Groans

I want the afternoon sun to shine through my windows and turn us into silhouettes. I want to breathe you in as you undress every inch of me. I want your soft lips to destroy my innocence. And when we are both naked, I want you.

I want your body.

I want your touch.

I want your fucking moans.

Good evening.

I am Not a Flawless Person

I am not a flawless person. Of this, I am sure.

I am not a flawless person, and my mind is a dark place with fire, devils and holes. I am not a part of any charity events because I am often too busy mixing lava with cotton candy in my hell.

I am not a flawless person. I do not have the perfect job, the perfect family, the perfect car and the perfect friends. My job is non-existent, my family is a whirlpool of erratic characters, my car is also non-existent, and my friends are sometimes just as lost as I am.

I am not a flawless person. I have a couple of scars on my body, and I sometimes fall asleep with an ache in my heart. I have issues, I have problems, I have a sickness beyond repair.

I am not a flawless person. Sometimes you will find me cris-crossing on the streets, falling off, tripping over, vomiting. I smoke, I drink, and I drink some more. I listen to Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Nirvana. There are times when I hate everyone and everything because I feel like they’re so different, so sure about everything.

I am not a flawless person. I have commitment issues, because I am scared of a lot of things. I do not have a pleasing past. In fact, I have a dark past. And people do not like me for that. I often doubt if people could actually afford to let me in their doors and not lock me out forever after a while.

I am not a flawless person. I’m not dainty, intelligent or appropriate. I may appear like I am sometimes, but that’s called acting. Because really, nobody wants to deal with sad and angry people, now does he?

I am not a flawless person. I’m not really cool, rich and popular. I do not own properties and I do not have the perfect face and body. Now what’s flawed about that? It’s the fact that I take pride in being inside my own skin. I like being who I am and what I am because this way, I get to be extreme without being pretentious. And that’s what drives people nuts, isn’t it? Authenticity. It’s a rare skill nowadays.

I am not a flawless person. I am vindictive, rebellious, ruthlessly expressive and sometimes brutally nonchalant and oblivious.

I am not a flawless person, because I’ve grown up being used to mistakes and failures. I’ve never been a perfectionist, and I’ve never really felt the need to please other people. So you may say I am flawed, simply because I do not give a flying fuck about how I look under the public eye. You may say I am flawed because I’ve hurt people, and it’s bizarre that I sometimes do not feel sorry for them.

I am not a flawless person. I won’t be anyone’s prince charming or knight in shining armor because that’s just not who I am. I am not a warrior, a cop or a lawyer. I am not a doctor or a shrink. I am me, and a million other things come with that, just like a million other things come with being anyone that you truly are in this world.

I am not a flawless person, and I have disappointed a lot of people.

I am not a flawless person.

I’m just not.

But I am glad I’m not.

Being flawed is how I’ve kept myself alive all these years. But you know what the best thing about being flawed is?

You get to live, not just exist.

If I Were A Sentence Written In The English Language

My Symphony: Luxury Of Loneliness by Her Space Holiday

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If I were a sentence written in the English language, I would be compound-complex with lots of nouns and even more verbs. I would have five dependent clauses speaking slightly about my schooling, my job, my salary, my possessions and my wants. Only two of my clauses would speak of love, romance, beauty, poetry, chaos and adventure. But these are the independent clauses, and they’d speak with clarity, certainty and passion.

My structure wouldn’t always be considered conventional as my commas sometimes induce confusion. Even my appositives could be quite misleading. I would often end up being laughed at by people who judge me as ungrammatical without even giving me a second read. They would grab the upper right corner of the page I’m written on and turn it over, unsympathetically missing the meaning behind my gerund phrases masquerading as little juvenile outputs of  irrationality behind my overtly reticent figures of speech.

I would have infinitives that I truly hold close to my heart and a couple of onomatopoeic mixtures of syllables that give music to my life. I would often be misunderstood, but I’d never be boring.

