Lest I forget

I must write this page lest I shall have some most important thought and feeling of mine unrecorded and maybe hence obliterated.

By a stroke of despair I decided not to write the name of a person in my diary anymore two months ago. Since then the person had been referred to in my journal as "that person" or simply by a pronoun. By another stroke of despair last week I decided to banish any reference to that person completely. Like the Orwellian Ministry of Truth I attempted to erase that person from my life by erasing it from the official record of my life. After that more than once I nearly reneged. The following are the events I nearly allowed into the Ministry's archives in some restless lonely fidgeting nights.

Nearly three months had passed since we said bye in the freezing winter night. Last week, while I was beginning to find it difficult to picture that person in my mind, I dreamed about the very person. In the dream we lied in bed, caressed and whispered confession, penance and absolution to each other. All through it I wanted to cry (yet I have no idea whether my eyes had been wet in reality or in the dream). When I woke up from the dream, I went through the wonted process of recall, reflect and then remorse. Beyond those I figured something not happened before - I had no sight of the person's face in the dream. There had been several moments in the dream when my eyes should meet her face, but the person's aspect was sort of clouded, blank, obscure or concealed by a turn of body. Is it because I didn't have the mental concentration or will power to retrieve the day-by-day fading-away face? Until then I had never thought that one can dream about a person without seeing the person's face. Now I know the volition to have a person can survive the memory of the look of the wanted person.

Several days after the dream, I finished reading Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera. The book failed to convince me that a man could wait for a woman who had deserted him without justification for 50 years and more incredibly still, that he had never hated her throughout the exile. I suspect that the story was the cause for a change of my mind I am to describe, although I have no reason to believe so.

The change was like this: My rational analysis of the ended affair had always been that I was the deserted party, the other person the desertor. But in a Sunday afternoon during a solitary long swimming session in which my mind worked as busily but also as freely as my muscles, I began counting my own responsibilities for the unhappy finale. I began to think that the person's decision to part with me was justified and deducible by a logical progression: "because I had done x, y, z, which were really nasty and discouraging, the person was left with no option but to call it a day, just like any other person would have done in that situation."

This act of self-blame got checked very soon. My rational self reined in again and told myself: In order to justify the abandonment, I had deliberately discounted and ignored the reasons which had led me to x, y, z - that the person had done a, b, c, d, e to me without justification - and that I had resorted to x, y, z only to protect myself from deeper laceration and to show disapproval.

The lesson I drew from this lapse of reason is that I want to be the guilty party. If I am guilty, then I am not the sucker loser. The feeling of being deserted and the facts that justice is not yet done and the diabolical mind never repents are too harsh on me, unbearably harsh. I need a break.

Sam Mok