Me, You, Us

He was sixteen when he first saw her. Sixteen and bored and his mother had him attend a “summer” camp. Strange for a camp to be called a “summer” camp in Malaysia, which had just a monsoon and a dry season. Yet, “summer” camp it was, a collection of sixteen year olds sent to a out-doors camp in the quiet town of Sematan, with beaches to the front and a mountain to the rear. It was not a romantic getaway.

He barely remembered the camp, except for that one-day when he dropped a frog into the girls sleeping quarters, while they were bedding in for the night. The screams drowned out his own laughter, as panic ensued and frightened girls made for every available exit, whether door or window; it did not make a difference. The monstrous frog was going to slaughter them, digest them and make green goo out of their remains.

He exchanged high-fives with his laughing buddies as they stood behind the bush that grew along the front porch drain and then he saw her. This vision of porcelain skin, dimple cheek and a single braid cutting across her face. She had made it to the stairs yet tripped and fell. And in the chaos was being stepped on.

He leaped from his hiding spot, grabbed her arm and pulled her over to the side, as the stampede of girls rumbled down the yard and across the empty field.

Lights turned on and curious onlookers scrambled out to inspect the commotion. But it was all distant to him. He was here and here was with her.

“You want some chewing gum?”

Yes, the first words he spoke to her were about chewing gum. A pathetic first impression.

The memories of the camp were a blur, but he remembers writing her phone number on the wrappings of a stick of chewing gum. And losing that wrapper. And wondering where things would have gone, had he called her and told her how he felt.

This was the time before Facebook or Twitter, a time when phone stuck to the walls and not in your pocket. It was a time of change and though much changed over the years, the memory of her porcelain skin, dimpled cheek and that single braid cutting across her face kept appearing.

Fate did not give up on him.

He is thirty-nine now, and sitting alone at a table in a garden. He had stop smoking a year ago, and reverted back to chewing gum to curb the lustful sting for cigarettes.

And he smiled.

Nearing forty and with months to live, he reached out for support. Eventually meeting old friends from his child-hood and especially those with memory of that porcelain skin, dimpled cheek, single braid cutting across her face girl from “summer” camp.

He had scrawled her number on a chewing gum wrapper and this time, he kept it safe, tucked away in his wallet. He had called. She had answered.

“Do you still want the ice-bucket?” the waiter asked.

“You can take it away. But do bring another glass.”

The waiter smiled. Sixteen and already working tables, he thought to himself. I was sixteen and foolish. And I spent foolish years but at the time of my last year, I will make it right. His thoughts rambled along.

And then he saw her, porcelain skin, dimple on her cheek, with a streak of white hair cutting across her face. And he was sixteen again. And they were sitting at a table in a garden at a place called Summer House.

THE END

There was that Moment.

There was that Moment.
by Maclean Patrick

There was that moment,
A minute captured in a second,
A breath bottled in a thought,
A light that formed a beacon,

It was that moment,
A step in between the strides,
A glance in a gap between the smiles,
The one you could not hide,

Then it was that moment,
A word caught in phrase,
Among saying and forgetting,
Spoken to leave lovers in a daze,

There was that moment,
Where dreams were more reality,
A moment beyond a touch,
And love was never a fantasy.

Story for a friend.

I’m in the habit of writing short stories to illustrate what my thoughts are on a given subject. It is the character in my story that becomes my voice, some how speaking in the third person is a lot easier than speaking out straight.

I wrote a story for my friend Norhayati, when I was in Kuantan in April and she has posted it onto her blog. She had titled her post True Love according to Maclean Patrick. I am no expert on this matter of Love but those are my thoughts on the matter.

As a writer who writes on themes of love and hope and lost, people often asks me on Love. Some-how, people think that writers, who write about love and such; should have this profound answer that will encapsulate and dispel questions people have about love.

Unfortunately, I myself am going through a process of discovery and reflection. It is only because, I have the talent to put my thoughts into writing and to share these thoughts with mt readers that the idea of me (a simple writer) holds the answer to that age old question, “What is true love?”

All I can say is, the answer is not in gaining the answer. True love (most times) has to be lived out. If you still want to know what my answer is, then hop over to Norhayati’s blog and read True Love according to Maclean Patrick.

Poem : That place in my heart

That Place in My Heart
by Maclean Patrick

Can’t say I did not try,
Don’t say I did not fight,
Holding on for more than too long,
I held on too tight,

Sunset came and the moon came up,
Time passed and moved away,
But today feels like yesterday,
In the moment; there’s where I stay,

That place in my heart,
It remains unchanged,
A corner untouched by fade’s lust hand,
Where love remains unstained,

That place in my heart,
Where I remember you still,
With the smile you gave before your left,
A promise to hold on ’till…

Would you still love, even when you know you’ll lose?

This thought has been bouncing about in my head. Is there a definate answer to this question or should it be relegated to mystery limbo?

I do have some initial thoughts on it but I really want to hear from you guys. So do leave a comment and we’ll have a healthy discussion.

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Do we set up our own hearts to be broken?

Do we set up our own hearts to be broken?

Why would we do the obvious? When the obvious is glaring?

Is it the thrill of knowing, the more you face the hurt, the stronger you will get?

What then is the answer?

Why, do we set up our own hearts to be broken?

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Love has its psychology.

I came across this article and find the idea interesting. As a writer of books that question the different aspects of love, every new thought on the matter is worth reading and contemplating.

When people are in a solid, settled relationship, doesn’t the intensity of the love experience fade? And if so, why?

Art and literature are full of this same idea. How many more poems and stories and songs are written about longing and desire and painful, troubled love, as compared to those about contented, stress-free monogamy?

Is this because love is just so hard to get right?

Or is there something about the human psyche that often wants love to be hard?…something that wants and needs and creates that distance?

Full article: The Psychology of Love

Somehow, the idea of falling in love is just that. Falling. What if love takes several steps such as 1) falling in love, 2)being in love, 3)staying in love, and 4)growing in love? So the experience of love is not just merely the first phase but rather the full cycle. Often times we limit ourselves to the wonders of the first step but fail to see the other steps involve; because “Falling in Love” is a chemical reaction. The rest are decisions.