A Wong way to go.

Parties bring the life out of people. You put on a best self, walk around, and chat up a stranger.

Play with words, throw in all the used phrases, put on a show, make a part of you last in the recipient’s mind.

Sometimes, the ones with all the good looks flirt, get poised, aiming to impress ya in front of a crowd. Ones less rowdy find a quiet side of the scene and escape into an inscape — through their phones — for reasons like: Shits. I hate people. I lack skills. I don’t know what to say. My self-esteem isn’t there. I just don’t feel like it. It makes me feel uncomfortable. They have to approach me first. (Yes! Yes! YES! They’re lies! Put your chair down now, calm yourself down.)

The ones — the wild, high-flung ones — jut around and turn a party a riot. Life of the party, loud and proud, the ones who make themselves memorable. The one guys pm two days later. You watched enough movies to have learned nothing new from what I wrote.

A funny metaphor for partgoers: skunks, turtles, wildfires.

On a night from March months ago, in a room packed with wildfires and people, Jon Wong took a minute or two or three to talk to a new kid like me.

Of mundanity like where you from, what course youre in, what made you come spent 5 years in a desert, a world away from humanity. Some can’t even remember what lunch looked like 5 hours ago, much less a day. Some try to.

Best part I remembered from that talk was he finished reading the entire Lord of the Rings thing. Couldn’t relate to that, I just smiled like an idiot and said nothing. The Hobbit was better, Jon.

Mostly, then onwards, we don’t talk much. Intimately, maybe no. Like colleagues, kinda yeah. But friendships have always been vague and subtle, maybe time cuts away the fog.

We would talk of books (lamely, I know), talk of things, and a knot of other things my head lost count of. But memories remain, he would always answer my questions calmly, thoughtfully, wisely, I dare add — respectfully. Always means every-time. Every-time as in for the past 6 months that has passed us all by like a overspeeding car, blaring thru all the red lights, which isn’t much or long.

All I know, he’s a multi-talented guy who plays worship music on the piano(isn’t it an organ?). A timid, quiet soul they might say, a helpful, inquiring fella I add. A guy always doing things behind the scenes, making things go okay, make ‘em smooth. More than an ICT guy, more than a man with answers, he’s a person you can wear time away with in silence — and still call a friend.

Every person alive has a weakpoint: inability to sing, inability to study chemistry, to strum a guitar, to uhm make a crowd laugh, to cook something beyond maggi. It’s universally true. But the inability to love — silently, subtly — is unheard of. It’s the same thing, same true thing every hurt being needs, just in a different packaging.

All the things you worship — beauty, your face, money, what your certs can help you earn, your reputation, your face, people, facebook likes- life will bang it on a brickwall and burn it down. Because it never, never lasts. Or matter.

What has and had mattered are the spiritual milestones you reached, and all the friendships you made.

“I will miss him cz he always come to my room. He doesnt need to say anything, he just need to be there.” (Elvis B., 2015).

It’s hard to out-quote a singer. Especially one with such great rapping power.

I remember still, when asked, he said, “I think it’s to not to focus on the self too much. Try to think of the other person first. Focus on the other person.” (paraphrase) when I bugged with on how to kill social awkwardness — all those long weeks ago. And among all the confident answers he said in small tones. Thanks wei. You probably can’t care to remember, but I try.

After a week from now, or two, a church would have one less worshiping team member, one less pianist, one less behind-the-scenes guy. To all, (willfully-or-reluctantly to admit) a very good friend. It’s going to be a pain to miss you.

man in center

Rock on wherever you go man. God be with you!

(give masters a go, here @utp Jon Wong.)

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