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Sunday, May 14, 2006
Of Great Friendships, Eating, A Quickie and No

Great Friendships
Sorry for the utter silence in the last few days. Things were going at a maddening speed and then came Ain, a very good friend of mine from Indonesia. I love her to bits. Ain is the most amazingly giving person I have had the opportunity to meet, extremely warm and fun to be with.

Our friendship goes back a long way to a time and place when she was still a college student taking an IT course. We ate, slept and played, often spending days next to each other without ever feeling bored. Consisting mostly of meal times together and a generous 15 minute walk after each meal, we spent lots of evenings chatting and sharing our daily stories and worries. Ain eventually left for Jakarta, found a job and started working. Then our conversations became shorter and shorter because we were just so busy with daily stuff.

Sometimes on more melancholic days, I find myself in despair. When I think back, I have come to realise that Ain was a rare treasure. Although she is one of my newest friends (approximately 3 years), Ain has proven herself a fierce and loyal friend, who was always around to support and help me through some tough patches. She always wanted the best for me and gave her very best to me. All my older friends paled by comparison. I felt helpless that I did not love her more and gave more of myself to her in return for her friendship.

I remember the time when my favourite cat, Coco died. Ain was there as Coco drew her last breath. I hugged Coco tightly in my arms and wailed so badly that I choked on my words. Ain panicked, took Coco and placed her on the table. Coco’s newborn kittens were mewing for milk in the tiny box. Ain lifted Coco’s mouth and gave my favourite cat CPR, in a bid to probably revive Coco. I was so shaken by the whole incident, clung onto my cat and cried for what felt like hours.

As the evening call to prayer resounded across the yellow tint sky, Ain dug a hole and asked me to give Coco to her. Ain and the two maids helped bury Coco. R came over and together they fed and patted me to sleep that night. Ain took care of the kittens that first night. To those unfamiliar with caring for cats and kittens, newborn kittens needed feeding every hour, burped and had their little bottoms stimulated by a warm towel, so their bowels moved. All Ain did all of those things for me.

I asked myself time and again, why had I not realize all this much earlier? Why did I not see Ain’s sincerity years ago? Why is it that I had to be disappointed by treacherous and unrequited friendships, in order to find and appreciate a jewel friendship like Ain’s?

I vowed to repay her kindness with kindness and that was how I offered my loyalty to Ain. It was her goodness of heart that won me over. Just like how Alex is with my heart, it was Ain who loved me as a friend first.

Sometimes friendships such as Ain’s are Life’s gift to us - to teach us to be better people. These are the rare friendships that bless and enrich our lives with lessons of love and relationships. I learnt to be a better person by being Ain’s friend. This is a humbling experience and I guess, a great friend like Ain will add character to your soul.

We were out on a mission to eat the town poor. Since knowing that Ain was coming for a visit, I have been listing what we would do and where we would go. Dim Sum was top priority and so determined in my heart that we be up and having sticky rice and scrumptious dim sum at 8:00 a.m. that I announced that we would be there for breakfast on Saturday morning and that my body clock will wake me up in time for it.

True enough on Saturday morning, I got up and looked at the clock. It read quarter to 8 a.m. Felt victorious and so said, “See! I said I’d wake up before 8 and I did!”. I then got out of bed, walked to the bathroom to relieve myself, hopped back into bed and slept. Only to wake up two hours later. We missed dim sum! That taught me never to brag again.

After stuffing ourselves the whole of Saturday like greedy Hansel and Gretel at the witche's cottage and watching Tom Cruise four seats from the front, we could not walk a step without feeling our bellies getting fatter by the minute. We only managed to squeeze dinner at half pass 9 p.m. Due to bad planning and miscommunication, Nikki and BGF did not make it for the after-drinks. But hey, Ain and I from boogie the night away in Lola.

“I don’t know how everyone seems to have eagle eye vision and spots one single person in a crowd of few hundreds,” I whispered into Ain’s ears as we walked towards the bar. Seconds earlier, D shouted my name and said, “Hi”. I walked pass him without even noticing the tall bloke in his casual white shirt and jeans combination. Everyone else seems to be able to notice and call out for their friends. I am just like a blind bat! I do not seem to observe well enough. I do not even see friends who flashed their car lights on the opposite direction. Argh!

Things have changed since I shouted at him on New Year’s. What can I say? He chose the wrong person to defend and in anger, I asked him to leave me alone. While he was at it, he could help me by asking everyone else to leave me alone too and give me a measure of peace during this few months that I am in Malaysia. “I’ll fly back to London in a few months after my visa’s done,” I said between sobs on the first day of 2006.

A Quickie
”I met AB,” R announced last night when I returned his phone call at 2:00 a.m. Ain and I decided on an early exit and cut the Saturday night session short. We were hell bent on dim sum on Sunday morning 8:00 a.m. I frowned when I heard R recount his chat with AB. You see, I have not thought about AB for months and that is a good thing. I need the break. I cannot spend my days and nights thinking about a person, whom I imagine is thinking of his girlfriend and not me (which is fair since they are a couple and I am probaly the 3rd or maybe the 4th or 5th party).

“Bring my bottle of vodka to me,” R said, “and I will tell you what AB said about you.”

One thing about R when he is on an upper is, he tends to talk shit. The other thing about R when he is on an upper is, he always asked me to buy him a pack of Malboro or bring some vodka over or both.

“How many did you pop tonight?” I asked. R said he did not pop but had some joints with AB. I had even weirder nights with R, so a few joints was relatively mild. I did promise him a bottle of Absolut anyway, so I changed, washed up and drove the 2 minute drive to his house.

