For the longest time, I wondered if having a boyfriend would change anything with regard to the way I have apparently chosen to deal with the ex-boyfriend. He is the only ex-boyfriend that matters because of the extent to which I felt for him, which, simply put, was unlike the way I felt for my other ex-boyfriends. But it's precisely because of how destructive it was, how it steadily chipped away at my self-esteem and my confidence until there was not much left, how it was ultimately unsustainable, that I never, EVER want to feel like that ever again for a guy. And it's also precisely of how intense my feelings were that I tried the friends thing and failed, and eventually found myself rendered utterly unable to deal with him, to look at him without feeling my skin crawl, to have a conversation - using this word loosely - with him that lasts beyond three words and the most forced of smiles that I have ever worn. Cleaning dog shit off my favourite pair of shoes (my Adidas Barricades, for instance) is more palatable than talking to him, and lately I've likened seeing him and having the barest of interactions with him to stepping on dog shit: it annoys you, it's supremely inconvenient, but you brush it off after a while and forget about it. Simply put, it doesn't alter your universe.
But I wondered if having a boyfriend would loosen me up and make me more receptive to the idea of talking to him. I wondered if the hurt I felt back then significantly hinged on the fact that he found someone so quickly, leaving me to flounder alone by myself, dealing with recurring nightmares and diabolical demons that never once had the decency to leave me alone. I thought perhaps having someone, too, might help in terms of...what? I don't even know. Maybe I wanted to shove it in his face, tell him that I didn't need him, that I could be perfectly happy with someone else.
But it eventually turned out that I was perfectly happy with myself, by myself. It eventually turned out that I didn't need him after all, and that the only thing that continued to hurt was the pedestal on which I subconsciously continued to place him. If you strip everything down to its bare essential facts, it's quite clear that it really doesn't matter. Whatever happened in the past stays in the past, and it's over, it's done; it doesn't matter.
Of course I know this now, but it doesn't change the fact that it continued to haunt me well into the end of 2008, and apparently even at the start of this year. And all this while I wondered if things would be different if I had a boyfriend.
The answer is this: Tong's presence in my life doesn't change anything. It doesn't make me more inclined to talk to him, more receptive to the idea of talking to him, more likely to talk to him. On the one hand, it's good to know that this - whatever this is - was never a matter of proving who's better, and using someone new to rub it in his face; it's always been extremely self-contained, independent of extrinsic factors.
On the other hand, and on the downside, I can't help but wonder what the hell it is that I seem to be still holding on to, that's making it impossible for me to let bygones be bygones and treat him, at least, with civility. The feelings have decomposed for sure, and in that regard I've moved on a long, long time ago. Maybe it's the memories that I can never forget, how I felt when the key events happened, how I was reduced to a shadow of myself after they happened.
And because I can't forgive myself, it looks like I can't forgive him, either.
So I kind of had a terrible night's sleep, which tends to happen when I have a lot on my mind. Sleeping at 5 and waking up at 9.50 is kind of insane, don't you think?
Anyway, Tong just told me over the phone that I look funny in one of my graduation photos. I just looked them all over, and my immediate thought was, "Can't be what. I look good in all of them."
If my friends could hear the kind of self-appraising, egotistical comments I make about myself of which Tong is the unwilling and unwitting recipient, I don't think I'd have any friends left. And the scariest part is that sometimes I really don't know if I'm genuinely just kidding.
Oh my god! I'm a narcissist!
But I DO look visibly darker, i.e. my face. That is really sad. But I've come to accept my new skin colour, so whoever thinks I'd look ugly with a tan can go fuck off and die, thanks.