Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sophie and the Sin of Athenian Idealatry

"Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

Rosemarie Urquico

An excerpt from the essay reply to Charles Warnke's You Should Date An Illiterate Girl. I like both pieces.

There is a girl I'm in love with, and her name is... let us call her Sophie. Sophie is perfect, and embodies every quality - rare or otherwise - that I admire in a girl. She's about 5'1" of perky impishness and dimpled smiles, and she wears her hair in that pixie-cut chic I adore oh-so very much. But these are merely the frosting, and not the cake.

The thing about Sophie is that she is a prolific and voracious reader of books. All books. From autobiographies to bildungsromans, historical fiction to sci-fi, and the highest to the lowest order of fantasies. She reads them all no matter if its written by the Brothers Grimm or the Sisters BrontĂ«, Edgar Allan Poe or Ishiguro Kazuo, G. K. Chesterton or Sidney Sheldon. She had been there and back again, into the wardrobe and down the rabbit hole. She had beheld Dorian Gray's portrait in its various stages of decomposition, walked away from Omelas and witnessed the passion of the Nazerene. She always carries a paperback in her handbag, several volumes of audiobooks loaded into her MP3 player, and a thousand more in her Kindle just in case  because she thinks that there is no worthier pursuit to fill the intermissions of her life than ink in its myriad forms. She had visited worlds beyond ours, and lived more lifetimes than the single one helping we are allowed. I want to reminisce with her these places we have been to, these lives we have led. I want to sit across from her as she swims between the pages of a new novel, and I in mine. I'll steal glances at her. I'll watch as as her eyes brighten and her breath halts - and then she'll break surface for a moment just to read to me a line or a passage which excites her, touches her or simply blows her mind out of the water.

As she consumes pages and proses, she also crafts them. She's working on a novel and holds the ideas of several hundred more in the bookshelves of her mind. She could think of no higher calling than to leave at least one of them behind before the light of her consciousness goes out, and no higher honour than having it considered worthy enough to be catalogued in the sum total of humanity's bibliography - a sentiment I share with every fibre of my existence. She understands the crippling paralysis of the writer's block, and the pure joy of finding the perfect words, the bon mots, in expressing precisely what she means to say. She also writes a blog and record every opinion and emotion which inhabit her psyche, and document every worthwhile experience of her beautiful life - because every life interpreted through the lens of carefully-considered, heartfelt words is more splendiferous than one which meanders unlettered. A writer is an uncommon creature which does not merely think, but thinks also about thinking. I cannot identify with those who only wade in their stream of consciousness but never stood at the banks to watch it flow, taking notes of its liquid form, its ripples, its waves. Most of all, I want a lover whose mind I can read.

Sophie is intelligent and loves the accretion of knowledge for its own sake. She believes in the silent power of knowing how things work around, above and inside us. I like it that she comprehends the concept of falsifiability, delights in the fact that dinosaurs still exists today and often on our dinner plates, and knows that the Dirac Sea is not a body of water. I like it that I can argue with her about gravity; on the plausibility of gravitons as predicted by the quantum field theory versus the geometric elegance of Einstein's general relativity. I enjoy our coffee talks where we discuss comparative theology, debate on the merits of Kantian ethics, and wrestle with the Platonic Theory of Forms (which we refer to as the Hylaean Theoric World because we have both read Neal Stephenson's Anathem and loved it). I recognise in her my intellectual equal, and if you lived a life surrounded by simple people and simple conversations you would celebrate this discovery too. It's like she's at just the right height to dance with. Or to kiss.

There are so many women who walked by me without so much as leaving a faint footprint in their passage through my life - faces without names that I shared a seat with on buses and trains, drift past as I stroll down a street or in a mall, or sat across from in a café or a library on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Behind one of these faces is Sophie.

Oh, if only I know which!

Forgive me, Sophie. Forgive me O Future Lover for I have sinned against you. I am a daydreamer, a hopeless romantic and an idealator of the worst degree. And I am in love with the idea of you.

Romanticidal maniac,
k0k s3n w4i


Liz said...

Haiyaaa, I was getting excited thinking you'd met Someone already! But yeah, Sophie does sound absolutely wonderful! I do hope you find her :)

nicoletta said...

this sophie has quite a precise combination of your cherished ideals. do you normally approach strangers? start with the five foot ones, the ones of perfect kissing height with pixie cuts. that being said, hope you really do stumble upon sophie one day. it might not even take long.

c3rs3i said...

I have searched my live's history for your Sophie and have made matches for your ideals, but always only in part.

Narrowing the search algorithm to a single person correct for gender, age range and relationship status, the best I came up with is N (Yes, you). The height even looks about right!
W'dya think - Nudge nudge wink wink???

