This morning I was woken up – shaken, more appropriately – by an earthquake that lasted a few seconds. Shortly after that I fell back to sleep again. Was I being too insensitive? But no – now that I am sober and can think of it properly – I was more shaken by the dream I was in that moment the earthquake hit than the earthquake itself. And it is only now, after so many years, that I can frankly acknowledge that this thing – matter – whatever – has been haunting me all along. All the denials I have been employing now appear to be plain defence mechanisms I have been employing to save myself from pain and embarrassment – albeit useless and pathetic. In my dream the two young couples join hands amidst loving crowds, literally bathed in their youthful glory. Seen from the perspective I was somewhere on the ground near the altar, but the approaching beauties did not seem to notice my presence. What would their reaction be if they saw me? I have never understood what happened, what I did that made them decide to stay away from me. I guess I shall never know. By now I have learnt the arts of human relationship and know that not everyone is meant to like you, to be your friend. In the same way you are not meant to like everyone you meet, and be friends with just anyone. And that is nobody’s fault. It is just the way it is. And (hopefully) this shall be the last time I think of these two persons with regret.