Trips Alone

How the love the two of you once knew had, slowly, dimmed out, translated…

You’d Found a Café in the Snow that’s Growing, Sat Down. You Saw, Out of the Corner of Your Eyes, a Woman in a Red Jacket, She Sat, Leisurely, Sipping on Her Coffee, Looking Confident, But Not Too Proud, Seems to Tell the Rest, that She Knew that the Man She was, Waiting for, is Hers, Although He’d, Not Yet Professed His Love to Her………

I’d gone to Berlin for a lecture in the spring, there’s, still that coldness in the air there. The first evening in Berlin, you were, working on the PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow, then, suddenly, shouts broke through the silence of the night, someone was, shouting out racial slurs, you’d tilted your head out the window, saw some stumbling figures. You’d wanted to turn back to R, tell him, “It’s no big deal, just some teenagers”. But you’d, forgotten, that you’re, on this trip, alone.

You’d turned on the radio, the DJ said something in German you couldn’t catch fast enough, then, the song started, quietly. But, in this night that’s, disturbed, music seemed to serve the purpose of repair, but, although the music had, grasp onto a nerve of yours, but, you’d, worked along, and, failed to pay enough attention to what he was singing, until the final few lines, the trumpet started, sounding off in the background, and the singer, “it’s all so quiet”, and, the trumpet’s tune rose with the notes climbing up higher, then, as the highest note that the trumpet played came to a halt, the singer, “in Berlin”, and ended the song. You’d, immediately, gone online to search for the song, and, listened to it more than twenty times. It’s all so quiet, It’s all so quiet, It’s all so quiet…in Berlin. This section of the lyric, sounded like, they were, made for you.

illustration from…圖/李孟翰

Although this was the second time you’re here, Berlin was still a strange place to you, last time, there weren’t that many Muslim vendors or Turkish restaurants, and, it was, impossible, for you, to NOT feel discriminated here. But, why did you, gain that sense of unprotected vulnerability for the silent nights in Berlin now?

In Ginsberg’s poem “Returning Back to Time Square, Dreams in Time Square”, nobody saw that invisible trumpeter, only that poet who’d, stumbled down the streets, after the world changed, chasing that lost dream, accidentally, found the trumpeter again. You’d heard that trumpeter’s sorrowful music playing—or perhaps, it was, your hallucination too?

Or maybe, because it was, spring back then?

The repeated once chorus had:

I’d get lost anywhere

As long as I’m found

I could be anyone

in any town

Yes, so long as we got found, who would be afraid, of getting lost? Naturally, we’d not needed to worry of the various roles we’d played, so long as we get to, return to that very first, original role, assigned to us.

You’d gone to Athens for a meeting, the sun had, shone down everywhere. After the meeting, I’d gone to Mykonos. The bright sunlight reflected into the alleyways that twisted and turned like the walls of a labyrinth, you’d wandered aimlessly, and was, drawn to a table with an empty chair in front of a café, and, you took that very first photo of an empty seat. It was, very rare, that in the afternoons, the seats were, still vacant, and, you looked upon those empty chairs, like they were, alive, and waiting, patiently, for a customer to come and sit. But, you’d had, another, delusion, that all the customers from before never, actually left, that there were, the ghosts of, customers past sitting in the seats.

like this???  not my photograph…

You’d recalled how you’d traveled to many islands with R from before, once, she’d complained that you’d only, taken her to the islands, and, you were, dumbfounded, every time you’d, planned out the trips thoroughly, you’d made sure, to include an island in the itinerary, and she didn’t like that, and that, was when it’d, dawned on you, that she’d, favored the city living lifestyle. And so, you’d, thought, had you not scheduled these trips to these, islands………then, you’d found, that your thoughts, never actually, got off the islands you’d, gone to—you’d, kept pondering how to make the amends, should you, try satisfying her more the next time? As you were, about to, leave those, empty chairs behind, you couldn’t help, but look at them again, felt, that you’d not, gotten everything that you need, to take with you.

Those windmills in the distant hills, from a certain angle on the island, you could, get a complete view of, but, you seemed, to have, never caught them turning. Until the last day when you’re about to leave, you’d, walked to the ferry, and, you seemed, to have seen, the windmill, turned. You’d instinctively turned, to tell R, but, that huge cruise ship docked, broke your illusions—at which time, there was, a large group of younger eastern girls getting off, you couldn’t help, but look at them, and, so long as the ladies were thin and tall, you’d, sought them out, as if, trying, to find something that’s, familiar and lost……until the tourists all got onboard the ship, and, you’d, carried that nostalgia of unwillingness, alighted too.

