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old friends

June 27, 2005

Sometimes old friends really are the best friends. My dear, dear Cheekeong. How long has it been since we’ve known each other? You say you cannot remember when you first got to know me proper: I, however, do. At orientation camp (a misnomer, since it did no orientation and served merely as an introduction to our world of cruelty) we were introduced but we did not know each other, I merely thought you were Malay. It was really on the second day of school proper, as we were filtering off to go for our French lessons at the language centre, that we started to talk: albeit, of course, awkwardly and most gauchely. Over fishball noodles, I believe. I was very fascinated by your living in Bishan and your maid who cooked pork with pineapples.

Six years on and we still mumble and bumble our ways through life and the strange fact of our friendship. The conversation is still stilted at times, but of course we have learnt to maneouvre our way through that: four years of being in the same class does weird things to very different people.

I thank you for never making a big deal of my sexuality: as always, with you, a blissful ignorance that does not betray your depth of character, your instinctive kindness, your pure generosity. Your inclination is to be good, something that I have not encountered too often, and something that we have too little of these days. If more were like yourself, the world would be a better place: a trite phrase which does not apply to many others, and certainly does not to myself. Thank you very much, Cheekeong. 🙂

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