Intellectuals and achievers would dislike me, though, because they’d be disappointed to learn that I am full of simple words – words they’d never have to refer to a dictionary to check the meaning of. They’d even go as far as telling me I am a waste of ink and, more especially, a waste of space. They’d critically ridicule me for not being popular, successful or bankable. They would cringe at the mere thought of my existence not contributing anything to the modern day society. I am never quoted in any book, magazine or newspaper. My strokes and my edges have never been seen in university halls and on office walls; no one finds me significant enough to be framed or published. Basically, most people think I am simply silly. Childish, lazy, rebellious.

But that’s just the majority.

On the brighter side, I would occasionally have readers who are more emotionally inclined. Now I don’t mean emotional alcoholics who regularly walk around with their broken hearts’ blood on their sleeves, or people who cry over everything about their lives 24/7. What I’m referring to are the people who treat it as a priority to read between the lines; people who know how to look at one’s conjunctions and transitional adverbs not as a convolution but as an opportunity – an opportunity to ask more, to know more, to understand more. And these are the people that I would be holding on to. There wouldn’t be many of them, but they’d be more than enough to bring my syntax to life.

So every now and then, I would be lucky enough to be situated right in front of kind and compassionate eyes. These eyes wouldn’t necessarily have to be that educated in Semantics, Psychology or Literature. These are simply eyes that have seen sentences like me in a less blinding light. These are eyes that know I’m not childish, but childlike; not lazy, but idyllic; not rebellious, but alive (and kicking).  These are eyes that have the ability to read a compound-complex thing like me and see the simplicity in an instant.

And if I were a sentence written in the English language, I’d be translated to all the other languages there are in the world. Nope, not because I am so great and influential, but simply because just like all the other sentences out there, my only goal in life is to be written and read

…and maybe even loved.

Puerto Vallarta

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Hmm I could really use a week-long vacation in Puerto Vallarta right now.

I yearn for the tropical air, the orange-lit atmosphere and the ceaseless baby naps under the colossal sun – this blazing celestial fireball that promises only the warmest of winds and the liveliest of lives. My feet are hungry for the embrace of the provocative sand; its whiteness and fineness beaming a goddess-like energy all over my body and into the sky-kissed ocean. And my cheeks! Oh boy, do my cheeks relentlessly beg for that charming tan; my eyes wide open searching for the quickest way to temptation island. All this, with my arms raised to the palm-tree-decorated heavens and my heart jumping out of my chest, ready to free-fall into the turquoise-smothered bliss.

I will be there.

Addressing Ares and Constantine

My Symphonies: Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It by Stars 
Open by Rhye

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“You smile and the world goes away.” –  Cliff, The Woolgatherer 

For those of you who do not know (which I guess is pretty much everybody), I have two imaginary friends. Well, they aren’t exactly my friends, but they’re more like my alter egos. And in line of my being a Gemini, I’ve always treated these two as twins, mainly because they look very alike in my head anyway. One is basically the evil twin, and the other one is the cherub. And as I went through all those processes of self-search and self-creation, I found that I am in fact the sum of both characters. It is almost like I am both Ares (the abrasive, vindictive twin) and Constantine (the gentle, more open twin), and as I keep on reading the two of them, it’s starting to sound like I am talking to myself – my full self; my conscious self. We are looking at two very dissimilar beings here. One, the dreamer who has chosen to make love to his imagination and fantasy, in what is non-existent, because he has lost faith in reality, and the other, the realist who acts tough but also knows in his guts that he is lonely and is also in need of love—a real one. However, in all their differences comes this one thing I am sure is common about the two of them: they’ve both been hurt big time. It’s just that one grew miserable and desperate and the other grew cold and bitter. I find it very interesting, how these two characters within me throw sentiments of love and grief at each other but at the same time conceal what it is that they both seem to really want. It is undeniable, the dramatic amount of intellectual tension and emotional desire between them throughout this entire existence so far. And today, I have decided to actually talk to the twins in my head in a form of a letter.

