Monday, April 11, 2016

Goodbye, Hippopotamus

Just the other day, my kitten pulled it out from under my bed. I looked down, absentmindedly, to where she had deposited it at my feet, meowing at me to praise her achievement or thank her for her gift, or both. Its grey fur was matted as it lay there on its side, and its empty, lifeless eyes stared up at me, even as my own eyes rolled.

Since my move earlier this year, the two plastic bags of stuffed plush toys had resided under my bed, because I could not bring myself to get rid of them and yet, there was no place for them anymore in my minimalistified, and "grown up", life. But since the little one had arrived and since my room was designated her HQ from the first night she arrived home, she had developed a habit of disappearing under my bed and, after making lots of mrowling purrs and scuffling sounds, would re-emerge with one plushy or other firmly clasped in her mouth, carrying the spoils of her hunt around proudly. Soon the house became decorated with odd mementos of my stowed-away childhood as Tiggles, Cutums, Squeakums, Eek, Zoey, Chocolate et al, found themselves rescued from the abyss of the black garbage bag.

But this time, she had overdone herself. I looked down, shaking my head in disgust at the grey hippo that was given to me a long, long time ago by the goddamn self-obsessed jerk who spent more time admiring his reflection in his phone than he did in the hours we spent hanging out. Thankfully, he never made it to actual "boyfriend" material. Indeed, he was just a few weeks long "thing", if it could be called that, because really, both of us just were kiling time even as we pretended to exchange flirtations in the time we spent together after or between work.

I had a few moments myself, when one night, driving home with one of my best friends I would put the question out in the air whether it's weird for a girl to be a bit older than the guy, and my friend, who himself was a few months younger than his girlfriend, would look over at me and ask me, sort of surprised and amused, "What? Are you serious about him? I thought you were waiting to be serious about..."

I wasn't, and yet, there was something still inside of me that always felt that romance, whatever form it took, should have a deeper significance or should really mean something. This ideological Hopeless Romantic within me would be the reason why most of my relationships could not really get to the "official" stage. For some reason or other, I always had this prophetic epiphany that the relationship in question at the time just was not the one. And as my friend noted, I was in fact waiting for that someone else to wake up and smell the coffee.

It's a weird place to be stuck in, because at once, you want to "know" things in a very clear, logical way, and yet, when you have a very certain sensation that at the same time seems vague, brought to you by presaging dreams, no less, it is hard to really let go of your intuition, if that is what it is called.

But hey, intuition was so not needed with it came to the Giver of the Grey Hippo. I am not even sure why he even went to the extent of gifting it to me, in the first place. Especially when I kicked it down the length of the mall soon after as if it were the FIFA final game scoring kick.

But the weirdest part is that, even after my kitten dropped the thing at my feet, guess who, out of the blue, pops up on my social media—with his shirtless six-pack, bicep-flexing selfie in his display picture. OF COURSE it was a shirtless picture.

The very first time I even saw him, he was walking down the middle of the mall with his shirt off, strutting through like he was George Clooney. And I had laughed. Out loud. And he had turned, annoyed, to see me—who the hell is that girl— laughing at him.

But now he was back. WHY?

"Hey," his shirtless picture stated.

"You stole my calamine lotion," I replied.

"What? You want it back?"

"Considering that was more years than you have IQ points ago, no."

"Oh yeah, I forgot you were the smart one. I remember now, you always had a book!"

"Which you always took and threw on the floor."

"You were supposed to pay attention to me, not the book."

"I pay attention to whatever is more interesting."

"Yeah I remember that attitude. Now I remember your last text message too! It was so mean but damn it was a classic."

"Lol," I typed, looking up from my book. "I don't remember."

"You said, 'We cannot see eye to eye because your head is stuck too far up your ass' LOL"


  1. It still amazes me how much I can relate to you in these instances. Especially with not letting anything become a relationship, just having this gut feeling that I am settling for the wrong one..and that somewhere out there the "right one" exists.

    1. I've only had the "this is right" feeling once :) and even despite the current state of affairs, it made me certain more than anything that my "intuition" was right all those years.