To hate is more tiresome than to love

An expectant mother was once asked by celebrity-page journalists whether she was angry for the movie-star father's open repudiation of responsibility for the foetus. "No. To hate a person is even more tiresome than to love one," said she. I read this from the papers. It was so brilliantly said, as I felt then, that I wished to see the video clips of this Q&A if possible. A halo around her head was what I expected.

As life is seldom merciful on the victims of perfidy, it is only the most blessed who will be offered the choice between to hate and to love. I have come to learn that the pain of hatred and the pain of unsatiated love are not the diverging paths at a junction, but the two sides of the very same coin. Just when I begin to feel my feet back on the ground and able to tell myself "bygones are bygones" - a commonplace motto which is murmured only by the persons for whom self-pity is no longer interesting and who have ceased to see their stories as the love story of the land - I receive an request from a person for seeing me again. The pleasure in me resonates between two walls, on one of which was the fading love and longing for this person; and on the other the constant desire to take my revenge. Until this moment I have thought that love and hate will be in a tug-of-war and tear my heart apart upon a choice to see or not to see this person again. To my surprise their instructions are in unison now, that is not to see. Why? Perhaps it is because the motive to avenge is no more than to inflict pain on the person by letting him feel the disappointment and despair which he had inflicted on the avenger. The complaint about justice not done is no other than the cry "why a person who loves so much could have received so little in return, while the person who loves so little could have got so much?" On the other hand, love ordains the same course of action as the avenger is all too aware that the only motive to see this person again at this moment is to avenge, to wound, to punish, to administer justice by his own hands, by spitting vitriolic words in their meeting, by planning for infidel adventures in the future or by feverish love-making in which every thrust feels like a stab. If I see her, I am not sure whether it is out of love, out of hate, or out of the desire to pretend that I have overcome the person. So I decide not to see her, but the stifling mystery remains: I am not sure which of the above was the reason for my decision. Only one thing is for sure, that is the dead end of the whole affair is reached and the final verdict is handed out to the loser, who hates because he loves and loves because he hates.

Sam Mok