He took my hand immediately. I was immediately distracted by how ridiculously good he looked. I noted at the back of my mind that he didn't kiss me, but this would eventually not matter.
I smelled cheap sushi while getting out of the MRT station and I felt like indulging in some properly decent sushi. He asked me what I felt like having; sushi wasn't his first choice, but he was willing to placate me. We walked in the direction of Sushi Tei, just to discover that it was under renovation. This is just like the first time we met, he said, referring to how Simply Bread at Cluny Court was under renovation when I wanted to go there on that day.
We went to La Nonna in the end. We sat opposite each other, and I fought hard to stop myself from wearing my emotions in the Cheshire-like smile that kept threatening to replace my face. He told me about the privacy paper that he wanted us to write together; I was listening, and I understood, but it took some time because I was distracted. I was distracted by his eyes, by the frown lines in his forehead which deepened everytime he thought about something, by his white shirt, the tightness of it, how good he looked.
It sounded like an interesting paper and I would love to work on it, but that is mostly because I would be working on it with him. I want a legal perspective on this, he said. Anyway, you're going to do your PhD in Cambridge - they can't ignore us when we put this paper out.
No, of course not. Whatever I write and eventually publish will be meaningful and important; it will make a contribution because I don't waste my time mucking about. He is the same way too. He's said it many times, both in relation to his own work and my PhD. This paper that we will write together will be amazing and it will say something important, and, with our powers combined, people won't be able to ignore it. I am excited about this already.
He also said, You're smart and you care about social justice. Later, he awoke the swooning idiot that lives dormant inside me: I like your writing style.
He likes my writing style. He thinks I'm smart and he recognises that I care about social justice. The fact that he is passionate about this particular subject matter, among other things, shows that he cares about social justice, too. Clearly, we are in sync in more ways than one.
While walking along the road searching for somewhere to have coffee, I was seized by a sudden impulse to be affectionate; therefore, I hugged his arm, pressed my face to his shoulder. It immediately registered with him; he stopped walking, turned to me, and - finally - kissed me.
We went to the D'Good Cafe (no, I don't understand the pseudo-French either, or the nonsensical punctuation) and there was a swing seat available. It faced the window; although the view was of the main road and some flats, it was incredibly relaxing. Almost as if it was a reflex, we started pushing the swing. Sync, he said, laughing.
He had a meeting with a PhD student in the afternoon. The timing was 'flexible' because I really wanted to see you. I gave in to the reflexive action of my facial muscles then; I surrendered to the feelings that I'd been trying to keep at bay, to keep under wraps, especially when he said, I'm going to figure out how I can see you in England.
He'd received his US visa earlier on in the day. He's going to leave anytime now. I wondered what his departure would do to us; I wondered how we would say goodbye; I wondered if that would be it, we would never see each other again, his departure cutting off this connection between us with bruising finality.
And so when he said that he'd try to see me in England, I didn't want to not want him anymore. I wanted to keep on wanting him, to preserve and protect everything that we'd created and formed up to that point, because I am in love with him and I don't want to let him go. I don't care about its irrationality, its illogic, its insanity, its improbability. He wants to see me in England. I've been thinking about seeing him in the Netherlands or Germany when he goes for conferences in those countries. Unfortunately, he will be in Germany for a stretch at the same time that I am coming back to Singapore; and he was thinking of visiting his parents in Greece after his stint in Germany.
Wow, that's a tough one, I said. Actually, it's not a tough one. The choice is obvious: he should visit his parents as he hasn't seen them in over a year. Does it mean something, then, that he said that nevertheless, he'd love to see me in Singapore at the end of the year?
I am in love with him and my feelings are virtually uncontainable. They overwhelm me, they are like a ceaseless flood fueled by constant heavy rain, I cannot stop it. Neither can I bifurcate my thoughts and my feelings. My thoughts have succumbed to the force of my feelings; my mind has been colonised by my heart. I am in love with him because there is a genuine connection between us, and it is clear like the light of day - like the brilliant sunshine in the middle of the day - when I recognise myself in his thoughts. This sense of recognition is more powerful than one of identification; it is to come face-to-face with something startlingly familiar in the mind of another. I see myself in fragments of him; and so I feel a sense of completeness when I am with him.
I had to go back to work at some point, but like he said, it felt so amazing that I didn't want to leave. He gave me his cushion when he saw that I was seated at what he said was an odd angle when I had my legs over his. I liked the feeling of his hand on my leg, on my skin. Out of nowhere, he told me, You're very pretty.
In between a fit of giggles, I confessed that I was very distracted by how ridiculously good he looked that day. He upped me by saying, You always look awesome.
When I left him on the MRT at Botanic Gardens station, I walked back to BTC with a tangy spring in my steps and a private smile plastered on my face that I didn't bother to conceal from total strangers. Even if I had wanted to, I couldn't. It was uncontainable, unstoppable, I couldn't help myself. I was happy. He makes me happy. The knowledge that he feels for me what I feel for him somehow makes his impending departure easier to accept, because now I know that I am not alone in the madness, the hoping, the gradually giving in to what my rebellious heart desires.
