1. {rest⋅less} 浮躁 adj.
Characterized by or showing inability to remain at rest: a restless mood.

It was supposed to be a rainy season, but it’s November in a city that cannot make up its mind. As usual, the afternoon heat clings on to the air and lingers - not the most welcome visitor, but it’s decided to stay. “It’s won’t be long before it decides to change its mind and rain,” you say. I tell you to shut up and don’t jinx it. You smirk and shrug.

Today, we opened up the street directory and flipped to a random page. “We’re going there.”, I pointed. (“There” was twenty kilometres away, probably three quarters of the entire length of our country; “There” was thirty minutes away, too short a time that passed; and “There” was an unfamiliar place.)

But its always the best of plans that go awry and it’s always the heat that’s sapping the life and energy away. I fidget in my seat - cross my legs so the sun shines on the seat, put my head on your shoulder so the sun misses me; place my hands on your legs so the sun doesn’t sear, and finally, slump in my seat as the sun defeats me.

"Stop moving, it’s distracting me."
"Then drive away from the sun."
"If you did not notice, Miss, the sun is shining on my face too."
"Then detour, let’s not go there anymore."
"You’re always like this."
"I’m always like how?”
"Restless."

And so, it was decided that we would adjourn for ice-cream. That late afternoon, it really did rain. The ice creams were useless in the battle with rain, so even when our ice creams trickled down our hands and face, we just lapped it all up for each other.

2. {anx⋅ious} 不安 adj.
Full of anxiety or disquiet; being in painful suspense

Five months ago, I said, “I have a bad feeling about this.” when you said “走, 回我家吧.” You had been no stranger, but you might as well be.

Five months later, I never say that again anymore because you love proving me wrong. But a stone still sits in my belly and it’s getting a little harder to breathe.



Day n.
As usual by ten in the morning, my belly is full of stale coffee and my lungs are half-filled with tar. When days swirl around in a viscous mess on a timeline, it’s hard to separate the when is what and where exactly is the when.
What if there were an us living in an alternate reality where we were less afraid? What if you went ahead to be the banker who was not fearful, and I, the teacher who was not disillusioned? What if you never went to teaching school and I went to get help? Perhaps… perhaps…
Memory is ephemeral, but perhaps it’s not unlike a lot of the things in this world that wane. Time passes by and the train stops for no one. Time passes by and I forget just how quickly a cigarette can burn up to your fingers.

Day n.

As usual by ten in the morning, my belly is full of stale coffee and my lungs are half-filled with tar. When days swirl around in a viscous mess on a timeline, it’s hard to separate the when is what and where exactly is the when.

What if there were an us living in an alternate reality where we were less afraid? What if you went ahead to be the banker who was not fearful, and I, the teacher who was not disillusioned? What if you never went to teaching school and I went to get help? Perhaps… perhaps…

Memory is ephemeral, but perhaps it’s not unlike a lot of the things in this world that wane. Time passes by and the train stops for no one. Time passes by and I forget just how quickly a cigarette can burn up to your fingers.

Passenger side
No place to be, no where to hide, no destination to go. So we end up stowed in your car all the time driving to and stopping at god knows where all the time. No maps. We never get out but the windows are always down and we’re either reading, dreaming or discovering. Balmy mornings, sweltering afternoons and humid nights blend into a frenzied blur on a weekend and it’s too bad that we have to work on Monday.
No reason to sleep, no time to sleep, just let me catch the last of the night. Drive for thirty minutes to the other side of the island and then back to where we started. Rinse and repeat. Take a cigarette and breathe it right down to its filter. Take another and do it till you’re dizzy. Smoke fills the car in place of words and when it doesn’t, it turns out different sounds know when to crawl out of our throats instead. In such a small space, everything gets loud and I think we’ve had a bit of loud for too long. In the small space that gets smaller when you lean over, I just am pressed between the glass and you and everything just spills over to you because I have no where to go. Some days, your fingers accurately count the number of knobs on my spine, but most of the time, I do a better job of counting your ribs faster. Summer makes it easier.
The passenger is supposed to listen to whatever the driver listens. I know you hate me tampering with the music in your car but I do it anyway. You let me do it because for the short times that I’m in it, all you do is steer and I set the pace. It’s always the same favourite route home and I can’t help but look out all the time. Your hands absentmindedly rest on my thigh and I think we’re okay sometimes.

Passenger side

No place to be, no where to hide, no destination to go. So we end up stowed in your car all the time driving to and stopping at god knows where all the time. No maps. We never get out but the windows are always down and we’re either reading, dreaming or discovering. Balmy mornings, sweltering afternoons and humid nights blend into a frenzied blur on a weekend and it’s too bad that we have to work on Monday.

No reason to sleep, no time to sleep, just let me catch the last of the night. Drive for thirty minutes to the other side of the island and then back to where we started. Rinse and repeat. Take a cigarette and breathe it right down to its filter. Take another and do it till you’re dizzy. Smoke fills the car in place of words and when it doesn’t, it turns out different sounds know when to crawl out of our throats instead. In such a small space, everything gets loud and I think we’ve had a bit of loud for too long. In the small space that gets smaller when you lean over, I just am pressed between the glass and you and everything just spills over to you because I have no where to go. Some days, your fingers accurately count the number of knobs on my spine, but most of the time, I do a better job of counting your ribs faster. Summer makes it easier.

The passenger is supposed to listen to whatever the driver listens. I know you hate me tampering with the music in your car but I do it anyway. You let me do it because for the short times that I’m in it, all you do is steer and I set the pace. It’s always the same favourite route home and I can’t help but look out all the time. Your hands absentmindedly rest on my thigh and I think we’re okay sometimes.



