Tonight, instead of thinking up new business opportunities, I spent the evening with a friend.
She insisted that we go to a more private place as she did not want to be seen by the crowds in Bangsar, The Curve or any part of Damansara.
"I was like, okay, but why Taman Tun? It's equally crowded, somewhat."
"I don't know anyone in Taman Tun. And bring your laptop. With your collection of... stuff."
I had my suspicions, and eventually they were confirmed.
I was being used. As a sympathetic ear. A dick in a glass case. In case of emergency, break open glass. Lord. Yet another relationship down the drains, and I am to listen to it.
"But why, Amir, why?"
"Was it your vagina?"
"What is wrong with my vagina?"
"I don't know. I've never seen it."
And much as I hoped that what followed would be like almost all the porn flicks I have seen, I ended up listening to yet another account of lies, betrayal and drama.
Don't get me wrong. I sometimes consider it an honour that people confide in me, and allow their stories be told here, and perhaps in upcoming books. It's just that the year of the Tiger has been wrought with lies, betrayal and drama. So much so, I can't wait for the Year of the Rabbit, so that I can go and eat rabbits.
"I caught him red-handed," she began, doing away with any verbose backgrounder.
"But I have always suspected him."
Ah. My experience is that there is almost no such thing as paranoia. It's not paranoia when it's true. And somehow, you can always tell.
"U-huh," was all I offered. I am old enough to know that when it comes to these things, I should just shut up and let her rip.
And so she went on and on and on about the almost CSI-like methodical ways in which she traced the man's transgressions.
"This, is her Facebook page," she said, justifying the need for my laptop.
His pictures were also there. Ah, how the Information Age has changed the way we fuck.
"Aren't you going to say anything?"
"Uh... there, there."
"He... I feel so cheated!"
Because you were.
"Stop with the u-huhs!"
"What do you want me to say?" And even here, I sense de ja vu.
"Say that he cheated on me!"
"Look, the only people who know what happened in a relationship, are the two idiots who are or were in that relationship. No one else knows jack shit about what happened. I do not believe my judgments can make anything clear or better. It cannot justify anything - pain, remorse, anger, hatred. Nothing does."
"Just don't say u-huh!"
"So, say something!"
And thar she blows. She's pissed off at that guy, and I get the outburst?
"Well, there was an inscription on the top of the entrance to the oracle at Delphi," I said.
She pricked her ears.
"It says, 'gnothi seauton'. It means, 'know thyself'."
"And you should know yourself."
"You are infuriating!"
"Look, I can listen. I can sit here, listen, and keep my judgments to myself. That, in my experience, is the best thing I can do for you. ANything else, is potentially destructive."
Lies, betrayal - all this happens every day. Not as frequently as I crap every day. But not as rare as me getting hospitalised for overwork.
"He got me to be the guarantor to his loan, and he got me to give him cash."
It's an old story that keeps coming back. I was never fooled by a sweetheart, but by fiends who borrowed money from me. Or allowed me to go into debt. But do go on, friend.
"I let him make love to me from behind."
Whoa! Hold up! Too much info!
"Okay. Can I write this on my blog?"
"I don't read blogs."
"Is that a yes?"
"Do whatever you want."
She seemed clearly upset. I felt helpless, but I do know that doing or saying anything more is potentially dangerous.
"Say something, Amir."
"I have listened to your thoughts and experiences concerning your relationship. I am only concerned about you and your well-being. Regardless of what happened, I hope that you do not make it an excuse to do anything stupid with your life. Other than that, I believe that whatever happened to us, we allowed to happen."
"So, it's my fault?"
"Our lives, are our own responsibilities. Being accountable for our lives means being in control and being in power. It is easy to be a victim, and in fact, many people become victims or are addicted to becoming victims so they could have the moral high ground. But there are no morals. It is only a societal delusion. An illusion."
"You sound measured. Practised."
"I have been giving this speech many times. 12 couples last year, three with you this year, so far."
"What do you think I should do?"
"You are a brilliant investment person. You should focus on your life and your career. People are generally evil. Never trust people. Especially those who try to curry favour from you by being nice outwardly. Live your life. Be happy. Let God, Science or the Universe or whatever sort them out."
"You're saying bad people will get their comeuppance? You really believe that?"
"I believe that within ego, denial, envy, bad emotions, and bad deeds, are seeds of their own destruction. I believe that people who do these things are incapable of true happiness and will forever wallow in denial. Sooner or later, they will reealise this and suddenly, their whole world would seem out of whack. It would be revealed as what it is. Fake. And there is no happiness in lies. Only thing we can do is to never get sucked into their games. Never be like them."
"You really believe in all this?"
"There are times when I wish I do. Most of the times, I hardly think about other people. I just think about myself."
I said more than I should. But glasses, pints, of Shoggoth's Old Peculiar tend to do that to me.
"I can write about this, when I get back, right?"
"Even the anal sex part?"
"As long as my name is not in it."
She sighed. It would have been easy to take advantage of the situation. But my list of friends have been shortened these past few years. Most, left for distant shores. Some, turned out to be bastards. Sex is only worth 50 bucks. And most of the times, I do not crave sex. I enjoy having a drink and good, if repetitive, conversations.
"Amir, tell me I will meet the right person."
"There are over six billion people in the world today. Perhaps more. It is statistically probable."