web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: About a Boy
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Monday, November 01, 2004
About a Boy

An eighteen year old recently called me a mean, evil mokciknab because I left a particularly "mokcik" comment on her blog. She meant it tongue-in-cheek, of course (well, at least I think she did!) but it did make me think about the ever-expanding gulf between me and the age eighteen.

Eighteen is exactly half of what I am today. Ah, well. To feed the nostalgia, I downloaded songs that reminded me of my 18th year : Dead Kennedys, The Clash, Sex Pistols, the Ramones. Saiffuddin made a fuss about the noise, more so because punk rock dredges up memories of only one person : my first boyfriend, Stone.

Stone and I met when we were both doing our Australian Matriculation; before I knew of my husband 's existence. He was a straight A student with a premium scholarship - and perhaps because of my weakness in Math, I had a weakness for Engineering students. Stone was chaos - a conflicting young man. He had within him, boundless energy and a total lack of enterprise; a brilliant mind and a total lack of judgment. In the Fifth Form he was expelled from boarding school for taking part in a brawl, which eventually killed a prefect. Once, we had a massive argument, let's just break-up I said. He came to class the next day with a bleeding arm : he had written my name on it with a broken Coke bottle.

He was funny and different and impetuous. He had a yearning for complete freedom that was terribly virulent.

We lived for the weekend. Friday afternoons meant rugby at Padang Utara and at night we'd cram into a car with his friends, trawl all the gigs in town. There weren't that many, it's either a young Search doing the Kinks or Lefthanded going down on a Flying V. It didn't matter, all I wanted to do was go out, do something I knew my parents wouldn't have approved. (It's too late to ground me now, Papa). We'd sleep wherever - a cousin's house, in a car parked beside the Seven-Eleven in Bangsar, a bench at the train station. We even drove to Pulau Carey in the dead of night, because a friend's brother was a manager at the plantation and could give us a place to lay our hats.

Despite all appearances, I pretty much kept to the basic rules : no sex, no alcohol, no drugs. Stone was very decent about ensuring my boundaries weren't traversed, although later, he did make an exception about kissing in the back of a bus. It took him 8 months to finally muster enough courage to ask if he could hold my hands, and even when I said yes, he didn't know what to do with them. My best friend at that time, let's call her Ms Sheila E, suspected he was gay. Ms E thought little of him, of course, and this was something she would later come to regret.

We split after Matriculation : I went to Australia, and he was placed in the land of his idols : the UK. Long distance relationships among teenagers don't work; it wasn't a real relationship to begin with. I soon fell into a tangle with Saiffuddin, who insisted that I should inform my erstwhile boyfriend that it's now truly over. I didn't tell, and Stone remained loyal.

I wrote fewer and fewer letters, and called him rarely. By the end of 1997, I had confessed to my friend, Ms E that I was in love with someone else. It was cowardly, but I was hoping that Ms E, who was also in the UK, could break it gently to Stone. In 1988, pre-dawn on New Year's Day, he called me from Trafalgar Square and asked me if I still loved him. I didn't know what to say. Saiffuddin was sitting up in bed and I could see his eyes, even in the darkness, imploring me to come clean. No matter what I felt for this wild child, I could never marry Stone. So I told him it was the end.

Ms Sheila E said after the phone call Stone went on a rampage. I thought he would never want to hear of my name again - my name was a scar he wanted to be rid of. A few years later, I visited my friend Ms E at her home, and enquired about my old boyfriend.

"He's here", she said, brightly. She meant it literally - Stone came out from some back room, smiling sheepishly and shaking my husband's hand. Ms E married Stone soon after and they now have a couple of boys.

Stone is doing very well in his career and turned out to be a responsible father, after all. But recently the two went into trial seperation, and I bumped into him at Hard Rock Cafe as he was about to jump onto his huge motorcycle. Ms E tells me she's dating her much younger fitness instructor, but I can hear in her voice she's still waiting for Stone to calm down and come home. It's that streak in him - that yearning for complete freedom, that virulent thing that rages within the man that I couldn't count on.

I should really call Ms E soon to see if her husband's now home.


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