Addressing Ares and Constantine

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


“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

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.