Sunday, February 03, 2008

You know how you only go out with a certain person because you're just trying to be nice and diplomatic? Friends are friends and there's no reason to burn bridges when the person has done nothing terrible to you. Right? And you tell yourself to just get this done and over with. You harbour a wish that this isn't going to be a waste of your time but you also suspect that this is going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And in the course of trying to be nice, you do everything right mechanically. Laugh at his jokes, nod your head, offer pieces of your life in exchange for pieces of his life... There's always this balance to keep. Things you can and cannot say, invisible lines drawn around the secrets you have which causes your eyes to blink more than they should. You pluck words from the air and try to blow them into some believable shape. You buy time. You push the limelight away from you and ask questions where you know the replies will be increasingly long and self-indulgent. Because there is no actual trust or intimacy, and yet there are things you have to utter to give the impression that some haze of camaraderie still floats around. It is all an act, a torture you subject yourself to in order to maintain a structure of friendship that was never truly there.

And when the meeting is over, when the conversation has ended on a sweet amicable note, he says, "I like talking to you. I really enjoyed myself. We should meet again."

A quietly jarring pause.

You quickly rearrange your features and nod. You smile a little too hard and automatically say, "Yea."

You think inwardly, "Oh crap."

You go on, "I'm always so busy..." It's true, and it's also a good excuse.

He doesn't get the hint. He shrugs and then suggests, "I'll call you? I just like to hear your voice."

You hesitate. You agree. Either you are too good at acting, too good a hypocrite, or there is a perceived warmth, or connection, he has experienced with you that you never knew existed. But how is that possible? How can things or feelings be so one-sided? That's a question you want to ask but never do. You feel bad, because what gives you the right to pretend, to withhold, to lie to someone else? It isn't fair to anybody and you're not exactly enjoying yourself here. And what makes you think the other person can't see right through you? Maybe he makes you jump through hoops for the sake of self-amusement. And then it occurs to you that perhaps, perhaps, the other person is just acting too.

You can't be the only clever fool.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

personally, i'd just rather not meet than have to lead anyone on. it just digs yourself deeper into some place you don't want to go, and what good is to be found there? that's why i hate assuming that anyone enjoys my company, or assuming anything, in fact.

Faith said...

but see you're making the assumption that you'll lead someone on or dig yourself deeper into some place you don't want to go. lol. what if you're wrong? i'm always half waiting to be surprised, to say, "i was wrong, hell, it was fun" or something. that, and, it's always easier to say "yes". because rejection is painful, cruel, and quick. no matter how necessary it is, i can't bring myself to do it. ironically, maybe saying "yes" is cowardice. aiyah. i always ask for it.

annoynomous said...

no, we're talking about people you don't really like, right? you said you're going out just to be nice and diplomatic. so i'm not really assuming anything. i'm just saying in such a case it might be better to reject than to be fake, and then worry that you were being fake; as well as a myriad other self-deprecating thoughts. certainly if you didn't see it coming then i wouldn't be saying the same, but if you had that inkling, anticipated something beforehand, and yet decided repeatedly to go against your intuition for the sake of being accommodating or a vague chance of a surprise, is it helping either of you? i'm not trying to tell you how to live your life, in fact i'm sure you already know all of this.

Faith said...

HAHA you're annoy-nomous huh. hmpf. well, then there's the question of how much right i have to dislike a person, or rather, to act on that dislike. i think its better to be fake and wait than to shut the door on someone. i'm just talking about people i dont feel anything for, no closeness, no hatred, nothing. it's the same way you are nice to strangers because you don't know them and they've done nothing wrong (or right for that matter)? no matter how logical you are, i still believe in going against my negative intuition and trusting that vague chance of a surprise! HAHA. what a contradiction huh. and actually i'm more frightened of and puzzled by the one-sidedness of relationships than wasting my time with hi-bye friends. my theory is, if someone asks you out, you must mean something to them, even if its just for fun or companionship or just to catch up or what not. and as much as i might dread being with them, who am i to deny such companionship? it's better to be fake sometimes. it's sad if people like you and you don't like them back. how is this possible?? haha. but it is! and it's scary if its the other way round and i like people who don't like me. highly possible. ahahh. oh hell, im just trying to be nice and it gets so complicating??!!! this ridiculous cycle i've thrown myself in i'm not going to undo for equally ridiculous reasons.

annoynomous said...

don't you think someone would find it demeaning to realise this? that you're willing to sustain the joy they may find in this companionship, with something fake, just for their sake?

Faith said...

how can it be demeaning if it's for their sake?

ellwyn said...

personally i don't see any fakeness in this. going out with someone you don;t like in "that" sense doesn't mean that you are fake. In fact it is so you. I wouldn't label you a hypocrite. I think you are kinder than you give yourself credit to. Tho u may argue that it is cowardice, but i would believe the very notion of not hurting someone's feelings just because you don't like him/her romantically is kind. There are always more ways than one to convey your intentions other than rejecting them straight in the face. It may take some time, but well, I guess it may be your cup of tea. ;) Nevertheless, i feel that if you want to do it this way, maybe you shouldn't doubt yourself and your intentions. Just believe in yourself! As long a you can justify it, it's fine. haha cos director says so =)

Faith said...

HAHA director isn't director for nothing. :)