Changing Partners


I stay me. And you stay you.

The things I would do stay the same even if it’s someone else beside me.
Like spazzing out over furry plants and cactuses or pointing out eagles in the sky, I guess.

The things you would do stay the same even if it’s someone else beside you.
Like dressing up in yukatas and having lunch at sakae sushi, eating salmon and amaebi sushi.

It feels disconcerting– I used to do that with you, and now you’re doing it with someone else? But it’s inevitable, just the way it necessarily is. I shared myself with you, and now you’re gone, but I’m still here. I’m still me, and the things I share are still those things.

I’ve always wondered, for people who’ve had multiple bfs or gfs… what do you call them? Does the name stay the same? Isn’t strange though, if you called boyfriend A ‘baby’ and you call boyfriend B ‘baby’ as well?

And yet, how many terms of endearment can you cycle, huh? Besides, what if it’s a personal preference, it’s a term you like. You stay you. And the other person just changes and swops and cycles. The term you use is a part of who you are, and not an identity of the other.

I wonder if there are things that aren’t just you (with me tagging along) and aren’t just me (with you tagging along) but are us. Things unique to us. Things that can’t be cycled, can’t just swop in and out someone new. Things that we only did together, that we wouldn’t do with anyone else.

There must be, for surely a relationship is greater than the sum of its parts? For surely there is ‘you’, there is ‘me’, but there was also ‘us’?

I can’t remember, I”ve forgotten, I am forgetting.

When I look at our ‘things to do before we die!’ list, the items seem to fall neatly into the things you wanted to do, and the things I wanted to do. Of course, we’d thought we’d do them together, but you would still fly in a hot air balloon without me, and I am still set on climbing mountains and seeing the northern lights with or without you, or anyone else. Was there anything on the list that was truly something for us to do before we die?

We were waltzin’ together to a dreamy melody
When they called out “Change partners”
And you waltzed away from me
Now my arms feel so empty as I gaze around the floor
And I’ll keep on changing partners
Till I hold you once more

Dear you, I will always love you.


Dear baby,
Dear you,

It’s your birthday soon. And also the one year mark of our breakup; my time is almost up. Although I guess I’ve come to realize that I’ve been playing this game by myself.

Dear you,

I want to wish you happy birthday. How have you been doing? I hope you’re doing well. …or perhaps I don’t mean that fully?

Dear you,

I heard you’re in UK on exchange. Jealous, much! And here I am, rotting away in this miserable place. All that time together, not even a chance to go to Malaysia and now you’re in the UK.

Dear you,

I no longer think of you everyday—well, I still think of you often, but the thoughts are much, much less loaded. More matter of fact. They come and go and I don’t pay particular notice to them.

Dear you.

Sometimes I still think negative thoughts—it’s really beyond my comprehension and it really hurts me to think that— you seem to have no inclinations whatsoever to reach out to me. That it’s fine with you if we never speak or meet again, or if I never forgive you. Like you have genuinely successfully earased me completely from your consciousness, and you’re fine with that. Don’t you at least want to be friends? You’re okay with leaving things in this state?

Dear you.

Sometimes, when I think those thoughts, I get angry. Why should I always be the one bothering? Why should I always be the one reaching out? If you don’t care enough even to give me proper replies or return me my stuff even though you promised to, why should I bother? I should just write you off the way you seem to have written me off.

Dear you.

I try to remind myself that… we shouldn’t fixate on the actions of others. We can’t control those. And you’ll never know the full story. Instead, concentrate more on our own actions—the ones we can control. So it doesn’t matter what you do, I should care about what I want to do. What do I want to do?

Dear you.

I thought I was ready, but when I found out that you’re in the UK—when I imagined you having the time of your life, without me–it was an unexpected blow. Maybe I’m not as ready as I thought I was…

Dear you.

Sometimes I wonder, if reaching out to you—wanting to be friends again—is the ‘Right’ thing to do. Even if this, “We must remain friends no matter what happens.”, was my first promise to you and me, said with the greatest conviction. If it’s so difficult for me, maybe I should just forget it. Who says that’s the ‘Right’ thing to do anyway? People move on, move away. It doesn’t matter. And isn’t it possible that my desire to meet up isn’t entirely innocent, doesn’t stem solely from ‘wanting to be friends’? Should I forget it?

Dear you,

I miss you. Do you miss me? Do you think of me?

Dear you,

It’s been nearly a year. Am I ready?

I guess it doesn’t matter so much if it’s the ‘Right’ thing to do (afterall, there’s no such thing) as much as… it’s what I think I should do. I can’t picture any other path that wouldn’t feel… wrong. Like I’m running away.

Dear you,

I’ll going to have to keep my promise to myself, regardless of what you do or don’t do.

Dear you,

I miss you. I hope you’re doing well.

