Of a bruised heart

My heart is bruised. It is swollen. If you take it carefully in your hands, you’d see it also has dents. As if it has taken many beatings and with each depressing force, some parts chose to return to surface, some just remained hollowed and defeated. Together with the bruises, swells, and depressions, my heart is a bumpy surface to thread on.

Ed Sheeran’s Photograph has lovely lyrics. There’s just this one line I don’t agree on: that when things get hard—”it’s the only thing that makes us feel alive”. Why should hard things be the only things that evoke feelings of feeling alive? I bet you if you take a roller coaster, all that exhilaration and stomach-dropping sensations when its just you, the sky, and the adrenaline in your beating heart—you’d feel very much alive. But obviously Ed and Johnny didn’t mean for the lyrics to mean that way. This song is about looking forward to a reunion,  to a continuation of of what’s paused and shouldered by hope. But there’s no hope in my story, as much as I can identify with and like this song. There is a protest in me that fights with the bitter-sweetness I get from this song.

Some time two years back, my heart underwent a long trial of beatings. But even during then, I’d felt the joy of feeling pain as it made me feel alive. I’d thought that my heart needed to be tempered for a reason. Now, I’m done with that bullshit because I’m sick of it. Being pain is being in pain. There is no beauty. There is no upside to it and I won’t allow and can’t even feel the upside to it this time. I just want it to stop. Times I murmur a soft prayer, I ask for this ache to be taken away because I don’t want to be in it anymore. It’s ridiculous the number of times I’ve been subjected to heartbreaks.

I want this dull ache to be doused. I want my heart whole again. But each time I love, a piece is taken away from me and I am never quite whole. Do ENFJs feel the most happy in a healthy, loving relationship? I suppose, until the right one comes along this bruised heart will remain fragile and unhealed with all its blemishes—scars, scabs, dents and all.

Of fallen baby carrots

I don’t even know why I’m writing this entry.

 

So I pulled out a packet of baby carrots from the fridge, and that’s when I felt:

The small sensation of depression against my purple Superdry jacket.

The light touch of cold objects against my thighs as they bounced or rolled.

The sound of small rod-like objects hitting the floor, falling in brief consecutive soft, solid thuds. Thud, thud, thud. 

I looked at the pitiful fragmented orange mess on the floor and let out a cry of dismay. “Oh no.”

 

Cursing myself for being careless, and feeling sorry for the baby carrots on floor, I picked them off one by one off the black tiles. The metal sieve gave firm grunts of acknowledgement for each carrot I tossed in. I gave them carrots a shower under the tap, that cloud of dismay still above my head, separated half of them into an aluminium wrap for lunch, and the rest into a bowl for later.

 

Satisfied, I stepped out of the kitchen, my left index finger and thumb estimating the size of a baby carrot in the air.

 

“Oh.” I said to myself. One baby carrot had rolled itself into the living room. You poor thing. I picked it up, washed it, and slipped it into the bowl in the fridge where it joined the rest of saved orange.

The Most Wonderful Night of My Life, dedicated to my love.

“Tell me more about the most _______ time of your life.”

People are sometimes asked to recall things like that. ‘Amazing’, ‘memorable’, and then there’s ‘wonderful’—all of which bring different emotions to me. What is most memorable (in a positive manner) may not be the most wonderful, yet the most wonderful is part of your most treasured, memorable recollections. On the most wonderful night of my 28 years of life, there was hesitation, trepidation, and excitement over a spur of spontaneity of a tiny wrong-doing; I was loved and loved.

It was my last night in Bordeaux. I do not remember the name of the restaurant I was brought to, but I remember looking into a pair of searching, brown, light green eyes that betrayed traces of anxiety.

I remember being curious and surprised at the candle-lit food heater on my right at our table of two, and the deep metal bowl that contained our lovely fries. I remember having duck, simply because I like duck meat, and your insistence and confidence that the sauce served at this restaurant is to-die-for.

