Tag: love

How To Say “I Love You” without saying “I Love You”

Life June 10, 2018




How do you say “I love you”? What do you do when you feel like you have to express your love for someone? Of course, spoken words have the most direct influence — they are explicit and conveniently delivered to the other’s ears. Like an instant message. Swift and easy. It’s so quickly brought upon your senses that it leaves you with no second thoughts. It doesn’t linger. The sound dissipates faster than you think. Only your memories would catch that so distantly and vaguely. So when you reminisce the moment, you would only remember your lover’s lips enunciating “I love you.” It’s easy — it would be like microwaving a cold slice of leftover pizza from the previous night. It’s because you can speak of love even when your feelings are void. It can be done like a swift reflex, like an old nasty habit you’ve had since seven. It’s just like that. It’s hard to tell.

I was thinking about love the other night. Because love isn’t like a swipe on profiles you may or may not like, or number counts on a Facebook account or disappearing ten seconds of a snap. I am not trying to be derogatory towards anyone, or their ways of being loved or loving someone. I suppose love has separate definitions for different people. To me, accounting love as a number or involuntary, simple gesture has less meaning than what I regard love as. Love is such a soft and mellow feeling. A warm, fuzzy feeling. It deserves more than definitions like that. At least to me.

When I think of love, I think of bursting lavenders and pinks of a sunset. Or the brilliant shades of yellow and orange of dawn. The dog-eared pages of someone’s favorite book, the yellow, musty paper of it. Maybe the resounding G-chord of the guitar that resides in your room as a soft echo. Or the delicate fingertips plucking it. Rose petals dried between an encyclopedia and the petal-shaped stain that smells of its traces. The taste of chocolate under your tongue, old quilts that feel like embraces, the faded bronze coin you’ve kept from your last trip. Something like that. Something that stays.

Yet love isn’t always so special. It can be like cliché, mundane romance films that you doze off in midst, or old jazz you listen to on pouring nights. Something you knew about but still lingers in the corner of your heart for days and nights. Sleepless nights and the recollection that keeps you awake just for more stories told by your memory. The letters you receive. Each word and phrase is tailor-made just for you. Every sentence is joined with the thought of you. The way someone writes each word, the way he writes his ‘y’ or ‘g’. The little flicker in its tail. The way you take photographs, in an angle that focuses oddly into someone’s washed denim jacket. Not everything has to be analogue though, it can be on the other end of hushed late night calls, the muffled exchanges of your day, the missed call you only notice when you wake up next morning. The littlest things that have always been with you, but still leaves you with visceral hours of afterthoughts.

The way someone says “I love you,” the pair of eyes locked into each other, the backlit feeling of warmth spreading throughout your body, the power with which each word is spoken, pressed and calm. Not just the word love. That is my paradigm of love.

Full- Pensées d’amour

prose October 19, 2016


Today’s Recommendation: Bruch Romanze, Op. 85, for viola and orchestra

Their conversations were a pocketful of love songs and serenades that filled the night with sentiments of yearning. He spoke to her with his voice muffled under blankets that they have used to build a fort, softened under the sound of radio playing old country music, and she whispered to him back lovingly; they built bricks around their forts and only the flickering lamplight could intrude in their space. Their words embroidered the night, each minute and every hour colored with indecipherable codes of love that only they could decipher. Time was meaningless; clocks seemed to have paused their machinery as they shared their words, and the hands of the clock told their story captured in each second. They held their time in their words, and even Father Time himself could not have stopped them.

He sought for her whenever she swept the streets like the lost wanderer in a barren wasteland, and caught her as she fell into her own fits of troubled thoughts that engulfed her. She was somewhere far, sometimes, and he had to bring her back from her reveries like a child would catch his butterflies in the prairie. Yet he savored each moment, and thought time was worthwhile with her, even if it meant that he had to stand behind a step behind her, holding her as she fell into the hollow abyss of nothingness. They always had a presence of absence between them, and knowing that, they tried to fill up the emptiness with words, more words, and words to blow thoughts into each moment, so as time passed, they would keep each moments, imagining themselves as Arabian bandits with treasures in their hands.

When she wandered, lost in her thoughts, he spoke to her about the colors of the sunset- the wisp of oranges, the locks of soft lavender within cranberry reds. She would then look up to the falling sun, the golden pupil of a closing eye, and tell him she loved the sunset too. When the golden eye of the sun fell and the shades of melting blue and deep purple was blown into the sky, she would lift her arm and wrap her fingers around the moon, telling him that she would catch the moon for him, and he would laugh, again and again. His laughter would then mix with hers, and they would look at the same moon, a pearl in the vast sea of deep hues of blue, and feel each other’s warmth right beside them. The sunset to moon-watching was all they did, but the time melted in the moon they watched was what made it precious.

Some nights they were never together. She would break herself from the space they have created and lock herself in her own vault of dark secrets, spending the night alone in that small, confined vault, reminscing her misery and sorrow all over again. He somehow knew he could not pry the vault open, only trying would break the vault, and her. He waited by the cold, unfeeling vault all night, telling her his thoughts of love. He was never really sure if she could hear him from the deep bottomless pit of the vault, but he tried nevertheless. He spoke to her about the sparrow’s aubades and the nightfall’s afterthoughts, and she listened, even if she couldn’t hear him from the vault. His voice was muffled and soft, and his words reached her like lumps of unclear tune, but she closed her eyes and listened anyway, as if listening to the callings the ivories of the piano make.

Some deep nights when even the clouds have smudged the littlest traces of the moonlight, she would scream and curse for him to leave, her voice piercing through the night’s cavern of silence. And as he told her all the stories and tales of the history he knew of, he realised that they were standing precariously on the edge of the cliff, their toes touching the ends of the rock- one small move would pull them both into the blue hands of the sea, into depths of the unknown where lost, weary-hearted sailors would end up. The sea was the end, and he knew that she, left breathless from all the storms she had been through, would very willingly throw herself into the undending space of blue. The thought saddened him; so before she could, he let himself into the blue ripples of the sea, sinking down and below the singing seagulls and sobbing clams.

Father Time has gathered times and seasons, and the hands of the clock travelled as if they were catching up for the time they had missed. Some nights she recalled him in her dreams, standing on the cliff, waving to her as the summer’s breath brought him to the sea. Then she remembered that they sat on the summer’s end, whispering endlessly of the old tales. When she woke up she felt the coldness in the empty space of the bed, wondering if the bed had been that big. Days she spent by the sea were meaningless, waves that came crashing up the shimmering sand tickled her toes and her fingers swept through the cold waters but he would never know. She knew though, that he wouldn’t want her to follow him into the deep blues of the water. So she stayed on land. He was in the sea, and she was on land, touching the dead ground: only time was between them.