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Monday, February 26, 2007
Everything

Amazing. The view was amazing. Standing at the edge of the balcony, my eyes travelled as far as they possibly could and all my eyes saw was an endless stream of buildings, tall ones and short ones, each poking against the other and a rustic yellow sun parading its glorious self in the background. Occasionally I wiped the tiny strands of hair that danced gently with the breeze. I heard my own peals of laughter among the potted plants and the day bed when my skirt decided to pull a Marilyn Monroe stunt.

Flashes of light travelled along dark lines. There were big cars and noisy buses, all moving along the labyrinth of streets many floors below. They looked so tiny from where I stood, like little ants that were trailing towards a sweet picnic. Every now and then, birds soared towards the heavens. The feeling was majestic. These beautiful creatures were witnesses to how big this world is and what an inconsequential role I played in it. The feathery ones reminded me of dreams that I have never dreamt when I slept and visions that I have never seen while I am awake.

I heard the kettle whistling. The distinct smell of coffee filled the living room as I closed the glass door behind me. How magnificent, I thought to myself as I stood by the huge glass windows. My fingers moved along the cool windowsill, darting the little wooden ornaments and the baby pot of plant when they reached the end. My feet felt cold and tingling, responding to the cool of the beautiful marble floor.

I sat at the edge of the white sofa and I swung my legs. He came out walking with two mugs of freshly brewed coffee. He lowered his eyes and a little smile slowly found its place on his face. “Are you always this restless?” he asked as he handed me my mug. His eyes were so magical, pure blue and yet if I really looked into them, I realised that they were grey too. And if I really, really looked into them, his pupils dilated whenever he opened his eyes after closing them for a while. Like magic.

“We are going to Tioman. Will you come along?” The context of “we” here referred to Nikki, BGF and him. They were all heading to Tioman in March to participate in some eco diving, beach cleaning sort of thing. Basically beach cleaning and watching the coral reefs are the by-product of shameless non-stop drinking over a weekend. Doing something for Mother Nature makes everyone feels better, especially on a hangover.

We hopped into the car and drove up and down highways to the café. It served the most delicious focacia that I had tasted in a long time. Last weekend, I had focacia with egg and cheese. Egg and cheese is a traditional combination, a sure winner. You can never go wrong with it. At this particular Sunday sitting, I asked the waiter for a recommendation and he said pita with tuna. Three tables from us, a German couple sat, babbling on while Madeline Peyroux sang softly in the background.

I always loved beautiful things. That is my weakness. I am every shop decorator’s dream. I am the gullible one. I have entered shops because of the music they played and I have equally avoided boutiques because they were too brightly lit. For me, presentation accounts for nearly everything in the first three seconds of entering a boutique or a café. And here in this café, I sat among old things, fresh coffee, glasses of cucumber juice, the most fantastic sandwiches I could sink my teeth at breakfast time, dark recess for rooms and slow jazzy tunes to wake every atom in my body.

“So what are you having?” he asked.

“Pita and tuna. It was at the waiter’s recommendation.”

“You charmed the young chap too?” He smiled again.

“And how would you know anything, sir?” I asked, then turning to look at the German girl, who sat so prettily with tousled blonde hair, gypsy skirt and flip flops. I always envied the tall, skinny blondes. How they easily hang the clothes on their bodies is enviable. It is pure genetic and never a coincidence that beautiful girls are beautiful.

“Because you are always charming,” he reached out and patted my right hand. “I’ll be worried on the day you do not charm the socks off men and women around you.” He winked.

He lit a cigarette. He pursed his lips and the evil thing dangled at the edge. He had this raw look. It was unusual but when I saw the look, I knew. Here sat a man across me, who had a past. Who rode the big bikes, who chased the skirts. He had two ear piercings on his left ear that perhaps helped him bed so many girls in the 1980s that he can no longer keep track of them. I have noticed these piercings more than three months ago and I secretly called one “Naughty” and the other “Cheeky”. This man was both and more.

The islands on the East Coast are opening in March. I have bought my bikinis for this summer and I am waiting for the season to start. There will be diving trips for the boys and the girls will tan themselves. I imagine settling down for a good book for a month somewhere. I plan to go to some deserted (and perhaps cheap) island for a month, to get away from everything and to write the book, which started this blog. There will be parties and the damn Formula One and then to Europe for skiing and summer a few months later.

“I love you,” he said. I laughed when I heard those words. He looked confused. His eyes darted left and right, searching deep into my eyes. Laughter was not the answer he had expected, I suspect.

“I would be surprised if you don’t,” I replied. “Men always say they love you.”

He looked a little hurt by my remark but he was wise enough not to deny what I have said. He nodded and took my opinions as they were. He knew better than to try change my opinion. I have been stubborn in my ways and smart men were smart enough not to try change mine.

“Men have very low standards,” I said. “They will drop almost anything for the chance of scoring.” I swung my crossed legs on the chair. “Never listen to the words. Words are cheap.” I closed my eyes and all felt still around me. Philosophizing. “Actions,” I paused to stress my point. “Actions are more meaningful than mere words.”

I have never been charmed by words or confessions of love. Too many men have uttered that and too many more failed to match their words with deeds. My father told me in my youth that you know a man by his actions. One act of love is more effective than one thousand words of love and that was how a woman could tell if a man loved her.

