Wednesday, May 02, 2012

3-Week Assignment Is Over + A Man Who Is Interested in Me

A three-week interpretation assignment came to its end last Friday. It was oh-so tough to commute between this not-value-for-money flat and the training centre in Tuas South, almost no man’s land. Having said this, I enjoyed the work and learned a lot from it, meeting people, new and old.

It was the night of 21st, Saturday, when I went out for drink with one of the guys I was working with/for in Tuas South. That Saturday was a working day as we seemed a little behind the original schedule. After dinner, we started drinking outside of a bar, but as we wanted a stronger WiFi signal we went in. There at the counter, we met him, about whom I have written a few times. I intentionally put my friend/client between him and me and encourage them to talk to and get to know each other. When necessary, I forced myself to talk as I knew silence would make the situation awkward. Not lingering long with him, we went on to another place.

And last Monday afternoon, I went to the bank to deposit some cheques as it was the last day of the month. After I finished what I had to do at the bank, I came downtown to drop by a bookstore and to have a meal and, for my reading, coffee. I was wondering if I should move on to enjoy some drink alone at the same bar. I was wondering because meeting him there would be another occasion of embarrassment and uneasiness for me. I was not yet in the alfresco area of the bar when he found me from the inside where he was sitting. Brimming with a smile, he was raising his right arm to signal his presence to me. I ignored it and pretended that I saw him only when he came a metre from me. He told me that he was there to meet two people to talk about his job prospect. I should have arrived half an hour later. Before long, one of the two, the main person for him, arrived, and he, when another came, invited to me join them for dinner. Finding no reasonable excuse, I said Yes. He uttered words of relief to my Yes and I felt dismayed. At the dinner, he asked me if I was presenting the national flag so it could be seen from outside. “How do you know?” Are you stalking me? It was almost the only exchange I had with him at the dinner table. I couldn’t look at him. And the man who came last was in his usual self, attempting to make himself appear larger than he was. He was probably jealous when I told him that I had worked with an actor and some scenes of the work could be found on the internet. When our dinner was over, I parted with them to have more drinks at another place.

“I shrug my shoulders when people tell me that their first impressions of a person are always right. I think they must have small insight or great vanity. For my own part I find that the longer I know people the more they puzzle me: my oldest friends are just those of whom I can say that I don’t know the first thing about them.” (A Friend in Need, W. Somerset Maugham)

The amount of work I have received for the past 10 days or so is not something that I can finish with a happy smile. TOO MUCH.

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