First, for my old friend Ares…

Dear Ares,

I dream. I know it’s probably quite bizarre. Kenn has dreams? Yes, I can feel the skepticism from you right there. But seriously, I do have dreams. I have always dreamed of actually being in university (specifically Yale), getting a degree in Literature, getting a job as a junior editor for a Lifestyle magazine right after graduation while working on my first novel, and then working my way up the social ladder, finally achieving my secret dream of becoming a best-selling author. You know, the “right path”, as they say. But everything turned out very differently now. None of those things were even close to happening on the first place. And so I guess it’s safe to say that those “dreams” have drastically turned into fantasies—the hardcore ones—the ones I know deep in my guts I will never ever get the chance to experience in reality. However, this hasn’t stopped me from dreaming once and for all. No, I haven’t achieved any of those things in the “right path”, but I don’t blame anybody for that. It was a choice—my choice. And so I continue to dream every time I travel for long hours across the country. As the sun’s warm rays hit the train’s glass windows every morning, and as the fresh breeze of air brush through my hair and into every corner of the vehicle’s interior, and as flocks of birds grace the skies in all their free glory as they disappear from my point of view, I begin to fantasize about having the most romantic dinner date of my life—the one I’ve been dreaming of since I started admiring people, which was probably when I was nine or ten. See, I dream of an epic moment on a yacht on a warm Saturday afternoon, just as the sun begins to set. And I have organized everything for this perfect moment to actually turn out perfect. There is a dinner table set for two, an ice sculpture that says “Kenn+whatever the lucky guy’s name is”, an acoustic local band I hired to play songs by Angus Stone, Radiohead and Edwin McCain, and a cute little kitten that wears a locket that contains a picture of me and ‘the lucky guy’ around its neck. And the only dominant colors are white and red, except for my suit, which is black, and except for the kitten which is beach blond, and except for the guy who plays the harmonica, who wears a beige sort of vest and a blue tie, and except for the sun, whose orangeness has touched the ocean’s innocent shade of gray and dark blue, as its rays caress the still water, creating an illusion of glittering, shining bubbles and sparkles which, after a moment, begin to appear like countless of golden floating lanterns spread generously all over the massive body of water upon which the yacht floats. And then there’s this familiar sound: the sound of Calvin Klein leather shoes nearing, and then a blurry image of a guy in a red-and-white suit appears. And then I look away for a second and a half to see the sunset at its most colourful, and then I look at the image again and it is now clear: the boy I love, in his most beautiful, and me, in my most romantic. The two of us sit beside each other, looking into the sea, as dinner is being prepared and as the band serenades us. I sit right next to him, with my hand on his knee, as we fall in love all over again.

See? I dream. And I know that I told you before that I don’t believe in commitment? Well, that hasn’t changed. I just said I dream of that perfect date, with someone I love. And it can last longer or it can end the very second after the band played Creep by Radiohead. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that I love. And even if I lose, so what? It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

And now, for the loving Constantine – the less of the two evils…

Dear Constantine,

You’ve always been there. Even on those times when I built walls around my heart, you were there. You chose to sit against those brick walls and patiently wait for them to crumble. You’ve just always wanted to be free, to just get everything over with so you can dance in the air like you dreamed of. But dear, what does being free mean? What does it really mean? I live in a world where there are limits, boundaries, rules. How can I ever be free? No matter how hipster-ass I try to be, there will always be that stinging gut feeling that I haven’t done everything I wanted to do in life. That something is lacking. And then I realize: it’s love. It’s the factor that’s lacking in all of my freedom-filled life. I think that love is what will set me free. And I know that I’ve been quite skeptical about the notion of true love, but that’s only because I’ve been hurt too! I’ve had my heart broken just like everybody else. I just can’t believe he wouldn’t stop bitching about how he could bleed to death if he got cut. Hell, I’ve been cut and I’m still living. Because I still have hope that someday, somehow, someone out there will find me. And we will find each other. And the moment we do, we won’t lose each other ever again. And we don’t have to possess each other. We just have to love. Freely. The way that you love birds, and his sweaters, and the way we love the sunset, and the long drive along the coast, and the way we love the sky, and the ocean, and the breeze of fresh air. And we don’t even have to be together forever. Forever doesn’t exist. But this moment does. This very second. And that’s what matters. A reason to trust in love again.

