What Now, Love?

My sincere apologies to everyone. I have been so caught up with everything that’s been going on with my life, that I neglected to write. Most importantly, I neglected the creative thirst that nourishes my spiritual life. And it’s been crowding me with details, thoughts, ideas, experiences that are just retreating to the recesses of my consciousness as stale energy. Lots of things run through my mind every day, being in a new city, being in love, being on top of the world. Why, why, why hadn’t I taken some time out of my own indolence to write about them? Now, it seems like they are all lost — because I’ve lost the immediacy of the euphoria, the proximity of emotions, the freshness of experiences to be able to capture them as clearly as it happened.

I wished I had written sooner, especially about the bursts of glow I felt as I was falling in love, over and over again, with K. When I think about him, the most beautiful image is one of his face, smiling, glowing with redness and love oozing out of his every pore in bed against a background of misty sunshine. Looking at the source of his immense joy. Me. Tears still flow down my cheeks every time I think of that moment, when I never thought I could experience such love from such a place of purity and sincerity. The kind of love people said was myth, that it only happened in Hollywood movies and fairytales. The kind of love that will make you lose yourself completely in the other.

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August 18

Something had been gnawing at me all day, but it was only in the evening when daylight had gone and everything had turned to sands of dusk that it hit me. It was August 18. The day I met L seven years ago. Has it been seven years already? How did seven years go by so quickly?

Then at that point, a wave of sadness came over me and seemed to engulf me and break my current consciousness. All of a sudden, I realized what had happened. Something that had been my life had died – in the way someone had a sudden heart attack and disappears from your life, your reality. And it seemed to have happened in a flash over the last couple of months.

I had been anticipating this moment of realization. When I wrote my post “Breaking Up” in June, it had struck me how removed I was from my “former” life, as if it had all been a dream that was somehow banished into a storage area of my heart and mind. But with the end of everything comes the need to grieve, to mourn the loss of all the hours, minutes and seconds that were lived and shared and everything in between. Because how else are you able to move forward? Every moment of your life from that point forward would be haunted by the shadows and ghosts of your former life, your routines, motifs and themes that exist in your memory bank. At every instant that you get that feeling of deja vu, like you’re back in that former life, it freaks you out, because you wonder if your present reality is real, if it’s not afterall a temporal state that has usurped the former.

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Breaking Up

I think of him sometimes. Not often; but from time to time, I see something that reminds me of him, of a certain memory in our past, of a certain way he would react to things, or of how he is doing. But the terrible thing is how I don’t think of him enough. In fact, he is absent from my mind and from my daily concerns most of the time. I go on with my new life, my new love and my new work without him. And that makes me feel a sense of guilt whenever I do think of him, because of the fact that we have been together for seven years and that we have shared so much together. Even if things had turned sour for the last few years or that we had become trapped in our own selfishness and inertia, we share family, common friends, common habits, pets and lived under the same roof. It scares me almost that he seems like such a distant part of my past and is stashed into an abandoned closet in my mind.

The night before I was to leave for San Francisco on my exciting roadtrip, we had one of those tiring “discussions” that we’ve been having for the last couple of years. But what was different about that discussion was that I knew it was going to be the final one — that there wasn’t going to be anymore. Maybe he knew too, but would rather pretend that things were alright than to face the truth and tried to come to terms with it. Something had broken in me just several months before — right about the time I started this blog, maybe shortly after. We had been having a lot of problems for a long time… perhaps the biggest problem is that we didn’t know why we were with each other. He was constantly unhappy with the way I did things and I was always nervous that I might be doing something wrong. And this resulted in a relationship that was at best stagnant and at its worst, stifling.

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Places, San Francisco

Oh Mila, Where Art Thou?

Yes, I’ve been MIA for a while now, but not just from you guys. Also from my family and friends back in Singapore and other places as well. Wow, I don’t even know where to start or what I should say, but the loyal followers among you would have guessed one or more of the following things from my occasional 140-character tweets:

1) I am still in San Francisco.
2) I have initiated a break-up with my husband.
3) I am in love.
4) I have found a job in Oakland, California.

Of course, the majority of you don’t give a shit and I might just be talking to myself here. But I felt a sort of responsibility to those of you who care to share the whirlwind experiences of the past two months of my life. Since I can’t explain everything in one post, I shall talk about one thing at a time. So first, why am I still in San Francisco? Wasn’t I supposed to be in various parts of the U.S. on a roadtrip that I was so psyched for?

