To kiss or not to kiss? A thoughtful story on romance and writing.

Recorded in Eindhoven, NL.

Music by James Iball, photo by Tim Marshall.


So, about a year ago, I went on a holiday to Croatia with a bunch of friends. And, you know they have family there, like Croatian family. They’re half Croatian, half Dutch. So we rented an apartment which is close to like their relatives, like their grandma and their cousins and stuff. Yeah okay so we got there, right? And they told me about their cousins, they were like “Oh yeah maybe, you know, maybe you can hook up with her hahahaa”. Which is usually bullshit in my ears, but she was really pretty when I first saw her. But she came with her boyfriend. So I was like, okay, you know, that’s no limits for me. Like, she might be really pretty so just avoid looking at her or whatever, you know, just don’t fall for her. Easy, right? But we stayed there for two weeks. And pretty much every day, like you know we went out and did stuff. We went to swim, like went out to bars, just drank all day…

She’d pretty much be there all the time. And, I don’t know, like she has this kind of way of expressing herself and all her crazy ass ideas just openly, without like any inhibitions it seems. She’s telling everyone about all these, like, weird abstract thoughts that she’s having. But nobody really reciprocated them. And neither did I, because I was like, you know, she seems really cool. But I can’t like fall for her or whatever, you know. So I try to not say anything to her. But she would always end up like, standing next to me, talking to me, telling all this shit to me. And I would understand it but I didn’t show her that. She would just like be next to me, end up next to me I mean, somehow.

Right so I was trying to not fall for her or whatever but, at one point she compared family psychology, like how our parents and their children go through their lives – she compared it to the waves in the sea. Which is something I’ve written about, like four years ago, exactly that. That was just like, I don’t know, it hit me really hard. I want to be like “Oh my god you’re thinking the exact same shit as I was thinking like three years ago.” I wanted to talk about it but I couldn’t, and like that moment passed. And afterwards, I was just like fuck, why can’t I fall for this girl? Like, why is this happening? You know, this girl is really cool. I could talk to her… Why didn’t I just do that? You know, all these thoughts, back and forth, blah blah blah.

And like a couple of days before we left, the last week or so, my friends all went off to Slovenia or whatever, like a bordering country to Croatia. And I was like, you know “I don’t really want to go guys”. You know I was feeling down on myself, like fucking you know pounding on myself and shit. So I didn’t want to go. And I stayed behind in the apartment. So I spent three days alone there. You know, the first day, I just… that was like the day of reflection, of like all the shit that happened with the girl and shit. I was just like okay I’m going to take this time to figure out like what I’m feeling, what I’m thinking. You know, like correctly, before I leave you know. It’s only a couple of days before we leave back to Holland again. I reflected and I realised that I was still blaming the world for all kinds a shit. You know, all kinds of problems that I have, I was just blaming the world. Like, all the environment that I grew up in, the people that I meet, you know viewing them as limitations to me, rather than, you know just what they are, just people and just the world. And I kind of realised that, and you know, that really got me down on myself. I was like fuck you know, like what kind of person am I? I’m just blaming everyone and everything else.

And, you know this girl didn’t even matter to me anymore at this point. I was just so, I don’t know that was like a really vulnerable time. But it was necessary in a sense. It was good in a sense, I felt like it was a good kind of sadness or self-consciousness – no not… It wasn’t self-loathing, but it was…

[Carys]: Self-awareness?

Self-awareness yeah yeah, it was like a biting kind of self-awareness. But it was, you know, it was genuine, it was necessary. And I was like, you know I have this now, this is like the next stage, you know I’m glad that I got here or whatever… But you know it sucks, realising this about yourself. And then another day passed. And then the day after that, you know, the last day that I had the apartment to myself, before my friends would come back. Some like family member, around six in the evening, they called me up and they’re like “Hey, Anna – the girl – she’s been sitting here and she wants to go out like, there’s nobody else in town. So do you want to go out with her?” And I was like “Yeah, sure”. You know, I was like, off in the distance, like thinking all this shit about myself. I didn’t even really think anything of it, you know. I was just like, yeah, I’m just not going to be able to talk to her or whatever. Or, you know just the same shit that’s been going on before. I expected that.

But she was really like, glad to talk to someone. Because she’d been locked up in her room for three days as well, which is kind of similar to my situation in the short term there. But like, right off the bat, right when we just like, left her house. She started talking about this really dark and weird dream about a masquerade or something. And yeah, I don’t know, that just set off the whole night. You know, the rest of the night we just talked for hours. We talked about her boyfriend, we talked about philosophy, talked about psychology… Pretty much got to talk about everything that you know, I felt like talking about with her up until that point. And near the end – well, I guess not the end of the night, but around 12 o’clock or something – some Croatian people, they walk passed us. We were sitting in the sand, drinking beer, and they came up to her and they were asking her something in Croatian. And afterwards I asked her what they asked and apparently they were asking her if she knew like a dealer in the area. And yeah she didn’t, it’s like hard to get weed or something around there.

And she casually asked like “By the way, do you guys still have weed?” And I say “Yeah, I have a little bit. You know, but I was saving it for the guys when they come back. This was like our weed for the holiday there.” And then her face just like lit up completely. She had this massive grin, she’s like “Can we can we go smoke that?” And I was like “Yeah but you know what about the guys? And besides, it’s like a 30 minute walk uphill. You know, you don’t want to do that.” She’s like “No, I don’t give a shit. I want to do that.” I was like whoa, this enthusiasm about weed. You know, I can’t say no to that. But so you know, we walked up hill, we talked more, and she rolled a joint. And, I had to walk her down again because she got lost in her own town. I didn’t even understand that. I don’t even know if she really did get lost. I had to walk her down for a bit, she felt scared in the dark while high and stuff. We were telling scary stories as well. And I don’t know, when we were walking down hill, you know, she’s sort of like grabbing onto my arm at times. She’s like, “Oh shit whenever I’m high and in the dark I see these figures in the dark. I don’t know why, like my brain sees these things. And I think they’re real.” And she grabbed onto me and stuff… I’m laughing, we’re making jokes, it was a nice vibe.

All of a sudden, like halfway down the hill that we had to go. It started raining a little and I was just in my T shirt and flip flops. Like in five minutes time though, it was just like a complete storm pretty much. Thunder up above us and shit like that. So you know, we had to find a place to kind of hide under. So we found this little tree and you know, we just stood there like laughing pretty much. I didn’t even mind the rain. I was soaking wet but I didn’t even notice that or anything. We were having fun, like the both of us. And we were standing under this tree kind of huddled up, facing each other. And that was like the most perfect moment to kiss someone I feel. I don’t know, I’ve never experienced like a moment or whatever to kiss someone. But you know if I would ever, like pick a moment, like that would be it, like right there. Like us looking at each other in the eyes. You know, the whole night and everything. Yeah, that would have been it. But I didn’t kiss her…

But I mean, that’s like my whole principle. Like I don’t kiss anybody or do anything with anybody who has a boyfriend. And we had been talking about her relationship. You know, she was really like messed up about it and maybe it would have fucked it up even more. But, honestly I didn’t need the kiss. Like if I had kissed her it would have been a different night I feel. And I was already so grateful for getting to experience that. Like I was feeling down on myself. Yeah, I don’t know, that’s pretty much it I guess. It’s… yeah.

[Carys]: So what’s the moral of the story?

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t limit yourself, I would say. Which sounds very vague and broad. But, like in a more practical sense I guess it would be telling yourself not to do shit. Even though you might as well just do it. It’s also vague.

[Carys]: So do you regret not kissing her?

No, I don’t.

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