Get up, brush the dirt off your shoulders and get back in the game.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

So i have this friend...

Let's turn the clock back a bit, back about 5 years.
It was the summer of 8th grade, the only person i knew was Leander, the rest i couldn't be bothered about. Until i met the idiot in the picture. His name was Shaun Alex Gomes, a young lad who walked as if he was too big for his frame, he stood a few inches taller than me with his baggy dark blue jeans, over sized t shirt and his cap drawn back. He had that skater boy cum bad ass image which wasn't so discreet when he greeted me with the complicated hand shake. Readers, let's just say that pathetic excuse for a handshake has changed my life and i'm so happy i participated in that. We shared one main thing, we loved music. So every morning for summer camp, we would come and play music in the auditorium. It was our thing. And days later we performed together in front of the camp and we were like the 2 out of 4 pillars that held the camp up. Moving on, in 9th grade we stayed chill, that year i was more oriented to my class. Skipping ahead, in 10th we had this musical, almost Alice, where Shaun and i reconnected and got to hang out more often which lead to the most amazing summer ever. We had summer camp again and i didn't want to participate, rather i wanted to volunteer. So Shaun and i agreed to volunteer and we did. The events that followed will be forever treasured.

It started off with what class we would get, Shaun being the lazy one didn't come for a few days which made me the 'uncle' for the junior classes. They used to call me uncle because i didn't shave...Once i did, it became sir and once Shaun came it became just Aaron. Yeah, he spoiled my rep. We took care of the senior boys because they were the hardest to control. In a couple of days, we earned their respect and got them in check at the click of our fingers which made it really easy for us to chill. We had our bowling days, ice skating days and the days we had outings. We went on every trip and day by day the teachers started to realize that without Shaun there was no Aaron and vice versa. It didn't feel right to have one without the other. Even when one outing was Sega Republic, not having the duo was a disappointment.

One day at camp, Shaun was playing with my phone about 30mts away and i was just standing with a tennis ball, all bored and what not. So i decided what every teenager in my position would have, i took a chance and threw the ball at him. In my defense i didn't believe i would actually hit him... But when i did, it was really funny because he was lying down and it hit his head like in the typical cartoon moments. There there was the day. The day i cut his lip. That day i realize something, i wasn't just a friend anymore, i was more than that. Long story short, a basketball hit his face while he was drinking water and his lip got cut. It was bleeding a lot and i was panicking a lot but what he said to me made me calm down slightly, he said ' if it was anyone else, i would have beaten them to a pulp and you know i could, but because its you, i won't do anything '
We spent days and days together after that, he used to come from Sharjah just to meet me. We would stay out late, share our secrets, do the weirdest things together.

One day i noticed something about him. He loved me a lot and he wanted nothing but the best for me. And he was crazy. I was on my first date with this very interesting woman and just at the start of it i get a message from Shaun saying he wanted to meet. I told him i was busy that day and he didn't need to come and meet me. He was an hours drive away, just note it. As the date progressed, he called again and i said it would be a bad idea, he just said i'll see you soon. The date went well, we became a thing later on and lasted quite a while. When i got home that day i get a call from Shaun and our hero says he's been waiting at the mall where i had my date, for 20minutes. Now let's count. It took him an hour to get there, 20 minutes waiting and that's not all, he takes the metro back to where i stay which is another 30 minutes JUST to spend 15 minutes with me. Ladies and gentlemen, if your bestfriend does not do that, please reconsider your definition. It's not the time he spent, it's the efforts he put in for me.

Skipping good times, we come to my 18th birthday where Mr Gomes is half drunk running around the compound looking for an intoxicated me ( i'll say this story another time ) Yeah, that was a good night... We see as the story moves on that Shaun and myself become more closer. Readers, the things i've told that boy i haven't even begun to try to say it to my other friends. I feel so comfortable telling him about my life and what goes on because i know for a fact that he is not going to leave me. A senti moment now but maybe it's necessary just to show how much he means to me. My life has been full of let downs, i've had more than my fair share of people leaving my life, people being fake and people who say they would always be there but never end up doing so. Shaun has been that one person who has told everyone off, he's one of the few that has actually stood by my side, that actually makes me feel wanted. When others tell me they miss me because i've shifted countries, i go along with it, but when Shaun tells me he misses me, it hurts me. it hurts not because i'm gay for him, but it hurts because he was my truest friend, he was my brother, my OCB. It was like we were brought up together, i mean 5 years together must mean something, right?

