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There were many times this week when I almost lost it and gave in to the sad feeling of negativity that was slowly brewing inside me. But I thought about what he was going through - it's not easy juggling school and work - and chose to suppress it, not think about it, occupy my time with fun distractions like watching Parenthood. When he called me last night and we talked for the first time since Saturday (yes, I am very clingy), at the back of my mind I was thinking, "It almost feels like he's not a part of my life."
It shouldn't be this way, and so tonight, when I was in the office at 10.30 p.m. after getting back from a welcome cocktail thing thrown by the firm, I kind of lost it. Not majorly, but enough to start crying into the phone.
I wish I could have cried with his arms around me instead, but his voice was all that I had.
At least I had that. Beats clinical words on a text message screen anytime.
On another, but related, note, I was most upset to find out that he might have to do reservist for 3 fucking weeks starting July 5. I made use of the firm's new birthday leave policy and my leave was approved at 5 today, and I was all excited thinking about spending my entire birthday with him; hence, I didn't take to his maybe-reservist announcement very well.
Sigh. I wish we could just be together and not have to bother about anything else. He's...everything. Everything to me.
This is perhaps rather sad, and perhaps not cool, but I think my judgmental, holier-than-thou nature would always put me on the outs. I felt strangely disconnected from the events, and it wasn't solely because of the fact that my past was put on display for all to see. When the events started I was thinking, "I don't know, this is not going to work out." A while later when I was thinking about what a colossal waste of time it was, my prophecy fulfilled itself and I was itching to walk away.
I think there's not much pride to be had in these things. I think it says a lot when you wear it like a badge of honour. And then you put yourself at the centre of attention, just to make people like you, and all I can do is to roll my eyes.
Wei Chuen asked me about the smoking issue with the ex and how I handled it. Apparently I told him (Wei Chuen) that I found it sexy.
See, it's this cavernous disconnect between the person that I apparently was, and the person that I now am, that unsettles me sometimes. Before that, as a preliminary point, I say "apparently" because you'd have to shake me hard - very, very hard - for me to remember why I'd say something like that, how it was that I'd say something like that, and what the fuck I was smoking (ha ha ha so clever) when I said something like that. I vaguely remember saying it, and I know that it was true at some point; but I wouldn't remember unless someone reminded me.
And then he went on to ask why, especially in light of how I hate it when he smokes his 1 cigarette every 2 days or whatever (I even nagged when he smoked some fags that his friend bought from Japan that are designed to help smokers quit - they contain like 1% tar and 0.1% nicotine. At least, that's what he said - the words are in Japanese so I don't know, I don't know), I thought it was sexy. At that moment I thought really hard and tried to put myself in my old self's shoes and try to understand why the hell I'd conceive of such a thing, but I just couldn't remember. Of course, now I could throw out a few possibilities, even probabilities - the bad boy appeal, for instance, which makes sense even if it weren't in the context of prudish ol' me - but in that moment, my mind drew a total blank.
If there were to be an eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, this would probably be the perfect one. I have forgotten, but not fully; and I remember the important things to know what I want, and what I don't. One of the reasons I keep nagging Wei Chuen about his smoking is precisely what Mag said - he looks like a good boy, too good to smoke. Of course, this stems from the assumption that only bad boys smoke - and it was perhaps this exact assumption that led me down the path that led to the ex. And sad to say, that assumption has never waned, not even once.
But it's not his problem. It's not Wei Chuen's problem that I judge people by the amount of tar that they line along their lungs and how thoughtlessly they contribute to second-hand smoke. It's also not his problem that I seem to want him to be a version of him that matches the version of him that I have in my head, the ideal version, which isn't who he is in real life. Finally, it's also not his problem (in the context of what I'm writing, that is) that I made a foolish, foolhardy choice, my heart choking on a false sense of security inspired by sickening bravado, before the idea of me and him was even conceived.
I could never quite put it into words before, but tonight, it's abundantly clear to me: Sometimes - not often, but sometimes - I'm using him to correct my mistakes. I place the burden of my past on his shoulders and expect him to lighten the load. I told Tris once that my current relationship has helped me see the previous one in a different light - because it's so much better, it reinforced the things that I already knew, that - in a nutshell - I deserved better. While I see this as a good thing, it goes overboard when I use him to correct the mistakes that I made by not upholding my end of the bargain and accepting this part of him - this part of him that I so hate, but which I should love because I love him.
