"Friend?" He answered my call with that. Just that. Friend. None of the perfunctory politeness of "hello", or "yes?" or "Dan speaking. How may I help you?" And that's not surprising. That's how I answer his calls too. That's how we are in everyday life, Dan and I. We are way past niceties and put-on courtesy. We do not beso whenever we see each other, or whenever we part ways. Not that there's anything wrong with beso, we do that to our other friends. It just feels funny when we do it. When the two of us do it. It's not malice. There is definitely no sexual tension between us. Now now, probably not in a million years, even though a lot of people insist on thinking we'd be a good romantic couple. It's not disgust in any level, either. It's not repulsive. It's just funny.
"Do we already have replacement for the broken shower hose?" I asked, without saying hello first also.
"Ok. I'll get one today."
We hung up.
That shower hose. It's been busted for more than a week already. I remember the first time I discovered it had a hole, the water went straight into my nose and eyes, and it felt like the way it does when someone pushes you into the swimming pool and you're totally unprepared. You inhale the water and you actually feel it flow through your nasal passages down to the throat. Close to drowning, that's how it felt. I almost panicked, but the stronger urge was to laugh at myself. And then, instantly, I thought of sms'ing Dan, "Our shower feels like Disney's waterworks parade." Not funny, not profound. Just nonsensical. But that's how we are. We sms each other whatever comes to our minds that we feel we need to share with someone. Anything, from "I felt like crying watching the fireworks" to "I'm washing my balls." And yes, by balls, I didn't mean the kind that they use for sports. I meant testicles. We share stuff like that, too. See, for us there is no such thing as too much information.
Four hours after the phone call that I made, I was home already with the brand new shower hose. I haven't fully settled when an sms from Dan came in: "You home? Looks like I'm the one who won't be coming home tonight instead."
I felt a little bit sad. The last time I saw him was on Friday, last week. And even then, we didn't get to spend time with each other. We didn't have dinner together, because he came from a party. We didn't chat even, because I was trying to edit our podcast. When I left the following morning, he was already out of the house. I hadn't been back until last night since that Saturday. And he was out. But the sadness didn't last for very long. First, I couldn't just expect him to sit around and wait for me to come home whenever I feel like it. Second, I am happy he's no longer sitting around like a spinster on his days off like he used to. I used to often pester him by saying, "Why don't you learn to crochet? Suits you." He is finally spending his days off socializing, catching up with friends and not movie marathon-ing. I couldn't be happier.
So today, I hopped in the shower and, as soon as I turned the shower on, I realized I hadn't installed the new shower hose. I could've done it last night, but I didn't know how. The two times we had to replace it, Dan did the handyman's work. But Dan is out, so I have to do it. And he's leaving soon, so I have to learn to do it.
I remember when Mamu (our ex-flatmate, who stood as the household mother) left us, there were moments when Dan and I would ridicule ourselves because neither of us had half of Mamu's aptitude for bolts, screws and wires. Once, our bathroom light got busted. We had to bear with it for two months, lighting candles whenever we had to go in, until we called our landlord to fix it for us.
I'll be like that soon. Lost. And Dan will no longer be there to laugh at my doltishness. The kind of laugh that you know is just a laugh, and not judgment. And Dan will no longer be there to take the initiative to learn what I don't want to learn. But it's ok. First of all, I don't want him to sit around and just always be there ready to support me in every way I want to, while I allow life to happen for me. And secondly, He's moving on. He is taking a brave, bold step. He is stepping up to the next phase of his life, like I had always wanted him to. Like I had always forced him to. I couldn't be happier. And prouder.
half their promises
they're not unkind,
just hard to find"