There are other amazing stories about this lad, one being the time that makes me feel warm inside every time. So once, Shaun and i, with other friends went to a concert. Now i'm quite the bugger sometimes and i was bugging this childhood friend of mine, just the casual poke poke. He loses his cool and slaps my face. Now i'm not the one to fight, but with my stunned expression and the resounding noise from the slap gets Shaun's attention and he looks. He instantly knows something bad happens which means instinct kicks in. Our hero, breaks out of conversation, charges at my friend and slaps him back. Now if i was a chick this would have been a cute story, but when anyone stands up for you instantly, without thought of consequence, you never doubt their loyalty or friendship. Shaun has been there for me through and through and i'll never be able to repay him for everything he's done for me. I love you Shaun, La Familla forever

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Adventures of Ben Pt 2

So last week i had an entry about Ben, a so called friend my father had memorable times with. Just to recap, last story Ben had gone fishing and with a little more patience he would have been prosperous. This next story doesn't exactly have that same moral arrangement but rather a good story to warm the heart.

This story starts off with a little background which is duly needed. My grand father passed away when my father was 10 years old. My grand uncle took in my father and uncle as his own and treated them with such love and care as my grand mother was struggled to cope with the loss. My grand uncle took them out to different places, parks and cricket matches just like any loving father would. Right now, my grand uncle is touching 90 and right hand to God, he is the most cutest old man i have ever seen and had the privilege to meet. Now back to the story. Again, for the purpose of the story to make sense i will be stepping in my fathers shoes.

One day Ben and i decided to go to uncles house. He was having some furniture moved in from a distant relative and we thought it would be fun to help arrange it. We saw the sweaty yet gentle men lift and unload the items at our gate and soon straight to the living room. At first there was no exact position it was kept in, just laying around without worry or care of who is going to stub their toe on it next. It was Ben's idea to play a game while the adults talked about their little tv show which was drowned by the volume of the tv itself. He grabbed my arm and said LISTEN we have to run NOW. I got shocked and started to panic. "Don't worry, get on the chair" he commanded me as i nervously nodded and followed his instruction. It slowly came to me, the chairs started moving further away from each other. The temperature started to rise and the floor began to bubble. It was clear, it appeared that we were surrounded by blazing hot lava and the new furniture was our only hope. Even though we were 2 feet apart and quite stationary, we started to yell because we thought we were drifting away. We started to hold hands just so we wouldn't separate but like Scar said to Mufasa, Ben's eyes slowly turned dark and a small smile grew as he came close to my face and said ' I'm the king of the castle ' And he let go of my hand. A long stretched echo amplified the room which brought the adults back in the room only to see me laying on the floor laughing away as Ben rolled on the sofa giggling to his hearts content.

We did get our fair share of scoldings but our uncle loved us dearly and wanted us to grow up the way we wanted to. We were never discouraged unless it was required. After we explained our game to him he told us " oh well, the best way to get over a lava fight like that is to go out and have some ice cream " and readers, everyone knows ice cream to a kid is heaven. So we ran out with uncle and got the ice cream. Our original plan was to get the ice cream back home and then play a board game perhaps but knowing us kids we finished eating the ice cream minutes after ordering it. We loved our uncle a lot. When the football world cup matches were going on, we had a set plan. We would first go out to the park and pretend to be the teams while playing our own match. Ben used to just watch as he was more cricket oriented. Then we would shower and have a nice dinner with the family. Ben would sleep over and at 1 uncle would wake us up because the match would be starting around then. My uncle had just bought a tv around then and we treasured it so much. It was our first tv and it was black and white. We bought it specifically for the world cup. After every match, uncle would warm up the milk and tuck us in bed with a song that is still used in our family, ave maria. It's a song we've passed down i guess maybe with a few alterations. After we slept, he used to pray for all of us with his wife and the head on to sleep himself. An uncle like him is one to cherish every moment. He never hit us but made sure i took care of my brother. I was a very strict brother. There were days when Ben couldn't come over because my brother was recovering from the beatings that were given. To this day i get a bittersweet symphony when remembering my childhood because i know i was strict but without it i'm sure he wouldn't be the amazing husband father brother uncle and god father he is today.

