Monthly Archives: August 2018

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It was a dry and hot afternoon as i set out for the restaurant, all the while consumed by a curious desire to drop my things and run till i was drenched and thirsty, mouth and tongue absolutely dry. I knew it was just my mind trying to take my attention away from what was to happen, which was somehow making me slightly nervous, and i thought it clever.

My workplace was not so far away and in less than a half hour i found myself at the entrance of The Soup Kitchen, our agreed-upon meeting spot. It was my suggestion and she’d happily agreed. I still don’t know why i made that phone call and i don’t regret it, but if you asked me to choose again, i’d say no. Not yet, at least.

This had been the place where we’d first officially dated five years ago, and it was an easy choice to make. Perhaps the familiarity of the venue would ease my growing nerves, and it didn’t hurt that their clam chowder was simply divine. It could also be that i didn’t get out much and this was clearly the only option on my mind.

To be honest this was perhaps the fourth time i was dining here, yet the place felt oddly familiar. It must have been the smells… yes, the aroma of the food served here has become inextricably linked with joy and good times. I’m big on smells, you see, and they really hammer in memories and feelings.

I gave my name and was shown to our table. What an interesting coincidence at that, for i found myself back at the exact same spot from five years ago. There was something reassuring yet slightly off-putting about being back in this seat. It was a good day, that day, but today is still uncertain.

Work had brought me to another country for a year, of which i had been back here a total of zero times. In that span we had grown first closer, then rapidly drifted apart. There was nothing of bad blood between us; things had simply taken their natural course and we followed along without protest. I guess eventually the waves stopped crashing, i washed up back to these shores, and we figured it made sense to pick up where we left off.

But something didn’t feel right.

And that’s when i saw her at the entrance of the restaurant. She did a quick scan and spotted me, her eyes going wide and a big smile breaking out instantly. She gave a cute little wave that somehow managed to convey the excitement and happiness she was feeling. I returned her smile, conscious that it wasn’t as automatic and sincere as i’d hoped it would be.

I have to admit she looked as good as i had imagined, though i remember she used to look better. Time, life, work and stress had started to take its toll on her, and in her short walk to the table i could see she no longer had that spring in her step. Her posture wasn’t one of strength and health, rather of practiced habit. But still her eyes had that unmistakable spark, her lips right at home in that sweet smile.

I stood up and we both embraced. Not as long as lovers do, but not as short as friends would.

‘Hey you remember this table, right!’ she asked excitedly.

Of course i did. And so we spoke, not forgetting to take some time off to scan through the menu.

The conversation flowed. I found her voice irritating, something i had never felt before.

She told me some exciting stories. Her actions were excessive and her style lacking.

Our food arrived, and as soon as i got that first mouth in, i knew the universe got at least some things right. So goo- why is she chewing with her mouth open?!

Obviously she was having a great time and was nothing less than thrilled to be able to see me again after so long. In fact she rapidly began so sink back into her comfort zone, to the way she used to be with me back then. She had that softness in her eyes again and she appeared to be at home, with me.

The conversation took us somewhere i can’t remember. I was losing focus, getting bored, doing my best to look as excited and into-it as her. Then i got an opening and just dropped the bomb.

‘Kira?’

‘Mm?’

‘Shall we get married?’

I couldn’t stop myself. I had no idea what i was doing but none of that showed on my face.

What.

Was.

I.

DOING?!

And she started crying.

She loved me so much and we were always so good together and yeah we fought but we stuck through it all. Then we drifted apart and gosh that was so strange but we were okay and where were we after that, i didn’t know, but it didn’t feel wrong. And then you came back and i couldn’t receive you and silence for a few days and then you called me and oh Jacob, this is all so much, oh Jacob… I’m… I’m ready. Yes. I’ve wanted this and i still do and i knew we still loved each other yes we should get married oh my God you just proposed to me oh baby did you just propose i’m sorry i can’t stop crying oh baby come here.

