anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

Alcoholic Fumes

Formal Dinner, pre-drinks at Benson Hall. I left the house with Arthur, Billy and Daniel; waded through the small sea of people to the drinks table with Arthur; and had the misfortune of running into a Swiss-German/German/je ne sais quoi PhD student, who is simultaneously rude, obnoxious, pretentious, heartless and perhaps even racist. Arthur appeared to be friends with him; they started chatting almost immediately, the Swiss-German/German guy telling Arthur animately about a hunting trip that he went on the day before.

A hunting trip. A real hunting trip. Arthur interrupted him and introduced me, to which Swiss-German/German guy (hereinafter "SGG") responded by glancing at me, saying hi, and then immediately turning back to Arthur to resume whatever shit he was saying. For the record, I'd seen this guy around a few times but I'd never talked to him because he'd never talked to me, not even when I tagged along with Arthur and his friends - including SGG - to the Freshers Fair a few weeks ago. After SGG's display of rudeness, I glanced around the room for familiar faces and spotted Billy a few bodies away from where I was; but it was too crowded to get to him, and so I was stuck listening to SGG's disgusting story about his disgusting hunting trip.

He showed a picture of his cruel shit to Arthur. Most unfortunately, I glanced at it - and saw a picture of a few medium-sized animals with grey fur lying on the grass with an arrow through their bodies.

SGG is a disgusting excuse for a human being. I've been told by more than one person that he's pretentious as fuck. He is obviously rude too, possibly racist or sexist or both, and he kills animals for fun. The whole time I stood there listening to his disgusting story and trying not to hear anything, I was so offended that I was even shocked that it didn't appear to have occurred to him that someone else might have found his story offensive. This guy is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the human race: cruelty, heartlessness, self-absorption, unwarranted arrogance, rudeness, pretentiousness. Oh my god. I was so glad when Billy and another MCR guy came over, followed by Daniel, as I quickly walked over to them to spare myself the agony of being in the immediate vicinity of SGG.

I hate that this guy is a PhD student. It means that I will have to see his disgusting face around for the next three years. The next time I find myself in such a situation, I will tell him exactly how disgusting he is. I told Raffael about him this morning when we met Pieter and he was so outraged too. Raffael is one of my PhD coursemates and he's doing his PhD on animal rights. He's a totally committed vegan; he puts my ""vegetarianism"" pretensions to shame. I wish I could introduce SGG to Raffael so that Raffael can tell him off and make him feel like shit. Then again, someone like SGG probably can't feel remorse. One has to be fundamentally heartless and with a corrupted morality to be able to derive any sort of pleasure from killing an animal. It is sick.


Formal Dinner. I sat next to Daniel and opposite a couple of his Computer Science friends. Directly opposite me was a student from India who was in Europe for the first time in his life. It was rather cute that he was all excited about travelling Europe and embracing Cambridge and its odd traditions, but because I am cynical, I kept mentally rolling my eyes at the things that he said.

Billy was to my right. In front of Billy was Dominic. He'd just returned from a day trip to London to meet his other supervisor in Imperial and he made it back in time for formal. I was looking for him in Benson, mostly because I wanted to get the hell away from SGG and Dominic is pretty much the only person apart from my housemates whom I know well.

The food was actually quite good. I was expecting food of a certain standard after paying 10 pounds for the dinner, but I didn't have high expectations because it was still college food, after all. But the starter of pumpkin ravioli with pine nuts and mushrooms was good, as was the main of some pan-fried fish over cous cous and lentils and some chickpeas and vegetables with tomato sauce. It was so filling; I couldn't finish it. Being Catholic, Dominic went vegetarian yesterday and he had what I had sans fish. I must admit that when he got his food, I kind of laughed; from my vantage point, it looked like the crap rice whatever thing that I had at Ramsay Hall the two times I ate there. However, it was surprisingly quite good.

Dessert was panna cotta. I enjoyed it a bit too much.


Halloween Bop. It was pretty lame. I didn't bother wearing a costume and went in the Warehouse dress that I wore to the dinner; it's long sleeves, of a colour that can be rather accurately described as 'salmon' and it's almost knee-length. I wasn't sure if I liked it and I took a mirror selfie and sent it to G, who said that it was 'cute' in a rather non-committal way. I then decided that I didn't really care what he thought and kept it by failing to decide to return it.