You went to Yangzhou to lecture, the autumn light reflected onto the lakes. After supper, you’d gone with a group of younger scholars, to continue the meet in the city, they’d found a pub, “For Youth”, with a live band. And, as everybody went in, they’d, received a red bandana, turned out, it was, a day of nostalgia at the pub, other than the pop music from Hong Kong and Taiwan, the young musicians also performed the tunes from long ago. And everybody, in their Red Army bandana all, sang along too; in the help of alcohol, the revolution, seemed to have, begun all over again, and no matter how many products were, produced by the outside world. As you all left, everybody looked, and, there’s, that feeling of, vacancy. After exiting For Youth, the streets became, vacant too, and, Michael Buble’s “Home” came from the distance, there’s, that feeling of surrealness. You’d told everybody to stop walking, and the song was at:

Another aeroplane

Another sunny place

I’m lucky, I know

But I wanna go home

I’ve got to go home

You shook your head, “Come on, too overly expressive.” But, actually, you were, trying, to mask up the feelings that were, awakened in you; you’d become, another flighter; kept boarding the next plane, arriving at the next sunny place. But, you’d always, traveled, alone.

all alone, without the company of someone he loves…photo from online…

You’d arrived at Lithuania in the winter, but, the chills of the winter already got there ahead of you. Before the meeting was over, you’d, gone to the capital of Latvia, Riga. Your friend told you from before, that this country, is very tiny, but had, amazing architectures, especially, when nobody else was there. And so, you’d, gone out in the snow early in the morn, and trekked the streets. The winter morning, you’d, walked across, and in-between, those ancient buildings, like you’d, entered, into a dream of solitude: all the tourists, gone, only those, shy ghosts, still, lingered on. As you walked, there came, a beautiful woman from the turn of the corner, you couldn’t tell if she was, Latvian or Russian, but, there’s, that hint of sorrow, from either the northern weather, or some other reasons. The moment she’d, passed you by, you’d found, that a button was missing from her shirt. You’d wanted to turn back and share this with R, but if this time, she’d called you “boring”, you would’ve, had a valid reason; because this reminded you of Rilke’s book, mentioning how the young maiden the man bumped into, and he’d found that a button was unbuttoned from the back of her shirt, and, guessed at how she must’ve, felt angered by something before she went out…………and, you’d, mentioned it to R: the time she’d, rushed out the door, and, you’d, chased after her, to button up that missed button on her back………

In the storm that grew, you’d, found a café to sit. The snow fell harder outside, and, you’d, worried about the woman you’d, just encountered, that she might freeze from the cold, then, you saw, another woman, in a red jacket, sipping on her coffee in the corner, looking self-confident, but without the ego, like telling those around her, she knew that the man she was waiting for was hers already, although he’d, not professed his love to her yet……at this very moment, a memory of winter came clear to you. R too, once wore her read coat and waited for you in a café. That day, you were running, seriously late, and, as you’d arrived, you’d, apologized profusely, but she’d, spoken aloud, “I’m not, waiting, for you!”

It was, Christmas Eve, you’d recalled, in the U.S. everybody was, spending the evening with someone who’s closest and mattered most, same for the international students. But R arrived Maryland, and, passed through that final Christmas Eve you’d had in the States, but why? She’d, corrected herself: that she was there, for something else, but, there wasn’t anything planned on Christmas Eve, so, she’d, come find you. But, you’d not done anything special, just strolled around South Seaport, and, carried on, in disconnected conversations. It was, really cold that evening, and, the two of you, started, breathing out white air, but, neither one of you was, in a hurry, to find a warm place to sit. Did you feel, that it wasn’t, needed, to have other people around? Or, simply because, you can’t, find a place to sit down? You can no longer, recall. But, the only thing you’d recalled was, as the two of you, leaned in against the railing, and, gazed toward the distant lighthouse, blinking, she’d suddenly inquired, “Do you like, traveling alone?”, without a second of hesitation, you’d, replied, “I used to, from before.”

