I’ve just seen my friend Senthil. He lives in Singapore (he’s Malaysian), but is in KL for work meetings. I Miss him. If only he lived here. When we first met, back in 2007, he was here but he moved soon after. I think he’s the only friend I’ve made after turning forty whom I feel about the same as the ones I made in my teens or twenties. The sort I can take for granted and who take me for granted too, but in the best possible way.
I don’t feel like that about anyone in KL and I am no one’s go-to friend here. There isn’t a single person in this city who thinks of me as the first person to call when they are happy or sad or angry or confused; or when they want to watch a movie or have a coffee or check out a new play. I don’t hang out doing nothing with anyone here. I am no one’s default person and no one is mine.
Is fifty too late to make that sort of friend? Maybe that’s why having a partner is important to me. Was important to me. I can’t rely on that anymore. I won’t. It’s a mistake to depend on a lover, even one supposedly bound to you legally, to safeguard your emotional well being.
I didn’t realise til I read this blog post by Calmgrove that 2017 is the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death. Should I re-read her novels? I haven’t read any (apart from my favourite, Persuasion) in years, but I know, from experience, that planning to re-read more than one novel doesn’t work with me. I shall, perhaps choose one title and see how it goes.
I love Persuasion because it’s about second chances and remaining steadfast in love. My favourite quotes:
Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.
All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one: you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone!
Is it stupidly romantic of me to believe in true love? Is it naive to hope that my partner will remain constant?
I may re-read Persuasion again after all.
Persuasion watercolour illustrations by C. E. Brock
I am posting this picture because it’s a happy picture: look at the lion’s smiling face; look at the determinedly bright yellow of the dandelions.
I am not happy. Things are not going well. Nothing is certain, although you could argue that nothing ever is. Still, it’s one thing to not know where one is going, but be, nevertheless, on one’s way. and quite another to feel that one has come to a sudden halt, with no prospect of starting moving again. For the first time in a long while, I am not on my way and I am wondering if I ever was. Have I been fooling myself?
I don’t want to speculate on what has been and what might be. Stress does dreadful things to people. It makes them say the silliest, most irrational and rather unkind things. Don’t think about it. Don’t analyse. I will distract myself with happy pictures and the Moomins.
Tove Jansson’s series of books is being discussed by a Facebook group I belong to and I am supposed to lead the discussion on two of them: The Exploits of Moominpappa and Moominpappa at Sea. I thought I liked them the least of the books, but I’m enjoying my current re-read of Exploits. I shall post a review when I’m done. In the meantime, isn’t Edward the Booble the most fabulous name for a ferocious sea serpent?