I'm glad I kept it. I think it's pretty nice. Billy said it was nice. I wore that dress to the bop (I feel ridiculous writing this word) but it was okay because half the people didn't dress up. In any event, there were maybe 50-80 people there. It was a far cry from the Halloween party that was organised by the LLM committee at the LSE, held at the Knights Templar if I remember correctly. It was the first and only time I bought a costume, which I eventually threw away because it was quite disgusting. I remember we went to a club after the pub. It was a shit club somewhere in Soho (Greek Street, I believe) but much fun was had anyway.

Alas, Cambridge is no London. We had to turn off the music at 11.45pm due to college rules. I did not go anywhere after that. I came back to my room. And I am writing all these things that are of no consequence and not getting to what I really want to write about.

I spent the whole time talking to Dominic. He was assigned serving (of drinks) duty which he took really seriously by walking out from behind the drinks table to where I was standing to talk to me. I was there from 9.30pm to midnight and I spent the whole time talking to him. A few people joined in but they did not stay. One of them was the guy whom I couldn't really read who brought along a friend from Queens. He opened his mouth and words came out and awkwardness quickly ensued which I chose to deal with by ignoring it and feigning ignorance. He basically said, 'I noticed that the two of you are always engaged in an intense conversation at these events.' He said other things which I didn't catch, though I think I heard the word 'incompatible'. He was basically insinuating that there was something going on between Dominic and me.

Regardless of whether he was right, that was really out of place, uncalled for and incredibly awkward. I ignored it. I talked to his friend (or rather, his friend talked to me) and I went off with her to get another drink. The guy was then engrossed in conversation with Dominic. Later, the guy and his friend went off to look for some other people, and once again it was just me and Dominic. I tried to ask him what the guy said but he refused to tell me. I couldn't believe that the self-confessed gossip absolutely refused to tell me the contents of the conversation (or rather, it was more like a monologue, and Dominic was not the one giving it).

The night consisted principally of a lot of laughter and Dominic waving his hand mid-speech and hitting my hand in which I held my drink, thereby causing the contents of the cup to be separated from their vessel and attach themselves to the front of my dress with a mild splash. It was pretty funny, especially because it almost happened again a moment later.

Towards the end of the night, the others started a makeshift limbo with not a pole but some piece of paper. Everyone was crowding around the middle of the room and I stood really close to Dominic, but nothing happened.

When the music stopped, we decided to leave. After a minute or two of what I am guessing was indecision on his part, he said he'd take a walk and walked me close to my house through the fellow's garden, stopping just by the path to the back gate of the college. By this time, I was a bit tipsy; I'd had four drinks and I had no idea what liquor was in these mixers. I even had a sangria before the other mixers (though one of them was a gin and tonic; I didn't know about the others). It was really dark in the fellow's garden, as it always is at night. He said goodbye just before my house and nothing happened.

He got back a while later and texted me on Facebook, saying that he didn't think through this staying up all night business (he had a 5am train to catch a 7am flight to Germany) and that he was sitting around his room with nothing to do while he tried to stay awake. I was home, I was tipsy, I didn't care enough to second-guess the immediate responses that came to my head; and so I replied, 'We could've gone somewhere!'

I read his reply about half an hour after he sent it: 'Yes we should have. It is still not too late?'

I was already in bed. In fact, I'd just ended a Whatsapp call with G.

Like I said: I was tipsy. I didn't have the capacity to think through the consequences of my actions; or rather, I used the alcohol as an excuse to throw caution to one side and do what my base instincts wanted to do. My base instincts wanted to text G. My base instincts also wanted to say that 'we could've gone somewhere' instead of 'you could've gone somewhere'.

My base instincts suck.

I texted G to tell him that I'd changed my number. He replied immediately. I changed my profile picture to the one of me in Mostar; he said that he liked it, and when I asked him what he was doing, he said, 'Looking at your photo. :D' He sent me a really lame picture of Berkeley; it is supposedly of Berkeley law, but the first thing that I saw was some buses in the foreground, and the building is a indistinct bright rectangle in the background. He can be so daft sometimes. I also happen to find it adorable.