Uncle always had a soft spot for cricket. He always told us to bring up our children to play cricket even though we were football fans. But his persistence never gave up. He convinced us that football is played for the money while cricket is played for the heart. There is a passion for cricket and a greed for football. Now i'm just saying as an innocent bystander he was just very passionate about cricket and has nothing against football. In fact he still watches every Barcelona match to this day even in his challenging age, he manages to keep in touch with the Champions League, better than myself. Uncle liked Ben for the lone fact that he resembled him a lot. The one thing about uncle which everyone loved about him was his smile and that twinkle in his eye when he did so. It was that smile that when you saw it you were assured security love and kindness. A look which apparently i attained.

This wasn't really a story about Ben but i wanted to showcase my grand uncle with some respect to Ben (because after all, it's called the adventures of Ben) Anyway, i hope you all enjoyed, hopefully another will come up day after. Keep it real, peace on the streets San

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Adventures of Ben

So long ago when I was just a wee lad, my father used to tell me stories about his childhood friend, Ben. Now coincidentally my uncles name was Benedict, so my brothers and myself always thought these amazing stories were about him, but our grandmother assured us that it was actually about this weird childhood friend who has no photos or anything tangible to be remembered by.

Maybe he was real, maybe he wasn't but i think i'm going to ignite my blog with all his stories, as far as i can remember. I'll start off with his first adventure, the fishing trip.

As all great stories start, once upon a time there were two boys and for the sake of not getting confused later on, one was me and the other was Ben. So Ben and i were walking down the road, kicking pebbles and cans along the way when suddenly Ben had this bright idea to go fishing. Now being a child of my background, i was pretty much into it so i said Challo why not? So we ran off, both to our houses, and packed up. We got our moms to make us some sandwiches, we took some juice boxes, wore some shorts and scavenged for those weird looking fish hats. When we finally reached the lake we grabbed 2 sticks and some thread we packed and made our own rod. To us, it was a masterpiece, to the common eye it was just a stick with thread on it. We were quite the imaginative kids back then and we would pretty much come up with the strangest explanations for the smallest things. We didn't know what to use for bait so we tried tying part of our sandwich to the rope and we flung it in the water just like in the cartoons expecting it to go really far and make that *bloop* sound but all we got was a *smoosh* if that makes any sense. We waited for what felt like hours which was actually 5 mins and being the immature people we are, we began to get impatient. We started throwing rocks in the water to pass time, see who could skip it the furthest and no tug from the fishes as yet.

We couldn't handle it at all, so we ate the sandwiches, drank the juice and left the sticks there. We didn't want to wait any longer to catch fish that might not have even been there. The ongoing impatience made us frustrated and annoyed. We collected our things and made way to our homes where we knew for a fact mom had gone to the market and bought us some nice fish, which by now would be fried and set on the table for us to devour. After the great meal, we went off to bed with some slight expectation we might catch something in our sleep.

The next morning we hear ol Shahan yelling about how he's done it. I ran down to meet him and lo and behold i see him standing there with our majestic rods and a bag full of caught fish. I immediately ran to Ben and told him about it. The both of us were so surprised we began interviewing Shahan. Our mouths gaped open, we heard his side of the story which went a bit like this. " i saw you guys walk away from the lake and i thought maybe you left some sandwiches because i saw you both munching away. As i walked up, your rods began to move and i thought it was my fault, maybe i kicked it but it was going too fast and steady for a kick. I ran after it and caught it and heaved with all my might and this huge fish was just flip flopping away. At first i was like wow that's a big fish, but what's better than a big fish? More. So i stayed for a bit and caught about 5 more fish which i kept in a bag to show you guys. Maybe if you waited a bit more, you would have caught them. "

As Ben and i slowly pulled our jaws back up from the ground, we realized that patience is indeed a virtue. If we had just stayed a little longer we would have caught so many fish and our night would have been made.

When my father told me these stories, it was intended to have a moral per story to actually make it worthwhile. And you can clearly see here what the moral is. If i get time i'll write down the other adventures. I hope this story entices you to want to know more about Ben.
Till next time, peace on the streets SAN