The second set was much better. I hit some pretty sick return winners which made me feel awesome, especially this amazing backhand cross court return winner that I perfected by moving a few steps to my right. There was also a particular forehand down the line return winner, which I just let rip because the serve came right into my hitting zone. I hit some pretty good shots in the second set, so I didn't feel that bad about losing it 3-6. I had break points at 3-5 to take it to 4-5 but ultimately couldn't convert; and it was also getting way, way too hot and a tiny part of me just wanted it to be over.
Still, I hung in there mentally quite well. Kevin was always going to be difficult to beat because he plays with no topspin and he's extremely consistent in getting the ball back. He also drops the ball short sometimes and I lost count of the number of times he forced me to the net with a short ball. At one point, I was so frustrated at getting passed or lobbed virtually every single time (though I made a winning volley once) that I was screaming at myself in my head to stop going to the net...but there was just no way of not going to the net if the ball was short.
I need to figure out a way to beat these consistent players. My game plan was just to go for my shots, and I would live and die by my own game. I made a lot of mistakes, missed easy put-aways because I was too excited, and went for too much on aggressive forehands. Perhaps I would be better served next time to play with a combination of aggression and consistency - cut down on the errors and go for the kill when there is an opening, not when I'm tired of the rally or when I'm trying to kill the point immediately with my return. I can return really shit at times; I think there was a return game that I played in which I missed three returns in a row. After that, I told myself to just get the ball in play and it went a bit better, but not by much. I mean, I still lost after all.
All in all, though, it was a good session. I was pleased with the way I played overall. That all said, my serve seriously needs to be deconstructed and put back together again; I have reached a point where I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing or what to do. The rest of my game is capable of unravelling with the serve; I am mentally rattled every time I hit a double fault. Also, my pathetic puff second serves (i.e. me tapping the ball in like a total beginner) are an embarrassment to the sport and completely unworthy of the standard of the rest of my game.
Anyway. That was how I spent my morning. I hung out at HillV2 for the rest of the day, writing in my diary and then finally writing the TWC2 article that's two weeks overdue. I wanted to work a bit on my Singapore human rights report, but to my absolute horror, I discovered that the changes that I made on Saturday were not uploaded to my OneDrive account - and so I lost everything. I nearly lost even more work; the version of the document that I had opened after I chose to 'keep my whatever' (I didn't even know what I was choosing) was short of almost 2,000 words. If I had lost all the work that I put in on Friday, I would have been completely devastated. I went back to work on Friday just to work on it and I accomplished quite a bit, so it would have been absolutely horrible to lose all of that.
I was suffocating in the office on Saturday (the room temperature was like 29 degrees) and didn't get that much done, so I'm not so annoyed that I lost everything that I did on Saturday. I guess it was bad anyway so a clean slate sounds about right.
Also, after this, I'm never trusting this OneDrive shit again. I'm definitely gonna save a version on a C drive or a thumb drive.