And so, that, was your experience of love, and, the two of you had, shared so many memories, but, for some reasons, you two didn’t, work out, and, you’re left, with these, memories of the love you’d owned and lost, feeling, nostalgic…


Forgotten How Sweet Your Lie Tasted

I had, forgotten, just how sweet your lies tasted, until, I’d had, another bite of it again, and, one bite, it was, never, quite enough for me, for I’d, become, so, totally, addicted to what you’re, telling me, those poisons you’d, poured, deep, into my ears.

Forgotten how sweet your lies tasted, and, I know I shouldn’t, but, I can’t help it, I’d, craved, those sweetened lies of yours, even if they weren’t, the least bit true, it’s okay, just, let me, get fooled, a little bit, longer…

Love Poison 的圖片結果and yet, we still, can’t help ourselves, can we???  Nope!  Not my picture…

Forgotten how sweet your lies tasted, and, I just, can’t get enough, and yet, my heart knows, deep down, that you don’t, really love me, that you were just, keeping me, on that leash, see if, I’ll, keep on, comin’ back to your side.

And, the effects of your bad love finally, wore off, completely, and now, I’d, completely, forgotten, just how sweet your lies tasted, and I have, NO more cravings of that sort anymore. Guess your lies finally, became, so, totally, FUCKING worn out for me. Well, it’s taken, LONG enough all right!







As the Two Hearts, Drifted Too Far Apart…

As the two hearts, drifted too far apart, there’s, nothing that anybody can do, to pull the two separated hearts back together again, it’s just, nowhere near, possible.

like this???  Not my animation…

hearts, drifting apart 的圖片結果

And, the next step that these two separated hearts will take would be, dropping, five-thousand feet downward, with NO mattress, or trampoline, to catch, or to break their falls.

As the two hearts, drifted too far apart, just, let them separate completely, severing ALL the ties, stop trying to, recombine them back as one, because there’s no way, that that crack that’d come between the two hearts will, EVER be fixed to invisible again.

or this, even???two hearts, separating 的圖片結果not my photograph…

As the two hearts, drifted, too far apart, let’s just, let nature take its course, see where they both end up, ‘cuz it may not be a bad thing, after all, we’d all, bore witness to how those two hearts were at war with one another, making this “home” a total mess, and now that they’d, drifted too far apart, maybe, it’s, a brand new opportunity, for both of these two hearts that were, no longer, connected, to find a brand new life on their own.

As the two hearts, drifted too far apart, we’d all, wanted to save them from falling apart, but, we mustn’t, because, it’s only right, that fate takes its course with those two hearts that had, drifted too far apart, and besides, nothing good ever comes, of messing with F-A-T-E, you should know that by now!!!



If You Don’t Love Me…

If you don’t love me, then, don’t hold me, set me free, it wouldn’t be fair, to me, or you, to keep me, hangin’ ‘round! If you don’t love me, just say it already!!!

If you don’t love me, why you still, lettin’ me hang ‘round you, huh? And, shouldn’t we, just break it off, for once, and for all, instead, of, getting comfortable with each other’s bodies? If you don’t love me, just say the word, and I’ll see, where I go from here. But you can’t, you’re, too addicted, to this feeling of ecstasy that you feel when you get into my body, aren’t you???

If you don’t love me, and love’s been, dead, AND gone, buried, TEN-FEET under (‘cuz six feet ain’t deep enough???) many, many, many years ago. If you don’t love me, then, why you still come back ‘round, whenever life beats you down? Because I’m that safe place for you, that you feel, warm and taken care of in? And what makes you believe, that I am, always, going to be, the door that stays open, 24/7, just in case you needed to come and score some, huh???

If you don’t love me, just cut the ties already, oh wait, because you can’t, cut the ties, therefore, I MUST, because that, is how much respect I have, for me, and loving you, would not, be respecting ME enough, and I got, too much SELF-RESPECT, to love anybody like Y-O-U!!!







Filtering, Through the Static of Your Lies…

This was, what I’d, taught myself to do, as the static of your lies became, too much, too loud, for me to bear, and I’d needed to, find a way, to TUNE it all out somehow…

I thought it may be, easier, if I’d, just, ignored all those, white noises happening in the background, but, the white noises became, too, overtly, cacophonous, and, I just, hear it, ALL the time, no matter where I was!

what I used to hear…from…

Filtering, through the static of your lies, it wasn’t, easy, oh no, it was, extremely, difficult, especially because, I’d still, felt something (still waitin’ for that to finally WEAR off!!!) for you, and, it’s, this slow, gradual, process for me, which I’m, taking it, a day, at a time (kinda like the 12-Step programs for alcoholics or addicts???).

