Plum wine. I can still taste it in my memory, always a bashful reminder of trickling, seeping fondness in wet November. A draught, the cold of an earlier drizzle, is wrapped around us, agonising my hair, as I stand self-consciously, facing you, fingering the mouth of a clear plastic cup, which is dripping with condensation from too many ice cubes that have made the alcohol taste deceptively less threatening. My voice is shrill with mock-shock: You haven’t seen Pulp Fiction or Fight Club? Whiplash? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? You’re deprived, kid. Add them all to your watch list. You have more important priorities than just films and TV shows, of course. I’m teasing. Stop smiling at me with that look so indecipherable. I ditch your gaze, multiple times, and shift my glance away, pretending to be distracted by the laughter from the bar a distance across, packed with expats and tourists. I look intently at the columns of windows above us, particularly at the ones glowing white, occupied, and wonder aloud, pointlessly, if they’re residential units. My face is turned away from yours, as if I’m taking in the air and ambiance and sky. I’m not. No — I’m telling myself, Steady breathing is good for level-headed thinking. I inhale deeply, in silent drawls: Please part this fog of feeling, so fluttery and foreign, so I might see a clearing. I turn back to you, already a little lost in my reservation. Dazed. We make eager remarks to do This and try That together. Timidly, I wonder, to myself this time, if these are just words that will never be realised. There’s this really amazing restaurant — you need to try it. Bring you there one day. Panic and resignation, sunken in, turn my tongue bitter to the taste. Are we fleeting? These plans… Will we even still be talking at all, one month down the road? I am notorious for provisional companionship. I haven’t made a new, lasting friend in months. Will we drift, and have only nights like this to look back upon when we remember each other, passingly? It pains me to even consider the possibility of either of us just being the other’s A Few Evenings—/—A Warm Lunch—/—My November’s Company—/—Oh, Yes, I Remember, Tenderly, Of Time Well-Spent Together… How Have You Been? What Have You Been Up To? Long Time No See! Talks of the near and distant future. Uncertainties and wants. Dreams bigger than, and beyond, the borders of our small city-state. I think of Roy and his speech we’d just heard less than an hour ago — All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. I grapple, grasp, grip onto tonight. I cannot predict if you, too, will grab hold — so at least, for now, for me, I think privately, if we are to forget each other, I will not lose this moment, or the others in time, to time, please; I will want to remember you in perfect echo, framed by the moon and neon lights from the bar, on a rooftop overlooking trees that overlook roads that overlook the city from a near afar. You are showing me richness bigger than, and beyond, the borders of my known feeling. My cup is almost empty. My palms are moist. I turn to you — or you turn to me — one of us turns to the other: I don’t want to say goodbye yet. One of us, or both of us, are bending and stretching a moment, into the indefinite bearer of immortal rain. We can continue this inside, or downstairs, or on a sweaty 1.7-kilometer trek to City Hall MRT. Cheaper to book an Uber from there, yes? Yes. Okay. Let’s go. I finish the rest of your plum wine. Sweet as a kiss.
i feel this deeply, say this plainly, mean this sincerely: i love you so much
… Hugged and cradled and gripped and loved until you breathed again, with me …
… I trust you so much with my entire Being and Self. My heart is safe. My heart is safe.
It is so tender and alive …
… It is a pain that is inevitable in a love that persists throughout the pain, which is made worthwhile and bearable by the love. Toughened by the pain. Softened by the love. Rinse and repeat. Strip down and soap up and lather and slosh. Rinse and repeat …
i cut out a paper-traced heart and watch it dance in the air. with two halves for a pair of wings, my baby pink butterfly winks and drifts against the pucker of wind. he welcomes her supple body, and she, his: folds against flitters, lulls against languor. she clasps his breezes between her lips, like breath.
how bare i bear the loose, limpid liberation of lullaby laughter (stripped back), rising and resting above sitting room static and chatter, on a peeking toes-out blanket afternoon. i pair apples with green tea and clink my glasses with yours clumsily. you are soft, shy and smiling in my ever-reaching palm and peck.
the human pursuit of perfection is the human pursuit of balance: between certainty and complacency; candid trust and careful self-preservation; liberty and leniency; faith and false hope; contemplation and indulgence; curiosity and obsession; optimism and a realistic outlook; innocence and ignorance; respectability and relatability; expectations that drive and expectations that cripple; disappointments that empower and disappointments that encumber.
found this in a document of unused words; can’t remember what i’d intended it for—
Spring Sonata. Beethoven. Begins in allegro. Moves into adagio molto espressivo. Allegro molto. Moist.