I’ve left behind my life
I’ve left Malaysia of my birth
I’ve left my friends, my cat, my car, my house
And I’ve left behind my love
I actually know I’m being pathetic to grieve over a heart that’s been broken for a long time, but mourn I must for the “final” the-end to the two-year tragedy which I called my love life.
It’s the final the-end because I tried to bring the curtains to a close several times, but like Sly’s Rocky, there was always a sequel, and adhering to the rule of sequels, mine were always bad.
I was not for him. He was not for me. Yet, the emptiness of my soul cried out for any kind of salve. Soothing in the short term but detrimental in the long haul, I grabbed whatever crumbs of affection came my way and talked myself into love. When the blinders were taken away, I resisted the unencumbered view. When he went further away for work, it was the perfect opportunity to call it quits, but nevertheless, I struggled to hold on.
In my case, it was true that absence made the heart grow fonder. I missed him with every fibre of my being. My heart did not understand my head’s clamour for closure and to open my eyes to the truth. He was not that into me. Not in the least. And I blinded myself to the things I had started to dislike about him.
As much as I abhorred his penchant for lying and how he treated me, I retained a love for him beyond rhyme or reason. I loved his hands -- big, strong and rough-looking but gentle enough to deal with computers and their parts, around which he worked. I loved his hair, especially the floppy part which fell over his forehead just as it was drying. I loved his face, his lopsided smile, the light that fell and highlighted his hazel eyes. I loved the milk-chocolate smoothness of the skin on his back, I loved the way his jeans hugged his butt, I loved his athleticism and skill in games, his singing voice.
I wanted to be his saviour, helping him realise his dreams. I wanted to be part of his family, to have a closeness with his mother and siblings the way I couldn’t have with mine. I wanted to be everything to him that I had dreamed someone would be to me. Even knowing that he never wanted this in return.
And as I got ready to leave my home for work in a foreign country, I identified most with Keith Urban’s song But You’ll Think of Me, specifically the chorus, which goes:
Take your records, take your freedom
Take your memories I don't need 'em
Take your space and take your reasons
But you'll think of me
Take your cat and leave my sweater
'Cause we have nothing left to weather
In fact I'll feel a whole lot better
But you'll think of me, you'll think of me
The thing is, I can’t even console myself that it’s me singing those words. They are eminently in his domain. Aside from the first expression of surprise that I was going away, my leaving hardly affects his life.
Thus I took my records (CDs) and my freedom.
And I take the memories with me – memories for which he never had any use. Where I had committed to my grey cells and my heart almost each touch and word, he’d constantly turn in surprise if I’d quote what he had said a year previously.
All those memories are mine alone: the peck on my cheek as I was getting on an elevator that made me want to both cry and grin like an idiot; sitting with him on a deserted island jetty enjoying the breeze.
He never had an affinity for my cat, but I did love his shirts. A favourite was a jersey he wore while playing futsal, which I then took to wearing in bed. That I returned to him.
Now I've left all that behind, with a last longing glance as he walked away into the night on the last day we were together. He turned to look back, gave me a lopsided smile, then it was over.
It's liberating and definitely sad, because I know he'll feel a whole lot better, but some days, I know for sure I would still think of him.