Heavy lidded in the car, peering out the window and listening to Ryan Adams.
The humidity is killing me and I know it’s killing you because your t-shirt starts to stick around places. Bored, restless but at least thankfully, unmoving. My feet are up on the dashboard and you’re just reclined, humming along to songs that don’t belong to us. It’s really too fucking hot to live. Why did you have to turn off the air-conditioning in the car and open the windows?
“Do you ever feel that the heat is so blazing that it evaporates all your loose thoughts and gives you just… one to focus on?”
The sudden piercing of sound makes me glance up and I catch your face in the rear view mirror - your eyes are closed and your hair is all matted to your forehead. Summer. Your lazy voice feels like a dream and I can hardly believe it. Fiddling with my cigarette, I turn away and smile because all the heat ever does is muddle fiction and reality. I am a horrible person to always ignore you and your stupid questions. But I decide to turn back and ask for a light, put my head on your gross shirt and let ringlets of my soul escape through my lips while we continue to listen to Ryan Adams.

Heavy lidded in the car, peering out the window and listening to Ryan Adams.

The humidity is killing me and I know it’s killing you because your t-shirt starts to stick around places. Bored, restless but at least thankfully, unmoving. My feet are up on the dashboard and you’re just reclined, humming along to songs that don’t belong to us. It’s really too fucking hot to live. Why did you have to turn off the air-conditioning in the car and open the windows?

“Do you ever feel that the heat is so blazing that it evaporates all your loose thoughts and gives you just… one to focus on?”

The sudden piercing of sound makes me glance up and I catch your face in the rear view mirror - your eyes are closed and your hair is all matted to your forehead. Summer. Your lazy voice feels like a dream and I can hardly believe it. Fiddling with my cigarette, I turn away and smile because all the heat ever does is muddle fiction and reality. I am a horrible person to always ignore you and your stupid questions. But I decide to turn back and ask for a light, put my head on your gross shirt and let ringlets of my soul escape through my lips while we continue to listen to Ryan Adams.

Sleeping with ghosts in a crowded city

The heat is making it easier for bodies to melt into a heap and the thing with melting messes is that it gets difficult to peel apart different entities without having pieces of each other come off and staining the other piece. Today was a hot afternoon and the usual Sunday routine was to flop onto bed and let muscle memory do everything. A snaking finger here, a loose limb there and expectantly wake up in a tangled mess of limbs and sheets. The afternoon heat and rays stream through your shitty curtains and it hurts my head, clouds my judgement and makes everything awash in a sheen of yellow. It’s warm outside and all that is is to be even warmer with something that can be felt. Soft flesh that moulds, knocking limbs that find the perfect cranny - it becomes easier with each visit. Tear ourselves apart and inadvertently leave behind parts. I shouldn’t be doing this but youth and bitterness doesn’t know better.

Day after month after year, we peel apart and I can feel bits of yourself on me that I cannot scrub clean.

I run across the road and I’m going back to bed alone.

August in the city when it’s too warm

It’s easy to miss it, but summer cities are covered in a thin slick of sweat and passion. Looks good, but it never feels as good as it looks. In the blazing, afternoon heatwave, you still insisted on sitting outside the cafe because you wanted to smoke. It’s irritating but I might as well. Though drinks melt twice as fast, the silence only clings on half the time. One, two, three times - a bolt of light. Four, five, six times - a tendril of smoke. It’s only been a couple of hours but we amass a large collection of ugly butts and sweat around our clavicles. “Our pool of reward,” you say. I laugh and tell you to go fuck yourself.

August in a city when it’s too warm is a melting mess of feelings and passion. The ice cream melts to quickly in your hands and you decide to reach out and clean it with my face. And then reach further to take it back with your mouth. You’re too icky too touch, and so am I. Bodies curl up in the the heat, yes, but it’s harder to peel things off each other when they stick to each other.

Slipping under the covers with you with our legs stretched out peeking over the blanket feels a little guilty - is it the fact that your blankets do not fit? Or is it because that time never originally belonged to us? I would have wished for us to stay separate, but it’s natural that legs and feelings eventually intertwine under the sheets and I would not have wished for anything else. Your lungs spit fire and under all that heat, everything melts away into singularity. Years pass under that blanket and soon it’s time to go home.

Slipping under the covers with you with our legs stretched out peeking over the blanket feels a little guilty - is it the fact that your blankets do not fit? Or is it because that time never originally belonged to us? I would have wished for us to stay separate, but it’s natural that legs and feelings eventually intertwine under the sheets and I would not have wished for anything else. Your lungs spit fire and under all that heat, everything melts away into singularity. Years pass under that blanket and soon it’s time to go home.

It doesn’t matter whose car that I’m in the front seat of, listening to whatever that plays because I’m waiting for someone or something to replace a certain memory along a certain road. My head tilts to the left and leans against the window and all I hear is the heavy air of silence and the pattering of rain. Your hand rests on my thigh and further up but sometimes, it feels like my body is not mine anymore.  

The idea of virginity, purity and possession has been snapping at my heels and it’s time to run faster and away.

Today the sun shone straight in my face as I was crossing the road and for a moment, I couldn’t see. It’s these unseemly moments which make no sense individually that confuse me; but when put together with the equations of fate, love, and memory, it all fits together. Makes sense. Funny how longing and nostalgia drops in like an ex-boyfriend on a hot Sunday  afternoon by a busy road. Amidst the rays and squinting, you’ll realize it’s nothingness after all.

Today the sun shone straight in my face as I was crossing the road and for a moment, I couldn’t see. It’s these unseemly moments which make no sense individually that confuse me; but when put together with the equations of fate, love, and memory, it all fits together. Makes sense. Funny how longing and nostalgia drops in like an ex-boyfriend on a hot Sunday afternoon by a busy road. Amidst the rays and squinting, you’ll realize it’s nothingness after all.

1 / 220