Could've, would've, might've

Reality is cruel. I woke up from my phone beeping. It was a voicemail. I wondered if it could've been....

"Hello Victor, this is.. calling from Travel Alberta. Unfortunately you were not selected for the next round of interviews."

What does your birth date mean?




Your Birthdate: October 31



You're a pretty traditional person. If it's lasted, it's probably good.

You seek stability - both in your career and your romantic relationship.

In return, you're very loyal and predictable. Which is usually a good thing.

Without a partner, you feel lost. Being with someone is very important to you.



Your strength: Your dependability



Your weakness: You hate being alone



Your power color: Midnight blue



Your power symbol: Shell



Your power month: April

It's All About Vinny

And this is how it goes.... the MeMe rules...
1. Link to the person that tagged you Liv
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website

So......... I have a feeling there's a big chance you'll think I'm very odd after reading the following.
1 - I sing. I sing a lot at home , in the car. I sing along to songs I'm feeling, all the time. But no one ever hears me sing. I can't say I am confident in my vocal skills.

2 - As a child I was almost brilliant with math. It's an irony that I could barely even do divisions without using a calculator.

3 - I'm an only child. But I wish I wasn't. It gets lonely.

4 - I can read and speak Chinese. Writing is a little too hard for me now.

5 - I can't say I like musicals in general, but there is one I love, Chicago.

6 - Ever made a British style top hat out of the cardboard box of a 12-pack? I have. A Kokanee top hat.

I have to break a rule - I read a very selective number of blogs only. Thus I don't have six!

Veronica - the first blog I started reading
Eve - refreshing, and great pictures
Quin - the stories
Desiree - full of heart

The Shakes

Now I know why my hands were always shaking in the Dominican. Not sleeping for days does that to people.
"I wanna push you around, well I will, well I will
I wanna push you down, well I will, well I will
I wanna take you for granted, I wanna take you for granted, yeah I will, I will"
- matchbox20

FATE Pt. II

She contacted me.

I was home. I went on msn, and she messaged me. She asked how things were. She suggested that I go back, so we'd work together again. She asked me to call her, and gave me the internal job posting details. She talked to me, as if nothing has ever happened between us. I went along. I told her I'd apply.

"To be, or not to be: that is the question." - hamlet

Fate struck twice on the same day. Two of my loves. They disappeared from my life once, and came back on the same day. Maybe it's a sign. Or a warning.

FATE

Four days before Halloween. The last straw between us, four years ago on that day. Today was a gift from the stars.

I was early. October 27th, 9:15am. I figured 15 minutes early would be okay.. I had already waited in my car, in the parking lot for 10 minutes. Never hurts to be a tad bit early in case of traffic etc, right? I walked in. The office had a huge reception area. It was wide open into the rest of the office, a very different set up than I'm used to. This was an office interiors company after all! Very innovative, I loved the environment already. It was refreshing, it was spectacular. The receptionist called to let them know I was there. I took a seat. Nervous. Very nervous. But why? I've had like a million of these by now. Yet I got no sleep whatsoever last night. In retrospect, the pieces all fit together. God, or whoever it is, really does work in mysterious ways.

The wait felt long. I was able to see inside given the wide open design, as I mentioned. I couldn't help but notice that there were a lot of cute girls. I didn't want to be caught checking out girls already! So I picked up a brochure of some sort to glance at, pretending that I was interested in the products or something. As my eyes glanced across the pages, somebody said hi to me. I didn't see the person coming at all. I looked up, and it was her. She looked... better than ever. Not too skinny anymore, but just "right". Gorgeous as I remembered. She looked like she hasn't aged a single day. The last thing that she had said to me, four years ago.. she gave me notice that she was dating.

I have never, ever, tried so much to impress anybody as I did during the following half hour. I transformed into a sales-superman professional. Suddenly describing the ever-confusing construction project coordinating role became easy. My paragraphs were structured, smooth, and flowed. Hard selling with no shame. The compensation they told me for the position is quite a bit below my expectation. But I bit the bullet within an eighth of a second's hesitation. There were bigger things here than money and moving out.

