I have no desire to lie,

so I won’t. But I am also afraid of hurting you – which is why I am careful.

(At least, now, a week on, this is far enough that I can say these things without sending us into agony. My cold hands, my temperate voice, my body sliding into hibernation in this cold.)

I have had a difficult week. On Monday, I had the pleasant relief of finishing my essay on time and the system didn’t crash which was very good. I also decided that this isn’t an ideal state, of course, I want to complete my essays earlier.

Maybe under pressure, I think better – or really it depends on the context. We think a lot under pressure, but as R would know, it turns out we overthink.

S and H are having far too much fun at our expense. I am still worried. And I already agreed to set it out of my mind (and I don’t think this is wishful thinking at all)

It was generally tiring, having morning classes and sir E KB T blow through the readings and I am grateful that they breached our substantive legitimate expectations. (with anecdotes of parliament nonetheless.)

It definitely makes morning classes more bearable when they have fun in class. That we laugh. That he forgets and we pick up his train of thought again.

Not so much the when-there-are-so-many-questions that the original point becomes obscured.

But that is also fine. There is no division bell in school, ironically, which he has heard plenty of times – so says he, each time he uses Article 56 of the Constitution to raise the objection to the quorum.

Our classmate’s valid question about “Then what do we () them for?” and of course, the good sir laughs and caveats.

There are plenty of layers to people, between what they say, what they don’t say, their own views and the way they obscure them – for our sake and their own.

The last thing I wanted was to have this uncomfortable stirring in the hollow of my chest below my sternum.

Then today in class, Professor K told us to “recognise your natural response compared to what you have to do.” So I do think so, avoidance has never been my usual style of conflict management. But I did think I was doing enough.

I’ll leave this thought for a while so I can just write my poem.

I am pre-eminently aware of the kind of person we can be, though

I am not so sure of the person people think we are.

You have a conception of us that I cannot see, and that makes me


You have hopes and expectations on the shoulders of the imaginary ‘I’, and that makes us


Since I only have the vaguest understanding of you,

Since what I do know doesn’t match our idea of ‘self’.

Since you have already expressed what you are looking for and rationally

I cannot fathom how I match that.

I do not want to hurt you and no matter the outcome,

I already promised not just you but everyone else in between us that

I will be there to help.

I will be here.

This must be selfishness, to want your happiness but to be uncertain about you.

This must be confusion, to want my happiness but to place this before me.

This must be a conflation, of your imagined happiness and your own regrets.

What empty words these are, that they do not reach you.

That is my position.

I do not understand your interest(s) – so with reference to our background now, building as a mediator, a negotiator.

After all, to us, this is a problem to solve.

On most levels to me, this is a negotiation. Learning it, doing it because there is a new frame of mind. Life is a negotiation of stronger and weaker positions.

With friends in week-to-week negotiations, we are acutely aware of each other’s needs, positions, long term desires and the understanding that we will give back to each other.

That we give, that we love, that we make value for each other.

Now, to reach this level of negotiation in four months is much too difficult for me.

This poses a problem for me – but should be the same for you.

Such are my thoughts. And below this,

that I do not want to lie.

that I do not want to hurt you.

Ironically, until now, I have not told you what I want.

The interests-in-common aren’t the most important – but on various levels, it () me that you don’t like sweet things and that you’re an early riser. These are things I already know about you.

I like that you are polite, that you are intelligent, and various other facets that do make you a good person in general. There are also plenty of things I don’t know about you.

And I promise you that I am listening, that I will remember the names of the various durations of chess games, that you should not be to reducing yourself into nothingness. That I would be mindful of you if you’re playing a difficult game, for example, regardless of the relationship between us.

These are things that you only ever needed to say.

I only know that right now, I am glad that we met, that I would like to get to know you better slowly.

I have an emphasis on slowness because that is my need. It takes time for us to become comfortable with people and I feel like our progress was reset beyond zero into the negative scale.

It would have been simpler if the emotion I felt was more positive, but R assures me that I would know if I were in love if I were.

In other words, the only conclusion is that I am not. We are in no position to apologise.

I am aware that that is not the answer you are hoping for, nor anywhere close to what you are looking for. I am also very aware that this whole process may hurt you.

But I do want to get to know you.

One week later, I can say this for certain, I do want to get to know you. Our confusion and instinctive rejection have given way to a gentle interest that hopes to reciprocate some of your honesty and courage.

And though it is not ‘you’ in particular, how could I say any different of the people whom I have grown to care for so fiercely?

And I stand corrected. The bar before I call someone a friend for certain, is high. I cannot imagine anyone I met in the past year meeting that bar any time soon. And the people who have met that bar for me, I would not carelessly let go of them.

This all, though is, trivial.

I will not treat you any differently from how I would treat anyone else – there is no basis for a differentiated treatment. I would not compare you before deciding how to treat you, so you have no reason to worry.

This equality under the constitution, to treat all like cases alike; rather than equality of opportunity.

Is it really true that article 14’s freedom of speech and others does not cover artistic expression that has no words?

So says Tan Seng Kee v AG (or is that just obiter now) I cannot reconcile that, so maybe the good sir can explain it in one of his next news articles.

If that is the result, then something absurd has really occurred. Even if you were a literalist or an originalist there would be something wrong.

(he says, we cannot blame the courts who did not have the benefit of counsel. That’s fine and all, our common law system.

But look at this system that was not built to withstand the feedback of thousands – why they closed the form like the system keeled over from the weight of (). It is still, the same system.

Oh for this universe that only knows how to read numbers, I hope that it will lay down a clear indictment.

We are waiting.)


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