Sometimes we find ourselves being overtaken by surprises at how things change after a year, or some other times at how things stay the same.
Exactly one year ago, I came back to Thailand for the second time, feeling no less unfamiliar like the first since I knew it was different. There was you waiting for me at the airport. What I hadn’t been informed is that you were going to wear a shirt with the name of my country on it just to welcome me. Flooded with emotion, I gave you the biggest hug possible.
Exactly one year ago, we were drinking at the bar, at the park, in front of some public fountain that doesn’t even work on the street or at your friend’s place. It was a huge bottle of either Chang or Singha or some famous Thai brew that we were washing our livers with. I’d never really been a big fan of liquor but when it came to you, I wanted to have the most fun with you as possible since I know the image of me when we last saw each other is labeled as “fun”, which is a positive thing, right?
Exactly one year ago, I was lying on the couch, literally wasted from our night stroll around those ancient Thai ruins under the starry darkness, observing you rolling that joint. I wasn’t even really paying attention in that fact but in your movement instead. Flashback took me to when we were walking together in my town and I popped up a question out of no where: “Have you ever done marijuana?” You hesitated and seemed a little surprised. “I knew it!” I said with as much sarcasm as possible. Back to the couch, you handled me my first joint ever without me even being aware of it. Your friend mockingly said: “I guess I just took away your weed virginity.” Yes, how could I ever forget?
Exactly one year ago, in one careless moment (I blamed the alcohol), I allowed myself to break down in front of you, even when we were enjoying the best night in a fantastic beach town alone. The more I resent myself for that night, the more I appreciate your character. If it were me witnessing such insecurity, I’d not have been able to even stay there to help whoever it is go through it, not just comfort and talk to that one to sleep.
Exactly one year ago, I was feeling so fortunate to have somebody as a companion, somebody who is not afraid to show feelings, to make fun of his own stupidity and insanity, somebody who’s better off with short term plans rather than long term ones (not because they aren’t far-sighted but they prefer to do so). I remember laughing, like real laughs, literally crawling on the street, to your “farting” stories and your “pull my finger” trick. I wished I could come up with some sick jokes to play along but instead I got “I think I can control when to fart.”
Exactly one year ago, I was so carefree. I was near the end of college and still working part time, which is enough for me to travel with you. Right now, I’m working underpaid, thinking what I’m doing is only the second best, earning half of what I used to back in college, watching others’ career taking off. Do you remember that confrontation scene in Young Adult where Marvis spilled out the real reason why she’s still in love with her high school sweat heart? She said “He knew me when I was at my best.” I guess I have to resort to the same excuse when it comes to you.
I just had another dream about you the other day. We were back in Krabi town, in Railay beach, the sun looked brighter and the water was vivid, as if I could taste the pure saltiness that I was drowning myself in. I was trying to swim towards you. This time, you didn’t try to escape. You just stood there, above the clear water, waiting for me to reach you, like a mentor, a swimming trainer watching his students, waiting for his hard work to pay off. Maybe it was because I didn’t say the wrong things nor took the wrong turns anymore. Maybe it was me being more mature, more confident with my feelings, character and sexuality that you fond of. Or maybe it was just how dreams are supposed to be: always inviting, sweet but never finished.
I don’t know how come you could be able to find a way sneaking into my sleep in just 15 minutes. That must be the power of you, the power that didn’t fade away even a year after, which is quite surprising, isn’t it?