I walked out the doors. The sun had come out by then. 10am. And I wondered how I really did. And what if.

And She said to let her know.

Probability

Humans are the most intelligent animal known to ourselves, how ironic. We process the ability to think, to utilize complex tools, and to change the environment to suit our convenience. Some other animals show signs of those traits, but none process all of the above at the same time, and to our extent.

We pollute the planet. We change it drastically without realizing the negative effects. They might not be immediate, but they'll one day come. Our abilities might be due to evolution, and precisely with these abilities we just might one day destroy ourselves. Maybe we are at the top of evolution, and when we fuck up, it'll all start over again. Maybe we weren't intended in God's plan. We're just the anomaly in his grand plan that he never intended.

If there is to be a next step in evolution, maybe that life form's existence will only be spiritual or metaphysical. Because there'll be nothing left for them in this material world.
"You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, he hates you." ~ tyler durden, fight club

Sayonana, lover

It was in my much younger days. 17.. yes, pretty sure. We met through the now ancient icq, playing online card games. It was coincidental, it was unintentional, it was the lady of fortune smiling upon me. I got my first cell phone. I got my first date. I bought my first gift for a girl. I got the first piece of my heart taken. It was all firsts. It was all crazy and shocking. It's something I've re-enacted in my mind hundreds of times.

"What's wrong?" She leaned away from me at the movies. She said it was nothing. But it was really everything. The movie, the last one we saw was AI. It was good, bad and fucked up.. and maybe that was the cause of it all. What began from Moulin Rouge did not have a happy ending.

"Victor.... I've gotten back with Albert."

It was a memorable first. She carved my heart and had it for desert too. The casualness of her voice over the phone was simply beautiful. It was another year, until I breathed again. My heart grew considerably weaker, and my liver stronger.

I had a dream too

I used to dream
I used to think big
About what I could do
All that I have to offer the world
And all that the world has to offer me


Somewhere along the ride
Things derailed, I crashed
All around me and me, went terribly wrong
I leapt for what I thought and believed
In return was devastation and humiliations

And I stopped dreaming
Jamie had a chance, well she really did
Instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids
Mark still lives at home cause he's got no job
He just plays guitar, smokes a lot of pot

Jay committed suicide
Brandon OD'd and died
What the hell is going on?
Cruelest dream, reality

Chances blown, nothing's free
Longing for what used to be
Still, it's hard, hard to see
Fragile lives, shattered dreams

~ the kids aren't alright, offspring

The Hallway

It's never clear. Everything seems just a little tainted. It all feels mixed, bundled, twisted, combined from different scenes - my old work, my old-old work, co-workers of both, and hidden monsters. I am walking down that hallway again, on my way out, to the stairs, elevator, whatever. I'm careful, but I can't remember why. I try not to draw any attention, not to make the slightest sound. Suddenly a co-worker nearby waves and speaks to me. I smile and nod, returning the greeting with quick, quiet-ish chit chat. I keep walking. More feafull then ever. But why? I'm almost at the end of the hall. Just a few seconds more. And I think how silly of me, to be scared shit-less, over absolutely nothing.

She's standing over her desk, talking to her co-worker. Probably about product recalls, about the recent milk products, Maple Leaf, and others I can't remember right now. I recognize her. And I remember why. Everything. I try not to make eye contact, try to avoid catching her attention. I always make it out, but I always turn my head for one last glance. Just to see if she is looking.

This is when I always wake up, again. Some things haunt us forever.

The Answer

So she asked me the question. It was early morning. God knows what time it was, we used to be on the phone until 8am just before school/work. I thought it was just another night, regular, uneventful, meaningless casual chatting. I should start betting against myself. What would you do, she said. If you are really close to this girl, but she has a boyfriend. However she's not happy, and she doesn't love him anymore. But she loves you. Would you be willing if she chooses to break up with her boyfriend to be with you?

