the kids are alright

About a year ago, as I was working out at the gym one night, this song, named Breathless, by obscure one-hit-wonder band The Corrs came on. It reminded me of high school and this friend. He was a year younger and we played basket and volleyball together.

The year was 99, I was a junior, he was a sophmore. He liked this girl V. She was cute. They started talking in class. He was, like me, awkward as hell with girls. But for whatever reason, he asked me for advice. I was in no position to considering I had never even had a gf or dated yet, but I did anyways. Basic generic advice. I told him to burn her a CD, and so he did…the first track was that Breathless song.

I still remember those AIM conversations between him and I. I’d attempt to guide him on what to do while talking to V on AIM on my own, trying to get hints from her end. It took this friend a few days before he could muster up the courage to give her the CD.

That night, he messaged me saying “I gave her the CD”.

“Did she like it?”

“Yeah, she loved Breathless. We listened to it together.”

“Good shit, man! you the man!” (I’m sorry but that’s how all Asians in America talked in 1999, we were a LAME-o bunch with huge baggy pants and stupid, stupid,stupid haircuts where we have no hair on the side and spiky hair up top. We also never smile in pictures and drove fixed up Hondas. I didn’t follow every rule but I followed two of the above)

“Oh yeah, we going to Winterball together”

The next day, when I stepped into the gym at volleyball practice, me and friendo locked eyes, and without saying a word, we walked up to each other and exchanged fives, tens, twenties, whatever. Everyone else on the team looked at us like “what the hell is going on?”. We didn’t tell them, it would remain a secret.

Anyway, things didnt work out in the end for V and friendo, and a year later friendo made varsity basketball, developed more confidence to talk to girls, and got extremely big-headed to a point that he annoyed me. We continued to play ball the first several summers after high school, most notably the summer of 2000 when we went 12-0 and won the Almansor league championship (this is the highlight, and peak, of my athletic career, I will hold on to this until the day I die). But with the year age gap, different circle of friends, and his growing head, we slowly drifted apart. By 2005 we had almost no contact.

So yes, a year ago, at a gym, I was randomly reminded of him, and hearing The Corrs brought a smile to my face. I blogged about it at the time too.

Last month he randomly messaged me, telling me he was going to Hong Kong. Not even 5 lines into our first conversation in five years, he asked if he could stay with me.

I’m not going to front, I was annoyed by that. I wanted to say no, but I couldn’t get myself to do it. I told him okay, and then started complaining about it to a close friend and dreading the visit.

He was here this past weekend with his GF, and it turned out to be a very enjoyable weekend. For one, he has matured from his big-headed days; hanging out with an old friend also brought back many a great memories from our basketball days. I don’t care if me and a dude have absolutely nothing in common, if we ever played ball together–gone to war together–we have stuff to talk about.

And finally, seeing him and his GF together, all happy and sweet, made me happy. She seems great. And as his former love advice go-to guy, I just want to say…

the kid’s done alright.

(BTW, I wanted to title this blog entry with a line from Breathless. But I read through the lyrics over and over and I couldn’t find one line that wasn’t not-gay enough to use a blog entry title)

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