Case for platonic relationships in campus; not such a good idea

Platonic friendships are an amorphous and ambiguous arrangements that only serve to use the man, a sure sign that the man failed to get the woman to bed but they still can get along argues Silas Nyanchwani

Abigael. She is one of my favourite acquaintances. Only two things are wrong with her; her height, she is rather short for my towering height and may be her name. It is worse than Carol.

But Abigael is cute, pretty and beautiful all rolled into one. She is sweet. In fact if she were a drink, she would have been the finest grape juice straight from a Greek farm. She has that deep, slightly light chocolaty complexion that makes her skin edible. She is short, right? But her bum is well enhanced, tighter and compact that every man almost invariably spanks her in his mind. She dresses to expose this, as if to make up for her height, and well may be for her name.

Abigael…Abigael sounds like the name of an offensive even hazardous biological by-product in a community like Kalenjin. Its short version, Abi, is even masculine by default. But she doesn’t fuss much about it. She has no choice. Like everyone else when it comes to our names.

But her feet are perfect. If served with anything from mashed potatoes to bread toast would totally confound the taste buds. And she is bright, witty, exposed and feminine above all. I still don’t comprehend how she makes to be feminine so effortlessly, yet any woman with half her wit, behaves in every single way like a man from dressing to talking, if you get what I’m saying. Abigael is in the less than 20 women in this town who own more skirts and dresses than pants.

I like Abigael. I love Abigael. But I don’t like her name. We have been the best of friends since 2006. We met at Corner when we moved there. They have been phenomenon neighbors. Abigael finished from Precious Blood Kilungu, I think and proceeded to take some Horticultural courses at Egerton University and she just cleared campus, although one year younger than me.

Initially, we never talked at all as it is expected in newly constructed flats where guys hardly interact. But our friendship began from a likely coincidence. First, I think she used to have hots on me, especially with my height because she was through high school just like me. But a simple concurrence brought us together. I was in the balcony reading a Sidney Sheldon novel and she was reading the same book. I recall her asking me, rather fearfully,

“You too are a Sheldon fan?”

“I can’t get enough of him, he is simply a genius,” I enthused.

“I am almost done with all his books and I’m afraid.” She said in that eager to please sort of manner. I acted disinterested. I wanted to piss her off so that I can create some aura of mystery but her presence was so overpowering. Overwhelming. I liked her the first day I saw her. But the two of us were playing aloof but deep within we knew that somehow, somewhere down the line we were meant to be something. And Sidney Sheldon brought us together.

I wanted to date Abigael, make her my girlfriend but I made a terrible blunder, I let friendship overtook us by some slight oversight punishable by a lifetime of laughter from peers. I was the best qualified in the hood to date her by virtue that we were just through high school and all qualified to join campus. And we both had our shared interest.

She is a prolific consumer of coffee. Just like yours truly. I used to think that sort of it was a middle-class fad until I discovered that she is actually an addict. Abigael can consume mugs and mugs. So coffee dates, both domestic and external, mainly at Dormans in Yaya Centre and Java at Corner became our favourite past times. Our discussions mainly revolved around books, career, aspirations and all that crap that individuals who think they are serious get involved in. Basically, I was taking a long and laborious route to get laid. There were days that Abigael looked and behaved in manner suggesting that I should change my talk and talk to her in boy-girl, man-o-woman stuff.

I picked the clue but was doubly worried what going to bed with her might do to our friendship. Soon, she must have concluded that I’m an egghead as my boy Bon-I prefer calling me. She started treating more of a friend than anything else. We watched movies together, sometimes to the naked (pun) hours of the night, jumped to bed together and slept without doing anything suggestive. We both were paying cautiously. Having discussed with her virtually everything under the sun, we both knew how detrimental it will be if we succumbed to our bodily demands.

I never asked her about her boyfriend and she curiously avoided that topic altogether, may she was and is still not dating. Neither did she ever want to know how I’m fairing on emotionally. Until this last Saturday.

We were doing our coffee, though they have become fewer with time at some place in Karen. She had turned up with her sidekick, Naomy; a fat, obnoxious and really bitchy woman but whose company you don’t really mind owing to her not so original one-liners. She laughs quite loudly and annoyingly. No sooner she learnt that I’m Kisii than she embarked on a long monotone in broken mother tongue telling how Abigael talks about me nicely. Yeah…Like I recommend her the best books, novels and movies. That I take her to coffee dates, I’m generous and all that crap. I took offence.

Abigael complained the unexpected linguistic exile we had thrown her into and Naomy curtly told her that she was merely asking her who was she to me…Lover, fuckmates, friends with benefits, what exactly? She was rapping…

Like she was feeling a threat, she took offence. It was becoming a farce. To break the ice I threw the question to her,

“Abi, how can we define our friendship,” for some strange reasons, she was feeling embarrassed.

“Platonic friends.”

I was furious inwardly. Platonic. This word sounds like Swedish for pooh-pooh. Platonic. It sounds offensive and insulting. What was she thinking. I’m yet to talk to her to understand what she meant exactly. I felt cheated and violated. She could have said friends.

And that is the problem with platonic friendships. They are an armophous arrangements that normally pits the man as a loser and the lady as someone enjoying the good things a relationship can offer; comfort when she has been deserted, errands from the man, often perceived as a gentleman, and the few treats like movies and dinners. Platonic friendships mostly benefit the woman than they do a man.

Only women believe in such draconian and silly concepts as platonic love. For a man, it is either you are shagging or get the hell out of the way. I have come to learn rather late that, in relationships unlike politics, learn to state what you want from the word go. Don’t conceal your intentions, like it happened with me and Abigael.

A woman offers you some window period whereby she measures your potential and monitors your intentions. Not many women can give you obvious clues. They let you figure out that you are getting along fine and throw the bait.

But sometimes we are afraid of women as men. There are those women; you don’t exactly know what to do with them. They are not your idea of a girlfriend but they have certain desirable things that you won’t mind exploring, both physically and emotionally. When you start talking them up they are nice to you but you are never sure of what their reaction would be to your advances. You become so tactless that they in turn sit at the driver’s seat. In the long run, you don’t exactly live up to their expectations but they won’t mind having you around for other benefits.

May be they can offer you sex if their current relationships fail. You become the fall guy, or this man she intimidates her boyfriend when he is not behaving. In campus, it is an exploitative arrangement where the man delivers notes, movies and good company when she is particularly down. No man should accept this arrangement at any given time.

But whatever it is, platonic friendships should are the worst thing that ever came from the Greek philosophers. What was Plato thinking…?

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3 thoughts on “Case for platonic relationships in campus; not such a good idea

  1. Ans- Thinking about these helpless men!put squarely from Walibora’s converse… Mwanangu; wanawake ni wanyama! jadili.

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