Sunday, January 17, 2021


Sometimes I wish the world of Inception were real, or at least select parts of it. In life I never stop wondering what love is and how it happens, but I know how it makes me feel. It makes me feel alive and my heart beats with belonging and happiness and the memory goes on and on without any effort on my part. On nights I wake up from a nightmare, I think of the architectural pillars of where I am when I’m in love, and all other aspects fall in place, and my heart is slowed to a regular pace. I am at Big Wok, a Mongolian BBQ place near Manhattan Beach, I smell the smoke wafting through the air in my brain, the placemat is a disposable paper one with the signs of the horoscope. One of the men I have loved is being sarcastic about the horoscope, and I laugh, because I have the same views about them. We are driving around The Snake, the sun is scorching and I am actually, literally dripping wet in sweat but it’s negated by the speeds of the car, a red Mazda I see him working on, day and night. My heart races, the car is racing, everything is a race against time. The scene is Venice Beach, and it’s my first time drinking horchata. It is not mine, it is his but I’m stealing a lot of it. Horchata becomes my favorite drink. His friend is skating, and it is fun and amusing and lovely. We are on the roof of the bachelor bungalow, and I look up and think, how lucky I am to be alive.

Cut to the opposite coast, two years and four months later. We are walking amongst giants of buildings, my body is feeling like the coldest it’s felt in a long time, having come from Singapore, but my heart has not felt this safe since I was in the West Coast of this country. He tells me about Westworld, and all the sci-fi stuff he geeks out about. At this point, I have not yet mustered up the courage to hold his hand, so I smile and admire the grids of New York City. There are Citibikes to be rented, like the ones he used to cycle to work. We are in a triangular square near a Sephora and Barnes & Noble, where people are doing their stuff on skateboards, and we are talking about the rich. This is the first time I’m hearing such views, but when I get back to Singapore, I will have become a different person and read up all I can about it. The setting is his apartment, and we play with the cat, Tuxedo, named for his coat of fur, of course. Grand Central Station, where he tells me about his mom working at Visa (or Mastercard, I may forget, but I’m pretty sure it’s the former) while he brings me to a spot I can stand and watch and drink and breathe it in, the energy of every single person who’s walked through the space that day, and every day before it. We walk, and walk, and in that moment, I realize how grateful I am that I have always loved walking, and that this man has taken me walking through the loveliest date of my life, and we walk to Central Park. I ramble on until he asks if he can kiss me, and somehow I knew I was again falling in love, and it is night time and the pond is frozen, and I look up and think, how lucky I am to be alive.

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