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According to Carl Jung

Fear

is just an ardent fascination

If so

Then

Perfection

=

The preliminaries of self-destruction

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No, sugar, you’re not the one.

Nothing to fear here.

At least.

Not in that sense.

Concentrate

Must

Remember

To

Concentrate.

You.

You.

You.

Must you remain so blissfully wholesome,

While I waste away night after never-ending night?

Where’s the justice, so to speak?

You’re welcomed to enlighten me.

karenin3

Ross remained in his room for the rest of the day.

He smoked joints of marijuana after joint, but the sickly sweet miasma did little to ease the scorching throes of agony howling inside of  him.

Sprawling spread-eagled across his bed, with greenish-grey haze hovering lazily about, he added another puff to the thickening smog, and rolled over painstakingly, blinking at the mottled-brown ceiling with feverishly delirious eyes.

The door creaked open, and Ken tiptoed in. Strange. He usually barges in like all hell’s broken loose.

“Ross? I brought you something.” He set a large, porcelain washbasin on his writing table, atop all his papers. “This might make you feel better. ”

With some difficulty, he propped himself up on one elbow, stood up shakily and staggered over to the table. Without hesitation, he plunged his face into the basin; filled to the brim with water and half-melted ice. Gasping and shuddering, he drew back sharply, shaking his head like a wet dog. The piles of papers wilted, and turned translucent, as the water droplets hit them mercilessly.

Drawing in a deep breath, he dipped forwards into the water once more. This time, he was ready when the frigid liquid enveloped him. It came smoothly, soothingly. He closed his eyes, letting the ice numb his hopelessly inflamed brain.

Reluctantly he drew back out again, blinking, staring at his own slightly distorted reflection. It stared back, now an emaciated, nearly spectral face, insolent, high on hashish. Slivers of sodden hair clung to the hollows of his face, framing them, making them seem all the more tapered. The cool water droplets trickled down his face, drenching the papers and making the ink run. Something warm dripped off the edge of his nose. He wiped it away roughly with the sleeve of his shirt; the white edge of the garment was stained instantly a crimson red.

Evanescent sunrise

“太阳升起来了

黑暗留在后面

但是太阳不是我们的

我们要睡了”

(The sun has just risen

Darkness is left behind

But the sun belongs not to us

Now we shall sleep)

– 曹禹 (日出)

. . .A broad, but angular face, with jutting cheekbones; slight pallor from too much time spent indoors. Large, electric eyes that can morph from lighthearted and playful one second to stormy and brooding the next. Long, thin mouth, suspended above a chiseled jawline. Large-knuckled, but slim fingers, that bend and flex rather awkwardly, stiffly. . .

. . . Midnight mocha complexion, which gives it stance and austerity. Rich, elongated black brows that curve and point authoritatively; particular to that ethnicity. Hard brown eyes, with a rigid sadness that none can fully and properly interpret. Full lips the hue of dusty roses, pursed pensively most times. . .

. . .Pale to the extreme, straight out of Stephenie Meyer or Anne Rice. Enormous, preternatural black eyes, cold as flint, yet with a heart of fire. Narrow face, gaunt cheeks, with prominent cheekbones and three harsh lines that appear beneath them when pronouncing certain syllables. Small, slightly aquiline nose, and full, painstakingly sculpted lips, always the colour of freshly spilled blood. . .

. . .A soft, young, but pointed face; fair, nearly transparent, but with a rosy tint that emerges from times to time. Full black brows, with medium-sized almond-shaped mahogany eyes beneath them, amber under the rays of the sun. Small but straight nose, finely carved, and a mouth that would be termed dainty in bygone times. Sometimes an angel, sometimes a demon. . .

感激. 每一道疤痕.

感激. 每一滴眼泪.

感激. 每一个失眠的夜晚.

感激. 每一个寂静的下午.

更要

感激. 天真无邪的外表.

感激. 纯真的笑容

感激. 老天赐的, 爸妈给的

感激. 这一切一切.

憎恨.

这永远脱不掉的面具.

8

Karenin maneuvered his way through the claustrophobic hallways, wincing frequently as various overzealous freshmen whizzed past him; a particularly large one knocked into his overladen hands as he lumbered past, sending Schubert: Life and Works and En Direct I flying. Snarling under his breath with the most profane of Japanese curses his cousins had taught him (Baka!), he bent down, smoothing out the pages painstakingly while the hubbub of the last remaining minutes of lunch swirled around him like a maelstrom.

He stepped into the French classroom just as the bell shrieked to announce the beginning of last period. Madame Stalwal, the flamboyant professor with an astonishingly prominent backside for such a squat person, and permanently present eyeliner that most girls concluded to be tattooed on, threw him a patronizing look. He straightened his paisley tie hastily.

