Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Weep Not For the Memories

Last weekend I had a nice time with friends in Koreatown. We went to my favourite restaurant and then on to norebang (private karaoke) and sang to our hearts' content! So fun.

The only bittersweet part was the very noticeable absence of the person formerly known as my partner, the only actual Korean. He always had special songs he always sang and he always ordered for us and did the table BBQ grilling. This time I had to step in and do it, which was fine but I did miss him. Perhaps making new memories where old existed before is akin to taking your dog out to urinate over old smells from other dogs. To have a future, the past can't be in your present.

I do miss him, or rather the idea of him in the roles he used to play in my life. So instead of denying or trying to ignore these feelings of loss, I'm taking a page from Judith Voirst's "The Tenth Good Thing About Barney." In this book, the main character mourns the loss of his pet by listing ten good things that he liked about the deceased. And since this is Remembrance Day, I thought it might be appropriate to remember....

1. Weatherman- He always knew when it would snow or rain and when it would be warm or cold. So helpful as I never pay any attention to that sort of thing!

2. Hairstylist- Not only did I get amazing haircuts and colour but he also would even style it for me sometimes. Plus he was always there to consult. Now I'm at a loss. Do I gel? wax? paste? Is this TOO spikey? symetrical? It's all too much.

3. Fashion Consultant- He had the gift of buying the perfect belt, jacket or T-shirt that would fit me perfectly and look great. He also was there to tell me which shirt looked better with which tie (it's all about the contrast) or what jeans to wear (and here I thought all jeans were created equal).

4. Tech guy- He was totally Inspector Gadget. You name it, he was all over it or could figure it out. If it wasn't for him, I still would be completely happy with my CD walkman. No MP3 and never an iPod!

5. Therapist- On most problems, he was good about listening and acting interested what I had to say. Even if it wasn't in his area of interest he would try and ask a few questions. I really appreciated that space to vent.

6. Travel companion - We really worked well out on the road. He loved driving and could keep his cool under pressure being more used to heavier traffic than I was. It was easy to make plans and find places to eat.

7. Cook- He was an amazing cook. If I was sick or if it was my birthday, he would make me miyuk guk. I'll have to try and make it myself now. :)

8. Gift wrapper-If you are scoffing at this it's because you never saw a gift he wrapped. Seriously it would be a work of art. He would mould flowers and leaves or would layer different colours of paper so it would show different contrasts. Really breath-taking.

9. Memory- There are a lot of things about Korea that Icould remember because he would jog my memory or help me out with a word or two. Most of those memories involved him as well so it will be hard to remember things by myself.

10. Companion- Just hanging around, sharing the same space. We were comfortable with the silences and he let me read and write. He was also very cool about letting me follow my own interests such as church or dancing. I appreciated that.

Of course there are more but ten always seems like a nice even number of which to make a list. Sorry if this seems morbid, using the past tense and being so personal but going through this separation/transition (they say) is right up there along with death of a spouse so it's a little like mourning. Actually it is the loss of the idea I had of the future. This has been really cleansing for me and perhaps it may help others, I dunno.


Kethryvis said...

you are so much stronger in all this than i am... of course, you've got a few months on me in the process. i'm still at the 'sit around and cry' stage and the 'uncaring about anything' stage.

my advisor (wonderful lady that she is) always chides me when i say this shouldn't be a big deal, 'cos it's not like anyone died. she tells me, every time, that this is like a death. something *did* die. it was just as unexpected and just as jarring, so mourning cannot be rushed nor should it be taken lightly. (and i'm so totally with you on the 'loss of the idea of the future' thing. that's what i mourn so, so much right now.)

my love, sympathy and empathy to you. maybe one day i'll have this strength too.

Jolie said...

Cleanse away! I think it's good to remember the good things. You do have a past and shared memories. Those shouldn't be lost just because the relationship is.

Yes, he was amazing at wrapping gifts!

Teacher_Jen said...

What a beautiful tribute. Well written, well remembered.

greenbeanbanshee said...

Ok, I am crying now. Hope you're happy! This post just touches such a deep, personal chord in me. How people play certain roles in our lives and when they are gone, you are sort of sitting there, trying so hard to stupidly wrap a present, alone, when you realize there is such injustice in the world.

But everything happens to us for a reason. The experiences we have, we have for a reason. We attract people and experiences that our brains need to be complete. (Yes, I have the slides to prove it.) So whatever happened, which I do not know, I do know that it happened for a reason. To make you a more complete person, when you are all alone, looking for transparent tape for the packages at your feet.

And it's ok. And...just one more thing...sometimes friendships are much more precious than romance. Because friendships are often much more unconditional, much more fulfilling. Gather those people up and keep them close to you. That is what I am doing. Right now. I love you, Danny. I'm so glad we are "related", even if distantly. I am proud to know you and to know your story.

Ok, going now....geeeez.....