I don’t think I’m ready yet to do this rant, but I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway. This will be deeply personal, somewhat pessimistic, and completely confusing.
I’ve always felt an unnatural attraction to love and to idea of love itself. It’s a wonderful emotion that drives me forward in life, keeps me up when I’m down, and gives me passion to do the things I want to do.
Yet, contrary to how much I treasure love, all I’ve seen around me are instances where love fades, where love breaks, and where love is left trailing after the ashes of a once vivacious flame.
Mom and dad. My life would be so different if that flame had not been blown away by an unstoppable current. I sometimes wonder if my mom fell in love with the wrong twin. My uncle is everything my dad isn’t. This rant is not about them, so I won’t reflect any further on this line of thought. This rant is for me.
My piano teacher. Last year, she changed the location of her studio from her parents’ house to the house of some man I had never met before. I know him now to be a decent guy, but back then, I had no idea about the circumstances of her and her family. I suppose I saw it coming. Knew something was wrong from the interactions between my teacher and this man. I talked to my best friend about it, since we’ve both known our piano teacher for a fair number of years. We both suspected an affair. It was denied outright of course.
The second sign came to me like a pebble to my face. I was coerced (somewhat) into tutoring her son or rather, simply watch him play piano and help him practice. He told me about the divorce. About how daddy was always unfair and never let him watch television. About how he didn’t like being home because there was nothing to do. I thought about how hard it was for me (although my parents are unfortunately not divorced despite the constant struggle). I thought about how much harder it is for him, being the older sibling and the older brother of an equally adorable kid. I wonder how my brother feels about our murky past? We never have any meaningful conversations.
In any case, they’re separated now. I don’t think it was an affair that led to it. I think it was simply two people whose love had ended. I’ve never approached the subject directly with my piano teacher and I suppose I’ve no right to be poking into her personal life. Looking back, I suppose I should’ve seen an even earlier sign…the way she asked about my parents was highly unusual.
My godmother (or at least what I think of her as). Let’s just call her M. I visited Hong Kong last summer to attend my grandfather’s funeral – something that this blog is scarred with as well. But that is not the focus of this rant. During my stay in HK, we met up with M quite a number of times. She’s quirky, kind, and completely obsessive about staying clean – something we reckoned had to do with her being a Virgo. M doesn’t have children – which I never really reflected upon until last summer when I discovered the reason why. She likes to spoil me with presents and gifts which I find hard to refuse because I like being spoiled. My mom makes me refuse the gifts sometimes though. I suppose that’s the correct response. One afternoon in that blaring July heat, we were sitting in a Dim Sum restaurant, drinking tea and eating lunch. At that point, I was extremely tired of having Dim Sum, because that’s all my mom seems to want to do when we visit Hong Kong. They sit there for hours just talking and talking and talking while I have nothing to do. I wish I could’ve hung out with my soulmate, but she was busy in school (they have school in July whyyy). I miss her. She got me a cute tote bag with all these doodly ladybugs on it. Wish I could’ve thanked her in person.
Anyway, distractions aside, this particular conversation between my mom and her friend (also a friend of M) caught my attention. It was before M had arrived. My Cantonese is considerably terrible, but I can listen and speak enough to get around in HK. At first, I twiddled away at my iPod, hoping that their conversation would just end so that I could go shopping or whatever it was that I wanted to do. Then something caught my attention. They started talking about M (RUDE, SHE WASN’T EVEN THERE). About how M’s husband had gotten another woman pregnant. I’ve never been one to be attracted to gossip, but this was certainly news to me. They continued to elaborate on how the other woman was asking for money and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I thought these things only happened in movies and soaps. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), money isn’t really a big problem for M and her husband since they own an accounting firm and a few estates. Nevertheless, for such an issue to affect someone I’ve always liked and cared about – it shocked me.
Then they shifted the conversation to the past, to the history of M’s suffering. To domestic violence. To how hard it is on M to keep him in check. To how it isn’t possible for M to conceive. I was fully in shock at this point. I had always liked M’s husband too since I felt like he understood me more than most people did. He was sensible with a good sense of humour and never seemed like the type to be too aggressive verbally…or physically. I guess appearances don’t mean everything.
I sighed in relief when they changed topics. I couldn’t look at M the same way when she walked in about a half hour later. I ate silently, contemplating what I had heard in my head.
My best friend (or one of, anyways). She recently broke up with her boyfriend. I thought he was nice, sweet, and perfect in many regards from athletics to academics. He also plays video games which attracted my interest in their relationship. I never did ask why they broke up – I was just relieved that it was her doing the heartbreaking…As terrible as that may sound, I don’t like my friends being hurt.
All around me, love is shattering, love is fading. Love feels like it doesn’t exist.
But I want to believe it does.
But I’m afraid. That it’s all an illusion. That my infatuation with love will be the end of me. That I’ll lose myself in a dream.
Speaking of dreams, I haven’t been able to escape the vivid dreaming that’s been happening lately. I hope that ends soon too.
Someone tell me that love isn’t just a dream.
Someone tell me that love still exists.