She was crying and smiling and holding me and i was smiling and not really holding on to her and screaming in my head.

I wanted to pick my things up and run, just get away, but then i saw there was still some delicious clam chowder in my bowl and my heart did a little jump for joy.

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sppls

If i could turn back time, would i do it again?

Of course not.

It was an accident that was meant to happen. It’s true that i’ve learnt a great deal from my injury and it has made me become a much better person in so many ways. Whilst i accept how things happened and am grateful as well, i will definitely, absolutely refuse to break my back attempting that stunt once again.

Sometimes we need an absence of choice so we can move forward; that’s the only way we’ll swallow the bitter pills we need.

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hsh

There was a time when i thought that having alone time was the best thing in the world. That rapidly changed as i approached 30; my circle of friends had dwindled considerably and for the first time ever, i began to feel lonely.

As if the universe took pity on me, i literally ran into the girl that i knew i had to marry. I don’t even know why she said yes but within a year we were hitched and happily living together.

For another two years the both of us conquered life with a little more zeal and zest than before we were married. There was something about having someone on your side, like a teammate, that made things just that much easier or bearable. Life seemed pretty awesome, until the old loneliness crept back in.

The two of us were one; that’s the only way i can put it. I’d come home to find her at computer, or napping, or reading, and though happy, we would feel this emptiness lingering. On the days that i was home and she went out to work, i couldn’t help but feel that something was missing from our household.

And then it hit me: we needed a child. We were a damn good couple and we were ready for the next ‘natural step’ in our lives.

I broached the topic with her and she took it up surprisingly quickly. Apparently she had been toying with the idea as well but didn’t really know if it was just a mood or a legit thing. After a bit of thinking and forecasting how life would be with a baby around, we decided once and for all that we would indeed try for a child.

And less than a year later she was brought to this world. I’ll tell you the truth, the moment i first saw her i couldn’t help but recoil a little at how ugly she looked, but they cleaned her up and there she was… my adorable little girl.

The first few days were exciting: everything was new to her and us, and we didn’t mind the sudden and extreme disruption in our schedule. One moment i thought she looked more like me, and then awhile later i was sure she took after her mom more.

In about two weeks the reality of having a child began to sink in, and it was not fun. Her constant crying, the lack of sleep, and how alarmingly quickly the novelty of having a newborn wore off… it started to take a toll on me.

I found myself dreading going to bed because i knew i’d have to wake up again not long after. No more impromptu dates as either one of us would be too tired. I hated it. Most of all, i hated that i hated it. I wasn’t prepared for it and i beat myself up over it.

Why didn’t we just get a dog or a cat instead?

And then one day, when my wife took the day off to go for a short spa retreat with her close friends, i was alone with the child. At first she slept quietly, but then the crying began.

It would not cease. Whatever i did, it never stopped. It kept crying. IT was inconsolable and starting to frustrate me greatly.

I picked IT up and cradled it, shushing and singing and rocking gently. No use.

So i did the only thing that came to my mind: i hugged IT close to me, tightly, its face pressed into my chest, till slowly but surely, it stopped moving. I kept hugging. I didn’t want to let go till i was sure.

I stood that way for about a half hour, then put it down in the crib and went to take a nap.

I had given us a chance to take a step back and try something else instead. A cat, probably.

And if that didn’t work, we’d just make another.

For the first time in a long while, i slept like a baby.

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snzng

It’s funny how a person could once be a huge part and priority of your life, and very quickly mean nothing to you. Whether they lived or die, you wouldn’t bat an eyelid.

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Sometimes we pour in a lot of resources and effort to make a stupid idea work just because the boss doesn’t have the cojones to go with a slightly riskier but better idea, or just can’t accept that someone else had a better way of doing things…

…dimwits.

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I make myself look happy because it keeps everyone from getting too sad.

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Most of how good you look depends on your teeth.

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