“You like it? Are you happy, my hime?” you asked earnestly.

“Yes,” I replied happily.

Some time later, a long table a distance from us to my right burst into claps and a birthday song. I saw a cake with sparklers being brought to the table. “I’ve always wanted sparklers on my cake.”

“Did you have a good time on your birthday, my hime?”

“It was okay…well it was nice. I went out with my friend for dinner at a nice restaurant.”

“I’d wanted you to have a big party, my hime.” You looked downcast, as if my recent uneventful birthday was upsetting to you. My sweet, gentle man.

We exited into the cold, and headed out to walk by the waters you love beneath the dark sky that was gently releasing raindrops. The buildings opposite were lights of yellow, and those yellow lights were also a faint watery mirage over the black waters. A small boat cruised silently by. You bluffed me that it was carrying drugs. I wanted to take pictures of us there, but you refused stubbornly. I posed badly for solo shots.  We hurried to the venue you wished to take me, urged on by the drizzle. But wait, we caught sight of a park sitting just right opposite. We’d spoken a few times about going to the parks together but we couldn’t do it. You said, let’s go in there.  I was in disbelief. What? Won’t it be locked? My pants aren’t suitable for climbing. You replied, no, it’s okay. I can carry you. You just have to jump up and I’ll carry you.

I had no idea how that was going to pan out; I was worried but excited. You were being spontaneous again. This is the spot Naim and I sometimes spent time at. We’d come here at night, and just sit in there and talk you know? We’d sit at the swings, and look up at the sky and talk.

We crossed the road, and you climbed over the short gate deftly. I wished I was wearing jeans then.

“Hime, come, quick, before anyone sees us.”

“How?!”

You reached out over the gate with two hands open. “Just jump up, I’ll catch you.” In a leap of faith, also fearing I’d tear my bottoms, I put my left hand around your neck and jumped. You caught me and brought me over the gate.

We laid down side by side on the round swing and you coaxed it gently into motion. Up, down. Up, down. I looked up at the sky that showed me no stars. I reached out into the oblivion with my hands, not sure what I was reaching for but perhaps it was to grasp a feel of eternity in the quietness and contentment—an eternity where time slowed down, and the world encased us in a frozen frame that held just two of us and the sound of our breaths. Raindrops fell more insistingly and heavily, protesting against the notion of eternity.

“Come, let’s go. I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep if I lie down longer,” you said.

We walked towards another gate in front. A car turned in. We averted our gazes quickly and turned our backs towards the road.

“We have to be fast so that people don’t see us. Let’s go.”

The same way we came in, you brought me out. I landed on the footpath feeling exhilarated, as if

We just created our own drama scene!  I exclaimed gleefully in disbelief. You laughed and agreed.

You offered your arm to me and we continued on our little journey in the rain.

The Journey to Paraíba (an edited account)

I am still in the bus, but I’ve have entered Paraíba. There is a great amount of greenery here, but not like the lush greenery in England; it is a dry, crispier kind of green on the wide expanse of lands that stretch into the distant hills and mountains. At one point I just…stared, quite transfixed at the hues of orange in the horizons that’s so beautiful in the blue sky.

And so I travelled along such greenery. At one part of my journey, I saw lots of white horses grazing the field through the curtain. So I parted it excitedly, thinking, UNICORNS!! That smile promptly faded when I realised they’re just cows.

And then the bus moved on. Brief moments the bus passed through the villages, I saw boys playing football on a small piece of light, camel-ish coloured ground with self-constructed small, netless goal posts. A few moments later, boys playing football at a wider space at the edge of the woods. I thought how different these sights were compared to the boys playing on concrete back in my home. Roofed houses after houses, scattered across Brazil land, or built in clusters on sloping lands – such inconsistencies in design and unlike the carefully designed flats back home.

