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Monthly Archives: May 2005

Memory
There’s a few lines in the movie Shall We Dance when Susan Sarandon’s characters says:

We
need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet…
I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re
promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things,
the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time,
every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I
will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be
your witness’

I saw the movie about a month ago on
pay-per-view at my boyfriend’s place. While I liked it, I didn’t pay
much attention to it. But those few lines really struck me. My first
reaction was, “That’s a rather pessimistic view of love.” But the more
I thought and still think about it, the more true I believe it is.

There
are some nights when I think about the men in my life. In particular,
those who made a big impact on me, who shaped and formed my view of
men, romance, love and life. I think about those experiences which
dismantled those innocent and naive ideals I had. They have a page in
the history of my life. I can’t forget them even if I tried. And
believe me, with some of them, I have tried very hard to forget.

Sometimes,
in those thoughts, I find myself wondering if they ever think about me
as well. I wonder if I ever occupy any spot in their heart or mind –
even for a moment. There are some I’d like to believe do. There’s one
or two I know I’ve left some sort of impression on. And there are quite
a few to whom I was just a fleeting memory.

The thought that
scares me is that some of those people who don’t ever think about me
are the very people who have meant so much to me.

It’s
because a part of the experience depends on what the other person takes
away from it. If he didn’t really care, it devalues and tarnishes the
memory. If the moments I shared with that one person weren’t so
important to them, then what does it mean in the end? Does it mean I’m
just a delusional girl? Does it make me pathetic? Because if all the
feelings and memories I have about you weren’t reciprocated – then
what’s my worth?

I don’t think that’s to say I rest my entire
self worth on other people. But it’s more to say I want to know I meant
something to someone. That there was meaning in that experience we had
together.

I think it’s because we want to have an impact on some
one. We want to be remembered – preferrably remembered fondly. We want
to know we mattered to someone – just as much as they mattered to us.
We want an acknowledgement of our lives and a validation of our worth.

hmmm…

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Lost Chances

As I get up to leave the restaurant, he tells me he’ll walk with me out
to my car. As the quiet of the evening hits us, we talk in a gentler
tone, like we
do whenever we’re alone together. The chemistry between us is palpable.

He brings that we never get to see each other, because our schedules
are completely at conflict. So I tell him we’ll make specific plans to
meet up again soon. Because I miss our old talks. We only seem to meet
up in restaurants or bubble tea places.

We reach my car and I hug him tightly. He’s been my saving grace
tonight because I didn’t really know too many other people there. He
hugs me back, and we embrace for all but two seconds – wandering in that
grey area of good-friends-who-could-be-more. But still staying firmly
on friends territory.

I open my car door. He smiles at me and says he’ll see me in a few days. I smile back, excited.

On the drive back, I reminsce about our time together. Long
conversations in the middle of the night in his car. The multitude of
subjects we broach upon, but mainly about relationships.

My mind settles on the memory of one night when we almost became
something more. It had been evident, the feeling that night that
something should happen that night. We had both confess that we had
felt it. But I had told him that it would have been better that we both
should stay friends rather than take it further. In truth, I made a
better friend than I would have a girlfriend to him. I knew I’d end up
hurting him in the end. I knew it wouldn’t have been right to let it
get that far.

But there are times, like during this drive, that I find myself
wondering “what if?” What if I had taken that path to be with him.
Would we have something amazing right now? Or would we be bitter? Or,
even worse, would we end up as awkward acquaintances rather than the
easy friends we are now? Did I really make the right decision in the
end?

I make it back to Y’s house and call him so he could let me in. He’s in
his pajamas when he opens the door; he’s been sleeping for a bit. He
sleepily kisses me and asks me how my night was. I smile and hug him
close. Fine, I tell him. He puts his arms around me, surprised by my
affection.

I realize as I’m having this moment with Y that I can’t dwell too long
on lost chances. We all have them – the ones that got away – but it’s
better to enjoy what I do have right now with my boyfriend.