love

The Pursuit of Evasive Things

The Pursuit of Evasive Things

Sometimes you have to wonder how
we can want the things we want
in the unapologetic way that we do.

A violent stirring
in the depths of our being;
our insides reeling
with an insatiable restlessness.
A wanting that quickly rises
to the surface of our skins;
Piercing and determined to make itself known.

But it’s almost as if they heard us-
Feet heavy and eager
An audible lunge towards our prey

Their eyes widen;
Startled by our hunger,
they hastily take flight.

And again, leaving us wanting.

Even if they are evasive as ever.

But what is life’s purpose if not to chase after our passions?
What are the steps we take for if not to bring us closer

And farther

And closer

Until suddenly.

The dust settles.
The planets align.
The time is right.

And what was once evasive
Perpetually keeping their distance
Beyond arm’s reach
Is finally nestled calmly and perfectly
in the palm of our hands.

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In Love with (the Idea of) You

I’m in love with the idea of you.

For the longest time, I’ve been spreading myself thin trying to understand it – how you can only love the mental outline of the person you used to know like the back of your hand. Whose habits you have memorized, whose peeves you’ve mastered and skillfully dodged like mines in a field, whose features you’ve committed to memory like the map to your favorite city. From that disobedient twirl of hair, to the crook of a smile the constellation of freckles, the exact number of tequila shots it’ll take before her cheeks start to flush fervently.

I used to love so many things about you. Especially the ones that others didn’t know about. Over time, I found that your vulnerabilities were just as beautiful as your strengths.

I loved our conversations – the ones we’d have over breakfast, in quiet parks, in that 30-second stoplight.

I loved your jokes, even those that weren’t particularly funny but you deliver the punchline with so much conviction that it deserved the consolation. I loved your habits, your ragged penmanship, that knowing smile that reaches your eyes when I’m just a few seconds shy of forgiving you. I loved how you slurred your speech when you’re too sleepy to talk, vomiting gibberish in low murmurs. I love how in a sea of monotonous routines, you were playfully unpredictable. You couldn’t bore me even if you tried. 

I loved how you eagerly shared with me the things you loved – and I remember the warmth I felt when I would see you sigh with happiness. With Contentment. But were you? Because I was.

And so I loved you until it was easy to talk about you in the past tense. Until logic tamed emotions. Until the heart firmly understood the difference from what it wants to what it cannot have.

Now, I only love the idea of you. I love the poetry that your memories evoke. The words that gather at the bottom of my feet, slowly pooling up to my ankles like vines – begging to be written. But it ends there.

Now, you are just a muse in my art, to be displayed for all seasons in my gallery of secret regrets. I will revive you in a million ways. I will sculpt you in how I see fit. You are a mere idea. To be re-written over and over.  One story with a thousand permutations. With no definitiveness. No spine nor structure. I will rewrite you over and over because I’m in love with the idea of you. Formless, boundless, infinite you.

 

 

To Ricochet Between Remembering and Forgetting

When I remember you, I remember you in bits and pieces; like unfinished sentences.

Like a poorly crafted movie that knows no fluidity of transition, there was nothing elegantly seamless about it. In fact, you could see the clear edges, the abrupt punctuation. It is not like a gradient where the cobalt sea melts with the teal of the sky, but rather, a series of ricocheting between remembering and forgetting, remembering and forgetting.

Laughter. Drive-thru’s past midnight. I don’t remember enjoying a fudge sundae that much, and I don’t even fancy ice cream.

An argument – to agree to disagree on 80’s music and peanut butter.

Late night mundane talks. “I had a really crappy day.” “Tell me about it.”

Apologies. “I can’t go to bed mad at you.”

Long drives. That priceless look on you when you go passed the speed limit. 

Moments of pride. “Fine.”

A pause. The hint of a smile that grew from the corner of your mouth.  “I love you”, you exhaled.

I remember seconds of you, seconds of me, seconds of us. Fragments that I have never been able to play as a whole. 

You weren’t a blur, but rather, a recurring clarity. 

Le Fableux destin d’Amelie Poulain


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Popularly known as Amelie (2001) in the U.S., it is a whimsical French romantic comedy about an introvert that falls in love in the most cliche way: love at first sight. She trips on her own heartbeats over a man that has an anxious obsession for collecting torn-up photos discarded in a remote photobooth in the Gare du Nord, stitches it back together, and keeps it in an album. Fate puts the album in Amelie’s hands. 