This is all logical to me, and it makes perfect sense; but it's just so hard because I'm someone that doesn't even remember that she once found smoking sexy. And this is actually a solipsistic exercise because what I want to say is that this fucking disconnect, as if I'm talking about two completely different persons, abandons me in limbo. It's not about the person, but the person reminds me of the person that I was, and a part of me is still angry with her. When that part of me rears its head, it starts thinking things like: The decision that was supposed to be the ultimate game-changer didn't work, and failed utterly; and so I wasted everything. Could've had the perfect moment if I had the benefit of hindsight. Have had so many more perfect moments since then. It doesn't matter, but I'm angry like this I wish things had happened differently.
I love Wei Chuen to the extent that I'm theoretically ready to marry him. I haven't uttered one false word to him when I'm telling him how I feel about him. He's...absolutely amazing, and he's incredible, and I think it's incredible how I love him more, not less, as time passes. He's the only person residing in my heart, and there's absolutely, absolutely, no one else.
Well, apart from me; but at the moment, I'm not sure how true that is. Tris told me that I need to love myself more. Maybe I need to do that by letting go of whatever anger I still feel towards the person that I was. Mostly I don't care; but there are times when my choices confuse the fuck out of me, leave me wondering what the fuck and why the fuck, especially when I think about how amazing, and sweet, and wonderful, and even perfect (in a flawed manner) Wei Chuen is.
The bright side is that I found him, and that I have him.
And actually, that's the only side I need.
On a completely unrelated note, and just before I go and shower and sleep, I was quite pleased to find out this morning in the lift that Switzerland beat Spain 1-0 yesterday. I know this makes no sense, but it was like the Swiss football team took revenge on Nadal on Roger's behalf.
And obviously, the only reason I'd even care about the Swiss team is...Roger Federer. I bet he was happy with the result. Actually, I wonder who's even on the Swiss team; the only Swiss club I know is FC Basel and THAT is SOLELY because darling Roger supports them.
I saw a picture of Swiss football players wearing t-shirts in Roger's honour when he won his 15th slam (hmm, or was it his 16th?). I felt really warm and happy inside when I saw that.
I really, REALLY hope he wins Wimbledon. He needs to equal the record number of Wimbledon victories (7; he currently stands at 6. Damn the fucking 2008 final) AND needs to bag another Slam! Winning Wimbledon would also make it easier for him to bag #1...wait, no, it wouldn't - he'd be defending points and wouldn't gain any.
Fuck man, I hope Nadal loses early, but he gains points either way 'cause he didn't play last year. And speaking of whom: I fucking don't get the bloody Federer-Nadal rivalry. Seriously, how fucking difficult is it to keep hitting to the Federer backhand until it breaks down? As far as I know, and I base this on the most traumatising Federer match I've ever watched, namely the 09 Australian Open final which STILL leaves me sad, that's basically how Nadal has won the 14 matches against Rog. Note that I said "basically"; of course there's more to it, but that's the basis of his game plan, which idiot Andy Murray has adopted, BUT TO NO AVAIL AT THE TIMES IT TRULY MATTERED - SEE TWO LOST SLAM FINALS TO ROGER HAHAHAHAHA.
(Okay that was quite mean. Murray seriously hasn't been the same player since losing to Roger in Australia this year. He's been losing early in tournaments and hasn't reached a final since Australia. And they say ROGER is in a slump - he's fuckng 29 this year and has reached two finals since Australia. He lost them both, but he's done pretty much everything that's possible in the sport, save for winning the elusive Grand Slam, so give him a break. He's still GOAT, no matter how the rest of this season turns out.)
Anyway, as I was saying, someone needs to explain to me why it's apparently so exciting and entertaining to watch a bloody Federer/Nadal final. Apart from how it's likely to end badly for me, I absolutely hate how poorly Roger matches up against him. A huge reason why Roger has a losing record against him is because of Nadal's bloody vamos topspin forehand to Roger's single-handed backhand. There's so much EXTREME topspin on the fucking ball that it bounces up to the level of Roger's shoulder when Nadal hits it to him. Of course Roger can't return it properly lah. Of course he'd lose the point after a while lah. And for an athlete, Roger is only normally-built, and sometimes even skinny. He definitely doesn't have the same muscle power that Nadal has, and probably doesn't even have the same stability and strength on the backhand that two-handers like Del Pot and perhaps even Murray do.
