Monthly Archives: February 2013

An open letter to my best friend

Standard

Disclaimer: The subject in this essay is totally fictitious. Any resemblance to people living and dead is a miracle and should only be obvious to the subject and those who know the subject.

I was waiting for my lunch at Testa Rossa today and was about to order coffee when I saw two guys laughing and talking the way that only Joey and Chandler does. I thought of you and ordered cherry cola instead.

Isn’t that the definition of our friendship? That I like coffee and you like cherry cola? I’m the emotional one and you are the unbreakable. I’m always idealistic, the way you’re always pragmatic. I’m the one who believes in happily-ever-afters. I’m the one who sought for love and failed, yet never tire to seek for it over again. Whereas you keep things real. You weigh the success rate of a relationship based on statistics.

While I have ideas on how to solve a problem, you have specific steps to reach a solution. I always ask you to believe and give things a good try, and you’re the one who always prepare me for the worst. I give you hope, you give me reason. And that’s why we go so well together. Well, went. After our silly argument last night, I’m not sure if I should start referring to you in past tense form.

I remember, when I met you at a salsa party a year and a half ago, you were that guy behind your glasses sitting alone in a corner. You would dance, and sit, and dance, and sit again. A vicious cycle. Nothing else in between. Back then, your social skills weren’t really your strongest point. And back then, I would never have guessed that you would eventually become one of the very few people I hold so dear in my heart. And I bet neither did you.

Referring to you as my best friend is a long process that reflects a string of cafes we went to, the amount of popcorn we eat on every movie night, the evening drives to and from parties, and all the conversations and calls exchanged in between. Our friendship reflects a history of inside jokes and banters that people around us would never understand.

I think some people still find it hard to grasp that two people from the opposite sex can be best of friends without crossing the lines, or without smudging the borders of friendship and romance.

What we have is friendship developed over time, over shared experience, over a consciousness to support another person without any ties and expectations romantic or familial.

But best friendship is not always sugary, and full of rainbow colors and unicorns and jokes and hangouts. Let’s face it, that’s bullshit.

In reality, our friendship is flawed. We have a lot of misunderstanding and contrasting views that often lead to petty fights.

You tell me that I’m a drama queen to you the way I am not with everyone else. You are right, everyone else sees me as this peachy, ever-so-awesome, happy-go-lucky girl. I don’t show them that I am neurotic because it will make them run 190mph!

You are an asshole. You are a self-absorbed, unfeeling, callous ass! In a way that you’re not with everyone. Everyone else sees you as the laid-back, cool, all-smiley guy.

Why can’t you be that laid-back, cool, all-smiley guy to me? If only they know you, they would be running 190mph too.

See, the point is, I can be the monster that I am and I know you will understand. You can be full of crap (which you are!) and I will take it for what it is. We take each other’s shit. We listen to each other’s crap. We got each other’s back.

Our friendship is as special as it is rare. It consists of honesty. Brutal honesty and ugly truths, and everything else that no one would dare tell us. I don’t think anyone else can call me a bitch on my face, the way no one else can come to you and tell you to fuck yourself off. Respect that we can do that in each other’s faces.

I know I don’t say it as much as I should, and it doesn’t show in my actions, but I really value our friendship. I appreciate you and everything that you’ve done for me. And I will continue to value our friendship and appreciate you even if you stop everything you do for me. You are my rock. Everytime I find myself in trouble, you are there. You are there through every heartache. You’re there through every good and bad decision.

You are my family. For goodness’ sakes, you’re even my emergency contact person!

We will have disgareements, we will want different things, and we will fight. But I think being each other’s best friend means there is willingness to adapt, and understand each other’s shortcomings. And to not cease supporting each other because someone was being irrational (in this case, I will admit it’s me.)

It may sound like a job, and it sort of is. It is something that demands admitting you’re wrong. It is something that requires you to swallow your pride and understand that you can’t be too selfish all the time.

I’m sorry about last night. But you made me feel that you didn’t have my back. Ok, I overreacted, but you could have been considerate! Scratch that! I’m sorry and I mean it. Can you still be my emergency contact person?

Come away with me

Standard

I know this will sound crazy. I’m crazy and you already know that. You’re crazy and I already know that. But what I want is to forget all about that craziness for a minute and just let ourselves go, without too much thinking or reason.

I want you to just take my hand and come away with me. Walk beside me as we turn to corners and enter streets in the city that we’ve never been at before. Let’s catch the perfect sunset in the harbor, or we can start chasing ibis and sea gulls at the fish market.

Take my hand as we take the next bus. Sit beside me and let’s go out of town. We will watch the people in the bus and make up stories about them as we head off to where we are going. Or we can watch the changing views from our window–the ambiance of urban structures to the calm of the country side to wherever it will take us.

Be patient with me. Soon enough, we will get there. Only a few hours and we’ll be there.

But where is “there” you might ask. Maybe it’s at your kitchen in Bondi where we can finally put your carbonara recipe to the test. Maybe it’s at a crazy house party. We’re not invited, but we’ll crash anyways! Maybe it’s in a far-flung area outside Sydney where we won’t do anything other than take pictures of things familiar and unfamiliar.

Take my hand as we search for our boarding gate. Rest your head on my shoulder as we take off. Let’s watch as the cars and buildings start looking like Lego miniatures. Let’s look at the sky and see what shapes the clouds take. While up in the air, let’s see the things beyond us and resolve in comfort knowing that we can face anything and everything that lies ahead. Feel the change of atmosphere as we step out of the airport and into a new world. Bali, Sydney, Manila, Cairo, Isle of Wight. Let’s tick one destination off our bucket list at a time, as we collect memories and embrace new adventures. We’ll count how many variety of curry dishes there is on the menu, we’ll try every shisha flavor available. We’ll go see the pyramids, we’ll watch a football game. We’ll look at old buildings, and enter ancient buddhist temples. We’ll count the stars as we lie our bodies across an open field. Our eyes will open at the first sight of a new morning. We’ll watch as the colors change from purple-grey to a gleaming orange sunrise. Another day–foreign and new–is waiting for us.