Filtering, through the static of your lies, I finally had, and now, I don’t even, HEAR a single sound (wow, finally became, DEAF after so many, god damn, FUCKING years of living with your lies…), and, I’m enjoying, this, newfound, silence, that I’m currently, surrounded by.

and now…查看來源圖片hear that??? Of course N-O-T!!!  Picture from online…

Filtering, through the static of your lies, it’d been, too long since, I was, hearing NOTHING, absolutely NOT a single sound, and I can, still hear that PIN drop, and, it’s, so totally, amazing, that I’d, sharpened, my own sense of hearing, after I’d, filtered through the STATIC of your L-I-E-S here!!!






After the Love is Gone

How to break up, and still respect one another, and cherish the memories the two of you had, made and shared together, that, is a very hard lesson, but, it appears, that this man had, mastered it already, translated…

As two people were dating, they’d, given one another gifts. And normally, I’d tell the individual I was with straight, that rather than spending the money on the gifts, maybe, we should, save the money, to be used, for our trips together or dates in the futures; and if we really want to give one another something, then, we should choose something that’s, practical for each other.

And so, most of the gifts I’d received, were shirts, ties, perfumes, and electronics, things I’d normally used daily, and one day, when we broke up, at least, these “remnants of love” won’t bring too much troubles for the both of us, and there’s, no need, to dispose of them.

I’d kept the words that a girl I’d broken up with with me, “although we’re no longer dating, I hope, you won’t throw the things I’d given to you as gifts when we were together away. For me, those items are witnesses to the love we once had together. Unless, there’s, more hate than love, you’d wanted to, throw them all out.” Ever since, that was, the rule, I’d, followed. No matter what she’d decided, I’d always told her, “We’re, breaking up now, but that doesn’t make the love we had for each other void.”

And still, photos, letter, and private messages, the more sensitive things, I’d, immediately, “killed off” and “buried the bodies”. To Not trap myself in the state of mind, and, I’d, considered how my future girlfriends may feel. And this, is the only “remains” I’d asked of the women I’d, broken up with to clean out.

My girlfriend now, at first, she’d loved the perfumes I’d given to her, and after she’d learned it was from an ex, she’d, bought another kind, and, used that first bottle as a air-freshener inside her car; I’d not minded at all, instead, I’d, thanked her for being so attentive to my feelings.

I’m blessed, to always meet up with the right women who were, wonderful, and, no matter why we’d broken up in the end, I’d never been asked to give whatever the women I’d dated had given me back, and so, no matter how sad the ends of my relationships, I could always, save some sort of nostalgia of the love I’d once owned, and lost.

And so, this, is how mature people break up, the guy is very sensitive, and very sensible, and, so are the women he’d, ever dated, and, this, is the best way a break up can end.


Your Promise, on My Right Hand…

Your promise, on my right hand, the gold on the band had, lost, its lusters, day by day, through the, wear and tear of this marriage already…

Your promise, on my right hand, does it, still, stand? I mean, do you love me, like you used to, like how we were, at the very start? For some reasons, I don’t, feel as much of the passions you used to hold for me anymore for some reasons.

like this???  Photo from online…taking off her wedding band 的圖片結果

Your promise, on my right hand, why do I still keep your promise on my right hand? You’d, already, ABANDONED my promise on your left hand, so maybe, it’s time, I’d, set myself free too??? Your promise, on my right hand, I shouldn’t, allow it, to weigh me or tie me down, but, I do………

Your promise, on my right hand, I don’t want it, and, slowly, that promise you’d, broken, became, nothing BUT a piece of DECORATION, a piece, of COLD jewelry on my right hand, and I’m slowly, realizing, that I shouldn’t, throw away a piece of GOLD jewelry (you DO realize, how much gold are going for these days, right???), just because the promises you made to love me eternally, broke!

and here’s, that long-awaited, DIVORCE ceremony…photo from online still…

divorce ceremony 的圖片結果and in, 3, 2, 1…