Dear J

I learnt what “skid marks” were the hard way. I also lived with the most putrid, rotting fish fingers in the fridge – so pungent I caught a whiff of it on my robe after a hot shower in California. To be fair, I contributed to this lifestyle by allowing us to keep the leftover Chicken Masala in the microwave after a night out, still a superior alternative to the kebabs across the street. ‘Twas good whilst it lasted but we weren’t raving to it.

It’s not exactly socially acceptable to pee in the same room as another person, with the door open. I don’t usually let people listen to me pee either. So I think what we have is pretty special. There’s also no one else I’d rather be caught tatas out to the sun with but you, babe. Only in France.

And don’t even get me started on “when the day is winding down”. The onset of night is the beginning of delirium. We can get away with following a good looking man home (half joking), guffawing in tears in supermarkets, malls, parks, trains… We have left echoes of our joint existence in narrow lanes and bar corners. We are insufferable, but who can help it when you pronounce ‘Gare du Nord’ like that??

You are my saving grace on Moody Mornings, your positivity dampened only by scoundrels that demand you donate to them- the deaf, blind and mute. All of them hearing & speaking. You drag me away from hopeless conversations and you help me snag all the deals. Ask for the iPhone charger, you say, the hotel adapters, an umbrella, low sodium meals on the airplane. Where would I be without you? Soaking wet, wandering through the streets of Paris, lost, and dying from chronic high blood pressure, most likely. And I can’t thank you enough for trouble shooting my laptop and updating my phone so that I can upgrade my emoji usage. I have been waiting for a ‘crossed fingers’ pictogram for the longest time. You are my I.T Wiz, MY ROCK.

I am thankful that you’re always on my cycle: lazy-day bud one day, hiking and yoga bud the next. Wine buddy one day, I-would-rather-die-than-drink buddy the next. Thank you for listening to stories about the same guys over and over again. Thank you for seeing the best in me. And most of all, thank you for understanding that my God is my compass.

I am always glad to know you are near, your sandals thumping behind me.

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No hard feelings

Today, I made a couple of mistakes. Two, to be exact. First, I was all packed and ready for my Muay Thai class. Wrists wrapped, full water bottle, a change of clothes. I got there, peeked through the locked door, and saw that the only semblance of a human being was a hamstring stretched across the floor. The one instructor who’s stretch I interrupted opened the door and regarded me with mild amusement. Sorry you’re an idiot, he seemed to say. Apparently I have to call to make appointments. I had mistakenly generalized the expectation that classes would go on with or without me, as is the case with bigger and more established gyms. I blabbered on about what I didn’t know, quickly resigning myself to the fact that he wasn’t going to give me a private lesson. Come on, I’ve come all the way here. And I’d worked up a sweat coming up the stairs. He called me ‘pretty girl’. What a waste of my #athleisure.

As I was about to leave, I spotted another poster: FIT! GYM! PERFECT! I made my way over to the place, as half-assed as my now singularly wrapped wrists. I’ll cheat my way into a free trial gym session, I decided. What did I have to lose? I smiled my best Duchenne smile, approached the receptionist and said “so do you guys do trial sessions or what?” She handed me over to the manager. And he brought me to an office with a table and two chairs. He’s a friend of celebrities, a retired Kong Fu artist and stunt double. He’s well traveled and speaks to me as a father would about potential. The next thing I know, I’m befriending the entire place, his buddies who are good at salsa, the woman on staff who shows me the sauna in the changing room. He greets a gym-goer, whom I recognize as someone who graduated the year I finished my first year of highschool. We both do a double-take. For some reason, I let the manager in on the secret. I know that guy! And he is more than happy to share with me the details of the Graduate’s life- he’s a really great jazz musician; comes from a family of them, Filipinos. He’s been going to this gym for years, have you met his girlfriend? At the end of it all, when he’s circling the prices, I am the one who feels cheated. This is a members-only gym, he said, finally. From the beginning, there was no chance of a free trial. From the beginning, there was no chance of my joining. I wonder if he could sense the reticence. Deception stinks; I can’t tell if I’ve made a friend…

Life lesson: when you’re a liar, you have a general mistrust of others.
Glorious moment: when Colbie Caillat’s ‘Bubbly’ played at the gym. Ye get pumped!

Cinco de drinko

Hands down the BEST ANSWER to “how do you like to spend your Friday nights?”
“I’d watch a funny movie with a friend. Lying down, with our heads hanging off the bed, throwing popcorn into each other’s mouths.
… Actually, it’d be driving and stealing cones. I have so many”.

Best answers to “what fruit would you be?”
“A banana so my best friend could be a monkey”.
“A grape so I wouldn’t be alone”.

Ya goof. You’ve managed to accurately capture yourself in a sentence and that is a talent.

Shoe flinging and cup shattering

I’ve been through enough to not feel devastated whenever something vaguely embarrassing happens. But because I’m clumsy, I’m prone to mishaps and curry-stained shirts. I’ve only just dug up this list that I made two years ago, hidden away in ‘Drafts’ on Tumblr.

Here it is:

  1. Tripping on nothing.
  2. Shattering cups or being caught doing something silly.
  3. Like dropping a packet of noodles and kicking it away, thinking no one is watching. But someone is always watching.
  4. The guns come out. The hand guns… I only do it when I’m nervous saying hello to someone (like a crush) and yeah, it’s not very normal.
  5. I’ve fallen off beds a couple of times.
  6. I’ve had my shoe stepped on and flung away… So I’m left behind in a group to find my shoe.
  7. I’ve gotten my school bag straps stuck in lockers and hooked onto gates or stair-handles. People have to wait for me to untangle myself before they can pass.
  8. Mid-sentence voice cracks. It’s worse when performing a song.
  9. I’ve almost knocked down a shelf of antique ornaments in a coffee shop.
  10. I’ve had balls smash me in the head. LOL. Sports.
  11. I say ‘Oh crap, Oh shit’ out loud when I run to imply to whoever’s around that I’m running for some urgent cause.

