What stronger love than adultery

Then they had a long discussion, talked about how to rid themselves of the need for hiding, for deception, for living in different towns and not seeing each other for long periods. How could they free themselves from these unbearable bonds? “How? How?” he asked, clutching his head. “how?” And it seemed that, just a little more – and the solution would be found, and then a new, beautiful life would begin; and it was clear to both of them that the end was still far, far off, and that the most complicated and difficult part was just beginning.

Anton Chekhov, The lady with the dog



The dangers of a safety and perfection

“I think we need some kind of adversity in our lives. We need the threat of falling off a cliff, physically. Like how people go on holidays where the main idea isn’t relaxation, but the feeling of life being threatened, by say, malaria, or a tiger attack, food poisoning, robbing. You know, thrill seeking.”

Andrew Cheah, “Anaesthesia” in Best New Singaporean Short Stories Volume Two


We weren’t made for the office cubicle. Maybe that’s why depression is an urban disease. We lack adversity — and even more so now.

Falling off and falling in love

“There’s a story, about a woman who falls in love with anyone who saves her from falling off a cliff, I forget the details. The point is, it could have been a tramp, or a politician, or a celebrity, or a horticulturalist that saved her, and she would have fallen in love regardless.”

Andrew Cheah, “Anaesthesia” in Best New Singaporean Short Stories Volume Two


Lol horticultarlist.

Reminds me of that experiment where the researcher/interviewer is regarded as more attractive when she meets the subject at the top of a shaky suspended bridge. Maybe it becomes even more intense when you are actually about to fall off a cliff.

Researchers have said that the suspended bridge experiment points towards falling in love more easily when in a state of fear. But can’t it be the case that the interviewer – who was equally afraid at the suspended bridge – was the one who appeared more attractive in her state of fear? Dilated pupils. Pheromones. A vulnerability in her voice.