Moving on

“After a time, a news writer may begin to sense a kind of sameness in most of the events that pass as news. When that happens a lucky few of us discover that in science, almost alone among human endeavors, there is always something new under the sun.”

– Malcolm Browne

===

The most effective way to stop those texts coming in is to offer the invitation for the second date. A day has passed with nary a text from No. 7; she only wants the attention, I reckon.

With this, the stakes are now higher for No. 8. It shouldn’t be in the first place. But it’s not an ideal world and I’m far from being the complete article.

Borrowing a term a friend constantly uses on her site, life is all about itching, shedding and evolving. To believe that a person doesn’t do any of that, consciously or subconsciously is self-deception at its best.

While far from perfect, there will always be room for improvement. Posture, speech, habits, patterns… anything goes. At the end of it, there isn’t a need at all to depend on the agency for No. 9 and beyond. I should be doing this on my own.

In the meantime, this has been a season of re-establishing relationships with people who have left their mark in my life.

I’m just sentimental (too much sometimes for my own good) and I’ll see where this will take me (for all I know, it may peter out).

Want or don’t want?

The tempest is back. It raged and ravaged. In its wake, the land which was once filled with Positivity laid bare. Destruction was everywhere but it could have been avoided (if I was more careful and less hasty).

As the dust settled, I started rebuilding. In between pangs of pain, regret and self-admonishment, I did the work, one brick at a time. Since this is an occurrence that has become a repetition, it was familiar although tedious and painful.

I thought it wouldn’t return. I might have pushed things so hard and harsh that she would have bolted. I was ready to throw a handful of ashes so that the fire could be quelled forever.

Somehow she stayed; not exactly by the fire now, but at a distance. She initiated text messages, which led to conversations (of sorts). To protect myself from another spell of Destruction, I had to be aloof and keep things at arm’s length.

Things started to resemble some bits of “normalcy”, pre-tempest. Hopes, dashed in the aftermath of the Destruction, were raised, while I tried to suppress them. It’s all just too soon.

In the meantime, Date No. 8 has been arranged. A week from now, another new person would enter my life and I in hers. Depending on how things go, there is a chance, however small, that my energy and time would be expended on No. 8. This means that No. 7, with all of her mixed signals and my false dawns, would become a memory.

I don’t want to give up on No. 7, given her fresh attempts at initiating text messages. I want to believe that there might still be something salvageable and that I should do something so that there’ll not be any lingering regrets (for the both of us) when we look back at this someday. When it comes to friendships, I give people more chances than necessary and sometimes, at the expense of my emotional and mental well-being.

I’ve attempted to set up the second date, which may or may not be the last time we meet. The ball is now in her court. Unbeknownst to her, the anticipated entrance of No. 8 is a little more than a week away.

Whichever way this swings, I’ll still have to rebuild. She mightn’t.

===

“It is all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit.” – Eartha Kitt

===

Twitter, like blogging before it, has lost its innocence and its childlike promise of new friendships. I don’t want to fight it. If anything, I’d rather say things here than to get on a virtual soapbox (in a land littered with millions of other people standing on similar soapboxes). Like many communication tools, it can strip away the façade off personalities and user names to leave their stupidity naked (e.g., the confusion between both Armstrongs who have been in the news) and unmask their propensity for some to indulge in being nasty.

The less said about Facebook, the better.

===

An excerpt from a recent email sent to a friend:

“Many of us are fed a staple and repetitive diet of fairy tales. Not surprising then that decades later, we’re still thinking about how “happy ever afters” will happen to us. Then again, what’s life without hope (even if it may turn out to be an exercise in vain at the end of it)?

And a life lived with some naivety isn’t a bad thing, isn’t it? Many yearn to keep a piece of their childhood in their hearts when most of it has been forgotten or washed away because we need to live (like proper adults). Or maybe it’s just us, kids born in the 1970s, who grow up being sandwiched by the generations born in the 60s and 80s. We’re the “in-betweens”, i.e., the last generation to make do with improvised toys and the first to be introduced video games.

So, it’s definitely not silly. Not unless you believe it to be silly. No one has the right to stick a label on how we want to live our lives and call it “silly”. All of us are responsible for our lives.”

 

From a maelstrom to squirming in our seats

I left in the wake of the maelstrom she created. Her voluntary confessions of her love, expressed only in text and never verbal during that short five-minute conversation, were not enough to move me. The secrets she shared with me conjured merely compassion and lust (not mutually exclusive), but never fanned the flames of love to another level.

Barely a fortnight into the “relationship”, she was filled with jealously. I was making my presence felt amongst other women, but she thought I was giving them more attention than I really should. She threw a hissy fit, stomped her feet (figuratively) and I had to placate her bouts of raging jealousy.

I thought it was cute at first, believing that she had “owned” me and I had to steer clear of other members of the female species. Then, it became exhausting, having to deal with the green-eyed monster in her, when I’ve made professions of my love in our conversations.

A month later, the straw, in the form of a maelstrom she conjured, broke the camel’s back.

If she cared, she would have tried establishing contact via email or left a message on my Skype account. The last I checked, there was nothing.

If anything, the lesson I learnt from this was how I should never be duped into giving someone, who couldn’t care less about “us”, too much attention than she really deserved.

***

“I was reluctant to come,” she said before the waiter interrupted the rest of what-would-have-been her confession.

I smiled at her without saying a word. She looked away, perhaps in reaction to what she said. At our table, long shadows were cast as the sun began to set. The restaurant gave us a table by the glass window, but she could get a better view of the setting sun from her seat. For me, I could only see the throngs of men and women who were unwinding from a day’s work at the bar which was just next to the restaurant.

It was telling that the overwhelming male desire to check out other women (or, OLs to be exact), who were at the bar, was quelled that night.

Out of the three items that were laid on my plate, I only ate the assortment of blanched vegetables and the slab of salmon (smothered in some milky leek sauce). The potato wedges were left untouched because they were deemed evil in the eyes of someone who avoids carbohydrates like the plague.

She worked her way through her plate of pasta bolognaise, despite declaring at the start of dinner that she was full. When the waiter came by to clear our table, only a third of the portion of food was left on her plate.

Given her age, it was not surprising that she made a few casual checks on her iPhone during the date, while I, being the old-fashioned, born-in-the-70s geezer, kept the phone in my pocket. Then again, going by the number of Whatsapp messages I receive in any given week, I qualify to be a hermit or a recluse.

Perhaps with a stroke of luck (or divine intervention), I got into the groove of getting her pleasantly excited, which according to some experts, was a “homerun” in dating terms. Of course, it wasn’t sexual. It was conversational and it was a delight observing her from across the table as she talked passionately about her day job.

During the later part of the evening, I was the one doing more of the talking. It was something I should have avoided, and it left the both of us squirming in our seats because the longer we were at the table, the more the waiters were wont in filling up our glasses with water.

So, I told her to head for the washroom first while I settled the bill. When she returned, she insisted on paying her share but I refused politely. Even if it was a token gesture, it meant and represented something*.

As the date (and night) came to a close, she was twirling her wavy, shoulder-length hair.

* Anecdotally, of the seven dates I’ve been on, six women put up some form of (token or otherwise) resistance when the bill came to the table or when they found out that I had settled it. The other one gave off a sense of entitlement.