My infantile humour aside, Sophie's out there.
And she's searching for you too; When you meet and fall in love, it will be the most wonderful thing. <3
Looking forward to reading Sophie Days or even Finding Sophie.
Good luck.

Terri said...

*Murakami Haruki

All the boys I've met who read prolifically are completely socially retarded. I'd rather have someone who I can take outside without cringing than someone I can discuss Kant with. It's nice but not necessary in a partner.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Liz: actually, she sounds too good to be true.

nicoletta: i have approached strangers in the past, yes. 5'1" isn't exactly perfect for kissing for me (i'm not that short). i just like tiny girls. i also like tall amazonian athletic girls. what i don't like are average girls. when i talked about the right height to dance or kiss with, i meant it figuratively.

c3rs3i: i've never dated anyone quite like this hypothetical sophie. i just wrote this post to amuse myself - to see what i think is a "perfect girl" and it turns out that that girl is a female version of me. the girls i've dated are all very, very different from one another. and when i do meet sophie, i might not even fall for her necessarily.

Terri: oh typo. fixed it. anyway, all the boys you've met who read prolifically are completely socially retarded? me included? i always thought that i am pretty well-adjusted. i mean, i've been dating since i was 14 years old.

Atlantisian said...

She sounds too perfect to be truth. agreed on the pixie cut though, its so sexy.

Anyway, good luck in your quest of searching the girl. You sure she is not by your side already. SOmetime you need to see past her thick spectacles and hardcover books in order to discover her.

yuhhui said...

I was gonna be lame and reply you' eh, i'm taken with a =D' along with it.. hehe.. but then as much as I'm a bookworm, no way i could debate on the merits of kantian ethics or something.. the string theory was already too much for me to handle. lol.

Anyway, i was just being lame. Hope you find your dream girl one day and be blessed with happiness always. ^^

Terri said...

you, my dear, are far too cina for my tastes :D you know, IRL. on your blog you've obviously got time to Kraft everything Korrectly.

(see what i did there?!?! i am sooooo funny!)

i had to say what i didn't exactly mean to do it, but i did it! :D

also, you didn't reply to my fb message, boooo. i was right wasn't i? :D

k0k s3n w4i said...

Atlantisian: unlikely. i have a thing for girls wearing glasses.

yuhhui: girls who read and write are plentiful in supply. that's why the third criterion's there. it's kind of insulting to my exes, but i was just thinking it would be nice to one day date someone i can mentally see eye to eye with.

Terri: that's not the point i'm contesting (you aren't exactly my cup of tea either, ms chen). as cina as i may be, i don't think i was ever socially retarded. socially aloof maybe, but retarded? anyway phoebe thought the same as you, and i really find this baffling. i'm a pure-blooded chinese and i grew up in a small town in an asian country. it'll actually be surprising if i'm not as cina as i am. anyway, i didn't reply to your facebook message because i forgot.

Terri said...

pffft. i am everyone's cup of tea. *does a boob jiggle*

okay fine, socially aloof. and yeah you're probably great with cina relatives :D so boleh tahan as bf material but not for meeeee

i'm pure-blooded chinese (well, like 1/8 nyonya) and i grew up in malaysia too. but *gestures to self* you know la. i'm as atypical as one gets without having gone to an international school or being half-white.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Terri: i honestly wouldn't mistake you for anyone other than a malaysian though. okay i confess: i might mistake you for a siamese, filipino or a burmese, but definitely regional.

Terri said...

yeah you asked me once if i was siamese! wtf! so randommm

and i was malaysianning myself up for you :D i dun talk like that with my white compadres, i assure you.

Anonymous said...

What if she fits the bill, in another language, the kind of Su-pi-ya that comes from the mainland speaking reading and writing perfect beijing-accented mandarin? (and all your other fantasies come true) But not one word of English as you know it! And your mandarin turns her off?

Can you handle the love across the chasm?

ap said...

I kinda have a similar ideal too but fell for someone who's turned off by books, literally...... however some people seem to live with an air of poeticism whether or not they're literate, so thats what I am going in for.

...think I haven't recommended Madame Tutli-Putli before? Its a stop-motion animated short if you're interested in such.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Terri: meh.

Anonymous: nope. that will kind of defeat the purpose of dating someone like that, isn't it? nevertheless, i can't date anyone who can't speak (and understand) english regardless of how smart or dumb they are. in fact, the average level of english comprehension amongst malaysians turns me off.

ap: books are such a huge part of my life. i don't think i can ever date someone who does not have a healthy respect for the written word. my life practically revolves around that. and yeah, i do like animation. i'll check it out the next time i have a day off.