Have you met Eric Gamonal? He holds no office yet most senators like him. He dates few women but many find him irresistible. Friends he has many, as well as an ever-expanding pool of acquaintances. Often times I think of ways to make myself a well-liked and popular guy. Inevitably, I end up trying to emulate Eric Gamonal.
Eric Gamonal and I actually share much in common. He has read many American authors, I have read some American authors. He has the ability to sleep for literally dozens of hours at a time. I can sleep a good twelve or thirteen. He is very funny in public, I am funnier in private. He has connections to the illustrious Conor Moore, I have second and third hand connections to the illustrious Conor Moore. He’s white, I’m Asian. In fact, what I’ve realized is that I’m simply a downgraded model of Eric Gamonal. Call me the beta test.
It’s not like Gamonal is the best-looking guy in the world, either. Everything he has done, all the power he commands over legions of man, is achieved by the pure effort of his personality. This makes him all the more admirable: he is truly a man conceived of his own Platonic self-image.
What Gamonal has that I lack: confidence. Confidence, properly defined, is the ability to act like nothing is your fault in any given situation whilst maintaining absolute authority. Gamonal will do something wrong, but the blame slips right off, and in fact, somehow he’s come out ahead in the end. Properly defined, Gamonal is the archetypal pesky-mischievous yet irresistibly likable rogue-thief.
Example: Once, Gamonal tried to poison me. We were having some Cap’n Crunch, and I tasted something bitter in my mouth.
FRED: What kind of poison are you trying to feed me?
ERIC: (taking a deliberate, Gamonal-like turn of the head) Oh, that? (He points to the box with cocked wrist.) That’s poisonberry.
I really tried to hate him after that, but that poisonberry joke was flawless, especially since I got really sick. He even came to visit me at the hospital, which I thanked him profusely for.
Another Gamonal story: There was this other time, when I happened to be walking along Telegraph Avenue towards campus, when I suddenly felt a stabbing pain in my shoulder. I look back and notice there’s literally a fork in it. I look up and see Eric Gamonal.
FRED: What was that for?
ERIC: Hey, are you hungry?
So we went to Top Dog. He did end up buying me a Kielbasa though. I know he didn’t mean anything by it.
This other time, Gamonal just kept kicking me in the ass for no reason. And of course, he got away with it. I was so mad, no so much because my ass hurt and I was crying and humiliated and nearly dropped my lunch money, but because I hadn’t even thought of doing that to anyone, much less had the guts to pull it off. But that’s Eric. He’s got the confidence to have that sort of imagination. I’m mostly just glad I get to hang around with him, even if he does go a little crazy every once in a while. I just wish he’d share this crazy side with others.