During the day, let’s discover and submerge ourselves in a new culture. We’ll spend time talking with other travelers we meet on the way. We’ll speak to locals and listen to their stories. And when we’ve finally had our fill of good food and wine, we’ll come back to our hostel and fit ourselves comfortably on our bed. We will sleep happy, and smiling, knowing that there will be breakfast and tea and you and me in the morning.

Get in the cab with me. We don’t know where we’re going but we’ll ask the driver to take us somewhere. Let’s roll the window down and feel the breeze in our hair. Let’s keep going for as long as we can. We won’t stop, unless we’re hungry. We’ll stop at gas stations for bathroom breaks, at restaurants for dinner specials, at pubs for happy hours. But we will continue our travel until we reach our happy place. Until we’re standing at the beach with the smell of the Pacific in front of us. Until the crisp sound of palm leaves surround us.

We’re outlaws, travelers, lovers, companions, explorers, triers of new things. We’re witnesses of whatever it is that is out there. Sometimes we won’t talk, we won’t touch, we will just be there, standing side by side. And we will fall in love, not with each other, but with the unknown. We will fall in love with the things we can’t see, we will love the things we don’t understand.

Take my hand and do this with me because I want to get carried away with you. I want to see new things with you. I want to do old things with you knowing that it will feel brand new because it will be the first time I’m doing it with you. I want to explore with you beside me, with our eyes full of curiosity and wonder, and our hearts just as free. I want to walk on roads we’ve never walked on before, hear languages we’ve never heard or spoken before. I want to get lost with you. I want to be found with you.

We will touch things, and taste flavors, and see life the way we never did before. Everything will be new. You will be new, and so will I.

It doesn’t matter that I don’t know you, or that you don’t know me, or the fact that we’ve never met before, because today, at this very moment, I just want you to take my hand and get carried away with me.

I don’t want to dance with you

Standard

I wish things were simple and direct and honest. If I can speak my mind clearly, without having to filter it, I would bluntly say that dancing with you is so bad I keep fantasizing I’d die of lung cancer just so I don’t have to awkwardly confront you. But instead, I’m left with no choice but to dodge the bullet for as long as I can, hoping that you would always miss and that I won’t get a hit.

You would think, or maybe, I would think, that after someone has told you ‘no’ for the seventh time, you will get it. That, eventually, you will be sensitive enough to realize that you are stepping a little bit too much into my space. You know, like, if my space is marked with a visible bubble, you would see that half of your body has gone way passed my territory. You have this so in-your-face kind of way of suffocating me. What I find amusing though is how you don’t seem to realize that you’re pushing me out of my own comfort zone.

I tried letting you know that I don’t want to dance with you. Whenever you’re heading towards me, do you realize how I have to pretend to be in deep conversation with anyone who I can grab at an arm’s length?

Or when you see me busily forking my meal as if it is the last supper I’m ever eating for the rest of my life, do you really think that I am that hungry? Or does it sound like I’m trying to avoid eye contact and all the slightest things that might suggest I am free to dance?

There are times when I really want to smoke a cigarette, and mid way of taking the lighter out my purse, I would stop and say: “Jen, don’t. Save it for later.”

So, there I would go, keeping that cigarette stick in my hand, for when I see you walking towards me. Do you really think that I just happen to be on a smoking spree every single time you ask me? How callous can you just be?

I don’t want to be rude, and this is why I come up with excuses, hoping that you will take a hint, hoping that we can save ourselves from having this conversation, but look what you did. And, so, here we are.

I know what you’re thinking when you see me. And you are right. I dance close body contact with guys, and I have absolutely no problem with that. I dance close body with guys who know how to dance, who have rhythm within them, who put a great amount of time and effort in learning the basic and progressing more. I dance close body with guys who know proper dancing etiquette. Now, this is where you get it wrong–what I don’t do is dance close body with guys who give me the creeps–whose definition of dancing is reduced to skin on skin friction.

I mean, seriously, dude. That is not dancing. In which universe do you think a girl gets so excited social dancing with a boner? If that universe even exists, please, feel free to migrate.

My friends, who have saved me a lot of times, from you and other people like you, ask me why I can’t just tell you straight to your face that I don’t like dancing with you. Then maybe we can all just stop wasting each other’s time and move on from it, no?

I know at one point, I would run out of excuses to not dance with you. I’ve used every single drop of creativity I have in mind to avoid you. I know that it will only be a matter of time before I find myself in a situation where all my friends will be on the dance floor and I will be left in an awkward corner with no cigarettes to light up, and no dinner plate to finish. Just you and me. Dreadful.

The thing is, I don’t want to make up excuses anymore. I’m tired of hiding in the girls’ bathroom every time a kizomba song starts playing in the background. I’m tired of looking out on the dance floor and making sure you’re dancing with someone else before I can comfortably sit on my chair, and be at peace for the fact that I’m safe for at least a couple of minutes.

So, here I am, saying it loud and clear (and in the nicest possible way I could muster): Please, don’t ask me to dance with you again. At least not until you stop being creepy.

I hope this time, you will get it. And if you do, I will be very grateful. You can call me a snob, you can call me a conceited bitch, you can call me a terrible dancer. But if that’s what it takes to stop this monkey in the middle, be it.

Whew. I’m really glad we had this talk. Thank you for your cooperation. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go dance with someone else.