On the bed, while watching Friends (1994)

As I sat across the bed from my monitor, enjoying a delicious bowl of pecan and oat cereal, with Friends playing on computer,  is when I recall an incident that Phaedrus once shared.

Phaedrus had a habit of watching an episode of Friends every night before he went to bed. Perhaps he had felt lonely back in the days when his first love left him and he had found company in the love that the characters shared; I didn’t ask.

But whatever love he once had for the show he watches ritualistically, it died soon after his chase for pure rationality and reasoning. He lost the connection to the characters on scene and he no longer felt that Ross and Rachel were ever truly in love. His reason being Ross’ early obsession on Rachel; obsession is not love.

It was not pure, and that was against everything that Phaedrus stood for.

Despite this disdain for the characters, something else within the show hooked him and he began to watch the show not for the story itself, but for the writers behind the story. In his eyes, the show is a representation of how the writer thinks human relationship worked in the 90s, and he was determined to tear it all apart to study it.

Sitting across the bed, I’m watching the season five, where Ross was married to the fine British lady Emily, only to have said the wrong name at the altar. Of all places to say the wrong name.

At this point, Rachel decided to tell Ross that she still harbours feelings for him. Phaedrus said it made him sick, that Rachel was selfish and didn’t know what she was doing, that this was not acceptable.

He further reasoned out that, this whole drama should not have even existed in the first place, pointing to the beginning of season two where Rachel and Ross could’ve compromised if they had better control over their emotions.

“But as played, what would you do?” I asked. He said he didn’t know, but he knows enough to never let it happen to him.

So there I sat, remembering all the bits of conversations we had and it was tiring. He is baffling to talk to, in the sense that, there is no talking to him. He is too keen on slicing every event up with the process of logical thought and move on. Instead of submerging himself within the problem, he scans it with his deadbeat logical process and moves on.

But coming back to the story on screen, Ross and Rachel’s on and off relationship now intrigues me. In fact, even having a baby together did not brought them together until they face the fact that they have to both separate in the end did it brought them together.

Of course, this could be due to writers wanting to drag the story out. But I find myself asking: “Do we ever stop loving someone?”

It is a curious bit. When we said that we have moved on, I don’t think it means that we stopped loving that person but rather, we are not in that same space and time that we were in with the same person anymore.

Thus given the right state of mind, place and time, will we fall back in love with the person we used to date? I think it is likely. But for this rule to apply, I feel the key here is that both love must be pure in essence.

What is pure, we’ll explore soon enough.

Thus I can conclude that if we do really love a person, beyond all that there is, perhaps then, we could never stop loving them. But rather, we are just not in that place anymore to love them.

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