Souls & Purses

Just your untypical youth, in so many words. Content unrestricted.

Category: Love

What would i keep if i lost you?

I’ve been reading a bit lately and in the last three pages of the book “Shanghai Baby” i came across this passage. In it the antagonist, Coco, is packing up her things and getting ready to move out from the apartment that she up until recently shared with her boyfriend, Tian Tian. Tian Tian in his last days was an impotent morphine addict and while it’s not explicitly mentioned how his death comes about, it’s pretty much assumed that he dies from an intended overdose.

Just before i left, i sorted a few things out. I touched up the manuscript and cleaned up the apartment. I planned to move back in with my parents, so i needed to give Connie the key. Tian Tian’s things were still there. I chose one of his self-portraits, a collection of Dylan Thomas poems he’d liked and a white shirt he used to wear.

The shirt still had his smell. Burying my face in it made me realize what it is to lose happiness.

Being someone who tends to attach meaning to just about anything in the search for significance, i often put myself into a character’s shoes. This time it made me think. If my boyfriend Demitri went away like that, which shirt of his would i keep with me?

Over the years, my boyfriend’s style and his appearance has seen a lot of changes, initially kick-started by him but enthusiastically curated by me until today. I dote on his aesthetic now (i mean i won’t say it’s perfect but it’s certainly an ocean’s length away from where he began). I love that he now knows the difference between shin-high white socks and ankle-length black ones and that he’s now aware that not all polo shirts are equal. I also appreciate the effort that he took to study the stark contrast between a $3 neighborhood barber cut and a professional trim by a proper hairstylist.

But then i thought deeply to myself after coming across Coco’s grief and realized that if i ever lost the love of my life, the shirt i would take with me wouldn’t be that long black one that i think he looks so effortlessly stylish in or the red and black check button-up that makes him look so sharp, or even that double-breasted cardigan that makes me swoon and go weak at the knees.

In fact, it would be his ugliest, most heinous polo shirt, the one with the wide horizontal stripes going through it, each at a more garish colour than the last, ranging from Panadol pink to tree-hugging green, the one that i always thought made him look like a food-colouring infested Raya cake.

But i would keep it with me and i’d take it to bed with me for months after and i’d hold it close to my face for the last traces of his favourite perfume while my tears poured into its threadbare seams and stitches. Because at the very core of it, the man wearing that was the one i fell in love with. I loved him so much then, even with his poop-brown boardshorts that he would wear out nonchalantly when we stumbled out for dinner after a long nap spent in each other’s embrace, or when he thought nothing of his bedhead as we sipped contentedly on bubble tea together. After all this time, he’s still the one i turn to in times of distress, the one whose breathing disappears to alarmingly shallow depths when he’s asleep, the same man whose hands i impulsively seek even in my deepest, heaviest inertia.

Even at his prime, i’ll never ever forget that that was who he was at the beginning. I can’t say if being with me has changed him for the better but i do know that the man i met five years ago is the man i would always choose to remember him by. In fact, i’d choose that kek-lapis-shirt wearing man with the unsightly sideburns over the other prince charmings anyday.


The Truth and how i feel about it

It’s a bit like when you drop someone off at the grocery store to get overnight supplies for you and you remind them to get you a toothbrush.

“What kind?” they ask.

“Any kind”

“What colour?”

“Any colour, now for christ’s sake, can you get a move on already?”

But then they come back with a fluorescent orange one or a green one and you can’t help but feel a twinge of muffled disappointment because only then do you realize that you could have really appreciated the motivational qualities of a snazzy red one or an energetic blue, especially when it’s 2 in the morning and the prospect of brushing your teeth isn’t exactly calling out your name.

It’s not something that actively crosses your mind so you don’t really let it bother you but when it does hit you between the legs, you can’t help but think “i wasn’t expecting much but at the same time i certainly wasn’t expecting a kick in the nuts”.

So that basically sums up the fog i’ve been going around in for the past few days. It’s a sad mixture of denial and determination and a lot of “i should have seen it coming” and “that explains everything” and quite a bit of “i guess i knew all along”. And i suppose there’s also the “i’m glad nothing happened because then i can go on living my life in a happy relationship and learn to be a grateful muthfcka that i know i can be if i just tried harder”. But more on the “why don’t you love me still, asshole” part though.

Not having the upperhand sucks, big fucking time.