I paused. I wasn't sure what to say out loud. I could hear myself breathing harder, quicker. Staring into nothingness in my own room, digesting, comprehending her question. It wasn't until maybe a good 10 seconds later, or it could've been eternity for all I remember.

I gave a cowardly answer. A politically correct answer. A "good" man's answer. Maybe a perfect human being's answer. A text book answer. What a saint would say. Or really what a pretentious person like myself would say.

She never heard the honest reply. I was naive.
It is always too late.
I'm seeing
A whole other world in my mind
Girl I feel it
I'm breathing in love all the time

~ oasis, love's like a bomb

Who's that cute girl?

It wasn't romantic. Watching fireworks by the lake on a warm summer night, with your love, is supposed to be romantic, yea? She was cold. She kept a distance. She barely said a word. The writing was on the wall. But I went ahead anyways.
"So you wanna come to the fireworks tonight that we talked about?"
"Hmm.. are your friends gonna come? Yea?"
"......"
"......"
"I could always ask them."

We were at the usual late night joint after the fireworks. Busy as usual on a Sat, especially that night. We could only get a table for four, so me and her shared a space. Anna, also happened to be there with Amy and their crew.
"Toan, you're in town!"
"Victor!! Who's that cute girl?"
"Just a friend.."


I picked her up that night, the first of many. The U of C theaters, can't believe I never went in there once all those years. Still haven't. It was getting late, it was maybe 10am. We made it to Cheesecake Cafe, meeting two of my friends. It felt right. She felt right. Everything was right, that moment, somehow. Right then, we knew, there had to be more.


I listened to her. I was stupid. I wasn't a man. I let myself down. I let her down.
"I'll come right now, okay?"
"No don't... I'll be ok... just don't right now.."


"Hey.......... you're still coming to my birthday tomorrow, right?"
"Sure, but I don't know how to get there. I work late tonight..."
"We can work something out.. maybe one of my friends can pick you up on the way or something. Just let me know when you know you need a ride for sure, I'll come get you if my friends can't."
"Ok.."
I didn't hear from her the rest of that day. Or the next. Not until days or weeks later. I lost track. To be exact, I didn't hear from her. She simply.. left me an offline message on icq. Saying she was sorry and that she knew she ruined my birthday.
That, was the year of 2004.


"Right now??"
"Yea.. I got off a little early."
It was only just past 9pm. She usually got off later, say 10pm or 11pm. I was at a birthday party, out of town. She knew, I had told her. Not too far, just 30mins out of the city limits maybe. But adding the time needed to go to the U of C, I was pushing say 45mins. I told the host I was leaving, I struggled to leave. But I knew I should. And I did.
"You're so late...................... It's been almost an hour."
"I'm sorry, I got a little lost on the way back. Couldn't figure out the out of town roads pitch dark."

Our last encounter.

She never used to let me walk her to the door. She lived with her aunt, who supposedly was quite strict and annoying with everything. She said she didn't want her aunt to see me at the door. Her aunt never did.
"How about we go for deserts? That Japanese desert place Yamato, remember? It's still open."
"No. Just take me home."

I don't know if this was months, or years later. She sent me a message online, that she was now dating someone. She felt that she should let me know, she said.

Burnt Fries

"Hey, let's go for lunch?"
"Sure.. somewhere close, we came back late last time."
"Hmm.. how about Infusion?"
"?"

She didn't even know about the little deli/sandwich place across from our building. Never been there, never tried their butter chicken. We went for lunch, as we'd do, a lot back then. She said she wasn't hungry. She didn't order a thing, not even a salad or drink. She said she'd just watch me eat and keep me company. I got some fries, potato wedges they were more like, thought then at least she'd have something to snack on. She barely did.

I always loved the ones that were too burnt, so crispy, so unhealthy, but tasted so good. She'd used to stop me from eating them, brushing my hand away from the dish literally. We'd argue our views about cancer, nutrition, and god knows what else came with those. She studied nutrition.

