Apr 04, 2009 9:07 AM GMT
Apart from my one night stand with the Yankee souljah (yeah, we were standing indeed. Ha ha!), I've met up my former classmates who I've known since pre-school, which was the reason I was out and about Thursday night. Half of those who were there were noobs in Dubai, "The Lucky Ones" as I call them, 'cos evidently they replaced the more expensive expats who used to be in their current posts now.
Anyway, I wasn't hesitant to admit I hardly remember them. We all graduated in 1991, a few months before the Mt. Pinatubo eruption (our city was just 16 kms from its crater... and still is!), and so far, that was the last time we ever saw each other (except of course, those who got were in Dubai already in the last couple of years or so).
With this thought fresh in my head, everything I felt bad for, was just erased. Amazing how reminiscing with the people who were there, growing up with you from childhood to puberty to young adolescents just heals you from inside. For a long time, I was reassured nothing was wrong with me. This time I didn't feel any remorse when they showed me photos of their kids. Everything was so warm, sincere and heartfelt. I have never laughed so contently and honestly. This wasn't even something alcohol could bring out from me all this time, I thought.
Of course, teasing came naturally: from getting caught cheating during exams multiple times, to cutting classes to go to cinema in our school uniforms , to first crushes, stupid professors, bad haircuts and fashion choices.
*ahem* Geek? I waz dat, too...
Then they told me how surprised they were when I didn't pursue a career in showbiz! Well I did get a special citation during our highschool graduation ("Future Artist Award", I think?), as I was a natural (or so the art, music and theater teachers thought. Ha ha!). I was even reminded of the days I was an understudy for the character of Thuy in the original Miss Saigon and was shortlisted during the first MTV Asia VJ hunt in the early 90s! Hahahahah!!! Of course, coming from a below average family, education came first. So I ended up taking nursing and look where I am now --doing exactly everything but that! Hahahah!!!
I think what really hit me in the wrong moment was when one of them asked if I still sing, as I was consistently a Glee Club member since the fifth grade until highschool, and a soprano at that! Luckily, we were at a more chilled bar in the old part of town where an acoustic band plays live. I have been singing, yes, but publicly, no. For the first time, I wondered why I got to be known in Dubai’s social scene as “someone who can dance… and rollerskate!”.
So during the open mic part of the night (where the band plays live accompaniment –it’s really awesome, that!), my mates persuaded me to sing as they missed it! I’ve already one too many bullfrogs and all the more I was good to go. And I know exactly what to sing as I was already wrapped in nostalgia, and 1986 was my happiest, coming-of-age year when I began feeling passions that kept me up all night.
There was instantly only one song in mind: Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait Awhile”. Soon as I set foot on the mini-stage and grabbed the mic, it felt so natural as if I’ve been doing it professionally. Only this time, I’ve never sang with so much heightened intense passion, as I did that night. I guess it’s different now that I’m an adult whose life experiences was summarized, and delivered through a song I love ever so dearly. There were lots of whistles and girly squeals from not just our table, but the surrounding tables as well. IT FELT SO DAMN GOOD TO SING AGAIN!
Unsurprisingly, our bill went overboard! I covered half of it (the BOSE Home Theatre System can wait!), but they were worth it.
[POST-SCRIPT: It was when I went to the loo afterwards where the souljah chatted me up. Feeling so vulnerable and emotionally absorbent, I responded to his praise with quite an aggressive co