Hari is shaped like the letter for love if there was one. We don’t meet often, we live in different places, but maybe we were always tied from the moment boygenius existed. We share a few hobbies as well as experiences, for we are both rusticated students. This diary entry is an attempt to capture some clouds of conversation before I give permission for their floating away. I wanted to record the safe places we share, our comfy states of mind inside a city that had turned us completely frozen. The list below is a series of compiled journals, records of the little things that keep us both grounded even when in Oxford. Despite the unsettling mist that currently hovers around nightmarish spires, there are still a few things we can rely on to bring us peace. 

Train Journeys

Do you ever just get excited as the countryside rolls past, and you’re listening to music and things just feel hopeful?

Hari I am almost as in love with train travel as I am with you! I am wondering now if you had a train journey in mind. I love the train journey from Oxford to Bath because it captures for me exactly that feeling you call hope. The country is personless but full of deer and sheep and foxes, wildlife retains its quiet vibrancy even through hibernating season. I especially love how on a train the scenery is ever changing and you are powerless to stop it. You don’t have to do anything but watch, and things will develop for you: colours change, leaves fall and all that is left to do is shift along with the seasons… 

There is a Buddhist folktale named “Muddied Water”. It describes a monk, on his way to collect water for his travelling group, but finds it has been dirtied. When he returns to his teacher empty handed, they just ask him to go again. At first the monk is annoyed because he knows nothing will have changed, and is frustrated to find the water still muddied as expected. When he returns once more his teacher waits a while, but then asks him to go and fetch water from the exact same place. The monk unwillingly abides, but this time is shocked to find the water completely clean: for whatever reason, an inexplicable change had occurred despite nothing being done to clear the water. When you talked about train journeys it reminded me of this same idea. Sometimes we don’t have to do anything and our lives will shift for us, time being the only thing that passes. I think I love train journeys because they remind me of how doing nothing is the most beautiful form of existence. Maybe we should just spend a whole day together going on different trains, watching things change and doing nothing else! 


There’s a song called I Guess This is Life

I am currently listening as I write this and I can’t decide what makes this song so complete, but I will definitely be asking you for more song recommendations! Aside from putting this on my train journeys playlist, I am also thinking of how her voice seems to stumble into hope. When she says ‘I opened the cabinet where the thoughts all sit’, it feels so brave and I can’t stop smiling. To be my Literature Student self, I have got to tell you about my ridiculous thoughts on this. I just believe that ‘cabinet’ brings such light into the lyrics, like your thoughts are as plain as a coffee cup in the kitchen cupboard. I love the idea that thoughts are just the furniture of being human: they’re always good to ‘acknowledge’, but they are not worth being frightened of. When you were talking about this song I noticed your eyes spark and it made me so happy! It’s too lovely to be with you and absorb you as a “human, being”. And if you’re laughing right now because this has low-key turned into a love letter then I think this journal entry has achieved its purpose!


He created a little bear from latte art and I couldn’t stop smiling (…) there’s just something about hot coffee–
You introduced me to lavender syrup today and it is just so perfect! In the cafe it honestly felt like I was sipping a Romantic poem, like it was keeping me warm while I mused beside the lakes. Is this “something” you were talking about magic, something just inexplicable? I love that we can’t explain why these coffee dates bring us so much joy, they’re just indescribable happiness. Beyond the necessary caffeine kick I want to say there was something almost mystical swirling through my coffee cup. As I was sitting with you I realised how real everything felt, a fantastical feeling for someone with dissociative tendencies. Maybe because you understand, because you just know these things, I felt safe enough to exist all of a sudden. For all we have had to put up with, for everything this year has been, I can’t help but tear up when I think of how being with you is still so easy. Here’s to more coffee, crying and always more music recommendations, please 😉 x