just trading insults with him. At this stage however, it's simply too early to tell what could have been.

Have I told him that last part? Are you crazy? Of course not. I don't handle rejection well, nor would there have been much point in telling him when he's leaving and doesn't know when he'll return. I did contemplate doing the Love Actually thing whereby I "confess" without hope or agenda of receiving anything in return, but again, therein lies another problem: not letting such an admission (despite the fact that it's not even a definite "I like you" admission) affect the current status of the relationship in question. Given that it'll largely be an e-mail thing, perhaps I shouldn't worry too much about such a thing, but mostly, it's also because - I don't like being rejected. And just for the recod, despite feeling pretty, or intelligent, I do always think that I'll be rejected - for being too young, too immature, too arrogant, too mean, too much of a friend. It's a little funny how I tend to trade more insults with those guys I like, almost to hide the fact that I do kind of like them. Funny and sad at the same time.

I did attend his farewell last night at Zouk, despite not wanting to go near house or trance music for some time. I guess I'm fortunate in that even if I'm sick of the music, the dance vibe just takes over. DJ Pippi really wasn't half-bad. I can see why people want to go to Ibiza now. But I digress. I was already partially gone by the time I reached the club, having had drinks with friends earlier. In spite of drinking some more when I reached there - Long Island Iced Tea and Vodka Ribena - I was incredibly sober at the end of the night, unlike the rest of his friends who were just absolutely wasted. I guess I should be happy that my body works in such a way as to ensure that I don't usually get completely plastered and furthermore, that after a certain point, the more I drink, the more sober I become. But again, I've deviated from the main subject.

Anyway, one of the other factors in why I didn't tell him anything - not even in the good bye note that I wrote - is because he was dancing closely with one of his high school friends. Was I jealous? Erm, yeah. Of her, of him, of people who have people to dance with in general. I got myself the hell out of their space, and went off to another part of the dance floor to dance my heart out. I did manage to, because after a while, I wasn't as stressed or as bothered about that dance as I initially was. But yes, it did have an impact on my eventual decision to chicken out. Why? Because if he's that close to all of his female friends, then obviously, I'm just as likely to be in the "Friend Zone" as I could be a potential.

So after the night ended, he came back to my place. "To talk," he said, seeing as he hadn't spoken that much to me that night, having been talking to all of his high school friends. But after the amount of alcohol he imbibed, he just fell asleep, then and there, on my sofa. Heh. So, he wakes up this morning, and takes his leave. I give him a going away present comprising of a poster of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia (which was darn hard to part with), some photos of nice landmarks in Europe, including the Basilicas in Milan and Venice, and a note - a note written at 6 am this morning and therefore guaranteed not to be coherent, but nevertheless, a heartfelt note.

And then we parted. "See you another time," he said after I told him that I hated "good bye" with the finality it implied. As if using another phrase could somehow influence whether our paths would ever cross again.

Bye, baby seal*. Have a good trip, and take care of yourself... please?

*A little exposition as to how my friend acquired the nickname "baby seal", if you will.

While talking to him on Sunday night, a call which resulted in my going to bed at 2 am, and subsequently being in hell for much of the next day while at work, we somehow got into one of those conversations where friendly insults are traded back and forth. We got to a point where I was "winning", i.e. just letting those insults fly without getting any in return because he couldn't think up of anything. So, I commented, "I feel as if I'm clubbing a baby seal" (a phrase akin to "taking candy from a baby" because it was ridiculously easy, and he wasn't able to put up a defence at all), hence the nickname.

That was a good night. He swore revenge, of course. They all do, but in the mean time, I've got another scalp for my collection.

Highlight of the conversation:
Him (saying good night, not wishing to endure the torment anymore): Was it as good for you as it was for me?
Me: Oh, it was much better. And I assure you, I wasn't faking it.
Him (amidst startled laughter): That's a good one

No comments: