Monthly Archives: November 2005

Show Me Which Constellations You Know, A Denouement

Eternal Sunshine 1

Eternal Sunshine 2

Eternal Sunshine 3

People always say that this song or that book or some movie is a story about themselves in some way. One of my friends is truly determined that his life has been prophesied in the eight and a half minute rock-opera Paradise By The Dashboard Lights. My story was told in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, but it wasn’t anything with as much grandeur, it was simply about a girl.

Interestingly enough, it’s not the stories themselves, but the details of each story that give them such relatable conviction. In Paradise By The Dashboard Lights, Meatloaf sings about a coerced commitment leading to an eventual eternity spent with the wrong person because of a stubborn, but more importantly moral, refusal to break a promise. The prognostication of these particulars sends my friend sweating whenever he hears the song.

For me, it took the form of pangs, from the details of Clementine’s character. The fucked up girl looking for her own peace of mind, who applies her personality in a paste. A person who keeps you off balance, always guessing, and constantly frustrated. A girl who sends off sirens in your brain telling you to run as far as you can before you get burned, but you stay anyway, against all logic, resigned to the eventual fate.

And here I was, waiting to be saved, thinking she’s a concept, or she’ll complete me, or she’s going to make me feel alive. When it didn’t work out, I used to say that it was for the best, that I was in it to have no regrets, but it was really because I couldn’t leave. I was drawn magnetically, inexplicably, to the last person to deserve even the effort of all the torn up thoughts.

To the one that got away.

On the weekend, I discovered that I could finally watch Eternal Sunshine without those pangs when I had felt them for so long, even when I already knew how important it is not to forget these experiences, as Joel figures out while hiding Clementine in his subconscious. All the residual emotions have passed, and now I can talk, and laugh, and think, and share the experience like an embarrassing adolescent memory. It only took two years.

Everybody’s gotta learn sometime.

A Weekend With Pita

Pita was over for the weekend. He had a competition in the city, in both Standard and Latin, and needed a place to crash. He tells me that he’s at the point where he’s stuck between achieving a higher level and prioritizing the sport as a recreation, especially after coming back empty-handed this weekend when he won two golds at the last competition. 25 is getting old for a competitive dancer, and his instructor, who’s the same age as him, is already the Canadian champion.

I have an interesting relationship with Pita. He was the first person I met when I moved to this city, sharing a room on the 15th floor of a residency. Similar interests and intellects meant that we got along much better than the other pairs of frosh roommates, most of whom got stuck with the crazy, the irrational, and the disgusting. We went separate ways the next year, but moved into an apartment together for the following two years. After parting ways as roommates, when he moved 12000 kilometres to the place he was born, before coming back to this country, we didn’t speak to each other for more than eighteen months.

Now, whenever I see him, whenever he’s in town visiting old friends or participating in competitions, we can greet each other without formalities and just pick up where we left off. It’s on odd state between acquaintance and friendship. We share ourselves, and what we’ve learned and how we’ve changed since last seeing each other, but never keep in touch otherwise. We also give each other perspective. He often speaks as if he’s asking for advice or guidance, without actually asking. I offer my point of view, which he always interprets in a different way than intended, and this keeps me on my toes.

Show Me Which Constellations You Know

Forget what went wrong. The tiffs, the tantrums, the tears.

Remember everything we had. The comfort of cradling under sheets in the summer, the quintessential excitement of the unknown, the rush of being saved from a prosaic life.

Show me which constellations you know.

And we’ll walk along the beach forever.

Back Into The Game

After a ten month hiatus, I’m back into my regular table tennis routine again. I started out extremely rusty, feeling as if I was learning how to play again, but now I’m almost at the level that I ended with. It feels like it’s advantageous to take a step back from playing so that I can forget all my bad habits while remembering all the theory, because I can tell exactly what I need to change to improve now. I wish I could say the same for my golf game when I get out on the courses every spring.

My bout with gastroenteritis left me with a smaller appetite and emaciated frame. The sudden weight loss — bringing my weight precariously close to 100 lbs. — has been rather noticeable; my sweaters are baggy, my rings slip off my fingers, and I’ve lost two notches on my belt. Most people struggle to lose weight, I struggle to gain it and stay above 120. Table tennis is one of the best things I can do to fix this. After every session, I’m ravenously hungry, and this usually continues through to the day after.

Table tennis is also one of the only sports that I enjoy enough to not have to drag my ass out every time, which is definitely an advantage when the venue is an hour away. Unfortunately, my schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays now consists of:

  1. waking up at six thirty in the morning
  2. going to work for eight and a half hours
  3. coming home and sleeping for half an hour
  4. eating a dinner which I’ve prepared earlier in the week (with no time to cook)
  5. travelling to the gym
  6. playing for two hours
  7. travelling home
  8. showering and falling asleep by midnight

There are no breaks in between, which means that I have to watch the clock during almost everything that I do. It’s a complete rush from start to finish. The upside is that when I’m at the gym, working on better short-ball control, or trying to achieve a backhand smash, I can forget everything else, which is something that doesn’t happen for me easily.

A Bittersweet Life

He admitted to me that in his car, when he’s driving alone, there’s a compulsion to put together the details of his father as he writes in his mind the speech for the eventual day that a eulogy will need to be delivered. The only other person he’s admitted this to is his girlfriend, who’s labeled the practice as rather disturbing. Morbid, I’ll agree, as his father is far from passing, but not as strange as she makes it out to be. In return, I admit to him that I do the same thing when I piece together stories of his life for the speech I’ll be delivering as best man at his wedding, an event just as grave, and every bit as tragic.

He humorously finds relief in this.