Posts tagged with "love"

hey, c’mon

He’s only 40, an age I’d still consider young for a doctor. I see the features of so many of my Chinese peers in his face, though he’s actually an Irish expat. Family and a restaurant sealed his parents decision to emigrate to the Emerald Isle when he was too young to speak. It explains why his conversational diction is impeccable while some spoken consonants are merged or lost, a familiar accent from being born into a Cantonese family. This immediately puts me on my guard. I’ve rarely gotten along with those peers; the culture hasn’t been kind.

But I’m not here for myself. I didn’t even make the appointment, which is why I don’t know what to say.

Thankfully, he takes the lead and takes his time. The questions cover a motley gamut, and I can tell how comprehensive his notes are through the clacking of the keyboard.

At some point he asks if anyone came with me, and I tell him who’s in the waiting room. He kindly offers to speak to her on my behalf, but she already knows. It’s the only reason I’m telling this story another time. I can’t help admitting how humiliating it is to be so dependent on others, to need people like her so desperately sometimes that I can’t imagine how I’d survive without them.

Without any change in his procedural tone, he says this sentiment is part of our Chinese guilt. We disappoint our parents by not being strong enough to live up to their expectations as self-reliant adults, but they prevent us from growing up by treating us like children and refusing to let us make our own decisions. He knows, cause he’s gone through the same thing. At the same time, he never condones my feelings, offering a reassurance that we all handle things differently, and that we can’t do it alone sometimes. It tells me he doesn’t just listen; he cares.

Before sending me off with a dose of Pristiq, he hands me a sealed envelope — on it written “emergency room letter” — and tells me to give it to the doctor at the Queensway-Carleton, while carefully suggesting I have nothing to lose at this point. It makes sense, but I’m not ready. Not yet. This is good for now. She’ll thank me for taking this step, one that’s as much for her as it is for me.

After, we hold hands in the car while waiting to be composed enough to be seen in public, bass lines washing over us like heartbeats, an affirmation of reasons for and the things I love.

moment by moment by moment

It’s turned into a month of improvisation. Even my regular events are being rescheduled, so I’ve lost the only anchors I have to a normal week. It’s hard to make plans when I don’t know how I’ll feel from one day to the next. Harder when I don’t know the next chance I’ll have to spend with the people who love me the way I need to be loved. I can tell it’s been too long when I start to dwell on my insecurities, and the days feel more and more heavy.

I’m letting this period be a way for me to ease away from alternating between iso­la­tion and anxious clinging. Being busy is forcing me to pay attention to the current moment. To be present with the person I’m with, but more importantly, with myself. Otherwise, I can’t handle the thought of how much stimulation I’m facing.

cat in slippers

Slippers, because she needs to find ways to be more comfortable in her day-to-day life.

Dolly’s been sleeping on my duvet again, an old habit of hers. It’s a sign that fall is here, as she prefers to swaddle in the dark when it gets too cold by the window. She also recently decided to start sleeping on my pillow1, and I can feel her purring through my skull, a new and unexpected development in our relationship. I love the fact that I’m still learning things about her, that she’s still capable of change as she approaches a decade with me. As always, I have the fall to thank.

backyard garden

A lot of progressive trance has been in the mix during all this upheaval. It’s a genre I’ve never purposely explored until recently. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my own covers interesting by adding lots of dynamic elements and making sure phrases aren’t used too often. These DJs do the exact opposite with lots of repetition and minimal elements, yet somehow make each song a journey in itself. It’s a pleasant puzzle to try to solve. Now I have many new addictions that have been perfect for night time rides and counting yellow highway lines.

I wonder if these songs will end up reminding me of a time I’m constantly being broken down so I can heal properly. The old ones don’t mean the same thing anymore.

  1. Although I can’t figure out how she fits on it by herself to begin with. []

This is a picture I didn’t take

Of you, arms up and chest out, body crashing against the surf. Top pulled back into place with each wave, bottoms adjusted as needed. A splash of rain on a flower soon to burgeon.

In that instance I became aware of what was happening in myself. I could look at it clearly, and saw it as it was because it was already there, part of my experience in that moment, for better or for worse. I allowed myself to be exactly as I was without fear or shame. Detached yet present. Mindful to how I’ve longed to feel this for someone again, and how I’ve never fully surrendered myself to it until now. A reason for the lyrics in the awkward smiles, the molto crescendo in every incidental touch.

This is a picture I didn’t take of you, a memory from which I can’t seem to look away. A moment I carry with me to remind myself that I can love again.

thanks for the trouble you took from her eyes

That little furrow was there because you weren’t. That’s why you never saw it, of course. You must think I hate you cause it was the only thing I couldn’t help her with myself. But I could never hate you. You gave her what she wanted. In the end, that’s all I really wanted too.

I knew it was serious when I saw your umbrella under her bed, back when she hid those kinds of things for my sake. You never realized she only took it as an excuse to see you again (not because she was particularly scared of getting her merino socks wet), the same way you never realized how easy it all was for you. That was a sign that you were the right one. I knew it before she did.

If only there was a bit of mystery left in you. Instead, I had you pegged by the second night, and all I can tell people is that you’re a nice guy, when I want to say you’re an artist, a lover, a fighter, a worthy rival, a slayer of insecurities, a breaker of barriers, a testament to testosterone, a hero among men. She deserves more than the painfully pedestrian life you’ve given her, but I know she’s had enough of heartbreak to think that normal is hard enough to come by. And so I’ve learned that a person’s happiness is all that matters, not the dreams you have for them. I guess it’s hard to give up those dreams when you’re part of them yourself.

I want to say I’m leaving for some noble reason of great importance, but it’s really because there’s nothing left for me in this little town. I used to believe I could escape; eventually I realized you can’t outrun your memories. Now I’m just trying to figure out where I belong. She was all I knew for so long, and now that life is gone.

And so I must tread carefully with new lovers; it’s impossible for me to tell my story without that part of my past. That’s why I wonder what she told you about me, about us. About losing feeling in her face and letters you wouldn’t know how to write. If she intentionally left anything out, or whether our time was even worth mentioning. But the past is still the past, and that’s the only reason I can write a letter now to the man who saved her without ever knowing it.

zhui long

There’s nothing in this world you can’t turn into heroin.

—Get Him to the Greek

At our last draft, Steph asked me what was new. It was weeks since we played, but nothing came to mind, and it felt strange to have no updates at all. It was only a few months ago that things fell apart. Things had been changing quickly ever since.

And then, all of a sudden, stability.

the hearth

The hearth.

Meanwhile, I’ve picked up an obsession with sorting my Magic cards. Darren came by a few weeks ago and he gave me his collection, which we both started around high-school. I have about 8000 cards now, ordered by rarity, colour, block, and alphabetically, which took me the greater part of a week. There’s no denying how satisfying it is to have a neat and organized set, where I can quickly find a card instead of going through random handfuls.

I also started watching Cops, seasons 20–24, non-stop. A strange addiction1 for a reality TV show that’s no doubt biased in favour of law enforcement and against low-income citizens, but not glorified with a narrator, a soundtrack, or any monetary incentives. After watching the same episodes a few times, I feel like I have some intimate insight into the people who choose to break the law, and those who make careers out of stopping them.

They’re signs that I’m a glutton now, having to lose myself in something, whether it’s being productive or social or happy.

Love used to be my drug of choice, but nowadays it’s anything I can get.

  1. I used to see an episode here and there when I was a kid, but it was never with any frequency, and I haven’t seen one in years. I have no idea why I find it so fascinating now. []