Dear you,

I will always, always love you.

And I have been learning to be okay with that.

Battling Demons (That feeling)


that feeling
on the edge
almost coming

fighting, fighting
fighting the demons (of self)
fighting the darkness
fighting back tears.

sharp smells
bright lights
memory is like smell and taste
can’t quite pin it down
describing never does it justice
but it’s so strong, so poignant.

fighting back thoughts.

that feeling:
all consuming
an emotion morphed
and spilling over
into sensation

that feeling
suffocating, all around
pressing in, closing in
can’t
breath

that feeling
like it’s
not worth moving
not worth opening
your eyes
not worth breathing
not worth living

that feeling
so unbearable
that a mental scramble
for remedies
leaves you thinking
only this:

chop off my head
just wanna chop off my head
surely that would make me feel better
make the thinking
and the memories
and the almost-crying
and the want-to-dying
stop

or just dig a hole in my chest
both sound good
sounds like comfort.
whichever’s faster, easier
quick, do it, quick!

fortunately
perhaps surviving confers immunity
perhaps having gone through it once
it’s lost some power
lost some effect
you get numb, maybe.
you get bored, maybe.
you think, i’ve seen this before.
I can get out.

fortunately
it’s much less
all consuming now
it’s much less.

fortunately
i feel it coming
but just hovering at the edge
and i battle not to let it in.

i’m never.
going back there.

demons, away!
be gone.

leave me in peace.

Home is where the heart is, but where is my heart?


Home is where the heart is, but where is my heart?
Not here, but far, far away.
Somehow a large part of me seems convinced that you are home.
Have you not given me back my heart yet?

Sometimes that feeling comes back still– that confident, reassured feeling. That I have faith feeling. When I’m sure that we’ll get back together, I know you’ll come back to me. Just because. Because there’s no other possible possibility, because I can’t imagine it being any other way.

It doesn’t matter how desperately i try to tell myself how delusional I’m being, I don’t buy it. It’s not even an antagonistic feeling, like Ha! Call me delusional, I’ll show you! It’s completely calm and detached. It truly does not care that you think it’s delusional, it truly does is not affected by what you say or think, because what you say or think  has no consequence on its truth value. It knows. It has faith.

No wonder religions still exist; nothing you say or do has effect. My faith is unshakable. I believe, because. If even I cannot convince myself, what more other people?

Somehow a significant part of me is (still) convinced that you are home. Are you my home?
Somehow a significant part of me is (still) convinced that you will come back. Will you?

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
If that part is wrong, I’m not sure what I’d have to do to hammer that truth home to myself. Emotion speaks louder than intellect.

Dreams and Reality


Nothing like dreaming about her all night to make me remember how much i miss her. I had already forgotten, already started to forget. (Or at least, had gotten very good at ignoring it, which is about the same thing.)

C’mon. You know that’s not her. It’s just an amalgamate of memories and imaginings, of memories and wistful thinking. That’s not her. It’s not her you miss.

Keep feeding yourself a lie, and eventually you’ll start to believe it too.

C’mon! Which is the lie here? When your reality tears and what you thought was truth turns out not to be truth, what you reconstruct over that torn reality… the new painting you paint over it to make sense of the mess it has become… that’s not the lie.

How do you know? Lies and truth depend on context. Truth is relative.

Brain on breakup; forgiveness, memories and betrayal


When we first decided to give it a go, there was one thing that I really wanted to make sure of, a promise I kept repeating in my head to myself that we have to keep: that no matter what happened, we would remain friends.

Our friendship was too important to me and the dynamics of our little clique too precious to me to risk. Besides, I really never understood how or why ex-partners could become enemies. It’s ridiculous and absurd! Surely if you’ve been that close, been that intimate and know each other that well… all that can’t just disappear! How can understanding and love flip 360 into irreconcilable differences and hate? So for whatever reasons you have to part, but surely you can stay friends. Chemistry between people (how well you click) doesn’t just vanish.

曾经心疼为何变成陌生?

Ha. ha. ha. This is irony laughing at my naive, foolish younger self.

For all of my previous convictions, all of my mental gymnastics trying to make sense of the chaos in my head, all of my musings and waxing lyrical about the nature of love, unconditional love and forgiveness… I realize that I’m hardly any closer at all to forgiving her, and I still have no idea how to be friends.

You think you’ve come so far, so far
But you’re not any closer, no you’re not any closer at all

I recently watched Tipping the Velvet, a 3-part BBC Tv series based on Sarah Water’s novel of the same name. When the main character found out that her first love was cheating on her, she literally ran down the streets shouting, “You said you loved me! You said we’d be together forever!” over and over and over. (Okay, on re-watching the scene, I see that I’m exaggerating a little, but that’s how I remembered it!) Even after so many month, I still find myself slipping back into that.

but you said…!
but you said…!
but you said…!
but you said…!