I guess cringe is a better word. And it’s pretty cringe when this happens:
Me: “lol don’t you think Kermit is such a terrible name?”
Friend: “hey, that’s my dad’s name.”

Once I was shopping whilst holding a bowl of noodles. I rested the chopsticks on the rim of the bowl and walked around, when all of a sudden, a boy with crossed arms fits one of the chopsticks between his fingers. Unknowingly, I go in for another bite of noodles but discover that one chopstick is gone… And in the hands of some poor, unsuspecting guy. What. I don’t think he meant to nick my chopstick but I was so embarrassed. For him or myself, I don’t know.

Once I was shopping for heels in ALDO in my school uniform, wearing crappy low-quality flats that were on the verge of breaking apart. I was with my bestie and they sort of treated me like her slave. Basically, they spoke to her about the heels I WAS BUYING. They did however, hand me the bag… Please, stop assuming that I’m merely the shoe-holder.

At around 9 years old, said bestie and I were obsessed with The Lizzie McGuire movie. We sang all the songs and knew all the lyrics off by heart with mics (combs) in our hands. When it was already too late, we found out that our brothers were peering in and giggling through the door. At the time, this was embarrassing. Now it’s adorable.

A more recent scenario was when two friends and I figured that we’d make the most out of waiting for an elevator. Determined to make it a good night, we start breaking it down. We dance and pull out all the ugly moves. We’re convulsing and flicking our hair when the elevator doors open with a group of people in it. We immediately try to cover our faces and stifle our laughter. “Well, you girls had a good night,” one guy says as he passes us. The night had just begun.

What is embarrassment? The feeling that others are viewing you as inferior to themselves? The fear of being judged and thought of as less awesome than you are? It’s impossible to feel embarrassment without other people being involved, isn’t it? It’s a social reaction. Seems to be a no-brainer that the more confident you are in yourself and your actions, the less embarrassment you feel.

Just a thought.

I got sat on

So I’m walking down the slope when an overweight, balding, forty-something-pushing-fifty year old man looks me in the eye and practically lunges at me. It feels like it’s happening in slow motion and I can’t escape because it’s happening. He’s drunk and suddenly sitting on me as I’m lying on top of a metal barricade that has toppled with me. I can feel the bruises forming as the bars dig into my thigh and shin. I struggle to push him off. I cannot get up and he doesn’t seem to think it’s a problem. Nobody’s particularly helpful though I see and feel several pairs of eyes observing the situation. I completely give up and wait because it’s useless. Then finally somebody pulls him up (it felt like it lasted longer than it did) and I’m fuming. His friends are grinning. “What the fuck is wrong with you?” I yell. His eyes are glazed over and I think to myself that maturity and self control surpass age and experience. Just because you’re way over the legal drinking age does not mean you should drink.

After I’d calmed down, it became a hilarious story to tell. Now that I’m bruised and battered (not really), I cannot believe I got sat on by a huge man. I had no chance. He was seriously fat. But it bothers me how “what is wrong with you” seemed too easy a question to ask. As in, the words came out so naturally. And it felt right at the time. I should be more careful with my words.

Funny how in drunken scenarios the bystander effect is so much more pronounced. Nobody cares. Only one woman asked if I was okay.

– –

Someone is lying on the floor. Another is hanging off a railing, like a shirt draped across a washing line. At first, I’m concerned. Maybe I should check to see if he’s okay, possibly call the police or something. Has he passed out? Is he breathing? How can this guy be taking a video of him if they are friends? He needs to get home. The floor is so nasty. I’m judging his useless friends as they do not even try to take him home. Then my friend points out that those two drunkards had it coming. True. They were responsible for how much they could drink and they went overboard. It baffles me how people let themselves get to a state where their lives are endangered when they’re hoping to have a good time with their friends. They ruin the night with stupidity. I grow impatient and frustrated with the situation, especially at this one friend who decides to sit next to the guy on the floor and make a scene. Shuddering dramatically, clutching the guy’s arm, probably crying instead of being helpful. Pathetic. I reflect upon the fact that I feel superior and I both enjoy it (it feels good to be better or at least think you are) and objectively don’t like it. I mean, if a person if a victim of his/her own actions, they may not ‘deserve’ sympathy, but compassion knows no reason. We all have our issues. Some actions are more idiotic than others but there’s something wrong with all of us. So I should remind myself of that and develop a willingness to serve and be compassionate- which still doesn’t mean that they are excused from responsibility.

This is beautiful though:
“From the perspective of service, we are all connected: All suffering is like my suffering and all joy is like my joy.”
– Rachel Naomi Remen

To remember

Hey, what’s funny?

Everybody loves funny people because everybody loves to laugh. It’s another one of those ‘best compliments’ to give and receive because it just is. It makes the heart expand and makes me smile inside.

But what makes something funny? Where is the line between amusing and funny?  There’s sarcasm and wit. There’s that crude humour that utilizes stereotypes and profanity. There’s randomness and the complete breaking of expectation. There’s dark humour and irony and self deprecation. There’s understatement and exaggeration. There’s the misery of others, the Omg So Relatable funny and the So Corny It’s Funny kind of humour, which basically follows the It’s So Bad It’s Good sort of paradigm.  I wonder if someone has made a list.

I shall make it a point to research laughter and the science behind it.

Found the perfect link actually: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/laughter.htm
I love google.