Dream Series 2 : Life in the Lightbulb
It pains me to acknowledge that compared with closely tied, emotionally bound relationships with things as well as humans, I have come to prefer the stage of acquaintance, or what I call the stage of everything-will-be-good. Career prospects were the brightest when a job was offered, and girls the most beautiful before they answered “yes.”
She left me with a note, in it she wrote, “you only see the good me, but I need someone who sees the real me.” I was knocked hard, by her conclusive diagnosis of my symptoms. I was over-optimistic about everything. I saw the world with rosy colours in my eyes.
Not all stories have a dramatic beginning, but the beginning of each story is mostly dramatized by the teller. That was what I did to the moment we met. She was a fabulous young lady sitting at the bar counter, and I was a fearless man encouraged by a bunch of friends who were waiting for a show. We chatted, about everything, and shared what we had in common. She shared with me her life and learned of mine as well.
The misery of being too optimistic is that one sees only a single side of the whole reality, like living a life inside a lightbulb, where nothing is shadowed. But just as light requires shadows to confirm its own existence, optimism needs realism to conserve its positive impact. It took too long before I realized that, and it was too late.
The moment of rejection finally came, and it was a moment built upon thousands of similar incidents. It was not a good practice to believe in someone’s coping ability when she was depressed and needed a hand. It was also not a good practice to be overly confident in one’s own significance when it was his time to prove it. She yelled at me on that calm Friday night, when she felt that she had been ignored for too long a time.
“All you do is just stand there and believe that everything will be fine!” She screamed, after many nights of scanty sleep.
She accused me of doing nothing to support her, though I insisted that I stood by her side as always.
I can now barely remember her last words. However, it was after she had left me that I realized how bad-tempered, careless, and impatient she was. She was no longer that fabulous lady with starry eyes, perhaps since the day we decided to share our lives — that, unfortunately, occurred to me only several years later.
I was seeking for the perfect — the perfect job position, the perfect residence, and of course, the perfect partner. But what worried me most was the feeling — common in all my encounters — that what seemed to be perfect at first can never be perfect forever. It was the discrepancy between my undoubtedly perfect choice and the disheartening reality that astonished me, depressed me, and turned me into a person who could never surpass acquaintanceships. If every ideal would fade as one approaches it, then it would perhaps be better to stay away from it in the first place.
I lingered through the nights: the no-real-lover bars, the unpeopled streets, and the one-man home. I sought transient moments of happiness on the internet, scanning through other people’s imperfect lives. I was convinced that every effort in looking for perfection would eventually be vain.
If dreams would never come true, why sleep.
But her photograph in my drawer kept replaying her words in my mind.
She was in her tie-dyed one-piece and wearing a smile as delicious as a lollipop. She posed in an elegantly beautiful manner towards the camera, and most importantly, she carried with her a heart that was the most caring, gentle, yet ambitious. I recalled those cups of warmth that were often placed on the bedside table, and the colourful post-its serving my forgetfulness at the most timely and precise manner. She did a lot in her busy and flurried life. She was perfect for me; she’s always been.
A life in the lightbulb blinds one’s perception of everything. It prevents one from seeing the imperfections out of the real, the basic, the peaceful. We don’t need so-called perfection but real relationships, basic meals and peaceful slumbers.
Deep, lasting relationships are perfect not in spite of, but because of all its imperfections.
But she is gone. C’est la vie.
Sleeep Talking | Dream Series is a collection of short stories by unorthodox young writers, gravitating around the subject of sleep and dream.
Have a sweet dream, get some sleep: http://sleeep.io