Thursday, June 28, 2012

What More

It's a bit hazy and groggy here; the sun is setting past the roof ridges of shop houses and I empty out an ice cold Heineken into a chilled glass. Ah, Thursdays. A necessary prerequisite to Fridays.

I've been living my life on a whim here, telling myself that this is my vacation without it being a vacation. Despite it being exactly one year since I've moved to Singapore, I am still treating it as an exotic, tropical country with beaches and sand and men who make it their business to invade my private beach naps a bit too often for my liking.

Yet, it's been a year and my friends back home are busy getting engaged and getting married and what not. I feel grateful that I am not feeling the pressure to settle down but I am also feeling slightly worried. Like, am I ever going to feel the urge to settle down or am I always going to be one of those people on the move, treating every new country as my personal holiday.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. It's just that, I don't know, maybe I am not getting any younger and maybe I should care about things like getting married?

I am enjoying this all too much though. My job, my life, my weekend subway rides to the beach. It's all so convenient, so resort-y, so detached from the real world. I am living in La-La Land and I'm fucking loving it. Even my boyfriend, for Christ's sake, is just too good to be true.

The question is: can I live like this forever?

Right now, I am not doubtful that I can. But what if one day I wake up and my vacation is over. What then?

Friday, June 22, 2012

The L-Word, Deconstructed

I've always been cautious about saying the three-letter phrase. So many people use it so carelessly and nonchalantly, after all; I wanted to be the one to set an example for all. I only said "I love you" to a total of two men in my life, despite having dated, seriously and casually, a whole lot more than two in my life.

It was just that.... when the 21 Year Old told me he loved me in person, shortly after he texted me all about it... it was as if the flood gates of affection had opened up. The Red Sea had parted, the doves ascended to the sky, and the L-word, that I so much feared to throw around casually, entered my vocabulary like it was my new favourite thing to say.

Yes, I said "I love you back" when he told me he loved me in person. And after that blood-coughing incident a few weeks ago, I felt even more of a need to say it, right then and there. Just in case I didn't have that much time to wait.

And I felt happy, and safe and fantastic when he wrapped his arms around me in gratitude. And since then, I've said "I love you" to the 21 Year Old probably more than I had ever said it to anyone prior to meeting him.

It feels amazing to say it. And liberating. And blissful. And all of those things that I wanted to feel but did not want to give into fully.

"I love you" is my new favourite phrase. With all the abandon that I think I deserve for once, this freedom makes me feel amazing.

Sometimes it's that someone who you would least expect to make you happy, that actually does make you feel like you're on top of the world.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Will You, Tomorrow?

Last night I woke up in a feverish state. The air conditioning was on full blast so it wasn't the hot air of the tropics nor the stuffiness of my room that was making me sweat in my sleep.

I dragged myself to the bathroom, looked in the mirror. I looked like shit and I winced at the sight of my own skin, with the imprints of the folds of my pillow still on my right cheek. Why was I awake anyway at this ungodly hour?

I coughed and spit into the sink, casually, to clear my throat. I washed my mouth with a minty-fresh mouth rinse and looked down to spit the liquid out.

But before I could do that, I stopped. There were blood clots in my sink.

I coughed again to see if the blood was really coming from inside of me, and there it was again at the bottom of my sink. Small little chunks of blood.

Suddenly, I was wide awake. How did this happen? Have I done anything to hurt my stomach lately? I've been on a short self-imposed health kick, so I haven't had a drop of alcohol or soda in just about a week. I've been eating a lot more greens and even forcing myself to chow down a small breakfast every morning, despite my absolute abhorrence of breakfasts.

A quick Google search only heightened my alarmed state. Strangers were suggesting that the blood clots could be anything from an ulcer to cancer. Fucking cancer? No way. Not me.

I dressed in the middle of the night and texted a cab to rush me to the hospital. On my way there, I had to deal with racing thoughts. Have I lived my life to its fullest? Have I loved enough? Do the ones I love know that I love them? Do the ones I care about going to care if I am suddenly gravely ill?

I thought of how much misfortune an unexpected sickness can bring. What if my employer does not value me any more because I will always have to call out sick? What if my dude decides that I am too much of a burden to deal with? What if my parents get grief-stricken and will want me to come home?

I didn't want to find out the answers to these questions just yet. I wasn't prepared to deal with the heavy shit, right then and there, at 4 o'clock on a Saturday morning.

The doctor's observation was vague and not completely reassuring.

"This might be caused by stress... but we will not know for sure now. We can do a conservative treatment, give you some medication and see if your condition improves in a week. Or we can do something more aggressive and do an endoscopy to check for ulcers."

I chose the more conservative option. No need to go batshit crazy with worries just yet. Maybe I shouldn't stress too much (yeah, like that's likely to happen) and see if my condition improves, just like the doctor said. Maybe I don't have cancer after all.

So today, I will rest in my bed, take my medication as prescribed and try to recuperate to the best of my ability. And today, before tomorrow brings whatever it is destined to bring, I will tell at least one person I love them.

It's the least and the most I can do. Today.