Carpaccio of Hamachi with Uni and Truffle Shoyu, a decadently beautiful treat that is indescribably beautiful and rich in flavour. It was love at first sight.
We live in perilous times. Modernity has brought many technological advancements, some of which are used incredibly to prolong and improve our quality of life. Unfortunately it has also brought in untold horrors as the technology is being harvested to maim and kill. Look around us. Death, destruction and chaos is almost part of everyday living, we live in fear of being robbed, being involved in an accident, we shock ourselves by following the news and witness the destruction of sanity as this evil pestilence called modern living invades the earth.
Love is the new opiate for the masses. We are made to yearn for the new nirvana called love or more specifically, Eros or erotic love, often touted as a state of complete happiness and bliss. Love sells more than ever before and we are peddled with saccharine laced dope from the music industry, from the publishing industry and also the movie and broadcasting industry. We need our little vials of "love" heroin to numb us from the harsh realities of life while the dictators and despots continue with their plundering, the violent criminals kill and maim and greedy corporations rape the earth and people.
Our little love Prozac is our cocoon. Our protective mantra. As we go through the day, sickly sweet bubble gum tunes flood the airwaves singing about love, we watch telenovelas and movies. We are assaulted by ditzy bimbos enhanced surgically and digitally with their perfectly chiseled manbos with ripped six packs who peddle love in every form and every way.
Boston Lobster Cold Royale with Abalone and Avruga. A Chawan Mushi like creation that makes you forget about kissing and stinky breaths once it touches your lips. Beautiful subtle flavours and love inducing texture.
Being in Love should be classified as a temporary Psychiatric disorder. Love is delusional. We often make our objects of affection to be larger than life, we ignore their weakness and enhance their positive traits however minute they are. We paint ourselves a rosy, robust picture of our partners and in a delusional state, imagine them to be the ultimate and desirable object of affection. When things don't work out, we begin to blame ourselves. We look for answers. We turn to our friends for advice. We buy self help books, we watch Oprah. We resort to the media for answers.
Love is a big industry, love is manipulated by media, love is used to sell products. Buy your girl a diamond ring and she is yours forever, your slave, your confidante. Bring her for a holiday and she will love you and adulate you, shagging in a five star hotel in a faraway place is the panacea for worn out love. Spritz some perfume and you will be sophisticated and sultry like Kate Moss and get your man.
While we fail to see that we were delusional in the first place. Who we love is just a mirage or an expectation that we conjure out of a delusional desire to love somebody, an unrealistic expectation that can never be fulfilled.
Hokkaido Scallops and Angellini Pasta. Soothing creamy comfort with chewy scallops. Warms the heart and soul more than insipid and tacky love notes does.
Love is irrational. The very premise of Love is irrational. Two total strangers meeting up and end up caring so much for each other that they are inseparable. Totally besotted with each other in sickness and in health, still loving and horny even though plagued with wrinkles and sagging butts plus some infidelity and lots of screaming matches thrown in for some added pain before death does the final parting.
Speaking of irrationality, we can throw in sex as well. The benevolent sentient omnipotent being that created us must be laughing his head off, when he created sex as a means of procreation and also a physical display of love and affection.
Squid Ink Tortellini with Crayfish. A remarkable pasta that made me forget about not having anyone to love. It makes first love unmemorable.
The previous century or so has seen an abnormal proliferation of mediocrity in music, literature and preforming arts. The proliferation of technology has assailed us with banality and contrived notions of what love is and should be. It has taken away the deep pain and the extreme moroseness that failed love can unleash on weakened spirits. The tragedy of love is glossed over and trivialized in the idealized version of love that Hollywood attempts to peddle.
Can one ever recover from the scars of failed love?
Hollywood likes to think so, but classical composers and librettists think otherwise. Cio Cio San, who was jilted by Captain Pinkerton sought death as the way out of her predicament of having a failed love and a child. Isolde died of grief slumped over Tristan's body after he was killed. The horrors of tragic love were paraded night after night in opera houses all over the world, while pop has sanitized love.