SG50 was spent like this:
- Finding a spot for fireworks across the road from my old office at One Marina Boulevard and first sitting on the bare pavement in my white shorts, and then giving in to G's persuasion to lie down on the said pavement, using his backpack as a makeshift pillow; and being surrounded by fellow revellers, most of whom were Singaporean, and not giving a damn what they thought;
- Not giving a damn, too, about the fact that I was lying on the pavement or how dirty it was;
- Laughing a lot at G and his jokes and his merciless teasing of my princess-y persona, such as, 'So do you cook dinner or do you wait to be served?' and 'You play tennis - you're so posh!' (to that I said, 'Tennis is totally middle class!');
- Enjoying the feeling of his arms around me as we stood from time to time, such as when we were taking a selfie, and laughing at him for messing up the photo three times before finally managing to look into the camera;
- Protesting and yet enjoying it when he attempted to tickle me...and my doing it back revealed that he was somewhat ticklish too (as well as his rock solid abs...mmm);
- Looking up at the sky with my head almost parallel with the ground when the late evening turned to early dusk, and marvelling over the contrast between the natural starkness of the trees overhead and the artificial outline of The Sail;
- Watching fighter jets zoom past, waving at the helicopters flying the Singapore flag;
- Being quizzed by G on how many Merlions there are in Singapore and getting it wrong (I said 2; apparently, according to Wikipedia, the answer is 4);
- Falling asleep at one point with my head on G's shoulder;
- Looking at G write maths equations in his notebook (while lying on the pavement, of course) and trying but failing to undestand what his equations were about;
- Re-arranging my hair into pigtails to relieve myself of some of the heat, then turning to face G who was looking at me with a smile, and said, 'Now people are really going to think that I'm seeing one of my students.' Giggling, I said, 'Do you have a fetish?' Still looking at me with the same smile, he replied, 'I do now';
- Quietly singing along to Kit Chan's 'Home', probably the best nationalist song of all-time, and feeling a little bit of something at certain points, but thank goodness they didn't last;
- Noting the irony of spending the anniversary of Singapore's 50th year of independence with a foreigner;
- Getting excited about the fireworks, being let down by the anti-climatic mini-fireworks, and being strangely moved by the beauty of the actual fireworks display;
- Being moved, especially, by the ephemeral beauty of how a particular type exploded into glittery dust that slowly disappeared in the night sky, condemned forever to non-existence;
- Walking to Club Street after the fireworks ended and finding most places closed, and so we walked to Keong Saik street where a desperate call to Mag for recommendations on bars led to discovering an amazing bar called Potato Head;
- Having a cocktail and a half at the rooftop bar, feeling the breeze, looking at the string of globe lights that reminded me of Scheveningen and made me feel like I was anywhere in the world but Singapore;
- G concurred, saying that the place felt to him like Greece;
- Having G sit next to me, laughing a lot through the night, perhaps too loudly at times, and flirting like crazy towards the end of the night;
- Trading native languages, feeling really stupid when I told him in Mandarin that I thought he was really good-looking, and mentally gushing at the sound of him speaking Greek because I like foreign languages, period;
- Having nothing but G in mind when he said that one should make a list of what one wants in a particular week or month, so as to keep track of one's goals, and having nothing but G in mind when I said, 'What if I want the impossible?'
- Enjoying it a little too much when the name Roger Federer came up and G said, 'I hate that guy. Well, I didn't hate him before but I hate him now. He's competition';
- Knowing that this will end soon, and that it is in the process of ending, feeling that he was a bit different, and enjoying it anyway for its own sake; and
- Feeling incredibly - incredibly - awesome in the knowledge that he still found me sexy even after I told him that I have herpes.
Like I said, though, this is going to end soon. I tried my best not to be impressed with his intellectual ruminations last night, and it kind of worked.
Also importantly, I got my period in the afternoon yesterday. With that came a sense of relief - finally, there is an explanation for my emotional outburst on Friday night when we were talking about our non-future; and finally, there is an explanation for my crazy week-long behaviour. Apparently PMS amplifies positive feelings too, not just negative ones. It's a pretty good way to explain how I was so head-over-heels crazy for him after a week.
That's not to say that my feelings weren't real or that they've gone; they were, and they've not. But I guess the picture is somewhat clearer now, and while I still feel some reluctance to let him go, I know in my head that it's the right thing to do. Long distance relationships are inherently fraught with problems. I've had two bad experiences. It makes absolutely no sense to jump into one after spending two weeks with a person. It is absolutely insane. I'm also not confident that I wouldn't get distracted when I'm in Cambridge...besides, a side project of mine is to find a husband in Cambridge. But seriously, I don't want to go to Cambridge and still be thinking about a man in Singapore (or rather, Berkeley), going through the pains of a long distance thing by scheduling Skype calls, wishing that he could be there with me and experiencing my new life with me, missing him, feeling sad when he doesn't call or text, feeling annoyed when he calls or texts too often and takes way too much interest in the people that I meet... I can't go through it again. I like G a lot but I simply can't take this baggage with me to Cambridge.
Do I wish he could come with me, though? Of fucking course. But our lives are what they are - they don't converge. It's really just too bad.