She stays in my head, my Gillian. No, Gillian.

    The last time I talked to her was sometime in the spring semester of my first year. It was through ICQ. During my first fall in Cal, Gillian called me up about two times in every three weeks. I never called her, however, there was a time when I felt so lonely that I called her up late fall. We talked for almost half an hour. These days, the IDD rates to the States have plunged to a ridiculously low price of nineteen cents a minute and no one calls me.

    I ask myself periodically why we broke up. Circumstances - that was the most obvious reason. Life was moving too fast for us. We were separated by the largest ocean in the world. For a period of time, I was waking up groggily next to unidentified female bodies after nights of heavy partying at frat gigs. I felt guilty whenever she called, complaining about her endless workload of homework and hall activities. I was having a wild time.

   The fan spins slowly. I think there's a problem with the wiring. I feel hot and sticky lying on my bed. Heat emanates from the lone light bulb in my room two inches away from my face. I see shadows on the wall. They remind me of the times whenJack and I smoked joints in our dimly lit room. Gillian was probably slogging over her projects and logistical planning.

    Freshman year was the best and the most fucked up year I've had.

    I disliked the Singaporean government scholars in Cal and Stanford, their clean-cut lifestyles and their tendency to interact among themselves. They've gotten better along the years but I still sneer at some of them - their hesitancy to drink and their nerd-like study habits. When I stopped talking to Gillian, I felt there was almost nothing left to hold me back.

    Now watching the blades of the fan cut slowly into the still air, I realise that there isn't anything tying me to California either.