Friday, September 02, 2005

Let The Games Begin

Why do people compete with each other? Athletes do it, but they're trained (and paid) to do it. Students do it, because the exam based teaching method encourages competition as normal and healthy. Lawyers do it in courtrooms but they're just faking it-most of them are good friends offstage. Businesses do it as part of the great capitalist ethos. But what happens when friends do it? Let us begin at the begining.
I first met Peroxide (he became a blonde much later) through a friend. Although we had little in common I was still going through my "if-he's-gay-then-he-must-be-good" phase. Imbecilic. Puerile. I've since learnt that classifying people on the basis of sexuality and making sweeping generalisations based on this is disastrous. Hence my dislike of that great event-the gay party. Back to the story. Peroxide and I continued to meet periodically. He would show up for weekends (usually with some hapless boy in tow) and we would chat-with his Latest Mistake glowering gently in the background like a petulant agarbati. I remember feeling incredibly low each time he would leave. Hormones? Sleep deprivation? None of the above. With the advantage of hindsight, I now realise that my lows came from having been run down by Peroxide for hours at a stretch. This would usually take the form of a series of innocuous remarks. Stuff like "Nice shirt, though green isn't quite your colour." Or "God, you've become fat since we last met." "How come you've been single for so long?" Nothing major. But lots of minors do become a major major once you've amassed a cumulative series.
The denouement to all this came on a Sunday afternoon. I'd been chasing what I thought at the time was an Object of Beauty. (Let's abbreviate that to OOB). OOB had not the slightest interest in me, but I was at that stage where I was determined to succeed. When all else had failed, I decided to invite OOB over to meet some friends over brunch. If he saw how wonderful my friends were, perhaps he would see how wonderful I was. Curious logic, but its something we've all done. Peroxide invited himself over and arrived with his trademark tresses flopping all over the place. I went into what my friends call "hostess trolley" mode, running to and fro from kitchen to dining table. In between my treks, I got the distinct (and gnawing) feeling that Peroxide was cosying up to OOB. Ah well, maybe he's just trying to get him at ease I thought flaccidly. On my fiftieth trip from the kitchen I peered through the glass partition. The truth stared me in the face. Through the triangular piece of glass I could see Peroxide dipping strawberries into cream and popping them into OOB's mouth. I froze.
The rest is history and geography. I moved away from town, from Peroxide and from all that he stood for. He called once to ask why I'd frozen over. I let him know. "Oh. But you're being protective over someone who doesn't give a damn for you." "Yes, I know. But its my life and my business. And will you PLEASE find someone else to run down." I got my final lecture on what a shit I was. I listened patiently swearing never to get into this sort of relationship again. Years went by. I was out for dinner in Karachi last week and over the buzz of conversation in a shi-shi su-shi joint, I heard a familiar voice. I looked over. The discrete overhead lighting lit up a peroxide head with his Latest Mistake in tow. We looked at each other and nodded politely. Neither of us made an effort to get up and talk to each other. Closure. Phew.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think comments on you becoming fat should ever been seen as "nothing major". It's downright rude. I'm glad you feng shui'd him out of your life.

12:19 pm  
Blogger rocky said...

my ex-roomie was like that. i spent almost two years, living with her, and putting up with mean remarks about how fat or how skinny i was (usually depending on how fat or skinny SHE was at the time) and how much my boyfriend sucked or how everything i did was wrong.

we finally had a showdown and i left - best decision ever.

i make it a point to stay away from people who give off such negative vibes and energy. it rubs off, they sap out all your spirit and positive energy and leave you feeling drained and just plain shitty.

generally, they're the unhappiest and most insecure of the lot and the only way they can feel better is to make someone else feel worse than they do.

4:35 pm  
Anonymous Sin said...

I would have bitch-slapped him silly. E-mail me at once and tell me who this troglodyte is.

4:01 am  
Blogger aristera says said...

very interesting way of putting it down. i have a love-hate relationship with the word "closure".

2:42 pm  
Blogger Uber Homme said...

aristera: so do i! "Closure" sounds kind of legalistic to me. I fear though that it is here to stay

6:03 pm  

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