“Madame, je m‘excuse.” He gasped out. These days, three steps of semi-vigorous “exercise” sent him into a Class A asthma attack.

The class gawked at him in alarm; with the members of First Aid bouncing in their seats excitedly, eager for a chance to prove their otherwise defunct usefulness.

“À vos place, Monsieur Ko.“  Stalwal  hitched up her repugnantly snug track pants that did not flatter her misshapen thighs one bit and blinked her bird-of-preylike eyes repeatedly in annoyance. “I will have a word with you after class.”

Gratefully, he crumpled into his fluorescent orange chair, fumbling in his bag for pencils and dictionary, still inhaling and exhaling rapidly, the air rushing excruciatingly into his tar-tainted lungs. His two friends, Nathan Wiest and Conrad Au-Yeung shook their heads at him from across the room, clucking their tongue and expelling hisses of laughter cautiously.

The three of them made an odd trio. Conrad was small in stature, with eyes straight from a nineteenth century anti-Asian political cartoon, though thankfully without the pigtail and mandarin robes. He considered himself something of a Don Juan with the ladies, and has had three girlfriends since the beginning of eleventh grade, though that has began to diminish ever since the massive breakouts that left his cheeks resembling that of a rotting pomegranate. Nathan was short and slightly chubby, never to be seen without his limited edition turquoise Nintendo DS and coke bottle glasses. He was, truth to be told, too pumped with either estrogen or progesterone or both, as Conrad gleefully pointed out after the fateful day in tenth grade science, where they learned the appalling mechanics of the female body.

A picture of the three of them, taken on a bygone field trip laid out their personalities impeccably. Conrad’s toothy grin stretched from ear to ear, the ghostly hand of one of his unseen lady loves creeping across his shoulder.  Nathan gazed at the camera with a misty, doe-eyed expression, his porky fingers framing his chin comically. As for Karenin . . . all that could be seen was the back of his impermeable hood. He has always disliked pictures; they washed out his milky complexion and in his opinion, made him look too much like a girl.

Stalwel turned her back towards her students and began to scribble across the whiteboard promptly, thus obstructing nine tenths of the words. Sighing audibly, Karenin flipped his French text to a random page, shoved Schubert inside furtively, and began to read. One hour and fourteen minutes left. He wondered vaguely if Kaleda remembered her keys.

The phone jittered; Stalwel paused midsentence and swiveled around, regarding it with mild suspicion. Waddling over as fast as her elephantine legs would allow, she snatched up the receiver with her pinky in the air. “Ms. Stalwel speaking . . . ah . . . yes . . . yes . . . really now . . . mmhmm . . . perfect . . . thank you so much, dear.” She nodded curtly, apparently overlooking the fact that the person on the other side of the lines could not see her, hefty stature or not.

Franz Peter Schubert was born on the last day of January, 1797 in Vienna, the much revered epicentre of classical music, the son of Franz Theodore Schubert and Elizabeth Vietz. At the age of five, he began to receive regular instructions from –

His head snapped up and swiveled instinctively towards the door, along with every single head in the classroom, as a knock-knock-knock shattered the lethargic drones of the futur simple. Stawel froze in action, flapping her hand irritably at Mina Virk, who was sitting nearest to the door. Crossing his disproportionally long legs under the desk, Karenin went back to his book. Transfer students who barged into the middle of a class did not impress him, not even if the class itself was French.

He concentrated instead on the intricate series of sharps and flats, crescendos and decrescendos in the minuet he was to perform for the next school assembly. The tips of his elongated, almost spidery fingers tapped out the rhythm silently but steady across the surface of the desk. The hum of the classroom dissolved, and the black patent enamel of the grand piano gleamed before his eyes; cold, distant, polished, distinguished, a patrician to the last degree – a bit like himself, really. If it had lips, it’d surely be sneering maliciously behind your back.

“. . . Right over here, next to Karenin.” He couldn’t be bothered with looking up. Soft shuffling, almost unintelligible  footsteps; not Stalwel’s. The metallic screech of the chair being drawn out; a muted cloud of perfume enveloped his nostrils – rose, kept youthful by a snatch of baby powder. He cleared his throat, brushed a hand discreetly over the sleeves of his uniform shirt to straighten out any wrinkles, and turned to the new arrival.

Quarantined, dammit.

Happy?

Last summer

I gave you my heart

gaveyoumyheart

But the love didn’t stay

‘Cause you gave it away

heartbroken

This year

To save me from tears

I’ll give it to someone

Special

takemyhand

May 2009
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