Friday, May 14, 2010

Our Month Living Together

"Oh, oh, starry eyed
Hit, hit, hit, hit, hit me with lightning."

Starry Eyed (2010) by Ellie Goulding

I am a difficult person at the best of times, and so much more difficult to live with - I understand this. I am not a man with illusions about his failings. I am arrogant, irreverent, obsessive, disrespectful of authority and conventions, and on top of it all, kind of a slob and a know-it-all. So understandably, I am apprehensive of the prospect of living together with anyone for an extended length of time. Scrape apprehensive - the whole concept scares my pants into low Earth orbit.

"I can't imagine having a boyfriend like me," I've told Phoebs many, many times. "I can't even be friends with someone like myself. I'm precisely the sort of person I despise socialising with."

But I did it. I lived together with my girlfriend for more than a month, and we managed it without any bloodshed serious altercations. Except that incident with the mop. The floor was obviously clean after I was through with it, Miss Phoebe. When you insisted on mopping it again, you're clearly smearing faeces all over my handiwork (note: I don't mean this literally). What if I take the Maggi mee you already cooked, huh, and cook it for an extra 2 more minutes? You will have to eat soft, sodden, overcooked instant noodle, that's what. And that's so not delicious.

Now, it seems foolish to be so worried about being stuck together for this short period of time - and it appears so much shorter to me right now looking at it from the last night I'll be spending with her (note: this I mean literally). As I go tap-tap on the keyboard this instance, Phoebe lies in sweet repose, dreaming whatever dreams it is that Phoebes dream. And because she insulted my honour by mopping over the floor I've already mopped, I am going to take revenge by rudely waking her up at 4:00 am on a school night by whispering in her ear,

"I love you."

She stirred. Success! My honour has been avenged!

"I heard that," she breathed lazily, and ruffled my hair in that way I adore so much. It makes me feel like a puppy. If I have a tail I would wag it right there and then.

"Go back to sleep," I told her. "I'm not sleeping tonight. There's something that I want to do."

"What is it?" she asked.

"Manly stuff," I told her, and returned here to continue this little letter.

Aside from my numerous and colourful foibles, Phoebs and I also have to contend with our diametrically opposing worldviews; I am an atheist, flaming and shrill, and she is a good Christian girl. This, I do not have to tell you, is one of the top entries in The Great Whopping Recipe Book of Disaster. I have had friends asking me how we managed to make it work for the last... how long has it been since the Boxing Day of '07? Gosh, we're halfway through our third year already and it didn't feel as if we have to work at it at all. We've fought all of 3 or 4 times in total with any seriousness all this while, and it has not once ever been about our very differing positions on faith and god. If miracles exist, this is one for the canon.

Truth is, we didn't make it work. At least, the "we" part of it is untrue. Phoebs made it work, and she did it pretty much single-handedly. It's hard to explain but it's just impossible to start a quarrel with her. Maybe I can furnish an example,

In one recent instance (one of many), I spent hours pulling apart Biblical scriptures verse by verse in an incredibly dull damn engaging monologue to her. Then, I launched into a rant about the latest lies committed by yet another American evangelical preacher on the public to discredit legitimate science while telling her about a report I read the other day on cetacean evolution. Right after that, I burst into a passionate soliloquy about human morality in general and how religion... oh, you get the picture, right?

Anyhow, when I finally (finally!) stopped talking, I noticed that Phoebe appeared to be deep in thought. There was a short, solemn pause before she turned and looked me in the eyes and asked me,

"Can we go for ice-cream tonight?!"

She had that childlike earnestness in her eyes which tells you that ice-creams are a very serious business indeed.

"Wha- were you even paying attention to me at all?" I sulked in mock-indignation.

"Of course I did! You were talking about the Bible, like usual! And something about a creature, or preacher, or something like that. Wait, wait... you mentioned whales too! See, I was paying attention! Hey, that dress is sooo cute! Let's go into that shop!"

I'm mostly paraphrasing here since I do not have an eidetic memory (but the ice-cream line is totally true, I swear). Sometimes, the only logical response to Phoebe's absurdities is to laugh - and she makes me laugh very often. I have never met a girl who can be so unintentionally hilarious so much of the time.

She has started snoring softly now. Haha, can't wait to laugh at her about it when she wakes up at seven. Speaking of waking up, her alarm will raise hell in less than hour. I better finish writing this.

While waiting for the elevator to take us up to her place after we returned from a dinner date with her cousin, I nudged her and said,

"Don't cry when I leave, okay?"

"Cannot," she said, wrapping her arms around my waist and burying her face in my sweater. "Must cry."

And I didn't say anything after that. Felt oddly unfinished, won't you agree? So right here and now, I would like to finish what I have started.

Phoebe, don't cry when I leave, okay? You cried every time we have to part and to tell you the truth, it breaks my heart to see you so sad. I don't want to be the reason you do something so unlike yourself. I want to thank you yet again for loving me so completely, flaws and all - and till today, two-and-a-half years down our road, I am still incredulous that I managed to win your heart. I dislike making promises I have no way of knowing I can keep like "I will love you for eternity" or "I will never leave you" - I think they are just sweet nothings and empty calories that goes down easy, but never nourish.

What I can honestly say instead is; Right this moment here, I feel like I can love you for all of time, I want to be with you till the day I die and I wish you feel the same way too.

And I laid these words out in writing in case they need to last forever.

Phoebe at Oldtown

This half of us,
k0k s3n w4i


phoebe said...

im goin to cry. i just know it. this post makes me sad T________T bt i like it :D

- yuhhui - said...

Hey,this is one of the best post ever written. So much of emotions. =) I like this post too ! You both are so sweet btw. Phoebe's back in malaysia studying?

Reubz said...

I was wondering while reading thru your blog yesterday: "How did Phoebe survive with you for so long?"

Got it answered today. :)

But wouldn't really attribute that to a supernatural gift of prophecy.

I'm sorry, I'm just dissin'. Nice post.

meme said...

this is so sweeeeeet!!!!! seriously, BEST. POST. EVER. WRITTEN.

Zzzyun said...

nice post! kinda reminds me of me and my bf....but we dont argue abt religion stuff coz we agree on it :P (or maybe the lack of it oops!)

take care, hope you two will be happy for a long long time :)

Anonymous said...

i'm back in melaka. your heongpeah is with me...haha.

k0k s3n w4i said...

phoebe: you commented at 10:00 am? how... wait, stop going online in the library when you're suppose to be studying =d

- yuhhui -: thanks, and yeap, phoebs going to be in butterworth for the next 3 years.

Reubz: cos she follows jesus' better teachings. couldn't follow most of the second half of your comment, but thanks.

meme: thanks, though i feel i could have done better if i wasn't racing against time when i wrote it.

Zzzyun: funny thing is, even when phoebs and i have serious discussions about religion, we tend to agree a lot. it comes from her not being a literalist when it comes to the bible.

Anonymous: shit, i left your pala jeruk back in butterworth! i might be returning there in the near future so i'll get another one for you, ok? will come take heong peng from you soon.