I sat in my corner, in my little armchair. He sat in his usual spot, on the big white sofa. We did not speak and yet we spoke a thousand words. I could not hear what he said to me and neither did he hear what I silently said to him. Only smiles and the occasional wink separated one secret conversation and another. Sometimes I caught him looking at me when he smoked in the balcony. He stood by the edge overlooking sky, light, haze and concrete. He tapped his cigarette into the ashtray, inhaled and exhaled little circles that vanished into thin air. He had his funny slippers on.





***
I caught myself asking what is the price of loyalty. Everything could be bought and everything could be bartered. The remaining question was just the sacrifice and price. Many women traded personal happiness for comfort and security. Some foolishly traded their careers or self-worth for the men they loved. Younger women exchanged their flesh for approval and love. Generations of older women spent their youth denying their love to marry those who could provide comfort and education for their offspring.

To claim that you are priceless and that your love is endless is to lie to yourself. At least that is what I think. Who knows what the future might hold? Who knows if Alex would still love me when I am fat and ugly? Who knows if he would dump me in favour of a younger model? After all, it is a fact that I am four years older than he is. Youth is fleeting and beauty is very momentary. Even the most beautiful women in the world have to submit to age, so who am I to be confident in saying that I will still remain attractive when I turn 35 or when I have a child?

Maybe Alex would grow wise with age. Maybe his career will take him somewhere. Maybe we could afford a house. Maybe we would never afford a house in Kent. The value of houses is appreciating at 3% per month on some months of the year. Wouldn’t it be easier to just be with a man that already has a house than to slog like a mad woman, growing white hair just to find the down payment for a little one bedroom apartment?

The truth is men will leave you for the stupidest and strangest reasons. Being with an older man does not guarantee you that he would not leave you. You hear stories that they often do. Being with a younger man does not necessarily mean that he would leave you for someone who is closer to his age (or younger). He might just hold you until the day you cease to breathe. He just might. Then again he might not.

Financial security, I tell you there is none; real or imagined. One minute he could be richest man on the postcode and within the next, bad investments, bad company or bad habits (whichever gets to him first), could financially ruin the man. I always believed that I should not get too used to fine things in life, in case I will have to lose them some day. You do not miss what you do not know.

I am beginning to respect for women who sacrificed one for another. It does not matter if she let go of a man her heart loved in favour of a man who could give her the securities she needed or if she threw caution to the wind and chose a man whom she loved when she had many suitors who could keep her tight little bottom on satin and silk. When we decide, we expect to walk the miles with the men and that is what is known as loyalty, love and perseverance.

My mother told me that if she had the choice to chose again, she would chose someone who had financial security versus someone that she loved with her heart. She is not the only older woman who believed so. I have spoken to many ladies in their later years and almost all of them said that they would chose someone who could take care of them better than someone whom they loved more.

“At least you will have the luxury of silky tissue paper on days when you have to cry,” my mother said. “Tears will be softer on your skin.”


I wonder if I would say the same when I am older. Will I still feel the same when I was 31? Will love be everything?




***
MiniBoyFriend R and I had lunch today. He looked deep into my eyes. "Oh don't being such a drama queen. I know you well enough," he said as he sipped his espresso. "You chose Alex. You always do." He patted my head, as if I was a little child with ribbons on my ponytails.

"Am I stupid?" I asked, looking soulfully into his eyes. The table of three men out on lunch break sat next to us. Damn cigarette smell, I thought to myself as they stubbed their ciggies before diving into their healthy salad and chicken sandwiches. "Do you think I am stupid?"

"I don't use the word 'stupid'."

"Ok. Do you think I am dumb?" I asked. I leaned forward, to narrow the distance between us. I hate it when nosy tables are eaves dropping. I hate it more when the noses belong to men.

"You are not dumb," R said. "Although everyone I know would have chosen the security over love but you know that you would not. What you have is called conscience and loyalty. Cherish it. You are richer than the kings. Not many have these qualities anymore."

"I wished that I could be selfish but I can't. I love Alex too much." I whispered across the table.

"Don't take me wrong but you are selfish. You love yourself the most and that's why you love Alex. He loves you the most too."

Is love really everything?

Labels:

7 Comments:

well that you love yourself the most & that he can love you the most as well despite knowing that

now that counts for something too. hmm.

like your thoughts on how actions > words. so true. so true.

10:51 am  

Hi,

Found this great site with lots of weekly comps, any anyone can easily join. :)
Femail.com.au

Cheers

3:35 am  

Stev
Women should always love a little less than men. I rather be with someone who loves me more than I love him... Women's love can be moulded and shaped but men's love are rare.



Star
"Cheers" calls for a round of drinks, don't you think?

7:28 am  

i am young and foolhardy, i am childish and foolish. so yeah i think love is everything. :p

10:18 am  

was that a dig at otto? haha

3:05 am  

" Women should always love a little less than men. I rather be with someone who loves me more than I love him... Women's love can be moulded and shaped but men's love are rare."

I cant agree more...

Must also add that the love must extend to good times and bad..infact its during the bad times that we need most love.

Love on!!!

7:33 am  

Suicidal
Your lines reminded me of Alanis' song "Hands In My Pocket" in some strange way.



Nixii
Naw....... that wasn't. *winks at Suicidal*



Bikerstud
I've never been impressed by men who confess their love. Professing that you love someone is easy. Carrying the deed out in words, now that would be admirable.

Everybody loves you when the times are good. You will know who your friends and family are in bad times. That's when you know who loves you the most.

12:18 am  

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