Amelie Poulain who “loves to notice the details that no one ever sees” is intrigued by his unusual habits and eventually insinuates a cat-and-mouse love game. 

I’ll leave you with vague details in case you wan to see the film for yourself. But can I just say: I love how the movie is so meticulous. 

There’s this minor character named Joseph who is depicted as a jealous lover who has a penchant for popping bubble wraps, Amelie’s character loves cracking crème brule with a teaspoon and she likes skipping stones and finds pleasure in plunging her hand down a sack of grains (come to think of it, there is something oddly therapeutic about doing that – it’s something I’m always tempted to do when I see a sack of coffee beans). When Amelie’s mother died, her father dedicated his leisure time to making a mini-shrine in memory of her – the crowning glory? A garden gnome.

Just take my advice for it; it’s a pretty awkweird yet awesome movie. 

Boy Sees Girl

The way she is aware of every part of her, every tiny nudge of movement she makes, is enigmatic and inviting all the same. I try my best to lift my gaze elsewhere, but it’s fixated on her.

She knows it, i’m sure. She’s aware of that strand of hair that falls like a curtain over her cheeks – flushed with a shy hint of pink. She brushes the prodigal hair back to where it belongs, but not in a swift motion. Instead, in a graceful whip of her fingers. There’s nothing idle about the way she is tracing the lip of her cup of coffee, too. She stops momentarily as if contemplating the sentence she just read from her book. Like she had just read the climactic twist – her eyes widening in interest. Her feet are lightly tapping the ground, as if to some musical beat in her mental playlist. I casually wonder what songs she might like.

“This is all a part of some conscious choreography,” I thought. And that’s when she looked right at me, as if my thoughts suddenly became audible to her. She held her gaze for a few heart-stopping seconds and then looked away.It was like driving under a tunnel – unconsciously, I held my breath.

For the next five minutes, I cannoned into a grueling mental debate with myself whether I should take the seat next to her and do what I know best: Awkward Small Talk. Maybe she’ll find it endearing, or otherwise think I’m a creep. But then I decided to tuck my pride away and just walk over to her. So I swallow a thick gulp of my pride, and make my way to her – coming up with all kinds of permutations of “Hey, is this seat taken?”. For a split second, I thought about taking a comedic approach – Joey Tribbiani from Friends style: “How You Doin?” but I had coffee, not tequila so that might as well have ended in a wreck.

I felt like a walking cliche from some rom-com movie, but what the hell.I clear my throat and tap her lightly on her shoulder. She smiles.

Conscious choreography, I tell you. 

Muted Logic x Good Intentions

…Equals a repetitive cycle of unintended self-torture.

At some point in your life, you will invest your feelings on someone who is not going make it worth your while. You will know this; the trade-off is not advantageous on your end, you give more than you take and the proportions are disturbingly uneven. Finally, you swear to yourself that you will walk away. You take a step out of the door. The conviction is there.

Just not quite enough.

Low and behold, you accept the apology (society has succumbed to the notion that there is a currency for forgiveness in the form of roses, endearing words and red velvet cupcakes). Not because he’s worth it, but mostly out of habit.

He succeeds. And suddenly all logic is lost on your end. Your sense of reason is muted and dulled by his charm. You welcome his quips with a laughter that knows no holding back. You hate how he gets you, like a book he’s read a thousand times over; a road he can travel with his eyes closed.

You rest in the comfort of his side as he pulls you in; you convince yourself that you belong there – and that no one else will figure out how to love the parts of him that are difficult. The method to his madness, and how to calm him down is your forte. It is self-assurance at its worst and delusion at best.

Come to think of it, we are tragic beings in our own right: “settling for the love we think we deserve” –as that overly quoted statement from Perks of Being a Wallflower goes.

Before you know it, it’s no longer love that is responsible for your decision to stay. Sometimes you stay because you want to be the one that makes him better. You want to be good enough for them to drop their vices or womanizing habits. Sadly, love is often replaced by the need for self-assurance. For once, you just want to be good enough. 

And that’s the problem.

The truth is, That’s not for you to decide. You can’t change anybody. They’ll have to want that for themselves. And the sooner you start to accept that and let nature take its course on things instead of forcing your intentions, albeit good ones, the easier it gets.