Twelve Things I Need From You

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


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.


Romantic Serendipity

My Symphony:  When the Time is Right by Griffin House

Over the course of the average lifetime, you meet a lot of people. Some of them stick with you through thick and thin. Some weave their way through your life and disappear forever. But once in a while, someone comes along who earns a permanent place in your heart.

The Wonder Years

I have been excessively romantic for the past few days. A lot of people noticed that I seem “cheesy” lately. I’ve been hooked to romantic films, songs and television shows. So is this what happens… when the love bug bites?

Upon reading what I already have written herein, you may get the instant idea of me being engaged in a romantic relationship once again. Well, to set your expectations to a more average level, or let’s say a “less ambitious” one, I’m not really in a relationship in the context of what the typical mind radiates from the brain upon hearing the word “love”.

As a quick background, I am generally not a cheesy or a corny blogger [haha]. I don’t really write a lot about love and what people think about it, but I think today is the perfect day for a “hearty treat”. I don’t know. I just feel like a big truck containing overflowing cheesiness hit me out of nowhere. And right now, this is me saying

I have been madly in love.

If you had watched the TV show “The Wonder Years”, you may be familiar with the quote that I shared with you above. The movie actually speaks for young love in a different but realistic point of view. But I’m not here entirely to talk about the movie. It’s actually just the lines in the particular quoted thought in the beginning of this entry that will be taken into account. So let us all dissect this wonderful sentiment (using my own sooo cheesy experiences, of course).

Over the course of the average lifetime, you meet a lot of people.

That’s particularly obvious and sensible. We are all social beings no matter how other people try their damn best to be labelled “loners” or “outcasts”. Socialization is actually not a choice. It happens, and it happens all the time, with or without personal intentions. Along with this inevitable socialization comes our getting to know different people with different stories, different lives and different personalities. We eventually will be a part of their lives and in return, they will also be a part of ours, definitely or not. Now just imagine how many people there are in this planet. There are more than six billion human beings dwelling this so-called “only livable planet in the universe”. That’s six billion plus and sometimes, when we take a look back, we’ve only encountered less than a hundred thousandth divided by a countless of the total population. But then we are not expected to meet everyone. This is the real world. We are stuck in our own hometowns unless we take the risk of moving out from a city or from a country. So we are, more often than not, left with the same circle of people who have been surrounding us since we were little. Yet and still, we continue to meet new faces and new adventures. We take the road less traveled and find out that we have gained and lost things and people in our lives.

Some of them stick with you through thick and thin.

There are people in our lives who aren’t really there physically all the time but are still faithful to us even when they’re miles away. We graduate in high school, move to a different school in a different town or in a different country, talk and interact with new people and sleep in a different bed situated in a different room in a totally different world. We manage not to communicate to these people whom we have met back then. There will be days when they won’t cross our minds at all. But when we meet with these people once again, we will feel that nothing has changed. They have been there: our parents, our relatives, brothers, sisters, and even our best buddies whom we always knew we could count on no matter what awaits in the bend. These are the people whom we consider our lifetime treasures—people who gained our trust, our faith and our loyalty. These are the people we’ve exchanged stories, laughs, tears, joys and miseries with. These are the people who made significant marks in our lives that we find it inconceivable to forget them. These are the people who contributed to what has become of us, and what will become of everything in our separate lives. We love them… just as much as they love us.

Some weave their way through your life and disappear forever.

At some point in our lives, fate will bring to us circumstances which will change our lives a bit, and then vanish in the thin air. We meet a group of people whom we thought all along would be our lifetime friends and partners. We give our all to these people, not knowing that one day they would be gone, just as drastically as weather changes under the influence of global warming. We sometimes even tend to call these people our “bestfriends”, our “partners in crime”, our “better twins”… our “better halves”. But somewhere along the distant path we clearly thought we would be walking on with these “expired bestfriends” or “rotten lovers”, we will just find ourselves going on with life and with the journey alone—the journey these people once promised us would be a trip for two. Well, that’s the bittersweet reality of life: it goes on… even when everything and everyone else stops. We just have to face the fact that at least once in our unpredictable lives, we would have to say goodbye to someone who promised to take care of us, love us, protect us… but didn’t—someone who swore to you would be there in the long run… but isn’t (not anymore). But there is always a reason why the people in our past didn’t make it to our future.

…but once in a while, someone comes along who earns a permanent place in your heart. =)

After battling a certain combat in our lives, we sit and think that maybe, we should give ourselves a break from the whole heartbreak warfare and just get out of the crazy world of unrequited love and unchained friendship. We perhaps choose to be in hiatus for quite a while. We say we need to find ourselves– who we really are without commitment. But just as we are being in silence and in a standstill, someone will shock us and our lonely hearts. Someone comes along and gives you a whole new world of bliss and inspiration. Just as you thought you would face the world alone, one person will take you by the hand, all of a sudden, and take you to places you’ve never been. This is now the bouncing back part of the entire course of life. We will meet people along the way who will earn a permanent place in our hearts. New friends, new loved ones, new teachers, new neighbors, new atmosphere… new almost everything. We will bump into people we never really thought we would meet before. New and fresh as their stay in our lives, they will be the ones who’ll make the ride easier and worthwhile. So through the years, we will find another hope and reason for living. We would start asking why we met these wonderful people just now. We would spend hours thinking about how they made us stronger and better. We would even come to a point where we wish they were there a long time ago when we were sick or feeling terrible. This, all of this, will get us to realize that life is actually like a game of poker. We never really know if we’re gonna hit the “jackpot”, or if we’re simply gonna be left empty-handed at the end of the night. We dance to a song of excitement and uncertainty, all with the hope of finishing the game with a lot of money. Well, life is like a poker, except that we’re also like the cards in the game. We are all being flipped and flopped, uncertain of finding other cards which will make a grand slam in the game. But out of all of these uncertainties and vagueness, we are still there, in the game, whether we like it or not. There is a beautiful chance of winning the game, but even if we end up being the “loser cards”, at least we were there… on the table… waiting for our perfect matches– people who have made a particular impact in our lives.

Permanent or not, forever or just for a school year… we are still lucky to be in a romantic serendipity.