More undulating lands. Rolling hills. I thought, so much land, so much potential. What if this area were to be made into a golf course? There’s a random small lake in the middle of the greens too. It sure looks like a golf course with such unevenness. Just as this thought crossed my mind, I saw a meandering river in between two plains, of about six to seven metres in width. Its path turned and reached gently towards the road I was travelling on. It twinkled under the setting sun in such a quiet, beautiful way. I was startled out of my reverie and blinked in surprise; I hadn’t expected its sudden appearance. Then I smiled as the scene passed me by.

December 20, 2015

Remembering K

This morning, at around 4.53am, I found out that an old friend has passed away. He had pneumonia, 4th stage lung cancer and 4th stage kidney cancer.

I cried and cried reading people’s messages on his facebook wall, grew sadder and cried more reading his story written by his friend; my ex had touched so many lives. In a foreign land, rain falling outside, with only the comfort of my blanket and bed I grieved for someone I had known to be humble, mild-tempered and sincere; loyal, positive and filial, gentle and polite. Someone who had a big heart and the kindest soul I’d ever known in my 27 years of life. I thought between sobs, could I ever be that kind?

As far as I know, he didn’t believe in God. But he was a good man.

It was you, at 20-year old then, who told me that the key to a lasting relationship was to grow together. I don’t know why I remembered that, but I do. Probably because that answer from you was unexpected to my 17-year old self who then probably believed love was all. This lesson from you, I learnt myself 4 years later and it is still something I firmly believe in.

You came to deliver your jacket to me when I told you the lab in school was cold. Even my classmates were surprised. I think some of them remember you that way too. It was just eight months, but you were the best boyfriend I’d ever had. Or at least, had the best qualities than any of my exes ever had.

I wish, I could attend your funeral to remember you along with the many others you have made an impression on.

Thank you, and rest in peace, K.

I fell in love with this song

I was reading Fight with Me by Kristen Proby over the weekend. The female lead in this song loves this song. So I looked it up on YouTube and I liked it at hearing the first sentence, the first tune. It tugged at my heartstrings so I booted up my laptop to record this down.

It is a beautiful song that breaks my heart. That broke my heart at first tune. And I am listening over to it, over and over again, despite memories it drags up. The lyrics remind me of you. It’s a song I think you’d like too.

How old is your soul?

The funniest thing is I had to give up.

We had to give up.

Doubts that need to be straightened out.

Many people I’ve spoken to about my plans to go to England to study translating ask me a very normal question–“Why England and not Japan?”

And just these two days I actually felt doubts about my own decision. My Japanese isn’t mind-blowing nor is it at native level but I am fluent in it if I am not trying to be modest. Many times I’ve tried to play down my own capability due to my own doubts about my own capability and modesty but whenever I read up on what being “fluent” is, I fulfil what’s written there. I am just not a native speaker and having not lived there before, I am not ashamed to admit that I have YEARS to go to reach that level. But I am at peace with that fact for now =D

And those people who ask me the normal question up there, they don’t understand that being fluent in a language does not equate to the capability to express a sentence in a natural manner. The Japanese think my English is good enough, therefore I should go to Japan; the English speakers think my English is good enough, therefore I should go to Japan.

Wrong. Being natively fluent does not equate to the capability to communicate your translation smoothly and naturally into your native tongue. I am speaking this because I am from Singapore, where almost everyone is bilingual and almost everyone has flawed language capabilities due to their bilingualism. Over here, we are bilingual to know enough to communicate and survive but not knowing enough to deliver a fine translation. The Mandarin I speak is tainted and littered with English words here and there and personally, I dislike it (IT IS SUCH A BAD HABIT!!). My friend who has lived about a year in Japan agreed that living in Japan has messed with his English. And I will tell you, being bilingual here already messes with our English.

And because I am unwilling to sacrifice my native tongue, because I truly want to be excellent at translating into my target language, I have chosen England. Japan, my second home, can wait for me a little longer 🙂

P.S: Reading this gave me some courage.