Vodka, R’s beagle is the most fascinating and lovable dog! R got him to sit, heel, roll over and lie down and I was basically clapping my hands at Vodka’s smart tricks. R even managed to train the dog to wait. Imagine the beagle wagging his brown tail, in anticipation of fetching the soft toy back to his master and just waiting for R to say, “Go!”. At the word “go”, Vodka zoomed down the hallway, screeched at the corner, grabbed the toy and zoomed back to R’s side, dropped the soft toy, sat and waited for the new instruction.

Bad news is Vodka still humped mine. Good news is Vodka humped Ain’s legs too. And the pillows on the sofa.

“No, stop it!” R said each time Vodka tried to mount Ain’s legs to hump.

“Yes, do it!” R said as Vodka hugged my legs and got on with his humping action. I tried my very best ordering the beagle with a firm “no” each time the beagle came over to my side but once I was so annoyed, I unconsciously smacked the dog. I felt so sorry the moment the dog ran back towards his master, who then gave him a reassuring pat. Yes, yes, I was the wicked witch of the East in the dog’s eyes.

”You know what the Good Editor said?” I said to R as Vodka, the horny humping beagle humped my leg. “Dogs are mirroring their masters’ desires.” I rolled my eyes as R laughed, exhaling some smoke.

“Yeah, baby. Vodka, do it one more time!” R said and the dog went on frantically humping my leg. And when he was not humping my leg, he was humping Ain’s or the sofa legs or some plush pillows next to Ain.

“You need a fuck quick, brother,” I said as the three of us looked at the dog who went on and on and on on and on. “And that dog of yours needs neutering.”

Did not make it for dim sum at 8:00 a.m. again. Not too surprising since we all slept after 3 a.m. My body clock went haywire since Ain’s arrival. We have been chatting and exchanging stories since the spare bed was lined next to mine on Friday. I was the first to be up at half 9 and woke Ain and R up. Dim sum at 10:00 a.m. was fucked up as the service was slow and Uncle, Aunty and Miss Dim Sum were already stressed up to their necks, serving tables after tables of hungry and demanding patrons since 6 a.m.

Had two more drinks elsewhere as I could not take the harsh weather in the afternoon. Long hair is fantastic in cold weather as one can use it as a scarf. In hot and humid climate such as Malaysia’s, one feel like dying walking under the hot sun.

R was a sweetheart and took over my car. We took a drive to China Town. Ain got some herbs from a medicine hall while I bought some crystals to string. I promised PY that I would make her a soft crystal beaded hairband, similar to the one she bought from Evita Peroni at RM120. Mine costs less than RM20. So smug about it. Wait till I show it to PY!!!!

Ain was dropped off at the bus station at half pass 2 p.m. Love, hugs and kisses all around at the busy road and Ain disappeared into the crowds of people. R wanted to purchase something for his grandmother and asked me to accompany him. With nothing much left to do, I agreed. He drove pass One Utama and I freaked out. “You missed the turning!” R decided that he wanted to have a second round of lunch.

“Do you want to meet AB?” R asked as we continued driving to the coffee shop. Come to think about it, we must have sat in the bloody car for more than two hours today, with all the driving we did.

I mumbled something that I cannot recall now.

“Do you want to see AB?” he asked again.

“Up to you,” I said nonchalantly. To be perfectly honest, I do not know whether I want to see AB. Obviously my whole body would scream an orgasmic “yes please!” but I have cured myself of the AB disease and do not want to dwell on pass memories ever again.

“No, nothing,” I said. I recalled a conversation I had with AB the last time I met him in the hotel room earlier this year.

We checked into a hotel that was popular for its "check in at midnight" special promotions. Most couples snuck in and snuck out, through the front and back doors. Most do not make eye contact. Some walked ahead of the other partner. Some were too drunk to walk. I imagined everyone shagging in every room, except the one where AB and I were in. We laid in bed, snuggled, chatted, laughed, kissed and cried. We hid, played, tickled, explored and seduced. I have sat on him and he on me. We have whispered secrets that never left the room. We did everything and we did nothing.

“Come on, ask. I know you want to ask me something,” AB said.

“Nothing." I said. I stared into the ceiling. The usual smoke whiffed gently upwards and disappeared into the white ceiling.

“You want to ask me if I love you,” AB said. He moved and laid on his side, his right arm folded under his head. His eyes were intently sat on me.

I moved and laid on my side, with my back facing him. I bent my knees and curled into a little ball. I closed my eyes. "Up to you."

“I love you,” he said.

I could see smoke rising and disappearing into the ceiling. AB smoked since he was in high school and I never smoked a day in my life. In a world that is so different, why did I yearn that we were the same?

“Do you want to see AB?” R asked again. I smiled at him. By then, we were sitting at the tiny coffee shop. Less than 10 metres away, was AB's house and somewhere in it, I imagined AB would be in a room shagging with his girlfriend.

"Do you want to talk to AB?" R asked.

“No,” came my reply.

Small Talk
The scene where the key character hugged the dead dog by the road in the "Fix You" chapter drew its emotions and inspiration from the lost I felt when Coco died.


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aww... the thing about good old friends is that ... eventhough u don't see them for years... when u do meet up again.. there is no need for any 'catching-up small talk'... you can just start talking like the both of you have never really been away

10:26 am  

Boss Stewie
Yup... that's how I felt. Just ran over to Ain and gave her a hug. Then we talked as if we have never left each other at all.

2:32 am  

I empathise with you about the old friends bit.

And the dog humping bit (friggin disgusting! fuck!).

And also the bit about AB. (though i'm relatively new to this blog)

Stay strong. :)

6:20 pm  

Will do so. And you, hope you find these days heartwarming.

10:23 am  

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