Sunday, March 24, 2013

Too Much Fatigue, Too Much Expectations, Too Much Money Spent...

The author has not gone out often, ever since the day he departed London and all its grad-school-justified alcoholic mayhem.  The high alcoholic prices in Malaysia only served to discourage going out even more, just as the work culture, with sweaty operations and tough hours, brought down spirits.  The situation only got worse in the Philippines, as work became six instead of five days a week, and more work-related worries (read: homework) made the prospect of going out even less.  The result is an all-round loss of any urge to seek those fun moments that lasts well into the wee hours of any day.

And after an incredibly unusual and sudden spell of an all-night clubbing, perhaps more than half a year after the last one (in a different country), anyone who is in similar situation as described above would feel that, quite surprisingly, all that one would miss about clubbing (the energetic crowds, singalongs to current pop favorites, and most of all, seemingly romantic ambiguities and slightly, and maybe not so slight, body touches with those females perceived to be pretty under the heavily make-up and intoxication) are not really missed at all after, say, 15 mins on the dance floor.

It was a sign of fatigue, not a physical one brought about by a body not used to the heaving crowds, pumping music, and sweat-filled heat of an enclosed windowless space, but a mental fatigue - a sudden realization that, well, this sort of human interaction (?) is just simply not enjoyable anymore.  There are suggestive looks, there are obsequious smiles, and there are more than a fair share of acts that are considered not particularly cordial and appropriate for people for the first time.  But every single one of them, reflecting back when sober, seemed so fleeting, so superficial, so trivial....

So the author thought as a Filipino cutie firmly put her body in his laps.  His hands were locked on her waist, his nose getting more than a whiff of the aromatic pheromones in her hair.  There was not a tinge of resistance on her part, and her beautiful smile only let down his guard evermore each time her eyes met his.  Yet, even hours later, she was still unknown stranger.  He cannot recall her name, and if not for his business card in her pocket, she probably would not be able to recall his either.  She knows that he is a working expat, and he knows she just graduated from somewhere.  That's it.

The bodies may say otherwise, but in reality, the ice was not broken, and it was not even on it way to be broken.  To him, she is not anything more than another young player on the floor, and to her, he is nothing more than another random episode thanks to tipsiness.  If they are to meet again in any environment other than another clubbing with mutual friends, they will probably require some sort of formal acquaintance, which will be highly awkward given what has already happened...which means that the two will most likely never meet outside that particular clubbing environment.

Ultimately, unless the people one associates with is obviously in the gold-digging business, clubbing would not lead to anything in particular except more clubbing.  One only gets to make clubbing buddies, not friends, precisely because communication is so lacking.  And as the crowd gets older (i.e. working rather than in school), one's main points of attraction will no longer be physical but verbal.  His/her verbal maturity, defined by a good sense of humor and ability to carry complex thoughtful communications, will much outweigh having the right curves in the right parts of the body.

It is at this moment in time, coming to such conclusion that one cannot help but lament the passage of time and end of an era in one's life.  One no longer draws hope and high expectations out of an enclosed space filled with sweaty people until early hours in the morning for romance and friendships.  It no longer matters who is the DJ, who is foreign and gets special treatment, and who is the hottest girl on the floor.  Even if one succeeds in getting all the privilege one can possibly get on that floor, behaving like a true VIP, the morning after is not going to be all that different.

Sure, the author still hears his own heartbeat speeds up every time he recalls that beauty moving her body in his arms, and his nose tinkling from her flawless aroma, but he does not hold illusions.  She is all but an illusion of a time in the past, in a place far far away, representing a persona that is not consistent with everyday life.  She is every bit a central figure in an elaborate realty-escape scheme partially based on an alternate reality.  It is a good memory, but let that memory stay a memory.  Let bygones be bygones.