Monthly Archives: February 2005

sweetness, in that bitter way

for me, it’s been quite impossible to ignore a day that’s basically designed to make you think about your significant other, or the lack of one. i think i’ve experienced only one valentine in my lifetime while i had a girlfriend, and, as irony has it, the relationship ended a few days later.

i’m a bit embarrassed about the way i’ve been with girls in the past year. i have serious issues with infatuation and hasty commitments. i’ve been trying to figure out what my problem may be; am i that desperate for companionship and attention? am i afraid i can’t hold on to someone i might like too much?

i was at le monde today with wook – an outing of the LMC sort – and we both tried a special beer that supposedly had some traces of chocolate in it. the beer basically tasted like a Guinness, but i remember reading about it’s “bittersweet” finish on the menu. it’s a nice word – bittersweet. and i think i’ll use it on this valentine’s day to remind myself how things are good, even if tinted with sadness, in a very bittersweet way.

i couldn’t help thinking about the last scene in nicolas ray’s In a Lonely Place when Laurel Gray (gloria grahame) painfully looks on as Dixon Steele (humphrey bogart) leaves her after all hopes of marriage have ended. i think the primary source of sadness in this film comes from the fact that Dixon and Laurel were very much in love until outside forces of reality invaded their world of romance. Laurel’s inability to trust Dixon is understandable, given his violent nature and history, but her lack of trust, by the end, does leave a hint of betrayal and an eagerness for flight. i think Dixon captures the temporality of their love best when he recites a line from his screenplay to Laurel while driving: ‘I was born when she kissed me; I died when she left me; I lived a few short weeks while she loved me.’ it’s a bittersweet line that masks tragedy.