"Those give you cancer, don't eat them!"
"But they taste so good... it's ok, I'm still here after twenty-some years, yea?"

I'm sick of burnt fries. Sick.

Rapture

"So what cha up to these days?"
"......."

These days, I've replaced that with "Just drinking and sleeping man." People, and myself, got sick of the lack of an answer. These are trying times.

What do I desire in life? I got three things: love, career, money. And in that order. My career was on-hold because of the delayed project, which put my money on-hold may I add. Now they're on-hold because I'm unemployed. Love, where to start. Yes, where to start. Get a hobby, yes I've heard. I think I've taken up drinking as a hobby, quite distasteful some say.

Till the day.

Where to start?
I still don't know what I was waiting for
A big love to fall down from the sky
She took my hand and picked me up off the floor
She put an apple in my eye

I said I'm tired
Come get me off the merry-go-round
I'm wired
Come feed me and then bring-a-me down

~ oasis, waiting for the rapture

"It's touch'n go"

"You know, you really should be eating lunch at least. You already don't eat breakfast most of the time."
"I'm busy... don't worry, I drink tons of water and stuff too. I don't wanna get fat."

I bought her these Japanese green tea bags. It was the same brand that my family always drank when I lived in Hong Kong. They sold them at one of the Chinese supermarkets here.

"Water? Don't like the tea bags?"
"Nono.. they're okay, just... the flavor is too strong, must be lots of artificial."

She worked in quality assurance. She knew her nutrition, all that jazz it seems. A bit of a health freak almost, except she's obsessed with being skinny. I went shopping again. A different brand this time, one that I thought, hoped really, as I can't read any Japanese, would be more natural flavored with less artificial substances.

"So.. what do you think of this kind?"
"They are great!"

I gave her the entire box of the new kind, and she handed me the original ones. I made a cup, and they tasted fine, I thought. To this day, I have two boxes left, of the "natural flavored" kind. Drinking them right now, because these ones never made it to her.
And until youve repaid
The dreams you've bought for your lies
You'll be cast away
Alone under stormy skies
Alone under stormy skies

~ where did it go wrong, oasis

Glass Ceiling

I'd be sitting, standing, walking.. I don't remember exactly really, at the school field. It was lunch, or recess. I used to look at all the other kids playing, laughing, hitting each other with snow, tripping. I was the outcast.

Playing ball. Recess. I'd have been accepted, in the weakest sense of the definition as possible. I didn't know what they were saying. I could hear, I could hear most of the words, but they meant next to nothing to me at the time. It was a struggle. It was a battle. It was harsh. I thought that hey, eventually I'd overcome it. Have I? Language, culture, and who knows what else. There's just something different that I can't find words to describe. I was not the same as them.

A glass ceiling.

Sometimes I wonder, how they are all doing now. Eric, Jeremiah, even Jason Scott? What about the Crawford brothers James and Nathan? Rory? Drama dude Jeremy? And god knows who else.

It's not until I hear my buddy's little 14 year old sister is now more than legal, that I realize how long it's been. Time's never kind to any.

10 Minutes

I picked up my phone, "Victor speaking." It was a girl's voice. She said hi and sounded unsure, then I realized who it was. My best friend was trying to set me up with someone. We had a few quick chats and were talking. But I never thought she'd call me at work. Matter of fact, how did she get my work number? Did I give it to her?..

Sunday morning. 10am. She told me earlier initially, but it seems like she woke up late. I was eating the sushi she made for me. Her dad and brother were out working. Just the two of us. I finished the sushi rolls, the rice was brown. I had never seen or even heard of brown colored rice before. She told me they were supposedly better "sweet rice", or something like that, that they use in Japan (her dad and brother are sushi chefs.)

I said that it wasn't going to work. I had someone else in my heart. I was gonna just play it cool and have some fun, nothing serious, while I pursue her. But now that I see she's putting lots and try to have a relationship with me, I didn't want to do it no more. She knew, about who I hold dearest to my heart. She's heard all about her. Since the beginning. She thought she'd compete, and win me over. But it just ain't like that.

