March 10, 2016 § 2 Comments


The sun glazed down on everything as I held up my hand to hail a bus.  Though it could have just been any other day in this place I had grown both distant and accustomed to, there was something ethereal about holding sheets of paper from Kazakhstan with Assel’s handwriting. I held on them tightly as the bus dragged the wind against me.  It’s been awhile since I last went to the post office.  For the sake of recognizing this memory, I confess that being in love is harmful to my writing.  On the other hand, the search and loss loss and search of it does wonders.  It magnifies emotions and turns platitudes to wisdom.

I had sent a letter to Assel shortly after coming back from my year-end vacation.  The created reality of the “new year” helped me break away from the doldrums.  Along with that, I sent a slow trickle of other long overdue letters as well. There’s always something beautiful about reading posted letters.  Just like how we see the light of stars that had long gone – reaching our eyes at a time past when it appeared, but nonetheless a sign of its existence.  There is something resplendent in the desynchronization of the space-time of the sender and the recipient.  Here she was talking about a celebration she looks forward to, and me realizing that the said celebration was in fact yesterday.  Here she was talking about looking for a job while me proud of the fact that she told me a month ago that she’s found one.  Here she was telling me how surprised she was of the news of my failed conquest of love, and me slowly becoming indifferent to it.  And just how physicists solely rely on electromagnetic waves to learn of celestial objects light-years away, we are sometimes just as dependent on words.  I’m happy I’ll be stashing in another envelope in my letter box in my dorm.  I’ve collected 2 shoeboxes-full now since moving to Singapore.  The magnitude surprises me not because I never expected I’d receive as much, but because knowing how slow mail arrives, I have not been aware of how fast time had been running.  The idea that I’ve only a year til I hopefully finish PhD excites me (and scares me).  Will I still be in this place then?  Will I miss it?  I wonder.

As I reach my stop, I fold back the two sheets and put it inside the handmade envelope Assel made.  At least some things, like this friendship, I need not wonder.

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