Hello Again

Which is harder to say? Goodbye or Hello?

Seems dumb isn’t it?

It’s just that I was on the way to the neighbourhood barber to get Lucien in line for one those $3.88 hair-cuts and happened then to catch a glimpse of an old friend whisking past. Not a random “someone”; but Someone I went out with a long time ago (circa 1990). It’s a long time ago; and somehow, Life has kept our paths out of each other’s orbit the past 20 years.

I shouted his name, seeing I’ve actually always wonderered how he’s been (and actually have been surprised how in a place so congested as Singapore and where people really get into people’s faces…how we’ve actually never ever ran into before…living in the same estate!) You see, while I don’t spend much time thinking about the relationships I haven’t been able to keep over the years, I do, from time to time, wish to know how they’re doing.

So we had that 45-sec at the market place corridor. I guess it’s a little odd; the last time we spoke we were barely adults; and here I was, with Lucien hanging on my hip, laughing about a cheap haircut…

We exchanged the kind of “overview” that’s befitting for ocasions like these. Short. Keep to the good bits.

It occured to me that often times, it might’ve been much harder to say Hello if the Goodbyes have been less than perfect.

However once the first words have been spoken, a kind of breakthrough seems to happen to give possibility to a new wave of encounters, random or otherwise, to come. And if that Hello had never been attempted, then all the memory that remained could possibly have been that of the last Goodbye.

Such is the equivocal nature of Life.

The very thing that you rather not confront could easily be the very thing that’s ever going to make a difference.

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