Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Bittersweet Life

'Twas a bittersweet experience.

On the eve of cancelling my phone line, I went through my handphone, writing down people's numbers and perhaps the email addresses that they might have sent. Hence, it necessitates a run through of all the messages in my phone.

And 'twas a bittersweet experience.

I have a tendency of keeping the messages that matters to me. In a general sense, this applies to a lot of messages, so the end result is that I tend to keep a lot of my messages. They all mean something to me, somehow. Reading a particular message can be a powerful experience, some even enough to transport me back to the moment of the message.

It can be good. It can be bad. In fact, I have a tendency to remember the emotions that I feel at certain moments, and recall those emotions on a moment's notice. I read that this can be a useful attribute for an actor. It can't be that useful, mind: I acted in two movies, and both times...I suck.

But I also directed both movies. Like I said...a bittersweet experience.

And deleting the messages from my was exactly that. It recalled me the joy when my little sister sent me a message that she was selected for her class debate. I had debated in university, and I suppose there was a sense of accomplishment, of having followed in my footsteps somewhat. I felt joy, and immense pride at her achievement.

Then there are the messages that freezes the moments, when my sister messaged me the passing of one of my dear aunts. I felt that chill: a static feeling, and yet it reverberates. You know...a realisation that something, somewhere, somehow will never. Ever. Be. The. Same. Again.

There are also the satisfaction that...I somehow matter. That's something I know, and feel, but to have that a nice feeling. To have someone message you, "Thank you for calling! It made my day!" makes me feel like I'm a good person. I'm both good and bad, mind you. Something that's normal, I suppose.

A bittersweet person, if you like.

-- - On life, love, the universe, and more...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Time After Time

Once more, the issue comes to bite in the arse.

"I will go back to Spain soon," said Eva from the other table.

We're sitting in Mango, a quaint coffeeshop that she owns along with a friend of hers. Of Spanish descent, her blue eyes positively glowed under the cacophony of her blonde, slightly ruffled hair. I myself am sitting at my table, comfortably devouring a fine cup of hot chocolate in between reading takes of a mystery novel. A pen is also around somewhere, nestled in between the pages of my notebook, ready to be attended to should I have a moment of inspiration.

"Oh, wow. That's great!" I said, swallowing down the strange feeling that rumbled in my gut. "Looking forward to it?"

"Yeah. I'm going to get married."

She was with some of her other friends, and we left it at that for then, as she got back to them and I to my book.

Except that I couldn't quite do so, feeling slightly perturbed by that unexpected announcement. We had met when Damon made his film, and...that's it. We got on very well, but we didn't know each other very well. And yet here I am, catching myself flicking glances over to her once in a while.

And no, it's not what you think.

I had a fight with one of my close friends recently. It was a strange place to be in, as I can't recall having as serious a fight as that with a friend as close as her for...well, I can't recall the last time. If I ever did. In the end, a big part of it came down to miscommunication, which is a fair misnomer. More worrying, however, was the admission that she had felt detached and guilty for reasons not to be repeated here. Worrying, because I worked hard to keep people from feeling detached.

I spend a lot of time and effort ensuring that communication lines were always open, and that my close friends and family are never left out of my life, even if I am out of their sight. It wasn't a chore, mind you. It's just something I've come to do over a long period of time, even before Korea.

During the course of that conversation, I felt as if that the worst was happening. Of course, there's a divergence at times between what we know and what we feel. But in the heat of the moment, the heart often rules the head. It is pertinent, therefore, to know what lies in our heart.

And at that moment, I felt like I was losing a friend.

It's a scary feeling, a scary place to be in. Somehow, there's a sense of inevitability about certain things that just goes...poof. No matter how hard I try. The unspoken bond slowly becomes the universal truth that is the "off peak" of a friendship, followed by a long, dusty...lonely road.

Looking back, I realised that's what I felt when Eva told me that she's going back to Spain. It's what I felt when Brian packed his bags for the Phillipines, when Da Young and Kim son seng nim flies off to the Phillipines as well. When Seung Won went to Japan, and Eun Hye settles in America. And there were others as well.

Pretty soon, I'll be heading in the same direction as well. We all will, we being my fellow directors. Damon, Kirsten, Pele, Tascha: four people with whom I share a variable amount of closeness and intimacy, but who nonetheless have managed to worm their way in my hearts over the past ten months or so.

I realise that I felt a similar sadness with Eva, even though I didn't know her that well. Maybe it's kinda better that way: the friendship was never given much time to begin with, so it wouldn't hurt as bad.

I also realised that the conversation with my friend preyed on this insecurity, this fear. Meaning that the fight was...well, mainly my fault.

Eva eventually made her way over to my table, and we had a pleasant chat until nearly closing time.