May 24, 2007|
Our affair was one long lesson on how to break up.
The aftermath of a failed relationship is never a pretty scene; the stomach shrivels, face goes pale, soul goes dry, eyes puff. It’s the kind of agony Graham Greene knows how to illustrate so well.
I went to the Chinese doctor to cure my heartache. Days before, I had lost my sense of taste, which had never happened to me before. Nothing was right: Malaysian laksas tasted of milky water, melons tasted of dead pulp, and ice cream was no longer sweet. I thought maybe my mind was racing so much I might have triggered a mini-stroke that rendered me tasteless.
The doctor could tell from my eyes that I had been eating too much raw fish. From the white coating of my tongue he could tell I’d been drinking too much. Stop, he said. He gave me a brewed remedy of 17 ingredients - it was vile and tasted of dried dung. Not exactly a mood lifter. I choked it down in tiny, gag-inducing gulps until the last of it was over. I didn’t feel much better but I felt like I at least did something to change my fate.
When you are left without a contingency plan, you tend to make it up as you go along.
I took to drinking more than just herbal medicines when the sleeplessness did not subside. I tried not to go too heavy as I remembered reading somewhere that J. Lo doesn’t drink because “spirits drag the skin.” Vanity is still the number one motivator, so I stuck with the wines to get me through this episode. Though I never could get the grapes right: was it Chardonnay to chase the blues away and Pinot Grigio for broken hearts, or the other way around? I also forgot to eat.
The next step to recovery was to party like it was 1999. I kept every second of my day booked with friends, real or fake, to keep from doing something stupid. My only source of vitamin C was lychee martinis and gum. I discovered the dance floor was my real love. I started to believe slutting around was great exercise. I was so busy running around I didn’t realize I had dropped half my body weight. I was the picture of health.
Eventually, the body goes into survival mode and the stomach sends a strong enough signal to the brain to get you to eat something. Except nothing tastes right and you can barely swallow.
Why does love always end up hurting?
It was only when I found myself on the MTR rubbing arms with the passenger next to me, the first real human contact I’ve had in weeks, that I understood how sad and lonely I felt. And empty. I knew then that the only cure was to return to my first and only consistent love in my life. Food.