#10. the second song

I left behind a life

but you pick it up and shelter it without me knowing.

You place it by your side and by so doing,

make me a complete wretch.

I’m head over heels for whatever you do,

whoever you are,

and wherever you go.

But I didn’t tell you that –

After all, all we ever do is arguing.

Do you want to win that much? I ask

Do I want to win that much? You repeat the question in a mockery tone,

and by so doing, I know you love me.

This weird, twisted love that consoles our two broken souls

can’t console the solitude within me

when you are not by my side.

But you are the wind,

and I am but a thistle in a rice field:

You barely touch me sometimes,

and I tremble with happiness –

An otherworldly happiness you’ll never understand.

Darling, darling, darling –

I whisper as you gather me in your arms:

After all is said and done,

after the irrevocable changes we have to make

turn us into a monstrous being –

A human –

Can you still love me the same?

You choose not to answer,

saying I’m being nonsensical again,

And by so doing –

darling, darling, darling,

You extinguish whatever fire that had burnt within me.

You know what, Becky.


My biggest regret is in that song the White Misty Thingy just sang.

That so?


You chose not to answer, and there’s nothing else you can do but accept your decision, is there?

Yeah. But you are a cat, Becky. The most important decision for you is to eat or not to eat.

It’s still important to me. She looks at me with contempt. Sometimes, my most important decision is to sleep or not to sleep.

Cats are fickle bling beings. I never know why she hates me so, or why her sarcastic attitude is always aimed at me.

My most important decision – and there are plenty of them – reach further than your horizon, Becky.

I never say they are not, do I.

Please spare me your contempt. You know why I chose not to answer?


The Lover asked me the same question for countless time. And when I can count again, he would repeat it.

You don’t love him enough to answer it all?

I love him enough, I laugh at Becky’s question, that’s why I chose not to answer.

Every night awake,

Every day struggling,

I always hope we can be

something more than just corpses and memories.

Darling, your love is tormenting me,

and I revel in the torture

because what else is there for us to do

but living and loving?

Let’s agree that we will leave dying out of the question.

On a cool evening when the wind went against us

You said –

I told him that at this rate, he will die before me.

Turns out that’s true. You should be a prophet. Becky rolls her eyes.

But I was wrong. My prophecy was wrong. By the time I asked that question, I had already died.

That so?

Yes, that is so. I watched him live a life full of open wounds and bleeding memories. And despite how deep my love is, it can’t save him.

Becky looks at me. For the first time, I see a hint of gentleness in her yellow-green eyes:

After all, she says, love cannot save everything, and –

Though I say I will see you on the other side of the war, my darling,

I ended up on the wrong side.

And though you say you will see me on the other side of the war, my darling,

I never hope to see you here.

My darling, darling, darling –

I wish I could have loved you more

than just a simple good morning and good night.

I wish the love I have for you can outgrow

the madness within the two of us.

Darling, darling, darling –

But in the end, he loves me more.


He once came up to me and tell me a quote from his one-sided lover – Leonard Cohen’s works.

What’s the quote?

You have loved enough, now let me be the lover.

By the time I reach the period in my sentence, the hidden tears from ancient times – from God knows where – flow out of my eyes. I thought I had lost the capacity to cry. To feel. To love.

Man, what else does life have to offer but regrets and longing, huh? I say.

Beside me, Becky slowly licks her paws and furs in agreement. It’s rare to see her not talking back or hissing at me. I look at the White Misty Thingy, Tell me more. Sing more. Be it a heartbreak, or the heartbreak, I will be here, listening to your melancholy.

I never regret meeting you

loving you

hating you

everything everything.

And if Life gives me another chance,

I will still fall in love with you once again

as you pass through that coffee shop’s windows.

No, I don’t regret loving you:

the one thing I regret is –

Darling, you underestimate the living and overestimate the dying.



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Author: Thanh Dinh

A writer at heart. A pessimist on the brain. I am always on the great journey of finding what it means to be living.

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