She cried and I held her. It was for, maybe say 10 minutes. But it felt like eternity to me. I didn't say anything. I didn't want to make it worse.

"Don't hug me. Go hug your girl."

I was home before noon that day. I thought, hey, it was all for her. Reason enough.

It was all for nothing.

A Call

I was just sitting there. Looking at the clock, I had a good hour-ish until I had to prepare for my flight. Maybe I could take a quick nap, so I thought, I hadn't slept at all after all. And then my phone rang, and it was her. I heard her voice, and I could tell she was crying. She says she went and sat at my desk that day. A Saturday. To see what my days were like, trying to imagine my work day aside from her. Needless to say, my desk was cleaned and tidied up by then. The styrofoam mini-me wearing the Kokanee top hat was gone. My stickies have been trashed. The note with her extension was tossed, tho I never needed to use it no more. My cousin's daughter's picture, the one whom my boss thought was my daughter, was brought home. There was nothing left, just emptiness and a computer.

"I've got to go, my taxi is here."
"....."
"I'll call you once I've checked in at the airport. I promise."

It didn't end the way either of us wanted it to.
Take me to the place where you go
Where nobody knows if it's night or day
But please don't put your life in the hands
Of a rock'n roll band
Who'll throw it all away

~ don't look back at anger

Candy

I had this box of glass chocolates. Actually glass candies, handmade. All different, colors, funky shapes, everything. I got it at a glass factory at Niagra Falls. Souvenirs for my coworkers at the time, and a few friends. It was this big box, maybe 20 of em or so, so I could do one for each person and not be broke. Hey, I was still on part time then, last of the 2-part time jobs days. It was affordable, and heck, they were really awesome. At least I thought so.

I gave em out when I got back. It was Spring 06' then. Surprisingly I had one left. They were all awesome, but this was the nicest one, and so I kept it for myself. Looking at it once in awhile. Girly? Maybe, some'd probably say so. I just thought it was awesome. All individual, all original.

A few months later, I met her. And a few more months later, I gave her the last candy. The best one, or at least I thought so. I told her all about it, I told her all about my trip. And that it was my last. Then she told me she'd hold on to it for me and never ever lose it, and that I can see it anytime I want.

Anytime.
I know a girl called Elsa
She's into Alka Seltzer
She sniffs it through a cane on a supersonic train
And she made you laugh
I got her autograph
She's done it with a doctor on a helicopter
She's sniffin' in her tissue
Sellin' the Big Issue

~ oasis, supersonic

Dig out your soul, cos' here we go

oasis

And we're away to be where there's life
When we come call out
Everything's sold out
TV just closed down
There's nothing on the news now

Fears don't try me
Tears don't cry me
We're away to be where there's life
Be where there's life

Dig out your soul, cos' here we go
We gotta move, it's what we do
Let me come through
Let me take you away to be where there's life
To be where there's life

Take you over the light
Under the signs
In through locked doors to secret floors
Where we've lost 'em before

4:17 am

Why does it still hurt so much?
Why do I still think of you in the middle of the night?
How long is it gonna be until my life gets back on track?
How could you cut all ties, just like that?
Do I ever cross your mind at all?
Have I made a difference in your life?
Did you really mean what you said?
What was the thing you didn't want to say?
Would it have mattered if I did something more? Different?

How's your bad back?
Has your mom recovered fully from her surgery yet?
Have you found a job?
Are you still in Calgary? Or in Edmonton or Hong Kong?
Have you even changed your cell phone?
Have you fixed your wind shield yet? Or have you just got a new car?
Are you eating lunch regularly?
Do you still go to the Tims, for a raspberry steeped tea?

How are you.

Everything and more, I wish I could know.

Autumn's sweet we call it fall

- scartissue

Hockey's starting in days.
Halloween's around the corner.
The wind's chilly already, and soon it'll be snow.

This moment in time, for the 25th time.