Hugs, kisses and axe kicks to you both,
From your master

Twelve Things I Need From You

My Symphonies: Heartbeats by José González | The Rock and the Tide by Joshua Radin

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1. I need you to have a traveler’s heart. I need you to have an affinity towards places you’ve never been to and characters you’ve only met for the first time. I need you to be a wondering wanderer like I am, so that we’re always asking, always searching and always finding. I need you to be my tour guide on this life escapade, and I need you to take me to a secret corner and tell me that we are lost, because I need to feel lost with you. You are my home away from home, and I need you to light that bonfire so that together we can stare into it and smile.

2. I need you to greatly appreciate ephemeral episodes of nature like the sunset, or the sound of thunder that breaks the nice silence we share just before saying goodnight, or the sight of a cumulus cloud moving ever so slightly to create a form of what looks to us like a giraffe with a neck that’s a little shorter than normal. I need you to be ecstatic about the idea of sneaking out of your house at 1AM to meet with me, and resting our heads on the windshield of my bestfriend’s car (you also need to know that I don’t drive, and I need you to know the many reasons why). And there, lying down, we will be gazing at the stars. No, we’re not going to be just staring at them; we will be watching them as if they were the venerable Greek gods, simply majestic, simply astounding. We will soon realize, for the millionth time, that the universe is this large, large place; we will be reminded that this oblate spheroid we call Earth dwells amidst many other planets, all suspended as lonely specks in a vast cosmic arena of an enveloping darkness. All of our problems will once again vanish just like that, because we both know that we are nothing but pawns in our galaxy’s game. We will come to see that this moment is all we have, and that this, too, is ephemeral. Just like the ray of sun that kisses my cheeks on a gloomy Autumn day. Just like that shooting star I saw in December of 2008. Just like the stretching of the skin just beside your lips when I crack my lousy jokes. But I need you to be okay with that. I need you to be okay with that. 

3. I need you to be an artist. Even the messiest, most chaotic thoughts and drawings shouldn’t bother you at all. I need you to be creatively passionate about a life without direction, a life of endless mistakes, sadness and anger. I need you to embrace the overall emotionality of our existence, the reality of the human condition and the yin and yang of being alive. I need you to be positive, yes. But I also need your pessimism. When happiness yawns at us, I need you to trust me enough to cry on my shoulder, or maybe even my chest. I need you to not be ashamed or guilty of your own pain and weaknesses. We will both be burned, wounded and trashed. But I need you to cooperate with me; I need us to laugh and cry at everything at the same time.

4. I need you to know that I am a cat person. I will probably insist on buying a British Shorthair and adopting two more kittens from the animal shelter. On days when you are drowning in your job workload, family crisis and financial stress, I will most likely bombard you with Youtube videos of tiger cubs, snuggling jaguars and sleeping lynxes. And I need you to patiently watch them until it hits you that the feline creatures are undeniably admirable. I don’t need you to be a cat person if you’re not, but I need you to look at me in the eyes and, without saying a word, admit that those videos have taken your mind off of your worries even just for a few minutes.

5. I need you to know when to lie and when to tell the truth. I need it to be clear to you that I know the cliche “We’re in a relationship; we tell each other everything”.  Well, it doesn’t work in real life and with real people. Honesty doesn’t always guarantee a healthy partnership. I need you to be warned that I might not react in a usual way when I find out you cheated on me. I need you to understand my familiarity with the complexity of human relationships. I personally think it’s never just black and white. Every lip-lock with a stranger, every decision to not text back, every shot of tequila, every shattered marriage in this world, has a very convoluted story behind it. So when the time comes that you tell me you kissed someone else and my initial reaction is “Oh, how was it?”, I need you to know that that’s the way you can tell I really like you.

6. I need you to understand that underneath this lively exterior, I am an introvert. Most of the time, I will rather drink cheap wine and eat really unhealthy microwavable ramen with you on a Friday night than go drunk-dancing in the club with semi-friends and acquaintances. I might blurt out some passive-aggressive sentiments regarding any subject here and there, and I might talk to you endlessly about a single little incident that bothers me. So I need you to be an extroverted soul. I need you to keep on showing me the world outside of my precious bubble and tell me that it’s going to be okay; that it’s perfectly fine to try and trust other people because even if it turns out badly, you will still be there for me.

