Monday 5 December 2011

Triple NO

No from Alberto. He told me he had no feelings for me, even if he would have liked it. Disappointment contained. Page forced to be turned. An immense void. It's like planting a seed, watching the first little bud then killing it. What to do? All my fantasies of winning him as a knight would just deserted me. Not again.  But yes, again.

No from ChingYao. I have become the target of his rage and anger. Paradoxically, we are the best of friends. He's my closest friend in Taipei. But this anger that he has been keeping inside for too long is now overpowering him. Strangely, but not surprisingly, the ones who show more love are the ones who get all the blame. 
"You're the trigger of all my anger", he had said last week. 
It's unfortunate. My only flaw if there is one, is that I am late at our appointments. Not always late, but as human nature goes, it's always more convenient to remember the bad things than the positive ones. As a consequence, each meeting wears its share of growing pressure, which would instantly vanish - but not be forgotten, as soon as we would start having our drinks, our laughs and our good time. 
But lately, I felt that ChingYao was less and less himself. I feel truly sorry for him. Was there a way to help? We talk a lot. So I confronted him last Wednesday during Mrs. Sheu's singing lesson. She asked for a pause to answer a phone call, so I took the opportunity to ask: "What was going on?". He didn't want to talk about it, yet he would resume the discussion, then say again that he didn't want to talk about it. People love circles don't we? His uncle had just passed away. He went to the funeral, and realised (realised?) that nobody really cared. He was the one and only one making the efforts (if you use a microscope to watch a bug, you may not see that an elephant is standing next to it). Feeling unloved? Not unknown to me either. Or to many others. But what I didn't understand was this rage. Where did it originate? During that summer in Paris where we first met, four years ago, already, I had detected it. Strong and raw, and overpowering. It disorientated me. It even made me fall sick and feverish for days.
"I also make you wait for me on purpose" he said. Make me wait, change plan, bail out at the last minute, or not telling me at all about any change of plan... Call that revenge?
I felt uneasy. It wasn't fair for me, for our friendship. The anger attached to the complaint seemed disproportionate to my 'offence'. I'm the mirror, of course. Mirror, trigger, whipping boy. ChingYao wasn't the first friend with whom such thorny situation would take place. My cousin Thu Vân, Silvano, Philippe, Nicolas had many volcanic outbursts directed at me. Flashback and I immediately see the bullying and beating up I endured at school, since kindergarten. But my attitude had usually been a passive one. Passive and understanding. Or passive and out of touch with what was really going on. It's not even because my parents have taught my brother and I to respond with kindness and a certain aloofness to violence. Never fight back. Never answer back. Such behaviour was undignified in their eyes.
Compassion, love and forgiveness, said Nana. Forgiveness, especially.
I am trying to figure out what there is to learn in this situation. 
I want to stay away from ChingYao for a while.
"Don't let it ruin your friendship", James said to me in a message today. Ruined it isn't - of course. Of course? But definitely altered.

No from Jay. The music I did for Thief still doesn't matches. If at first, he was enthusiastic about Un Espace Vert as played by the erhu, he now found that it was too strong for the ending and that the instrument sounded out of place, since it wasn't heard any time during the film. (yes, but the erhu was originally intended for the opening). Why not just have a piano version? Now I'm unable to think about any solution. I certainly will tomorrow or the day after. At this very present moment, it's just a frozen state of blank.
I also had to come up with new music for the opening - the erhu sounded too much like a human voice according to Jay and CJ, the music was too deep and sad. Fine then, I did something lighter and more sentimental, à la Misty. They loved it. But until...?
The Bach pastiche which also won his favour in the beginning also got questioned. Too mellow... I replaced it by a scene composed for Les Contes d'Hoffmann, the second pas de deux between Antonia and Hoffmann in Act 3. I reworked on it and added more instruments.
"Too slow", was Jay's verdict.
It was past 11pm. I had no intention to sink any deeper into the shifting sands.  

I saw Stéphane. Taipei is he last leg of his first trip to Asia. In his 'homeland' of Cambodia then Vietnam the previous weeks. Now one week in Taipei. We talked, ate at a food court in Taipei Main Station, had our clothes smell soupy. Topics: Indigo children. Crystal children. It's a lonely walk.
That was our first one-on-one conversation in years. We had a fall out which lasted a couple of years or so. Only recently did we start to patch things up between us.
"Cheer up!" a friend had written as words of encouragement.
Cheering up, yes, by nearly eating a boxful of chocolate and buying two CDs, Bach's Piano Concertos delightfully played by Alexandre Tharaud, and an newly discovered chamber version of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto, by Mûza Rubackyté and the Shanghai String Quartet. Who? What? Where? Thrifty record company (Warner) only put that one concerto on the CD, which makes the running time no longer than thirty five minutes for a full price.
Interesting find though.

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