A Romantic Problem

A semi-romantic setting. Probably over-looking a city, or at least by a decent size river, around sunset.

The male is standing next to his partner. He is having difficulties expressing something to a person whom he deeply cares about.

“I promise I will always be here for you,”


“I promise I will always be there for you,”

Hold on a second. This seems like a trivial concern, but after thinking for a while, it offers greater implications to general romantic questionings. This concern needs more commitment than we usually would give a damn.

The male is not sure about his phrasing. He repeats both of the sentences on his lips. Both sound correct, yet, the more he repeats, the more stranger they start to sound. Yes he knows they sound cliché. But what truthful thoughts or phrases don't these days. Thanks to all the screenwriters, silver screens, and attractive looking lead actors saying them the last 80 years.

“I promise I will always be HERE for you” seems promising. It connotes a more specific location, probably not by the decent size river like previously mentioned, but at least a location where the couple understands. It implies security, certainty, and certain positive-ness. Here. We all know where “here” is. Something within the reach of an arm. Somewhere we can point to with our finger in a downward position. Somewhere we can see. Somewhere that exists in our mental mapping of our insecure universe. “I promise I will always be here for you".  One says it as he/she put his/her arms around the other person. To encircle, to safeguard from randomness and chaos, to blanket what warmth the two create. He speaks into her ears: Right HERE. I mean, right here, next to you, like I promised. Skin to skin. Nose to nose, forehead touching.  Brushing eyebrows against each other as the two stare deeply, unforgivingly. Close proximity, eyesight refocused.

Like when Ingrid Bergman asks Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, “but what about us?”. “We’ll always have Paris,” he replies, while confidence abundance. THIS close proximity I like, the pondering male thought.

“I promise I will be THERE for you” on the other hand, connotes a slightly different idea. There. Sounds a bit impersonal, doesn't it. I will be there for you. He murmurs again in his mouth. It sounds so...distant and ambiguous. He is not sure this is the kind of message he wants to transmit to someone he deeply cares about. Deeply, deep enough to tell specific locations. Right next to you.  Meet you at the coffee shop noon or be squared.  Okay I will go with “here”, he thought.  Just before he makes up his mind, he had another thought. The abstruseful-ness of "there" implies an abstract notion of site.  There. Wouldn’t that imply a much more comprehensive coverage of space and time?  Yes, my deep care for you is like a satellite, with feeling, covers the entire sky.  I will be there for you.  Does that sound too eager?  I mean, like the person I am looking at. The feeling is deep, but I am not venturing into the L word... he continues to murmur.  Do I want to appear as someone who is obsessed to the extend of going beyond physical limitation, of achieving omni-presence? If not, then perhaps granting this person a “there” is evidently, slowly an obsession, around the clock.  There, there, there, everywhere...

As the male persists on being indecisive of wording, the partner looked away as the golden moment slips away.  Now the sunset is complete. 



Sunset 2009, correction fluid and paint on paper
Couch 2009, paint on paper