“I’m so crazy stupid happy”

Tonight is just one of those nights where i feel like the luckiest girl alive. Ironically, it wasn’t by some romantic gesture that my boyfriend had devised leaving me giddy and stupid with happiness. It actually began with him arriving in front of the coffee shop i was in with furious relief etched all over his face. And to be honest, the entire scene could have blown up in something ugly as i defensively accosted him at the entrance while he wagged his finger at me with ill-concealed anger.

“Don’t do this right now,” i warn him through gritted teeth, not knowing what his problem was but sensing intuitively that whatever it was, it wouldn’t be solved (in fact, i wouldn’t let it be solved) until he had calmed down.

But i’m getting ahead of myself.

So all that happened was basically, my phone battery went flat, i thought i’d told him that i’d arrived safely at the coffee place where i was meeting my friends (key point: apparently, i didn’t), there was a thunderstorm at his place, he thought there was a thunderstorm as well wherever i was and after two hours of being m.i.a., he assumed that i’d gotten caught in the storm and imagined that i was lying in a ditch somewhere so he went to look for me in every branch of the coffee place i was in before finding me in the third one.

The thing about us as a couple is that, we’re not the type to keep tabs on one another. We’re not the type to be jealous whenever the other is out with other people; we respect each other’s space whenever we know the other is busy; we understand each other’s need to socialize with other people instead of just being together around the clock. Basically, we don’t have trust issues. We do what we want, when we need to and however we want to.

On the unspoken condition that we keep each other updated on our respective locations. Just a casual “i’ve just reached so-and-so with so-and-so” or “leaving the house now, will text you when i get there” and “going home now, text you as soon as”. Purely for safety concerns because i think we share the common fear of anything  bad happening to each other and not knowing how and where to reach them. Just knowing that i’ve made it from A to B is good enough for him (most of the time) and honestly, while i am equally the worrier, i’m perfectly fine with just a check in from time to time, letting me know wherever he is. So if ever he doesn’t get back to me in three hours, i know where to go first. Like i said, we don’t do it out of insecurity because we expect to catch each other unawares in the act of infidelity *knocks on wood* or to keep us on our toes at all times as a deterrent or any juvenile shit like that.

We do it just out of concern for each other’s safety.

Which apparently, i failed to do so tonight. So he came after me because the last thing i told him was that i would be at the coffee place after driving from another dinner with a different group of friends. But because he never got an update that i’d arrived and my phone had died, he imagined the worst and went scouring the deserted, stormy highways in a frantic search. I suppose it was understandable but all the same, i was embarrassed when he showed up crazy-eyed with relief. Lol. So we had a tiny spat and i grudgingly pulled him over to my table where my friends were waiting with abated breath, waiting to see if we’d have our lovers’ quarrel in full view of everyone.

But we never fight for long anyway. So we sheepishly nudged each other and bickered openly for a bit while rolling our eyes after which all my friends took his side and gushed about how lucky i was and how sweet D was. Honestly, i was still really embarrassed because i could see his eyes shiny with relief and fear after what he described as a harrowing two hours of waiting for an answer and searching the streets. And that made me want to cry as well because i felt bad for making him worry so much. But ever the stubborn ass, i carried on with my nudges and teasing taunts and eyerolls which he reciprocated half-heartedly.

He stayed with us until the shop closed and we all had our departing cigarettes for another hour in the parking lot, discussing our December trip to Jakarta which he engaged in with cool enthusiasm, offering shortcuts and suggestions. The whole time, i felt a crazy swelling in my heart, so filled with love i could barely contain it.

“What did i do to get so lucky to have you as mine?…

And more importantly, what crime did you commit to have me as yours?”

I love him. I love him. I love him.

And let it be known, for every time i modestly roll my eyes at any mention from my friends of how lucky i am and how sweet we are as a couple, my heart beats a little faster with secret agreement because honey, i know. I knew i struck gold the night i drunkenly fell into his arms on our second date and he instinctively fed me watermelon to my dry-mouthed delight before hoisting me into the car and carefully driving me home at four in the morning. During his own birthday party.

Now that’s love.


Our 4th Anniversary! + CAKES CAKES AND MORE CAKES +Girlfriend of the Year Award

I had such a lovely day today, it really has been one of the best ones in a while. I actually have a few posts drafted that i never got around to publish on some really, extra shitty days/weeks that i’ve been facing lately. There’s something about reliving a bad day that completely turns me off, like, just thinking about those days just make me prickle at the neck. But cutting to the chase, today was the fourth year anniversary for Dem and me!

