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.
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.
a fortnight ago [redacted] & i spoke of love and loneliness. we always do, and for good reason: we understand each other. she knows what it’s like to get so pointlessly, absurdly, intensely infatuated for months on end it becomes unhealthy and borders on obsession (or maybe the latter bit is just me… two times too many). she both panders to, and rejects, the gripe and thrust of that infatuation the way i have before, and presently, as a preventive measure, refuses its Entry Into Being the way i do and would now, lest either of us remotely entertain its jarring company and have it disrupt our current internal state of affairs — hallmarked by peace. she’s been through the turmoil and experienced firsthand the Clash of the Titans (Feeling and Rationality), and is, or will be, more cautious now, when entering the court.
can you love?
—intimacy scares me, i said.
maybe i waver between pouring love out in buckets and in trickles. my days of poetry & written (and thus permanently catalogued) affection are long gone; i haven’t sat down and worded an essay about why i love someone with outpouring emotion in so long i worry my ability to do so may have expired. but i still love in unfelt breezes & rifting winds, and i still get giddy with sudden gratitude & fullness in bouts. i think the intensity of love i feel for people has mellowed remarkably to a comfortable consistency — please (to self) not let any false sense of loneliness diminish this sentiment to anything less than warmth.
why do we differentiate between different types of love? I feel like unnecessary complications arise because of this categorical approach we seem to take when dissecting our emotions — the classic question: do you like him/her or like like him/her? I hate having to organise my feelings as if they’re so straightforward, as if emotions are scientific & rational. what is up with this societal pressure to clearly distinguish my attractions? why do I have to decide if what I’m feeling is romantic attraction or intensely platonic fondness if I can’t actually properly tell? why are there so many different types of love? can’t I just love you?
June 8, 2015
sometimes i think about you and put a pedestal underneath your feet and attach mysteries to your most probably straightforward life and perspective of life; you become ethereal and almost divine, in a sense, as i view you as a swan in the shadows, in intriguing beauty and beautiful intrigue. it is not hard to imagine you soft, nor is it dark to find you close to light—that is how i find you compelling, poetic, delicate, as a touch-me-knot, knots the path of your mind. (and i will forget-you-not.) but then i look up and realise that when we tilt our heads up to face the days and nights, we are both looking at the same sky, and all of a sudden you become small, and personal, and human. you become gibbously intact and cross-limbed, faulted by default. and you become even more enthralling.
so I’m reading through my old blog and I stumble across post after post about relationships that never manifested into anything more than yearnings.
August 30, 2014
will always be fond of you
I’ve never had a crush on anyone but I’ve been infatuated by a number, and allow me to dissect (for my own sake) what I mean when I label the attraction as such: Continue reading “i can’t do love”