A year ago he was part of the big group. They were celebrating Ms Polar Bear’s birthday and he remembered feeling overwhelmed by the personalities at the table as he sat there. One of them joined them later and as she sat down, she muttered something about having to rush down from an island.
Overwhelmed was how he felt for the rest of the night. Being part of a company of six, enjoyable as it was, seemed (and seems) to take any words out of him. But still, thoughts in his head swirled as quickly as the words were exchanged amongst the group.
Almost year later, “estranged” was the word that appeared consistently when he thought back about that fateful night.
It was only her who sat in front of him. A captive audience of one for the night, she was the only person he could focus on.
From a company of six, there were now two of them (including him).
Except for a question that he asked about the food, they talked about everything else. Except for a longer-than-it-should (fairly) awkward gap of silence, they weren’t bashful about their bums taking up two seats in a crowded(ish) restaurant on Friday night in its entirety.
They talked about his love and how it made him realise he was poor at managing a woman and her fears. She offered her opinions (which were priceless to him) about how he should behave and what he should say to the love. There were other questions floating in his head, but with whatever advice he was given, he might figure out his way through the maze of a woman’s needs and expectations of her loved one.
But the highlight of the night was when they reminisced (and yes, they talked about a personality called “reminisce” too) about the good old days when stumbling on a well-written piece of local prose online was an enjoyable experience.
Those were the days when snooping around the comments section and hyperlinks under “Blogs I follow” could unearth the next treasure trove of literary prose that could hold his attention for weeks, months or years to come (also depends on how much the author updates his site or when he decides to move his prose elsewhere, away from prying eyes).
He remembered making that remark about how the popularity of certain stuff has added to the increasing lack of attention span these days and many had learned how to express their thoughts in 140 characters (and it’s not even words!). He opined that the days of everyone else writing prose were over because there wasn’t a rich source of inspiration ready with the next mouse click. There aren’t that many people with whom we could draw inspiration from through their words, how they strung them together and how they would describe an image, a scene or a valued piece of memory with so much beauty we could hold our breaths to admire.
“We could put together a selection of stuff we loved to read and publish them somewhere!” he exclaimed excitedly without any thought about potential copyright issues that would stop this ill-conceived idea in its track.
Yet, that was the theme of that night. They could revisit those words, their words, and sentences they created. They could get a feel of what it was like during those heady days when all it needed was the desperation to pen memories for posterity sake. Or to manage the surge of emotions that were triggered by a word, a glance, a stare, a gaze, a wink, a hug or perhaps the warmth from some (and sometimes accidental) physical contact.
For the longest time and being horribly misinformed, he thought sex would not appear in any of the fairer gender’s list of “some of my favourite things” (cue one of the songs from The Sound of Music). He thought it would rank lower than their dreaded monthly visit of cramps and moods that swing wilder than a pendulum.
And just within the recent week, he was plunged into a rude awakening of sorts when introduced to another side of human sexuality, i.e., the first glimpse of unexplored “territory”.