He said that the Boalt building had some fancy quotes on its walls, and quoted something by Holmes. I was so out of it, apparently, that I forgot that it was Oliver Wendell Holmes. But all this is not interesting. We talked about our plans on the Whatsapp call.

I don't know what our plans are. He wants to spend Christmas and New Year with his family in Greece. I was actually quite relieved to hear that; my brother will be home in December, but apart from that, I wasn't really keen on coming back to Cambridge/Europe too early. I didn't want to be in Cambridge in December when most people will be away. I also assumed that he'd want to be home for Christmas, so in my mind, I would come back on the 20th or something, see him for a few days and then be alone for the rest of the time. That would have really sucked.

Now, though, it's also quite sucky. He has to be in Germany for a conference from 4 to 8 January (he didn't even remember these dates; he mentioned it once to me and I remembered instantly, and I had to tell him what the dates were) which means that we can meet only on 2 January at the earliest. That sucks. That sucks. That sucks. I proposed my going to Germany with him, which would be nice in the sense that I would get to see him, but it would also suck because he would probably be in the conference the whole day and I would see him for maybe two hours at night before sleeping. I wouldn't mind if that's the only option but he'd also probably have non-conference events. I would feel weird to join. I mean, what's he going to introduce me as, his not-girlfriend? His ambiguity? His complication? His uncertainty? I would not even go so far as to presume that he sees me as a 'someone' the way I think of him as my 'someone'. It would be awkward and weird, and let's not forget the part about this being a computer science conference and I wouldn't have any idea what to say to anyone, let alone any idea what anyone is talking about. (I did some nifty googling and found the website for this event. It's on evolution and...something. I read the description and obviously didn't understand it because I can't remember anything that I supposedly read.)

Alas, whatever I just said does not, in any way, shape, or form, reduce my propensity to be a complete and utter and pathetic sucker when it comes to G. Whatever I just said is pretty much the only way I would get to see him for more than a day or a day and a half at best - and this is assuming he'd bother coming to Cambridge to see me before going off to Germany. I don't feel safe making this assumption. Our conversation was cut short by a Skype call that he had about work, and we left it with him saying, 'We will talk tomorrow.'

I have, of course, come to learn that his concept of 'tomorrow' is not the same as the universally (save G) agreed, definitional concept of 'tomorrow'. I have come to expect his fluid understanding of 'tomorrow'. When he says 'tomorrow', he really means 'when you contact me or when I am not-busy enough to contact you, whichever comes first, and it is usually the former'. It is okay. I liked how he said that there was no point coming to Europe in the few days between the end of his lease in Berkeley and the start of one of his million conferences in another part of Germany 'because you're not going to be there'. I liked that my presence in Europe was the only good reason for him to leave Berkeley a few days before he had to leave it for Europe. I like that he still wants to meet.

The thing is, like Elissa said, he makes me feel things so intensely - both the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the joy and the despair, the excited anticipation and the crushing disappointment. As such, I am afraid of expecting anything. I am even more afraid of hoping for something. I want to see him, I need to see him, I have to know if this is sustainable, if there's any chance at all for us, and the only way to know is to see him. If not, I really don't see the point in hanging on. I am too old for stupid fake-epic love stories, too old for silly romantic notions of yearning and longing, too old for anything but wanting, and wanting it now, and not waiting anymore.

I have to finalise this vague plan within the next week or something; it would be nice to have some certainty. I hope it does not get in the way of my PhD work - and of course, I mean it in the emotional sense.


Lastly, I am rather fond of Dominic. That is the only way that I can describe my attitude towards him. I don't know what this means. There are two issues, of course: G, and the fact that he's younger than me. Seriously, after the disaster that is the French prick, I told myself to never date a younger guy ever again. In other words, I really don't know what I'm doing.

I slept a grand total of one hour last night. I couldn't fall asleep properly due to the lethal combination of too much random alcohol and making vague plans with G, and I had to wake up at 7.45am to meet Pieter at the train station. I really want to sleep. I've been quite shattered the whole day.

I went for a conference on Lee Kuan Yew's legacy and the future of Singapore organised by Fitzwilliam college. Maybe I will write a bit about it when I'm not tired.

I did no work the whole day. My Sunday will be devoted to trying to finish my dreaded paper; I need to start working on my PhD again on Monday.
Tags: cambridge, dominic, friends, g, guys, personal, phd, rant

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