So, logistically speaking. Initially, I planned to stay in San Francisco for only a couple of days, then David, my couchsurfing host in my next destination L.A., told me that he had to go on a business trip on the days we had agreed on. He asked if I could change my dates, and because I hadn’t booked a ticket yet, I decided to change my itinerary a little and stay a couple more days in SF. Here comes the really shitty part: after I had booked and paid for the ticket, nice guy David emails me and tells me that his business trip was cancelled and if I could change my ticket to the earlier date because it would actually be better for him. I had already set my heart and mind to staying a few more days in SF, so I suggested coming to L.A. at an even later date. Because the airline didn’t allow changes to the itinerary, I had to buy another ticket.

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Love, Sex

On Kissing, And Pray Tell

It was dark. It was damp. It was intensely uncomfortable. That’s what I remember about my first kiss. Then 13, with a head full of soapy Hollywood fantasies of the wonderful, all-important experience, I was beside myself with girlish joy that a cute boy of 14 would find me attractive enough to want to kiss me. With butterflies (and cocoons and caterpillars) gushing in my digestive system and a ball of spiky teenage lust, we went at it like we were going to devour the other’s face. The vivid image of his bony face and tongue slobbering on mine lurks in the “embarrassing” section of my mind and is triggered to my frontal lobe every time I kiss someone. Since then, every subsequent kissing session has been a conscious effort and attempt at trying to erase and replace that unfortunate first memory with better, more worthy experiences.

During a discussion in my Lit class last semester, the resident funny girl-class clown – me – started to talk about censorship on TV and made everyone laugh with cognizance at how you often see Malaysian TV censoring the parts where couples were about to snog each other. So, one minute, you see them getting into foreplay, all hot and steamy and before you know it, *snip*, and they are done with it – often out of the shower and on to the next scene. In the days when there was no cable, I would often go like, “What the fuck? As if we don’t know they are kissing. Doesn’t snipping it make it more obvious?” I mean, what’s going to happen if we see them kissing? Will we feel an unnatural impulse to want to grab someone on the street to stick our tongues down their throats? Wow, what a threat to national security that there would be people who might want to snog each other. Ring up the snog police, won’t you?

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Short stories

The Outsiders

From the balcony of her window, she could see the sad, thinking man, like her, sitting near his window, looking out into the space and cool of the night, wondering if there were more to this same-same routine he had come to call his “life”. He was not unhappy; he was by all measures what most would call a happy man, who has everything one would hope for in a suburban neighbourhood. A self-made man, he achieved career and success early in his life, with family comfort dropped on his lap a decade ago when it was deemed necessary for a man of his age and status to have a fitting wife and a tidy pack of children. He was well-liked by his colleagues as he gave a measured amount of care and concern about each of their lives, and he was held in high regard by his superiors for being neatly efficient. Alas, it seems to the outside world that the only thing he lacked was a Lassie-type hound to complete the middle class dream of white picket fences and unmessy, uncomplicated contentment.

The woman, who had been watching this man for several nights now, sensed the deep currents of unhappiness in this neat package of an executive. She had seen his eyes furrow when they wandered into a destination somewhere far away from where he now was and although she was too far to see, she imagined that she caught glimpses of tears as whatever he was thinking of was too impossible to attain. Every day at midnight, he would pour himself a glass of Scotch on the rocks, drink a sip of it, lay a coaster neatly for fear of spoiling the wood of his side table, then lay the glass calmly on the coaster, before raising the glass again to drink more of it. Was it just to numb his senses to the daily act he had to perform? Or, was it to intoxicate himself so that he could arrive at that place where he so yearned to be? The woman, who escapes to her window to catch a breath in the starlight, amused herself by thinking that this man knew the secret destination of where they both wanted to be.

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This Morning

The light broke my eye-windows,
and I saw you lying beside me,
with a smile on your just-awake face,
your soul walked into mine,
and pulleyed my heart closer to you.

Millions of miles apart,
yet I feel you so near,
I could hardly catch a breath,
as your breathing hugs me,
and your heart-arms capture me.

Lying with her, I wonder,
are you thinking of me,
in my wild bed of roses,
full of thorns and pricks,
waiting to kiss your tortured soul.

For this morning, at least,
you have me in my mind-arms,
drunk in the water of love,
taken hostage by your crazy eyes,
and the sun in your red hair.