Reminiscence

Writings on Random Things and Random Thoughts #1

(It's personal, very personal.)

It's 1:43 AM Chiang Mai time. The notification bubble of my DM popped up with a text: "Old Flame." It's from Khin. She sent me a post along with a portrait of someone whom I was crazy about some years ago. Haha! Yeah, my old flame. Grappling with insurmountable heartache and bitterness of pain, I smiled, almost laughed out loud, and my heart suddenly felt warm. It has nothing to do with that person, though the fun part may be because a part of him, because it's always been funny, and for the moment as well. It's about Khin. It's about me. And it's about us. It's all about how she remembers me, communicates with me, and how our connections and the language of friendship, care, and love are woven throughout time.

I also remember Khin. I think of Khin more recently without having any significant coincidences and flashbacks. Maybe since I am going through a dark time; I remember and suddenly long for my roommate of three years who used to be one of the main pillars of support for me in many ways.

It would be cheesy to say Khin and I never had a fight or problem. There were certain times we were mad at each other. There were some occasions we drove each other nuts. We argued. We fought. We were angry at each other. We openly talked about some things and tried to solve and grow together. Sometimes we just minimized and pretended not to notice the smell of tension around us. But I don't know how things were so easy, simple, and honestly manageable and worked so well between Khin and me as roommates. I'm not very sure if Khin and I would get along with each other in other settings and contexts. But as roommates, we were a perfect match. I never knew how it happened. To me, daily life matters. The nuances of daily life are always fascinating and challenging to me. I think we know about people's fight or flight responses, or conscious, subconscious, and unconscious actions, or dark sides or soft spots during a crisis. And we know the whole person through daily life. That's how Khin was the first person in my life who bluntly revealed the great perfunctory smile I sometimes put on. We both every now and then expressed our appreciation for each other. Still, there are many things I hardly talk about, but I am extremely impressed and appreciative of the things Khin always tries to adapt to with me in a very sensible, subtle, and quiet way without claiming any return and ego.

Not just expressing my gratitude to Khin who, throughout the time, allowed me to intrude and trusted me for all the honest, dishonest, exaggerated, and manipulative things I could or could not do within the emotional, mental, and logistical space we shared together, and through my lens, I sometimes wonder how we could build such trust with each other.

Last year, I met a close friend who is getting married. I asked her a very stupid question. "Do you love your fiancé?" Her reply was as follows: "It's like you and Khin. It's like Khin and you love each other. Our love is not like other lovers and couples' love for each other. Our love is like Khin and you, who are very nice roommates to each other, love each other. We are also like what Khin and you mean to each other. It's like that. That's all." Her answer quite surprised me, and I couldn't stop smiling and thinking then.

In the last three years since we moved apart, I sometimes feel I am spoiled too much. Generally, Khin is regarded as a socially awkward person. I always seem to be the more accessible and agreeable person. Since I left the country and moved out from our Minmanaing room, my relationship with people has been very inconvenient, unfavorable, and unfortunate. I find nothing to like in people. I am entirely losing my sense of humor and wickedness. Khin spoiled me.

During these heartbroken days and nights of grief and torment, I visualize myself back in our Minmanaing apartment. I am convinced that I would still be mourning and struggling with this unbearable pain. But if it's in our room in Minmanaing and Khin is there, I guess I would be healed a little better.

© Shwe Wutt Hmon

4 May 2024

10:00 PM Chiang Mai

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