Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Strangeness of Love

I came across an article in the Straits Times' Mind Your Body Section where the feature was an interview with a nondescript elderly man called Ray. Apparently, more than a decade ago, Ray's wife, Grace, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's diesease, a frightening condition which progressively claimed any smidgen of her memory (I imagine I would rather die than not recognize the person I love most).

After the diagnosis, they both decided they would travel around the world, living life to the fullest, with Ray attending to her every need despite her memory lapses and expensive medication. 12 years later, she passed away as he was having his nap and he kept his promise to write a book about her - Amazing Grace.

"You don't stop loving someone because they are ill."

Those heart-rending words left a strange tingling sensation lingering as I stabbed mindlessly at the last bits of my Maple Peacan cereal.

Then, the phone rang and I heard Lina trying her utmost to end the conversation with the party on the other line. I looked at her questioningly and she whispered if I would take the call. So I did.

Me: Hello?
Girl: Na! Na! Na!
Me: Hello?
Girl: Na! Na!
Me: 你找谁? (Who are you looking for?)

Hearing my spoken chinese, the girl suddenly sounded very relieved, breaking into uncontrollable spurts of conversation. Apparently, she is the Chinese girlfriend of my very wayward paternal cousin whom I haven spoken more than 100 words in my life. My cousin is one of the most disappointing, incorrigible man I have ever seen, with a heart so steely he could cheat his grandfather of his family heirloom, his dad of his money and countless girls of their hearts. Each time as I see him put on that facade pleading innocence that can only completely befuddle old aunties like my mother, I am filled with utter contempt.

But now, here is a girl, over in China, investing her life savings in hope for a better life with him. She sounded helpless and asked if I have heard from my cousin because she had not be able to reach him at all. She wants to come to Singapore earlier and she wants to be with him through his court proceedings.

To tell the truth, I haven't the slightest idea what my cousin is up to. Like I said, I have never spoken more than a hundred words to him in my entire quarter century of existence. However, the desperate tinge in her voice just made me hung on and listen, despite the pressing time for school. She began rattling, rather affectionately I must say, about how my cousin has no friends nor family (except my mother) to care for him, about how they are going to live life together in Singapore.

Perhaps there is a reason why a person is without friends or family. It just did not occur to her. I sincerely hope my cousin has not abandoned her. The best I could do is to offer a listening ear to let her know that at least the cousin's family has not. That could offer a little shred of comfort.

So what is love?

It could be just plain stupidity.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah i read the article too... and that sentence had me staring back at it for a few moments too.. guess we were thinking abt the same thing?

Catherine

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Toukarin said...

Being stupid for a while makes you a smarter person later....

Until you discover you could still be as stupid.

Or until you decide that being stupid for the rest of your life is reasonable because you'll be happy for the rest of your life as well.



On a side note, I don't think I'll die if I could not recognize the person I love most. By acknowledging the very fact that I know it, I would choose to strain my brain until I remember again.

5:16 PM  
Blogger jellybeano said...

cat: Eh great minds think alike. hahaha!

toukarin: your being-stupid-or-not theory very confusing sia. Too complicated already.

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Toukarin said...

Aiyoh. Not complicated lah. Give you pseudo-code:

Object fall_in_love;

while (fall_in_love.def == stupid) {

try {

fall_in_love.count++;

if (fall_in_love.count > MAX_LIMIT) {
fall_in_love.def = smart;
//Exit loop, not sure what comes next
}

else if (fall_in_love.count == MAGIC_NUMBER) {
fall_in_love.ending = bliss;
fall_in_love.count = -infinity;
//trapped in loop, stupid forever
}

else {
continue;
}

}

catch (TooTiredToLookForLoveException e) {
fall_in_love.giveUp();
fall_in_love.singleStatus = true;
}

}

11:58 PM  
Blogger jellybeano said...

Wah lao, as if this will make it less complicated. But it's pretty hilarious. Ha ha

9:08 AM  

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