All those promises, both implicit and explicit.

Not just the promises, but words said during the break up. After the break up.

all the things she said, all the things she said, running through my head, running through my head, running through me head… 

And the memories. Memories that keep playing of their own accord, over and over.

I like how they did the constant flashbacks in Tipping the Velvet, with the most poignant memory replaying and persisting, a shorter and shorter snippet, while the rest fade. That’s exactly how it’s like. A few favourite memories play and replay, and soon those are all you can remember. You’d think that the more you recall something, the better you’d remember it, but each time you pull it from memory, it’s a brand new retelling. Little bits dropped, little bits added; it’s changed. It feels more vivid, yes. But at the price of accuracies in the details. It loses it’s nuances. It becomes exactly what you’re remembering it for. ‘Exaggerated’, more than ‘vivid’. If you remember it as Great, it slowly turns golden: the best example of great. Remembered for sorrow, it’ll take that shape.

I used to think that no matter what happens in the present or the future, at the very least the memories are yours to keep. No one can steal away the good times you’ve already had. You can cherish them always. I see I was wrong here too. Things that happen now, or in the future, can reach back into the past to colour and change the meanings of memories…

What am I supposed to make of them now? What am I supposed to do with them? How do I make sense of them? I really don’t know.

All those promises, implicit and explicit.

I guess you can’t trust words. You can’t trust people. If you can’t trust words from the one you trust the most… if you can’t trust words that are said with deepest sincerity and love… then what’s left that you can trust?

And I guess that’s why it’s so hard for ex-partners to remain friends, if the break up is not a mutual decision. That’s why it’s so difficult to forgive.

SHE BETRAYED ME.

the closest you can get
sticking the knife
the deepest it can get
and the most unexpected it can get.

It’s hard to get over betrayal.

Oranges are not the only fruit


Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a novel by Jeanette Winterson published in 1985, which she subsequently adapted into a three-part BBC television drama. It is a bildungsroman about a lesbian girl who grows up in an English Pentecostal community.

I plan to read the book, but in the meantime, I found the TV series on youtube, so I watched that first. It’s a great show, give it a watch if you have the time. On youtube it’s uploaded as 6 parts of about 7 minutes for each of the 3 episode. There’s a part missing though, so if you can access the video via other means, maybe you could try that too. For example, I’ve just realized that the esplanade library carries the video cassettes! …not sure how I would watch video cassettes though haha, maybe the esplanade has a multimedia room you can use. Nonetheless, the missing part didn’t make the show any less enjoyable to watch.

Some thoughts:

It made me think, once again, about how flexible the human mind is.
I mean, how easily we can twist words to mean what we want them to mean. How words can mean anything.  How easily we can delude ourselves, how easily we can truly believe what is not true. How easily we can think, with all our heart, that we’re doing the right thing.

Can you blame the mother in the show, as unpleasant as she is? Can you fault her for treating the main character, Jess, in that way? It may not be your idea of love (it may be, in fact, your idea of hate) but I do think she does love Jess, and every horrible thing she did, she thought it was for the best. No, she knew it was for the best.

This is how humans are. We can operate separate from the ‘truth’. It doesn’t matter so much what is out there as what we think is out there, how we perceive what is out there.

And that’s the problem I have with ‘faith’. Knowing how susceptible we are to such thinking, to being able to have unwavering belief in your own thoughts, positions and actions, shouldn’t we be guarding against such thinking rather than encouraging it? Guarding against ‘having faith’?

Because isn’t such type of thinking the essence of faith?

To have complete trust in something. To believe in god without evidence. To… just believe. Just have faith. With all your heart.

People are capable of being blind enough as it is. Don’t tie blindfolds over your eyes and tell me that’s a GOOD thing. The more blindfolds you tie, the more you trust without EVIDENCE or PROOF, the better and more PREFERABLE that is? Seriously?
—-
The show had me crying. Because the worst thing was… knowing that this isn’t merely fiction. Knowing that this isn’t merely history. Knowing that this isn’t merely abstract ideas, or something happening far away.

This is real. This is now. This is here. This is me, and those are my friends.

Please don’t pretend that the church’s position has ‘progressed’, that your position has progressed and is better and more reasonable than historical positions. Does it really matter what words you use? Whether you call it a ‘demon in you’ or an ‘illness’ or a  ‘disorder’ or a ‘result of the fallen world’ or an ‘abomination’ or even just simply a ‘sin’?

You change the words, but the final meaning is the same. The church’s idea of ‘progress’ is ‘accepting’ new evidence but without letting it change the bottom line. So you have to change your interpretation a little. That’s not a problem. As long as you keep the bottom line the same.

