The call came at 8.07pm, just as I might have been chuckling away while watching a variety show online. Suffice to say, I missed it.
When I checked the phone hours later, it was a number that was strangely familiar to me. A thought crept into my mind. It might have been The Verdict. But it was too late to make any calls.
A return call was made during the lunch break. It was to someone from the agency. As usual, I was asked how the date went. I explained that the match was a step in the right direction. The person from the agency said the date was quiet in nature and would take some time to warm up to people around her. I was then asked if any attempt was made to meet her again. I affirmed it but said it was unsuccessful.
“So there was no interest?” the person asked.
“From the other side,” I replied coolly and calmly. The emotional upheaval following that failed attempt had dissipated with the number of times I listened to D Rice’s Delicate (on repeat mode). The mood has returned to some semblance of normalcy. I was trying to accept myself and the failure again.
“Okay. I haven’t called her yet to find out more. If you don’t hear from us, we’ll move on, ya?”
The person sounded cool and calm as well. This was business after all.
So, The Verdict became No Verdict. But I will not discount the possibility of them calling me up and telling me to get rid of that ever-ballooning paunch, which might have tilted the table during the lunch date so much that it greatly affected the date’s ability in ingesting her lunch. Or else, they will send my file to another agency which flies in women from some obscure villages in the Pee Ara See.
In the meantime, I live out my days as a recluse until the next match comes along.
A week ago, I was following closely a series of posts on someone’s blog / journal.
A young woman admired that person’s writing and work so much that she decided that it would be a brilliant idea to make them her very own. That is, as long as no one finds out.
Before we became slaves to word processors, copying and pasting now require the barest minimum of work. A great piece of work becomes your own within mere seconds. Cue plaudits and glowing words of admiration.
Being a sub-standard spewer of words and the waster of space on the internet for the past decade, no one has done this to me. I think the bits and pieces of self-deprecating humour and the never-ending references to the humongous girth that is my waist are kinda difficult for anyone to want to claim the writing as their own. I’d never known I have developed this proprietary way of protecting my rubbish and shite from being plagiarised. No one wants to copy the words of a loser, no?
But as much as I can understand how the original writer felt enraged over these blatant acts of plagiarism, I feel sorry for the young woman (no, I’m not wiggling my way to an invite for a date). She should do something for herself. Create her style. Express her thoughts in her own words. The expressions may not be contenders for a writing award, but at the very least, it’s her own. Through time, loads (and loads) of reading and writing, her style will evolve. She’ll pick up the tricks in creating her own style. She can tell her own story through her own words, phrases and sentences. Eventually, there will be pieces that are amazing reads.
Sincerely, I hope the young woman learns a little lesson from this. It’s not just a lesson about writing. It also applies to all other aspects of our lives.
In less than two months’ time and assuming everything falls in place, I would be off to one of the most isolated countries on God’s good earth.
Being the eternal loser of the loveless kind, I was already fantasising about how I might meet some cute, quirky woman (who shares the same interest in going to these weirdly far-flung places on earth) from the tour group, and how we will frolic among the fields of bright yellow sunflowers, wearing sun hats, holding hands and whispering sweet-nothings into each other’s ears till our voices turn hoarse.
Or that I would be so enticed by one of the female guides that I would be willing to get married, settle down in this country and spend the rest of life bowing to two portraits of chubby men, calling them words such as “Dear” and “Great” every other day. I could learn how to acquire and appreciate the taste of fermented spicy cabbages. If this country’s hated neighbours can produce drop-dead gorgeous women who can collectively sing and dance “Nobody but you”, there might just be as many drop-dead gorgeous women there (since they share the same ancestry). Just that they might be decked in a hanbok or an olive green military uniform, instead of those tight-ish dancing outfits.
In any case, the preparations have started.
And the possibilities may just be endless.