So to me, there's nothing fascinating about their rivalry, because Roger, by default, already loses to Nadal in terms of their match-up. Of course, he could help himself more by playing his fucking all-court game, like he did in Madrid last year BUT NOT THIS YEAR; but truth is, the modern game isn't friendly to the classic serve-and-volley game. This has a lot to do with changes in racquet technology and speed of the courts which I can only recite and not explain, so I'll leave it at that. But because of this, the volley has to be PERFECT in order to win the point - and Roger prefers baselining to volleying. He can do everything, and he does everything well, but, naturally, he's better at some things than others - and he's better from the baseline than at the net.
That's certainly been the case recently. Everytime he approaches, I'd brace myself for him to get passed. I don't think his fans would have had this kind of reaction when he was dominating from 2004-2007. There used to be things that I just didn't expect him to screw up, and to be fair, I've been quite iffy about his approaches from the beginning; but it's increasingly getting worse. And I didn't expect him to screw up easy put-away forehands in the past, but nowadays, I hardly even groan when he hits it long. He goes for the inside-in down-the-line and cutely aims for that perfect spot, but it'd end up just inches short of the line. Very bloody irritating.
I watched a match once - one of the matches in Basel - in which Roger adjusted his footwork last-minute when he was setting up to hit a forehand winner. The commentators compared his impeccable timing to the precision that goes into making watches, which Switzerland is famous for - something about Swiss timing.
Well, his timing isn't so Swiss nowadays. At least, that's how I see it, and I'm certainly no expert. He beats the super low-ranked guys, but when he's met with a challenge, he seems to lose it. Even before he played Lleyton in Halle I was thinking he might actually lose the match because Lleyton is a very good grass court player - he's never lost a final on grass and his other Grand Slam title was won at Wimbledon (before Roger started on his winning rampage. It was a really good rampage). When Roger played good clay-court players, he lost to them - Montanes (I only say this because he's Spanish, to be honest) in Estoril, Soderling in Paris, and lost a set to David Ferrer in Madrid, and David Ferrer was the same guy that he absolutely schooled in the 2007 Tennis Masters Cup (now known as WTF) final. Even though grass is Roger's best surface, I anticipated that he'd lose because he hasn't been displaying the confidence that is necessary to pull himself through in tight moments.
Maybe that's a timing issue: he can't time his shots right, and therefore he hasn't the confidence to go for his shots, and the knowledge that he may not be able to hit a winner when it matters most affects the way he responds to these challenges. But because I can't quite see it from a technical point of view, all I can do is stupidly conclude that he's subconsciously losing motivation.
I'd consider it a gift if I get to watch him until the 2012 Olympics. There's nothing I'd like more for him than for him to keep collecting Grand Slams, the way kids collect stickers. I think he's so amazing at what he does, and so amazing at the way he carries himself, and is such a great ambassador for the sport, that I never want to stop watching him. I can't imagine being interested enough in tennis when Roger Federer isn't playing anymore. I can't imagine ever feeling the same passion, or even anything close to it, that I feel for him for another player. I've watched a lot of players, and no one even comes remotely close to the beauty that Roger displays on the tennis court. How do you replace Roger Federer? Who's ever going to measure up to him?
You can't. I don't want to think about the day that he finally hangs up his racquet; it's too sad, and I'm not ready. I didn't have the luxury of watching him through his whole career and I'm still doing catch-up even now. He's the only reason I got into tennis; he may very well be the reason for me to get out of it. Even now, when he loses early in a tournament, I lose all interest in the tournament, and only my love for tennis makes me tune back in. Tennis just isn't the same without Roger. He's still here, but he really needs to BE here. So far, after the Australian Open, it hasn't really felt like he's still around.
But I'll cherish every match that I can still watch, even the boring ones when his opponent is clearly no match for him. I will watch every round of every tournament because there's not much Roger time left, and he isn't Mr Sunday anymore. And I will definitely do something to make sure that I get to watch him play a match live, competitively, before he retires. I'd like it to be at the US Open because it's the first tournament I'd ever watched and the first trophy I saw him lift, but I'd settle for whatever scraps I can get. And I wouldn't spare any expenses when I finally make this happen.
I hope I see some changes in his game in Wimbledon. I want to see all-court tennis. I want to see him take the ball on the rise, I want to see him approach with authority, I want him to put away clean volleys. Above all else, I want him to serve well - that is the key to his success. When the serve goes, his whole game crumbles. (Perhaps, again, it's a mental thing.)
I hope he wins Wimbledon. I hope he comes back soon. I've missed him; I haven't quite liked the impostor that took his place post-Australian Open.
Okay don't know how the hell I talked on and on about Roger but it's late, and I'm tired, and I HAVEN'T EVEN SHOWERED, so that's all.