Beyond the longest relationship i’ve ever had in this lifetime. And only at 23. Damn.

Now those of you who know me well will know that i’m sort of a grinch when it comes to special occasions (especially birthdays) considering i have yet to fully come to terms with appreciating the “beauty” of default celebrations like Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries etc.. I’m more of a “make my own luck” sort of person in the sense that i prefer occasions that actually have a cause for celebration, like say, if i were to launch my first novel or if a friend has just released a clothing line or if my boyfriend won an award or something. Unlike birthdays or whatever which demand to be celebrated by default from a lazy sense of entitlement or out of petty sentimental value, events such as these actually have a reason to be celebrated. ALTHOUGH that doesn’t mean that i don’t celebrate the default stuff, i mean, it may not mean much to me but for some people, it means a lot and i’m not like a total recluse. Lol. Also because i have a handful of family and friends who refuse to let the occasion go by without note (for which i am begrudgingly thankful for, if i’m to be completely honest).

BUT ANYWAY (why can’t i ever refer to ^ without launching into an entire tirade dammit), today was our anniversary and because i love my boyfriend and i didn’t want him to think that i completely disregarded this momentous milestone in our relationship, i decided at the very last minute to get him a cake from the new trendy bakery in town. Someone had liked some photos that the bakery had posted on their Facebook page and all i saw were these gorgeous mini cakes that had been launched very recently:

Taken off the Bake Culture Brunei Facebook Page

Taken off the Bake Culture Brunei Facebook page

Aren’t they absolutely gorgeous?!

I’m so thankful that we’ve finally moved away, away, away from the era of those tacky small sponge cakes that old bakeries used to sell, the ones with Mickey Mouse frosted on in glazed icing and rolled in chocolate sprinkles at the sides. So anyway, i bought the White Chocolate Crunchy cake to surprise Dem with and it was just absolutely adorable. I was actually torn between Red Velvet Gown and the one that i got but then again, Red Velvet has always flummoxed me because i can never actually tell what flavour it is. Some people say it’s just chocolate with excessive food colouring, some people say it’s cream cheese, personally, it tastes like nothing distinct to me.

To be honest, i didn’t plan on getting him a cake but since i felt bad about how his birthday present and his anniversary present are still um…in the process of being done, i bought him cake to stall for the meantime. Lol. I bought it for BND18 and it came with this adorable party pack with forks and mini plates and lots of candles. I didn’t use any of it though because i really wanted our anniversary dinner to be as simple and low-key as possible so there wasn’t going to be any dramatic blowing of candles or anything AND i purposely bought the tiniest cake available because i actually had this idea of us just digging in with our spoons and literally just sharing the cake between us instead of fussing with knifes and plates and dividing the cake with other people and whatnot. And that’s what we did. I loved it. The symbolism of it and everything else was just perfect as was the packaging that the cake came in.

We had dinner at this Thai cuisine place literally on the beach and i’d made reservations for us requesting for their “best” table which happened to be on their outdoor balcony, actually ten feet from the beach shore. It was lovely! Eventhough it did drizzle on us quite a bit bahahaha and at one point we were so disgustingly salty and sticky from the sea spray blowing in on us. But we had like 6 dishes on our table and we weren’t crazy about moving indoors mid-dinner so we stuck through.

Dem had actually almost made reservations for a much fancier restaurant but believe it or not, i told him that for this anniversary, i just wanted to keep it low-key. To be honest, 1) For the first time in my life i didn’t feel like getting dressed up since i knew i’d been meeting him straight from classes and i’d also been up late completing an essay and 2) We only just got back our two week trip from Jakarta last week so i was thinking that for tonight maybe we could have something fairly low-maintenance but still romantic since we usually go all out on our trips anyway. And the place didn’t disappoint! It was somewhat fancy but with a really laid back atmosphere so people were all in casual wear, there was candlelight and music and the sound of the waves crashing and most importantly, no mosquitoes so all in all, we had a great time.

We didn’t do anything really remarkable but being together and just working on our dynamic to make today a great day just felt amazing. God, i’m getting to be so fucking cheesy. Being 23 is different, y’ guys. But that’s a different post altogether.

That’s all for now!


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