This was a hard post to write, mostly because I didn’t know what exactly I was trying to write. And I’ve been typing and typing and deleting it all over and over, because nothing quite sounds right just yet. So, maybe honesty is the best policy here, instead of artistry; I’m blogging about love, and I don’t know where to start.
You see, a few weeks ago, someone mentioned to me in passing that I was “still open to love”, and I wasn’t sure how to respond. I’m sure I did, because I seem to remember mutual nodding, but I’m not entirely sure the words themselves matter; you see, I’m still confused myself. This place confuses me, in all kinds of ways, and a part of me wishes a part of you was here to walk through it with me. Seeing as I haven’t talked to you in 10 months, that clearly isn’t an option on the table, but one can still dabble in hypotheticals.
I’m keeping this lighthearted because I think we both saw enough messiness in the way we ended; your abrupt disappearance from my life, as clean of a cut as that might imply, does not do so well for the closing of the gaps that absence leaves. I would like you to know that I got over you surprisingly fast, compared to everyone else; it’s the idea of you that I still struggle with. When you asked me why I didn’t just start trying to meet other people, what I told you was that I didn’t want to risk the trouble of having to disentangle myself from them, 3 months before I flew off to come here. What I didn’t tell you was that after you, I didn’t know if I could still be bothered.
I had never met anyone like you before, and we both know this isn’t just a cliche. You were the only person I’d ever met who’d indulge both my academic and intellectual interests, going as we did from the merit of horror as a genre to ancient Indian philosophy to hypothetical human photosynthesis, and the sheer randomness which is my brain (and yours too, run as it is by an army of hamsters). Which makes it all the sadder that it just didn’t happen; we were (at the start) perfect, but I wasn’t enough for you at the end of it all. So I’m here now, at a cluttered desk in New England, thinking about love, and finding my mind travelling back to you.
You weren’t my first nor my second love, and there were many before and after you. And yet, I hesitate in a way I never used to after you. I used to (unfortunately) leap into attempt after attempt at falling in love before you; now, I (perhaps equally unfortunately) hold back, going through every possible way it could fall through. I’m not going to lie, you made me hella afraid, seeing as I believed you when you said you would be a fool for not staying (does this turn of events then say more about me or about you?)
The common wisdom states that there’s always something to learn from every failed relationship. If that is true, what I learnt from you is that sometimes there isn’t a way for us to be enough; that sometimes there are no reasons for why the heart chooses to turn away, only that it does. You made me afraid of love, because hindsight used to always provide a moment where everything went downhill, and yet with you it was always downhill; you wanted to come closer even as you kept me away, and that makes the idea of you so hard to reconcile. What do you do when there was nothing wrong, and yet everything still fell apart?
This is what I struggle with now. Not with the memories, of which there are plenty, both good and bad; but with the fallout, with standing here still with no idea of how to move forward, even if I have moved on. I don’t quite know if I’m open or not open to love; perhaps the better word is ambivalent. Perhaps I am a door left slightly ajar, light spilling over into an empty room; maybe I’m just a revolving one, cycling through the two, waiting for someone to slip in unnoticed, or maybe fear has locked me shut. I’m not quite sure if I have the answer as to when I’m ready to try again; for all I know, it’s right now.
What I do know, though, is that love is as confounding as the fact that none of the dishes labeled “Singapore” in the dining halls actually come from Singapore. Love is neurotic and yet simple, seldom given and often mourned. Am I ready to throw myself back into the loving game, to go back into the dealing and receiving of hurt? I don’t know, and I wished I did, but I’m not sure if I could know in any case. And as much as relationships are supposed to be casual (in this part of the world because that is definitely not how we interpret it back home), I find myself wanting the calm comfort of knowing that someone is solidly yours, to count on in the freezing nights, to try to grow into and fail and succeed in spite of those failures. Dear you, sometimes I wish I never met you.
Other days, like today, I think back to watching you pour tea on to the table, all the while defending that you were “as graceful as a swan”. I remember the park at midnight, the phone call because you missed my voice, all the saccharine sweet moments. I remember all of this, and I think, begrudgingly, that I am willing to open myself up again, because you made me happier than I had ever been in those early days; because as much as love rips us apart, I can’t say I wouldn’t regret having never met someone like you. And maybe I am falling for others again, or maybe I won’t let myself care for them after all; I think I now know I’m still open to it happening, even if I don’t know how everything else fits into place. I hope you got what you wanted, at the end of it all; I hope you’re happy now, you who always wanted more.
I know, however, that you won't read this, and more than that, you wouldn't want to. I'm learning to be okay with that.
Someone who loved you.