All right, you win. You, the eternal rebel; you, the one that is constitutionally unable to listen to reason; you who led me down this path, towards certain heartbreak, who threw me in front of the firing squad of his contradictory behaviour and impulses - you win. I hope you are happy because I am not fighting this - you - any longer. I will let you lead the way and take a backseat; I will let you have your moment in the sun. I will do this because I know how he makes you feel, like you are whole again, overflowing with a pure happiness, brimming with girly excitement like you are 16 once more and nursing your first crush. Luckily for you, he feeds my intellectual hunger. I love listening to him talk; I love hearing his thoughts. Luckily for you, both our needs coincide right now, and so I will let you have this victory. The only thing that I ask is to not betray me if or when I come across evidence that requires me to take over once more. You are incapable of taking care of yourself, and so if the time comes for me to take the lead, please surrender. Please surrender. You will thank me for it later, just like you've done many times before. For now, go off and have your fun; indulge in these feelings; live in the moment of having him by your side, holding you tightly between his palms, his lips on your bare skin. I have realised now that I cannot change you - you are what you are, you do what you want, you want what you want. You are stubborn, you fell in love with him, you want him - now you can have him. Enjoy it. Revel in it. I do not know how long it will last...so enjoy it while it lasts, because it is a beautiful thing, this connection between you and him. No amount of logic or rationality can change that.
My last day at CIL was without fanfare, just the way I like it. I frantically did last minute research for my judicial review paper and was alarmed at the sheer volume of information I found. It is going to be insane, this paper. I thought it would be straightforward but I was wrong.
I still owe Prof B some work. I will finish the administrative thing, then see what he says about the substantive thing when I meet him on Friday.
I heard back from Magdalene about accommodation and apparently, they are able to offer me an en suite room. YES VICTORY! The downside is that the let ends on 30 June 2016, and I am apparently required to be resident in Cambridge until 30 September 2016. I guess I will see how it goes after the let expires. I would be there long enough by then to know where to look for a spare room...I just hope that it's not going to be terribly disruptive to the writing of my first chapter, which is important because it will determine whether I get upgraded to a full PhD or not.
On another but related note, I realised that I have never felt as assured, as confident, and as positive about myself, what I am doing, and my future as I do now. I think it comes down to a combination of things: Cambridge; PhD in Cambridge; theory of human rights as the area of my PhD research; how this feeds into my need for an intellectually fulfilling life; and to some extent, G and his workaholic self coupled with his intellectual self which makes me want to strive to be more than what I am. I can be better; we can always be better. It's a question of whether I want to challenge myself or not.
He's a huge proponent of challenging oneself. I was a huge proponent of always striving for something better, but I did nothing - or very little - to in service of the broader aim. I guess it didn't really help that I didn't know what I was doing with my life; but now that I know what I will be doing, and where, it is so much easier to start pushing myself. The sheer fact that I've had zero publications speaks volumes of my laziness, which is why that human rights in Singapore chapter was so important, and why I have to write a killer paper for the conference in December. (There is an annoying 8000 word limit including footnotes; I guess I will write a long version and condense it for the conference. I don't know yet.) I also want to write about Amos Yee - properly write about him. I took out my point on how freedom from offence makes absolutely no sense the way the courts here have articulated it from the chapter because it was too long and it didn't really fit, but it was the only argument that I was really into. I should expand it.
Anyway. I am tired. I went for a run this morning and I was stymied by the laces of my right shoe. It came undone not once, but twice. I suspect, too, that running in the morning is more tiring than running in the evening. I was a few seconds short of 30 minutes and I thought I'd done a lot.
Next time, I will run in the evening instead.
I wanted to shop, but I seem to have lost my mojo for shopping. I was so bored afer 30 minutes that I went home.
I've got 9am jurisprudence class so I'm gonna read some Dworkin and go to bed. I'm visiting G in his village after class...I can't wait to see him in his natural habitat!
(That means, of course, that I'm gonna be on the MRT for like, an hour. Going there is fine because I have something to look forward to, but taking the MRT home from Expo to fucking Bukit Batok is going to be so depressing. He invited me over to check out his uni's library...ha ha ha I love how geeky he is. He was also raving about the library in Cornell. For my part, I can't wait to start living in the library in Cambridge. It is going to be amazing.)
One last thing: why am I not living in Bukit Timah? I wish I lived in Bukit Timah so that I can vote for Chee Soon Juan. I'm five minutes away from Bukit Timah but I'm in the Choa Chu Kang GRC. Thanks a lot, government. I have no idea who are the opposition candidates contesting in my GRC, but this is Singapore and so it does not matter a lick. Generally, I will vote for anyone who doesn't have the lightning symbol next to their names - anyone, that is, except complete blazing idiots like Roy Ngerng, Gilbert Goh and Han Hui Hui. I feel sorry for pro-opposition people living in Ang Mo Kio. If I had to make a choice like that, I would spoil my vote for sure.
When I was driving home on Tuesday and saw all these Jurong posters along Upper Bukit Timah and that road next to the Bukit Batok Nature Reserve, I thought that I was in the Jurong GRC. I looked up the opposition party contesting and I saw that it was some party called SingFirst. Singaporeans First. It sounded like some anti-immigration party and I am anti-anti-immigration, so I was dejected and was all ready to spoil my vote...luckily, the party contesting in CCK is People's Power Party. Or something. They adopted Sun Yat Sen's five branches of government as their blueprint or whatever. I guess the Taiwanese connection makes them palatable, in some remote sense.
All right, I'm off.