..when the mind ceases to think..

...some organized incoherence.

Friday, January 27, 2006


With every breath you take
The air you breathe is me
So don't think me dead
I'm no more than a breath away

With every candle you light
That softly burning flame is me
So don't think me lost
I'm no more than a spark away

With every smile you cast
The lightness in your heart is me
So don't think me silent
I'm no more than a joke away

With every melody you sing or listen
Each note reaching your ears is me
So don't think me quiet
I'm no more than a song away

With every pebble you toss in a pond
Each ripple it creates is me
So don't think me calm
I'm no more than an inanity away

With every tear streaming down your face
The wet trail they leave behind is me
So don't think me immersed in the past
I'm no more than a thought away

With every cut that makes you bleed
The blood from your veins is me
So don't think me lifeless
I'm really not that far away

In the memory of Cecilia Zhang

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Silent Affairs (Part 4)

Once again, the stage was filled with same elegance, confidence, boldness, and the much dreaded soliloquy sequences. With the new self-realization, he felt certain that it was not his place to be and wanted to leave as soon as possible. There had to have been a lot of sequences because at some point a familiar pattern in her actions was becoming increasingly noticeable to him. She’d look up and down, to the right and left as the scene required, but during each sequence, he'd catch her glancing at him at least once.

The consequent discomfort was well justified because even after eight years, if there was one thing that remained unchanged, it was the effect of her gaze fixated on him. It still intimidated him because her eyes could unmask every layer of pretense he'd put on, and he dreaded this.

The play came to an end about an hour later. He got up to join the applauding crowd as the theatre crew appeared one by one - the production crew; followed by technicians, special effects team, stage crew; then the extras, supporting actors, and finally at the end, the main actors. He turned to leave and as he walked, looked back for one last time at the bride in white, only to catch her staring back at him. She had a frown on her face and mouthed his name to which his body responded with paralysis. She knew.

It was exactly how he had imagined it along with his rehearsed reaction to her gaze. Finally, his mind slowly regained control over the rest of his body as he struggled to put up his rehearsed vacant face in her direction. With a polite smile, thus denying her any confirmation of her discovery from his side, he blinked once, turned around and walked out.

Silent Affairs (Part 3)

She wasn’t exactly how he had remembered her. Her hair was longer now, there was no reservation in her manners as she spoke to other actors confidently, audibly and walked around the stage in elegance. This was a stark contrast to her shy and reserved personality when she was in Canada as an exchange student.

There were a couple of times during the soliloquy sequences when she would glance at him. Among the remaining unanswerable questions, it is only fitting to add another – why he felt shortness of breath when his eyes would catch hers. He wasn’t sure if she noticed him or not, but he could feel his cheeks burning. ‘Calm down idiot, she has no idea!’ the inner voice would tell the nervous shell.

He finally breathed in relief when the first break began, certain of himself that she didn’t notice him, albeit, the thought didn’t make him any happier. It is an odd human trait many are aware of, when one is afraid of the consequences of their desire, one tries harder to conceal their true nature yet secretly wishing to be sought and accepted.

‘What’re you hoping for? That after rejecting you seven years ago, she’ll feel differently and maybe even reciprocate?...Would it be too much to ask?’ The wall of denial had finally outlived its life and there was no use leaning on it any longer to justify the unprecedented course of his actions. He acknowledged he still possessed some feelings for her, but this time his mind voiced a stronger say in the matter. Being a pragmatist the renewal of this feeling brought the same array of fear and pessimistic expectations as once before seven years ago, and he had no desire to relive it all over again. He let out an apathetic chuckle, and shook his head at the eccentricity of his recent actions. "Oh, you stupid, stupid man." He said to himself inaudibly, forcing himself to tend to the present. He walked along the hallway mingling with the crowd.

The bell rang again. Act 1, Scene 5 - Ella’s marriage. Her scene. He walked back slowly and sat down as the curtains drew up to reveal the bride in white.


Silent Affairs (Part 2)

The truth was, he had no idea what to expect. He had no intention of meeting her even if she did recognize him, that is, in spite of the liberty he took upon himself to alter his attire and appearance to dissolve completely in the formal environment. He reminded himself that he was simply going to watch her performance as a cordial audience and then leave promptly. The plan was almost foolproof.

The commencement music derailed his train of thoughts, and the actors began to appear for the first scene. He looked at the program once again for the last time. Her part wasn’t till Act 4, so it wasn’t hard to immerse in the play and enjoy all it had to offer.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Silent Affairs (Part 1)

He matched the seat number with the ticket and sat down nervously, still unsure why he chose to attend her performance. He didn’t want her to recognize him, after all, he worked so hard to erase her from his mind with hopes that she had done the same. Her words were clear in the last letter, “I’ve written to you 17 times in the last year with no reply from you. I think maybe I did something to make you angry, I don’t know what, but I’m sorry. Happy birthday. I wish you the best in life. “

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, however, his presence was well justified. His job required traveling all over the world, and by chance, sent him to Italy where she happened to live. Moreover, it was a Friday night and he had nothing better to do than tour the place, so if he happened to purchase a ticket to an opera there was nothing unusual or concerning about it. If the justification was good enough for the rest of the world, it was good enough for him. If only. Questions such as why he spent eleven days before his departure from Canada to locate the city, time and place of her performance and ordered the ticket as soon as he stepped on the Italian soil; or why he fought with the ticket vendor for thirty minutes for the front-center seat and paid three times the cost to the original owner of the seat, remained unanswered.