If you have got a good internet connection, check out the scene that leaves me watery eyed each time I hear it. (This version by Yin Huang is not the best, but the libretto had been subtitled in English. I personally love Mirella Freni and Scotto's version. Callas was too distracting as she tried too hard to imitate the voice of a teenager and Tebaldi was over dramatic with her impromptu sobs and wails. Buzz me if you want any of the CDs.)
Love kills, love hurts. Love does not guarantee a happy ending.
Chicken Confit and Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Wine Jus. Why stick with one when you can have a menage a trois?
Women had been portrayed as the victim of Tragic Love in Classical Opera. Undoubtedly women has a more complex psyche than men. I was astounded when a female friend told me that making love with her husband felt like digging her nose with a toe after they fell out of love. Thank goodness men do not have the same problem. It takes a whole lot less to get a men off. No hunting for obscure G spots. You do not need a flashing red light with whistles and sirens to tell you where a man's G spot is.
Does the complex psyche of women make them more susceptible to the perils of failed relationships?
I don't know, and I do not pretend that I know the answer. If women came with a manual, it will probably help.
I am a bastard when it comes to intimate relationships. I wold prefer to have mine frozen and readily thawed when needed. There is too much to distract me. I probably suffer from some form of ADD, I am able to function at work just for the sake of economic necessity. Bills need to be paid, and Android need fine dining. Throw me in a relationship and all the conditioning I received from reading obscure books and listening to doomed relationships comes into play and I shut out any form of intimacy. I have had many relationships in the past, but there was never one that I was completely honest in, where I was completely myself.
My break ups were never as dramatic as those portrayed in a TVB serial. Many years ago, I attempted to recreate a scene I learned from a TVB movie by bringing six cans of beer not to the pier of Hong Kong harbour, but to a beach. I wanted to shout in grief, but couldn't and after two cans of beer, I remembered I had to work early the next day and proceeded back home to sleep. That was as much drama I could handle from being dumped.
Sous Vide of Berries with Caramel Ice Cream. It is easier to propose to this as it will guarantee to satisfy you forever.
Over the years, things have not changed much. Two months ago, I broke up from a six year old on and off relationship. We met infrequently to suit my annoyance of having somebody on my back all the time. Probably this time I over did the freezing part and forgot I had some meat in the freezer. I was to engrossed with work and my books and she was too engrossed with her work and herself. It was an amicable parting, we both knew that it never meant anything more than what it was and it was drama free.
I have been persistently asked what my favourite loves song is. It is Ball and Chain, by Janis Joplin. With her 3 octave range voice which can change from a maniacal shriek to the pleading of a child within a second, she was the real blues/rock star.
She sings about love being unfair, she sings about the pain brought upon by the person she loves. She questions herself if all of it was in vain.
This is LOVE 101. The real mantra that should be chanted before any sex education class.
Listen to it and see if it sends a chill to your spine and make your hairs stand on their ends. Listen to it and decry the sugary sweet pop.
Love is painful. Breaking up cannot be danceable like Leona Lewis singing "Bleeding Love".
If you want to take the chance, fall in love and rush into where angels fear to tread. Angels are sexless (asexual/genderless) anyway. But be prepared for the emotional turmoil that comes with it. I am sure one day, you will be rewarded amply by your persistence.
For emotional fuckwits like me, I will remain enclosed and warped with my knowledge that love hurts bad and if I give in to it, I will be burnt. I am just not hardwired for Love. I can be a good friend to have some intellectual discourse, I can be a good listener and look at your problems objectively and maybe offer some limp advice on relationships, a good brother and perhaps a good son.
I will never be able to be a good husband. I am just too engrossed with myself to share. The downside of it is the constant barrage of trashy love songs and well meaning friends reminding me how emotionally challenged I am. Thank goodness I can still find solace in food, with the companionship and pleasure it offers, a pleasure as base and unchalleging as a relationship based on shagging can offer.
I do like some intimacy of occasional companionship, but the pressure from a Hachiko waiting for me at the station everyday will drive me bonkers. Sex is pleasurable but comes with too much emotional bondage.
For the time being, "A Shag? Frankly, my dear, I would prefer a cup of tea".