In the end, everything is ephemeral – the stuff you own, the relationships you cling to.
It is said that attachment is the root of all sufferings.
It is also said that one must be detached – this way, you won’t be hurt.
But does it mean we must run to some mountain top and meditate till we levitate or take refuge in some remote cave and escape from the world?
I don’t think so.
I believe you can be in the world but not of the world.
I believe it’s all about your willingness to let go.
It’s tough to let go, they say.
I have no qualms doing so.
My wife notices that I hang out with different people at different stages of my life.
She says it as if there’s something negative about that.
I believe that’s only natural. That I have different friends and acquaintances at different times of my life, that’s only normal, isn’t it?
Unless extra efforts are made to nurture friendships, most friendships will not stand the test of time.
That’s a reality and let’s not be naïve.
More than 30 years ago, a friend named me as his son’s godfather but after a while, it became almost impossible to meet up with my friend – very busy this week, very busy next week, next month doesn’t look good too, the month after is bad as well, etc.
I got the message.
After a critical examination and analysis to determine that it wasn’t my behavior that caused this attitude in my friend, I stayed away.
Got out of his life.
Let go of that friendship.
Helped a friend set up his vintage tea shop, contributed stocks from my family’s collection for him to sell, bought furniture for his store, and contributed to his business by buying him several pieces of very expensive equipment.
Also spent time helping him man his store when he went back to his home country to visit his parents.
Zero compensation. Did it as a favor. Not once, but numerous times.
Once when I was there, sales skyrocketed.
I mean who would go to a dark corner in an obscure mall to source out vintage tea?
Friends sought me out, and spent tens of thousands simply because I was running that store temporarily.
But now that he considers himself a runaway success, he no longer has time for me.
Wanted to meet him for a quick bite a few months back but busy, very busy, you can’t imagine how busy, oh so busy, super busy I actually had to hire a couple of helpers.
So bloody busy he even uninvited me from a previously-arranged lunch.
Okay, got the message.
I’m not stupid, okay?
I’ll get out of your ultra-busy life.
Let me not be an interruption as you progress towards your first billion.
Some cocky foreigners have no idea how precarious their position is; they have no idea they can be kicked out of the country and asked to leave within 24 hours.
No need to be high and mighty, you’re just a tea merchant.
Realize you need locals as friends who can bail you out of trouble.
There were others.
Quite a few others.
I am a magnet for assholes, yes sir!
Once they sucked the maximum out of you, you are persona non grata to them.
Your usefulness to them has expired.
Why would I want to continue having such fucktards in my contacts, on my LinkedIn, on my WhatsApp?
Also, sometimes, I knew right from the very beginning, that I had no intention whatsoever to keep in touch with anyone after I have left a company or an organization.
It’s not that I have moved on after making use of people.
It’s often because the company or organization was so full of shitty Neanderthals to begin with.
IBM is a case in point.
I spent 10 years there, but the culture was so toxic, filled with smiling tigers holding hidden daggers, waiting to stab you in the back, scumbag bosses whose number one priority was to protect their own jobs, and who won’t hesitate to steal your ideas and your thunder or to throw you under the bus if that worked in their favor and colleagues who talk to you only if and when they needed something from you. No one was authentic. Everyone was a phony and completely plastic. Very few people – especially overpaid C-level political animals – actually knew anything or did any real work. The IBM name was a clutch without which these meatheads would not stand a chance in the real world.
I can count on the fingers of one hand, after spending 10 years of my life there, people I genuinely like and respect and whom I consider true friends. Very few indeed. Just a handful.
Why would I want to have anything to do with those other retards after I have served my time and paid my dues?
Recently one such idiot who showed zero emotion or concern when I left seven years ago, suddenly contacted me out of the blue to say that this was his last week in IBM and that we should meet for coffee soon.
Should meet for coffee? Should? Fuck you, was what I was thinking. For seven years you kept quiet, didn’t even bothered to say goodbye when I left, didn’t care how I was doing, and now that you are going to be jobless, you remember me?
Because you want to know how I am able to charge clients 10k a day?
A week later the same shithead sent me a text and said “I’ll be in the vicinity of Changi Village tomorrow afternoon; we should have our coffee at 2pm.”
Oh you wanted to see me but it has to be at your convenience?
Changi Village is in the boondocks.
Well, go fuck yourself!
Am I a bitter old man?
Just a realistic old man who has learned his lessons.
As I grow older, I appreciate solitude.
Let the world go on living their lives like “showreels.” Let them brag about the thousands of Facebook friends they have, their expensive watches, their Harleys, their second homes, their costly handbags, their exotic holidays, their delicious meals, blah, blah, blah.
Know what? I’m so not impressed.
In fact, I have to fight hard to hold down my vomit.
Trying to show me you are wealthy by flaunting your possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping food all over your body.
What are you trying to prove?
It is totally gross, and it is such a pathetic indication of how secure and hollow and empty you really are inside you.
What a sad human being you must be.
Thank God for earplugs ha ha!
There is beauty in quietness.
There is serenity in silent contemplation.
The sound of silence is mesmerizing and therapeutic.
It delights the soul.
A pipe or cigar in hand, a good book, sips of single-malt or cognac.
And total silence.
Who needs more?
Often, I wish I could unmeet some people.
These include relatives.
And in the last few years I have made several attempts to decouple – for want of a better word – from some people.
I don’t give a shit if these are people I’ve known for decades.
Time means nothing to me. How long I’ve known you means nothing to me.
If you were a crook 30 years ago, you are still a crook today.
Often a worse one.
Stop bothering me and stop asking me for help.
If you think you are the only one with problems and want to be a pain in my life, please, you are not the only one with issues.
What’s your problem? Suck it up and deal with it, the way everyone else does.
Oh, was that insensitive? Did that hurt you? If so, grab some tissues and get out of my sight.
Stop bitching and moaning about how unfair your life is.
Stop whinging about how tough things are.
Yes, stop bothering me.
With smartphones and laptops, it’s so easy to get rid of people like you, it’s almost fun.
Those days you simply cross people out of your address book and don’t enter their details again the next time you start a new one.
Nowadays all you need is a click or a couple of keystrokes and they are gone.
Out of sight.
Yes, I have made many people vanished in the past few years.
Some irritated me like hell – so they get deleted, blocked and they disappear from my world.
Yup, piss me off and you’re history.
Some were freeloaders from day one, thankless bastards who ate my food, smoked my cigars and drank my booze and who still have the gall to say bad things behind my back while robbing me blind in my presence – deleted, blocked and now gone for good!
Others were simply those who were ungrateful and who betrayed me or cheated me and did me harm – deleted, blocked and now gone!
I hate to say this, but I have realized – prove me wrong if you will – that most people are ungrateful.
They would even bite the hand that feeds them.
Yes, in the end, most people are plain unappreciative and ungrateful. They will take advantage of your generosity because they think you are a fool whose kindness they can exploit.
Who exactly are these people?
Let me just say that sometimes the persons you’d take a bullet for are the ones behind the gun.
Know what I mean?
I no longer have time for such people.
I have enough of meaningless friendships, forced interactions and unnecessary conversations.
The knife some people stuck in my back became useful when it came time to cut my ties with them.
Wait for my memoir – all will be revealed in explicit, graphic details, names will be named – to be published after I have died.
And talking about death, it is a known fact that the number of people who attends your funeral all depends on the weather.
By the way, I don’t give a rat’s ass if no one shows up.
No expectations, no disappointments.
It is as it is.
Now let me light up my 200-dollar cigar and chill while you can go ahead and polish your Harley which you have bought via hire-purchase.