equivocality — Jeff Ngan's collection of thoughts, experiences, and projects, inspired by pretty much everything
11 Sep 08

Life With Loo

Ever since WordPress 2.5 added native tag­ging sup­port, I’ve been going through my old entries and appro­pri­ately tag­ging each one. Recently, I arrived at the chunk of time where I started dat­ing Louise.

It’s said that every­one has at least one rela­tion­ship where you look back and ask your­self, “What the hell was I think­ing?”. I never believed it until, four years later, I came across those old posts. The words were a stark reminder of how hard I tried to make it work, of how much I did for her, and how it was never good enough.

She would belit­tle my attempts to grow and improve, push me to the lim­its of my tol­er­ance, and when I would speak up about how much it hurt me, she would jus­tify it in say­ing that she would refuse to hide her opin­ions because cou­ples should be “open”. I kept get­ting put down, over and over again.

Read the rest of this entry »

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04 Nov 07

Hugging Etiquette

She hugged me yes­ter­day. I thought I was over her, but maybe I’m still smit­ten. Physical con­tact does funny things to the mind.

I don’t under­stand why girls are so into hug­ging. Often, I’ll go for a hand­shake, and as if it doesn’t take, they’ll lean in to hug after­ward. A girl once asked if she could hug me after I explained to her my pro­ce­dure for check­ing a cat before adop­tion. Figure that one out.

The funny thing is that most girls aren’t very good hug­gers. They give limp hugs — more of a press­ing of the arms to the body — and it bugs the crap out of me. It’s like get­ting a soft hand­shake, also referred to as the “limp noo­dle”.

Bronwen’s an excep­tion. I always give and get a bear hug from her when I see her and when she leaves. Sometimes we fight for arm posi­tion­ing, because we both pre­fer to have the arms lower than the other. I like to have my arms around a girls’ waist, whereas she likes to have her arms sur­rounded, so she feels protected.

The two Louise’s are/were also good at hug­ging. Nice and firm, with­out being too clingy. Maybe it’s a Louise thing.

It just makes me won­der; if girls are so into hug­ging, why aren’t they bet­ter at it?

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18 Dec 06

Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend: Louise

The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you’ll be sorry someday

BB King, The Thrill Is Gone

Our rela­tion­ship was a night­mare of ups and downs.

You had the amaz­ing abil­ity to make me feel good about myself, by say­ing the right thing with intel­li­gence and eloquence.

Yet every time I felt like I was mak­ing progress, progress that took tremen­dous effort and energy, progress for you, you would put me down. Every time I took a leap of faith and put myself out there, you would hurt me. It wasn’t even a case of bru­tal, tact­less hon­esty; you would insult my pride for no reason.

I think it betrayed a sub­con­scious inse­cu­rity. Something you would do to make your­self feel bet­ter. Like your con­stant need to prove that you’re busy and mov­ing on. It’s as if your life is empty, void, and you’re des­per­ate to fill it with something.

I had to end things when you went too far.

There were no regrets, because I did my absolute best to make things work. Even though I suf­fered, I ignored the pain, and tried work­ing through it. I only gave up when you proved too stub­born to change or understand.

The rela­tion­ship wasn’t a total loss. It was an inter­est­ing intro­duc­tion to the sub­cul­ture. It was pas­sion­ately sex­ual. It also made me more con­fi­dent, although I real­ize now that it wasn’t because of you. You barely gave me any trust, and every step for­ward I made, you pulled me back two. It was me who fought through all the inse­cu­ri­ties and rose to the occasion.

When you came back in January, with­out a word of apol­ogy or men­tion of the wrong you did, I had no inter­est in con­tin­u­ing the rela­tion­ship. After that, I thought of you when­ever I heard the song Buried Myself Alive by The Used.

Then, with all your let­ters and your apolo­gies and your tears, two years later, you asked “nicer than that”.

Unfortunately, it was at an unsta­ble time in my life, so I asked you to back off and wait. Your idea of back­ing off and wait­ing is leav­ing me creepy com­ments and dat­ing to fill the time. I just can’t under­stand how you keep mak­ing these mis­takes. It’s almost like you pur­posely sab­o­tage yourself.

I don’t want to be involved in the drama any­more. Nothing is ever sim­ple with you. Even though you say you’ve changed, it’s not worth the risk to me. You had your chance, and it was a damn good one.

You’ve wronged me too many times. The last time you left my house, not know­ing when or if you’d come back, I felt nothing.

I knew then that the thrill was gone.

A few other things:

The Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend series

  1. Introduction
  2. Ashley
  3. Michele
  4. Christie
  5. Jackie
  6. Louise
  7. Bronwen
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29 Sep 05

Walk With Loo

Thumbnail: Statue looking up

Thumbnail: Night building

Thumbnail: War memorial

Three pic­tures.

There’s so much to say, but noth­ing comes out. I think I’m still in shock. When I think that things have passed, this hap­pens. Complete ambiva­lence has turned to incon­clu­sive­ness. All I know is that I’m still a sucker for those two lit­tle words. There’s solace in the hope that other things will work out, that they wouldn’t have hap­pened, had things not ended up like this. Now all that’s left is clut­ter of questions.

Karma makes me ask who I’ve wronged so greatly to deserve this. At the same time, it’s an open-ended answer that doesn’t give me what I’m look­ing for, or make me feel any better.

And what do I do now, when all I have left are mem­o­ries that may fade like old pho­tographs sit­ting in the sun?

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27 Sep 05

I'm Seeing Louise Tomorrow

We haven’t spo­ken in months.

I still think about her, but isn’t that how it usu­ally goes? You think about the last girl­friend until the next one comes along, ad infini­tum.

Sometimes I think about the oppor­tu­ni­ties I’ve missed with her. Never hav­ing a chance to attend one of her par­ties, a mys­te­ri­ous, eso­teric rit­ual that both fright­ened and excited me when­ever I heard about it. Never get­ting to use the beau­ti­ful rope she bought before she left for the final, extended break. Never being able to leave her bound and blind­folded in her own closet, the secret lit­tle fan­tasy we both shared. All the things that I took my time with, think­ing I’d have a chance even­tu­ally, expect­ing the rela­tion­ship to work.

But even­tu­ally never came.

Sometimes I have to remind myself how much she hurt me. On some days it’s eas­ier than oth­ers. How much I changed and grew and was brave for her, only to have her con­stantly put me down. I tried my best, did the most I could, but it was never enough. Her com­plete lack of faith was more than dis­cour­ag­ing, it was insulting.

Yet she was the girl­friend I respected the most, the only one I could talk to about any­thing with­out being afraid of los­ing her in sub­ject mat­ter. The girl­friend who taught me the most, who played an inte­gral part in giv­ing me the sense of strength and respon­si­bil­ity I feel today. I’m still try­ing to fig­ure out if it was all worth it, whether I’d learn these thing even­tu­ally, or whether the expe­ri­ence was unique. I sus­pect I’ll find out in time.

It’s sup­posed to be sunny tomor­row. The begin­ning of fall, car­ry­ing the tran­si­tional tem­per­a­tures of sum­mer, is always pleas­antly cool. We’ll be strolling along the stores and restau­rants of Elgin, and I’ll be tak­ing my video cam­era in hopes of get­ting some footage of the sand­bag angels at the Confederation Park.

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