If it weren't so doomed (at least in a prima facie manner), I would probably allow myself to say that I have fallen, in whatever vague sense of the word, for G. I don't believe that I have ever met, let alone dated, a man who is as intelligent and deeply intellectual as he is. Throughout the entire date, I experienced so many moments when I was just blown away by how smart he is; and the single, defining moment when I fell completely head over heels for his brain was when we had drinks at a rooftop bar downtown and he started to talk about justice. On the way to the bar, I told him that I was smitten with Jacques Derrida's essay on the relationship between law and justice, that law is a function of justice, and that justice can never be fully experienced in the present; it always remains 'to come'. This notion of an infinitely possible manifestation of justice suggests an idea of something larger than our present here-and-now reality, and our inability to fully experience justice in the present, and thus inability to properly define it, protects the idea of justice from common, daily corruption; and so it is an ideal that is never fully realised, but because legal systems and the law seek to uphold it, we constantly strive towards it, and in the process, things get better. I'm not sure if this reading of Derrida was what he intended, but it's my take-away from his essay. It's really fascinating how he constructed his argument, but that's another entry for another day.
At the bar, when G was on a topic completely unrelated to the law (it was about evolution and language...is there anything that he doesn't know?), he switched gears with a snap of his fingers and he applied whatever he just said to the concept of justice. It was basically something along the lines of how we cannot define justice with the language that we have, because our present language presupposes ideas that we've already discarded, and there is a limit to the ideas that language can express - and so it can never fully capture every single ideal that justice is capable of wholly encapsulating. In order to define justice, then, we have to come up with a new language.
At this point he looked at me as if expecting a response. I'm pretty sure that it was already all over my face by then, the shock and awe, the smile on my face conveying everything that I was feeling in the moment. I'm an open book so I'm sure that he saw it. In response to his look prompting a reply from me, I smiled and nodded.
I made a contribution later on which I tried really hard to make sense of, but he jumped onto the contradiction in what I said in 5 seconds. But the point here is that...is there anything that he doesn't know? Later on I was telling him that I really enjoyed swimming because it relaxes me and helps me clear my head, and he could even make an intelligent comment in reply, saying that we're conditioned as adults to be afraid of water.
If I could crawl into his brain and live there, I would. If I could make sweet love to his brain, I would, without any hesitation whatsoever. I'm just completely bowled over by how intelligent and intellectual he is, and I haven't the slightest clue why he likes me. I struggle to keep up; his brain works so fast and I don't understand most things that aren't in my area of specialty, so it's a bit difficult to follow everything that he says.
But he's always off on an intellectual train of thought, so catching 50% is pretty good effort, I think.
I had a great time. I was feeling rather anxious that it would be a bust after I spent days building it up in my head, but it was great. I love talking to him. I love listening to him talk. I even enjoy looking at him when he talks; the times when I got distracted by his cuteness were also the times when I noticed that his nose is perfectly sculpted, like a Greek sculpture. I noticed that the first time we met and today reinforced it.
We were supposed to meet at 3.15pm. I got to Tiong Bahru MRT at 2.55pm. I sat down somewhere to continue reading The Last Utopia, and five minutes later, I received a text message from him saying that he was early.
It turned out that he'd already arrived too. Like he said, no way.
I meant to show him around the hipster area of Tiong Bahru, but because it was really hot, I decided to sit down at the first cafe that we came across (Flock, I think). After that, we spent maybe 30 minutes in Books Actually, where he adorably suggested buying a book for each other. Obviously I agreed to that; there's little that endears me more to a man than an exchange of nerdy habits.
I felt a slight tingle when he placed his fingertips gently on the small of my back, briefly, subtly.
I wanted to get him Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending because it's short, readable, brilliantly written and philosophical, but they didn't have it. I got him The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford in the end, which I'd just finished reading. The structure of the novel is really complex, and it's perhaps the best use of the unreliable narrator in all of English literature. In any event, it's one of the best books ever written in English. It also requires you to pay attention, so I missed quite a lot of details in my first reading. It's definitely a book that I'll have to re-read.
It was super adorable when he took it out, turned it over and read, 'This is the saddest story' in this 'oh shit' tone of voice. (The novel's opening line is 'This is the saddest story that I have ever heard.') I proceeded to tell him that it's one of the best novels ever written in English and he definitely had to read it. I hope he does.
He got me a book by an Indian writer that I don't know, because he was attracted to the idea that everyone can be a hero, written in the blurb. I still haven't got a clue what it's about but I'll definitely read it when I'm done with the Colin Barrett collection.
I really have to sleep, so I'll make this quick-ish.
He convinced me to play pool. Me, play pool. Freaking hell, I'm open to new experiences and all, but I wasn't exactly keen on making a fool of myself in front of a guy that I was crushing on. But I didn't want to be lame so I went along and it was actually quite fun, even if I totally sucked. He was so cute, trying his best to educate me on how to find the best angle for whatever shot I wanted to do; in fact, he dictated almost all the moves anyway. He took ages to sink the 8 ball at the end, which I found absolutely hilarious. I also missed my targets by 100% a few times, which was quite mortifying.
We had dinner at CHIJMES in this seafood place. There were fireworks but we couldn't see them. I felt proud of myself when I happily helped him with the name of the philosopher who said that suicide is the only true philosophical question (Albert Camus), and later on, that Faust was the one who wrote the story about someone selling his soul to the devil.
Drinks was great. I already covered the moment when I knew that I wanted to see him over and over until he leaves, so let's move on to the moment when he reduced me to a giggling mess.
We left the building, walking side by side. I'm not sure who started closing the gap between us; perhaps it was mutual. I felt his hand reaching for mine, almost tentatively, and then I just took it. We walked like this for a bit, and we were talking about drunk British undergrads, and I mentioned that I got drunk twice, and he asked me when. I said 2008, and then we stopped walking and we were face-to-face. Then I said, 'And the second time was on the last day of my exams in London...'
He looked at me, smiling, while I was still in the middle of my sentence. He made it clear that he wasn't listening anymore when he said, 'Come here' and kissed me.
We'd spent 9 hours together before that. I'd probably wanted to kiss him 5 seconds after we met. I felt this mild tension in the air in those 9 hours, caused by this knowingness that he was attracted to me and yet, fearing that I was somehow making him lose interest, and this tension naturally crept into the way I behaved.
He kissed me and I giggled into his chest, 'You're really cute.'
'So are you,' he said.
The tension disappeared, just like that. I felt free to be more relaxed. I told him, then, that I was in awe of his intelligence, and that I sometimes got distracted from whatever he was saying because he was so cute.
Getting a taxi at 12.30AM was a bitch but it worked out in the end.
I am so smitten that I don't want to see anyone else. I just want to go out with him, bask in his aura of intelligence and hope that some of it rubs off on me by virtue of my proximity to him, and just be with him for as long as I can.
I really need to sleep.