7. I need you to be as obsessed with music as I am, if not more. I need you to love seeing live bands, even the ones that play on the streets asking for ‘donations’. We will be walking in the rain one monotonous Sunday night and begin hearing a gentle yet husky singing voice getting louder with every strum on his acoustic guitar as we slowly recognize the lyrics. “Back beat, the word was on the street/ That the fire in your heart is out/ I’m sure you’ve heard it all before/ But you never really had a doubt/ I don’t believe that anybody/ Feels the way I do about you now”. We will then head back to your apartment and immediately listen to the same song on your iPod, and I’ll need you to sit still on your bare mattress as I carefully plug the left earphone onto your left ear. And in that moment, when your left ear and my right ear are introspectively listening to that song, I need your heart to beat faster. Because mine will. It always will.

8. I need you to get used to hugs that are at least 70 seconds long each. And when I say 70 seconds, I really mean 70 seconds. I need for you to understand the power of a long, sincere embrace. Within those 70 seconds, I need you to tell me the things you never can using words, and show me the images you never can using photographs. I need for you to be completely open, like a fisherman’s view of the wide sea from his almost-stationary vessel. I need you to be a blank page right in the middle of a thick mystery book so I can scribble my love for you the way a kindergartner scribbles – liberally and colorfully.

9. I need you to read books, watch films, visit art galleries and slow dance to Radiohead songs because that’s what I am about. I need you to feel how much these things matter to me, and I need for them to eventually matter to you, too. I need you to be influenced  by me, and I need for me to be influenced by you.

10. I need you to be able to freely communicate with my unadulterated physicality. I need you to lay me down ever so delicately and feel the rush of air from my mouth on your neck as I whisper distorted sounds of devotion and satisfaction. I need you to have a fairly long hair so I can brush through it with my fingers when our lips meet. I need your breath to smell like a combination of cigarette smoke and diet Pepsi. And when I finally break from the kiss, I will only be about an inch away from you because I’ll still need you to recognize the heat coming from my lips. It is the same heat that brought me to where you were, and to where we are right now. And I need you to fill in that inch of distance with another kiss. But I need you to stop halfway an inch because I’ll meet you there.

11. I need you to be aware of my self-destructiveness and my existential crisis. I am one of those unlucky ones who were born to ask infinite questions about themselves and the world that they live in. You will find that I sometimes burst out crying mid-way down my coffee mug, but I need you to understand that it has nothing to do with you, me or us, but the simple fact of my morning coffee reminding me of life’s bitterness and atrocities. And I’m not saying that I’m blaming my coffee for my momentary melancholia. It’s in the sight of that mug with my peripheral view of the city skyscrapers; it’s in the sound of the dogs barking outside somehow blending with the sound of my heavy breathing; it’s in the texture of the dining table which reminds me of the sturdy desks when I was in college; it’s in the way that your actual presence and the mere idea of you collide. It is in those little occurrences that a breakfast sends me to tears. And I need you to pay close attention to that.

12. Most importantly, I need you to realize that I have waited a very long time for this; for you. And I need you to know that no, you don’t meet all of my needs. No, you’re not the one who hits eleven out of eleven from my list. And no, you’re not perfect. You probably don’t give a single shit about books, or sunsets, or cats, or my self-diagnosed mental illness, and maybe your life plan doesn’t really include going on long walks in the rain because you catch cold and fever very quickly, so maybe it’s safe to say that you are underqualified for a place in my heart. But come closer. I have something to tell you. Lean in. Yes, and a little bit more. Now let me tell you a secret: when I fall for you, I fall for you. And there’s nothing that you, me, or this stupid list can do about that. I love you, just because.

.

Twenty-one Love Letters

My Symphony: Dead End Kids by Joe Purdy

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I missed that last Voice class. You know, the one where you all sat in a circle and took some time to think of the great things about each other, and to say your brief yet meaningful thank you’s to the people you’ve been with through this journey. Sheila sent me an e-mail containing the S’s messages to me. I read them just now, and I can’t help but be in a state of bliss.

That we have gotten to know each other in a way nobody else has is what makes that one year so special. I know that this isn’t the end, but I also know that things will never be the same again after graduation. So this is it: A parade of gratitude to each of you.

