Don’t kill the magic

In Consciousness by Gerald Koh

  • Boy meets girl

    Your phone buzzes. You pick it up and read the notification. You read it again. Now the fist-sized pump in your chest is beating… Hard. Every beat is a reminder of the last time you felt this way. A lifetime ago now. But you slowly remember what you have to do. You think you know the story. Will it be a happy ending? A tragic tale? Some Shakespearean drama? Who knows. The one thing you know for sure? You’ve got to do something.

    ‘Killing myself is exactly what I’ll be doing if I don’t ask you out’, you say.

    The pump beats harder now. You think of every possible outcome. You handle hope, surprise, joy, excitement, relief, nonchalance, sadness, defeat and rejection… all in the span of 60 seconds. Then you wait. Ding. You reply. You experience another emotional tornado, and wait… again. Ding. You do it all over again.

  • A beautiful mess

    Your heart’s gone from horse gallops to butterfly flutters, again and again. You start to think ‘this is crazy!’. Someone reminds you it isn’t crazy. It’s just so happens that you have feelings. Then you remember how long it has been since someone last made you feel something, anything. Murakami says ‘anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves’. Of course they are. Everything she says fits like a glove on your personality, your ideals, your being. Then you talk a bit more, and your heart skips a beat, again and again and again.

    You don’t see that the ends don’t meet, that you are parallel lines that come close but never meet. Close enough it feels good, like light at the end of a long, dark, lonely tunnel that was relentless in keeping you in. ‘Good partner work’ she says, and you willingly fall headfirst into your own deception. Into a tunnel more destructive than the last. Your head surely needs checking now but you don’t care. You’re happily ensnared.

  • A can of worms

    And she listens too. A can of worms, a bouquet of venus flytraps, housefly infestations. These are but graded euphemisms for your issues. Then you realise it’s all on the surface, that you talked about nothing of substance. The words were meaningless, failed attempts at deeper conversation. What did you expect over text? So you ask her out. Face to face has got to be better. And it is!

    Or so you think. Your attraction, or is it fixation, increases. And you only went out once. Your mind starts playing games again, recreating image and sound. Bit by bit, they warp. They change every time you call that evening from memory. Somewhere deep within, something is whispering ‘trap, trap, trap’ to you. You make nothing of it. You push on. What is there to lose but gain another can of worms? You keep going, unaware that the worms in this tunnel are bigger and have sharper teeth. You forget about time, forget that your older self is less resilient to these bites.

  • All I'm saying is...

    You continue trading messages, you think you’re putting yourself out there as a serious contender. In truth, your messages are full of words that say nothing at the same time. At least that’s what she thought. So you reach for the confession. And then you realise… This is a story about being infatuated with infatuation. You like feeling vulnerable, at risk, like there is something to lose. Or at least you think so. Thing is, you can’t lose something you didn’t have. At least the thought made you feel a tingle inside. Made you want. Made you believe there could be some magic left for your world.


About the Author
Gerald Koh

Gerald Koh

Gerald is an expert dilettante. He used to play in a band, run a recording studio, write about local sports, sell self-designed t-shirts and teach kids to fight fire and save lives. His latest sinking ship is proving he is not good enough for law school.

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