love in the time of covid

for some time, cheerful face had been suggesting we move out to our own place. we eventually found a place we loved, bought it, and left it in varying stages of almost-completion for a long time. “we are choosing tiles” became both the joke and the metaphor with our friends. there isn’t really a good reason for why we (i) couldn’t just choose the tiles – it’s some parts cold feet before taking such a big step and some parts me simply loving being in a house with lots of people in it and perennial chatter, hustle and bustle.

but then covid hit, and the pent up tension really brought to the surface some ugly facets that had been buried deep down. in tears, i told him we should move out or i would just not be able to bear being in the same room as him. and so we chose the tiles, furnished our new home in record speed, built me a bookshelf of my dreams, and moved in together. and here i am – writing this from our new dining table, which seats eight and that my mother loved so much, she went and got the exact same table. cheerful face and our old friend joe are just beyond the table, playing some basketball game on the playstation and they are both yelling way more than a basketball game should entail.

it’s funny but joe played a big part in me and cheerful face reconciling our relationship. for a long time cheerful face hated me and for an even longer time i hated him even more. i hated him so much, that many years ago i got on a bus in a breezy evening in new york city, saw him sitting in the back of the bus looking out the window, and promptly got off, walking thirty blocks in anger back to campus. we sometimes laugh about how this slice of our history is generally emblematic of our state of being – him blissfully unaware and me destructively defiant. and then joe sort of clumsily glued us back together, amidst some rock band and mentaiko pasta sauce.

completing and filling out our own intimate, cosy space in this chaotic world is quite possibly the best thing we’ve done for our relationship. selecting little imprints to make this space our own, having friends and family warm the floors and walls, feeding each other things we’ve cooked, naming our plants, hours upon hours of long conversations on the balcony, kisses in the morning and before we go to bed – love in the time of covid. years from now we will look back on this time and be so glad we did this thing for ourselves and chose each other above all.


Ashley Liew

Have fun building your very own memories in your very own space. And if you can help it, don’t ever move because packing and unpacking is such a bitch.

ashley – hahaha i know what you mean. packing took us a really long time before we got to the stage where we could move out! :D


Aww that image of joe and cheerful face playing video games. Some things don’t change!

artificially verbose

I’ll need to begin the process of choosing tiles soon. But first I need to complete step 1!


Hello Pinkpau,

I’ve been reading your blog since years ago & chanced upon you more than 10 years ago at vivo city if you recall. Glad to hear some post updates about you & the characters mentioned in your blogs. Happy for you that you had gotten a homely space of your own. From time to time, I will check back this blog to see any new writing. Hope to connect with you in person and meet up in SG if there is the opportunity. I will call you the next time I chance on you again.


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