I don’t remember if I’ve said it out loud on this blog yet, but… my girlfriend of three years broke up with me–yes, you guessed it– for religious reasons. You could say this blog is born from that incident.

During that break-up period, she showed me two different cases from two different Christian books she was reading– about homosexuals having had demons successfully cast out of them.

…how do you think that makes me feel? To know that the person you love thinks that the only reason why you love her and why she loves you is because of a demon?

…so when we enjoyed each others’ company, simply sitting on a bench enjoying the breeze and talking; a demon at work?
…so when we celebrated anniversaries or valentine’s days, exchanging heartfelt gifts; a demon pulling the strings?
…when we went out for dinner; a demon ordering dessert?
…when we said ‘I love you’ countless times, cheered each other on through tests, exams and school work, listened to each others’ problems and worries… all through a demon’s mouth and ears?

I understand a little more now why people can be so cruel, why the mother in the show can behave so hard-heartedly towards her daughter. That’s not her daughter, it’s a demon. The devil’s limb, as she says.

How people could have burnt women at the stake: they’re not women, they’re witches. The cries you hear aren’t the cries of a women in pain, they are the cries of evil knowing it has lost the battle. When someone cries and screams while having a demon cast out, that’s the sound of the demon, in pain.

What does ‘demon’ even mean, anyway? The idea of ‘ALL GOOD’ and ‘ALL BAD’ is really an incoherent one to me. It can’t exist in more than the abstract. If this thing you call a ‘demon’ can feel pain, shouldn’t we have compassion for it too?

I can’t wait to read the book.

It’s not fair


it’s not fair;
how is it you can look so happy, so carefree? smiling and having fun. life goes on for you.

it’s not fair;
how is it that they get to see you happy? especially when I’ve known you longer, know you better, and love you more? they get to hear your laughter and return your smiles, spend time with you, trade jokes and banter, sharing your happiness, even if only on the surface.

whereas you’re nothing more than a ghost to me, and I to you.

…oh, to make you smile; to hear your voice calling me; to share your joys and worries; to feel your touch; to know you
once again.

I still think of you.


I still think of you all the time.

I think of you when I wake,
and before I fall asleep.
I think of you before class starts,
and immediately after class ends.
I think of you when I’m happy,
I think of you when I’m sad.
I think of you when something exciting’s happened,
I think of you when I’m bored to death.
I think of you when I’m alone,
I think of you when I’m with others.
I think of you when I’m feeling insane,
I think of you when I’m calm.
I think of you when I’m slacking,
I think of you when I’m working.
I think of you when I’m at home,
I think of you when I’m out.
I think of you when there’s a physical reminder,
I think of you even when there’s none.
I think of you…

It’s a thought habit
that I have no clue how to break.
How do you break a thought habit?
How do you break a heart habit?
Everything reminds me of you– remind me of you,
because I saw you as an extension of me.

My voice is too loud in my skull
I’m sick of my own company.

Banish thought.

Ripped Heart


Sudden, unexpected, violent–
All that’s left, a gapping hole.
The magnificent tree that had been seeded
that had taken root
that had been growing beautifully
under tender loving care
unceremoniously uprooted.

By what? who? where? how? why?
In shock and reeling from injuries
can only stare.
Stare and stare at where it used to be
as the wounded heart bleeds.

Reaching out frantically–
Where is it?
Just a mistake. A wayward wind, maybe.
Wrecking unintentional havoc.
A trial to be overcome.
Re-plant the tree, quick!
Put it back where it was, fill up that hole, tis not too late.
It’ll recover, and be stronger from this.

The tree… is gone.
Twas not a wayward wind.
I see that now.
Twas a deliberate act.
To rip, to hack, to chop, to destroy.
There’s no hope left for it.

Well, maybe– start again?
Here’s a seed from the beloved tree.
Should I place it in the hole?
Start a new chapter of the same book?
It’ll be good–mistakes made with the previous tree won’t be repeated.
It’ll outshine it’s predecessor.

The seed’s… not growing.
It’s not receiving the love or care it needs–
or perhaps it was a bad seed from the start.
Bad trees bear bad fruits which give us…
dead seeds. Not worth the time.

The gapping hole stares back.
Blacker, bigger
each time you look.
The edges harden–or are they healing?
No, they turn black from poison.

The darkest, roughest parts
are those in contact with the roots of the missing tree.
Once full of life and joy,
now only death.

It’ll be a slow and painful
but necessary process
to weed out every single last tendril
deeply entrenched and entangled
in the soil of the heart.

Great care is required
to not cause more damage
to let the heart heal
to extricate
every
last
memory

and send it the way of the obliterated tree.

(How inconsiderate
to take the tree but leave the troublesome roots.
Leave it there to develop and flourish
else don’t even start to grow it at all.)