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride. I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
– Pablo Neruda

Twenty-one Love Letters

Dear Travis,
Thank you for the poem, for every single smile. Somewhere along the momentary highs, lows, cynicism and introspection, you made me feel not alone.

Dear Simon,
Moments of rage, moments of bleakness, of chaos, pain and lethargy—that’s when I think of you and everything I feel just changes. Thank you for your generosity and your kindness, and for never failing to bring love into any room you walk into.

Dear Aaron,
Gone are the days of wondering if someone so pure and so warm-hearted exists out there. The knowledge that you’re right there, seeing the same stars I do at night, makes this world so much safer than when I first found it.

Dear Daniel,
I know you. No, I don’t mean you on your Friday nights, or the way you like your steak, or how you react to the sight of a snake. I do not know the specifics. But I know your energy, I know your passion, I know your genuine kindness, your goodness. And sometimes that’s all that matters.

Dear Arochi,
The wisdom, the laughter and the warm embraces will always be remembered. I’m glad you are the way you are. There’s no other way better than that.

Dear Emma,
Sometimes I see myself in you; how you are always on top of a precipice, letting the wind move you gently to and fro as the dark clouds delight in your inner pain. And then you smile.

Dear Yuji,
What you are had always been wonderful, but it wasn’t until I’ve discovered who you are that I saw something beautiful.

Dear Navshin,
You are an inspiration. I will forever be grateful that the universe has been formed and created. I know you will always be a part of it. We are one.

Dear Jesse,
You, sir, are a leader. Thank you for your dedication, your fearlessness and your undying hunger for what it is you want to achieve. You have brought to those sixteen months a kind of a showcase—an exhibition of guts and glory.

Dear Janine,
You are a walking book of compelling stories, a woman who can never be aware enough of her sparkle, her gift, her strength, and the tantalizing truth that she has to hold on to that fairytale dream—that one true love she truly deserves.

Dear Riley,
Thank you for those small talks that momentarily brought up jolts of clarity and misery. Getting to know you to a degree has given me an experience of life, love and everything in between. I know you will keep radiating.

Dear Toni,
I think I know the reason for my recurring dreams. I can never thank you enough for the nostalgia, the danger and the pain. You showed me what it’s like in the other side… how it is to soldier on… what it is to burn.

Dear Rodrigo,
Your free spirit never fails to fascinate me. Teach me how to see the world in Technicolor, to brave the days without remorse and perplexity. You are amazing.

Dear Richard,
I look at you and I see someone I can potentially fly kites with. Thank you for your generosity and honesty; for those times the whole of you was screaming, “Freedom!”

Dear Liam,
You saw me when I was invisible. There is this vitality in you which I hope will never wither. You are the rock upon which the bravest soldier stands. Throughout those twelve months, you have become multidimensional in my eyes.

Dear Travis,
That hug could’ve lasted a second longer, but I just had to break free from it so I could see the sensitive, loving gentleman that you are. You are worth it.

Dear Julia,
I can never thank you enough for being one of those flowers that bloom in adversity. You are someone I always wanted to meet in the visible world, and I finally did.

Dear Graeme,
The last time I looked into your eyes, I saw a little boy in pyjamas and a valiant man holding a gladius. You are a riveting ball of love, hope and dexterity. I cannot express enough the joy I found in getting to know even just a fraction of you.

Dear Mallory,
I do not know how someone can be so delicate and vigorous at the same time, and how in all of this fallen world’s woe and entropy she finds a quiet place of happiness. Your authenticity and compassion are undeniable.

Dear Audrey,
Maybe it was that pink shirt, or because I am nineteen. We somehow found our way down memory lane and laughed at what once felt like the end of the world for me. I found a big sister in you. You are a firework. I miss your light already.

Dear Carlos,
Anyone who has gotten to see you is so lucky. Since day one, I’ve seen in you a man who can thrive and not just survive. You are a friend, a brother, a student and a mentor. But most of all, you are ray of sun, giving warmth, lending light, keeping me company through this journey.

You are all special. Thank you for the rollercoaster ride. It has been the best one yet.

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