Only a tourist can admire the commonplace setting a native quaintly sees. I could live here forever, you might say. At one point, you marvel at being the conqueror of that newly found isle and expect to situate your life in that free taste of liberty the most of what freedom can shortly allow. Indeed that is one story. The other is the point in which you start to own the moment; capturing it perfectly as giving yourself a large dose of mythomania that such spur of time is interminable, even though you only clearly want to express awe in the first place. Then it gets into your head. The intact memory of sense experience is still there, drooling you, majestically appearing before your thought clouds or daydream fancies, making you arrive at a buoyant conclusion that will nail yourself permanently in that picture. Sure that could be the moment of glory – your “fate” calling you to abandon everything and seize the day – or it could be anything but that. A lot of discernment it took you, so much time to think about it, or waste, which probably pushed you to just go with it before it consumes more time and you end up doing literally nothing. You decided to step out on that journey you can never un-forget, not with your volition still magnetized to it completely. After talking it over to your friends over cups of coffee, with a little latte for an exit strategy, or to the other friends who drink, all of them don’t matter, except for the validating ones that actually were the ones you were fishing out. So there, you’ve just made up a life-changing decision. Yay for the ecstasy of it. You knew of course that being the native is nowhere different from a moldy prisoner who has lost all heroism as with someone at the age of twenties, when most of career crashes and shifts happen. Living decidedly in one place is living with the ordinary. Settlement is the straight line in the hospital bed: the purest choice, the lifetime commitment, the person against all odds. That’s it, you contend. And nobody else can try to amend that except the circumstances that await you for it.
Latte as an escape rope, you ask? That’s simple alibi. One can always invoke the call of nature as an excuse. Quickly or else the bomb would have exploded where it is not supposed to. Or it only made you drowsy, suppose more than the austere conversation one can’t frankly admit. Let us try something else – front paging or the struggling imperative to stand out.
Only a desperate attention-seeker can kill his own concierge to be momentarily seen in newspapers. A man can be so frantic to be relevant that a collage picture of him detained – shot with all sides holding his full name and other details of his life – could be adequate. You think of the most interesting criminal act outwitting previous violations. You can always admire the inimitable tactic done by students when they cheat: relay the message, open notes, careless whispers, proctor distractions, operation comfort room, and invisible ink. In short, something that forensics might grade you A for creativity, a valuable story ahead of all the tragic news; something worthy of adaption in police sitcoms or lawsuit TV series. Or it could just end up in a tabloid but who cares as long as it is front page and the long tirade going on in your mind just to get that hodgepodge of desperation and probably televised for the criminal intent of it would have soon ended with no ears intricate enough to hear everything from a cellmate. Hence, the amorality of the story is: put yourself in the shoes of a criminal and look at how transient beings operate to realize how passionate they are to the foretastes of ends.
Curiosity kills the lion, you might add. And not meeting one’s great expectations is a double dead case. Some elated moments are a price to pay. As one adventure park placard once read: ‘you don’t pay for the ride; you pay for the experience.’ The cost is dependent on how far you are willing to be relevant. And what is more truculent than to tell an untold love story.
Only know you love her when you let her go, you hear sometime in the radio. But forget about that for a moment. Instead, proceed with: Only a man in love can let someone go. Appreciate that person taken for granted by everybody, left out from the spotlight – or reduced to a reputation. Hum ‘she will be loved’ and think about her. With all the details mashed up together, something happens, something must happen – or else what’s the point. The dots shall slowly fade and the scattered mementos in the white canvas will reveal the magical link of it all. She was meant, she means, and will mean something. Far better than any of what is conventional, as one might notice or as you might accidentally become aware of. You might think that she may not be the epitome of popularity, the acme of political correctness, or the powerhouse of anyone’s life but she is by far the grandest amalgamation of elementary fondness and pleasantries, possessing a charming and loaded gravitas, a woman with substance, a beauty beheld in wondrous complexity. Someone of that caliber outshines me, and I am amazed to see how she carries herself in the most ordinary way she remains true to it – this you cannot deny. But you cannot do it. You like her, but you cannot tell her. You tried the ‘conversation first before the intent’ but you know she’s not up to you. That’s about it, a crystal out of your league. A one-time scientific trial and error; the ironic get-go and the sharp end tale of madness. Every now and then she will get inside your head. Her words become your words. Her advices become your vices. You would beg the itinerant cupid not to hit so hard on you this time because you knew that when that arrow pierces through, your gooey and soggy heart will melt in a silver platter better served for the queen.
Until one day, you realize that it is time to wake up and the interstellar gap between you two is the same as you waking in class, hysterically answering – when asked if there are any further probes – ‘none so far’.
There are a series of reasons why simple and modest liberalities are sufficient. Because some things aren’t meant to be, you accept them. Because short vacations are not for life, as is well-known, you begin to cherish the Kantian province. Because front paging is only as trending as a quotidian zodiac reference, you start to embrace the function you had to play. And because persons are not meant to be possessed, you trash the psychoanalysis behind desire-object setups and let the woman of your dreams be. It will be more intimate than Platonic agape, since you honestly don’t mean to disturb the distance but only skinny-dip (the whole of you tried). Also, revelations are terrifying. But this doesn’t stop you from peerlessly peeking, as you’re sure that a guileless glimpse won’t hurt. Trips are fine. Momentary elations in winning a long table tennis rally for a point, hitting a 7-lettered in scrabble, drinking a frozen-cold lemonade with its thin ice shards, and receiving one or two pokes or beeps from anybody, are glorious. Selfies-by-the-hour, you insist? That’s not the point. Having a word from her is. Seeing her happy too. Because the politics of distance works inasmuch as there is freedom in the pathways by which both you and her tread, then you cannot ask for more: love sometimes is retaining the untold with the best will in the world.