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October 4, 1999   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

Remember my thing with "Japanese Girl?" Well, she hasn't relocated to Singapore and remains in my city. We also meet like once a week. In the meantime, she has this weird thing going with this 27 year old kid who's balding and very immature (her words, not mine). Maybe weird is too strong a description, but she travels with him but doesn't engage in any "hanky-panky;" she doesn't let him hold her hand, yet she still dates him 3 times a week. So, one day I asked her, "what's the deal with you and him; are you guys boyfriend/girlfriend or what?" And she said, "I don't know what the definition is but I see him regularly." Fair enough. But at the same time, this is the woman whose portrait I spent days painting. Life is not fair, I swear. (I sold her portrait for $4,000.00; enough money for sushi and sake. HA!)

Anyway, I'm dating someone...well, sort of. Jacky has had a thing for me for some time, and we ran into each other on the street the other day and started going out. She started getting coy when things got a little hot and heavy. I totally understand that. I'm pretty good at flirting and "romancing" if and when I feel like it. The consequence is that girls think that I'm either a playboy or untrustworthy. Sometimes it gets to me that I have to "prove" myself to be worthy, other times I don't really care. Tell me I'm getting a little too jaded and cynical, will you?

Tell me, BG, why do many women LIKElike me, but are afraid of me? If I'm such a danger, why be attracted to me in the first place? Huh? Are we not but a bowl of clay with a quart of blood in it, as according to Epictetus?

-- El Duderino in Malaysia

Dear Dude,

Dangerous? Untrustworthy? Huh. I don't know. I mean, I know you're sweet and sincere, but do you think you might sometimes come across as ... a little slick? Maybe you're doing a bit too much of the "romancing," the verb, which does have shades of "playboy," the noun. Or are you dating girls who are scared at the cite of "blood?" I'm really not sure. But I do know that you are naturally smart and funny and kind and talented. So I'd maybe do a little less of the "proving" yourself with oil paints and clay and blood and Roman-Empire stoics. Though I would like to leave you with this

IMPORTANT EPICTETUS MAXIM: "Anexou kai apexou." ("Bear and forbear.") And she, someday, will be there.

Breakup Girl



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