Thursday, March 30, 2006

Love Thru' Thick And Thin (Have I Really Really Loved Someone?)

Catherine had been drinking for three days I wondered if she would dehydrate, wilting into a heap of carcass, its bones all dried and bristling in the desert wind. She did this to hurt me. To get back at me, to prove a point that I was wrong and by all accounts, she was right. I didn't want to get the message. It wasn't necessary for me to understand all this when all we needed to do to get back to being a loving hubby and missus again was either one of us making the first move to say sorry. At the moment sorry is a big word to both of us. Maybe even bigger than Australia itself, and much harder to say it clearly, letting the word out of our chest through the throat. We held on to our stance, as if it was a big deal to win this. As if there was a prize for winning. For defending whatever it was that needed defending.

For three days we lived like enemies, speaking to each other only when it was absolutely necessary like, it's for you, whenever there was a phone call for either one of us. Sometimes I made a stupid move like asking her, are you alright? All she did was looked me in the eye, full of hatred and remorse that I might as well be Ronald Reagan, the man she hated most on earth at the moment for reasons that had something to do with one of the rallies she had attended organized mostly by the hot-headed radicals on campus.

And she continued drinking as if to forget about every little thing connected with her presence on earth. As if nothing mattered to her anymore. By this time the apartment took on the smell of a medium-sized Irish distillery, made worse with the sourish smell of her puke that splattered the bathroom and the kitchen sink. This I cleaned the best I could coming home from work tired to the bones after standing all day at the meat factory. In less than half an hour she'd puke again as if she could do that at will. To make me mad. To make me see a point. Or something. But I didn't want to see what it was she wanted me to see.

Because I saw something else.

I saw the prettiest woman in the world turning into an ugly creature right before my eyes. In the morning I'd go into the bedroom to watch her over, sleeping like a child, her head on a soft pillow, breathing all innocent and white like an angel. She'd open her eyes to smile, only to retract it back into her throat. I was burning inside to hold her. To make love to her like I really mean it. But it was getting late and I needed to catch the 8.30 to be on time ahead of a busy schedule to rush an urgent shipment. And I left feeling like a useless being.

In the evening I got home to find her on the couch, drunk. She got a full bottle of whisky down to a few drops. I cleaned the bathroom. And then the kitchen sink. She moaned like a minkie whale that had gotten shot in the belly. For the first time in a long while, I cried a little. For being helpless to see her like this. To let her go this far down. She was ugly now. The ugliest a pretty woman like her could get.

I sat on the couch. Her feet on my laps. I played the moments I first saw her. Not exactly Elizabeth Taylor but she was the next best thing I could ever get to the real thing. Didn't think I would find another and so I worked hard to fall in love. Really really fall in love. And we got so deep. Deep enough to forget we came from two different worlds. And so we stood in front of a downtown judge named Baker to exchange our wedding vows, you may kiss the bride.

In her ugliest moments like these, she is as pretty as the morning sun on a prairie. I reckon when you really really love someone you don't mind one bit to live with her ugliest side.

Like storm clouds, it'll pass. When it does, the sun will come out again. Just as bright.


Blogger lifecuppa said...

I reckon when you really really love someone you don't mind one bit to live with her ugliest side.

I couldnt agree more!

3:52 PM  
Blogger pu1pu3 said...

Ugly side, fun side, lovely side...the whole package.Just have to live with it, I suppose, until you can't take it anymore.Then you decide.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this real? The beauty of islam is that pilih wanita utk jadi isteri becos of 4 reasons:if you choose to marry her becos of her religion (A Muslim of course) you will get the best. But then are men right? Beauty comes tepuk dada tanya selera...lelaki yang paling bertuah dalam dunia ialah yang mendapat isteri solehah and sebaik-baik lelaki ialah yang baik dengan keluarganya..

5:06 PM  
Blogger thinktankgal said...

Can we clon you?

5:25 PM  
Blogger LifeBloom said...

Aiyoh!! You do realise that you are setting and raising the bar for all the men out there!!

And to answer your question - I am sure you have. But that doesnt mean you will never find another to love.

Have no fear - there is much happiness and joy ahead waiting for you - if you open your heart and mind.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:52 PM  
Blogger NBB said...

(turut hadir)

6:54 PM  
Blogger aalborg said...

Mr. Bergen Test, I wish that I could see your Catherine reading this. Then she would really know how much you love her.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Sayuti said...

pretty is not what i looked for in my wife. i looked for beauty and i found it.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Nazrah said...

brother bergen,

i am weeping as i read this.

love can be tragic huh?

this is truly very revealing piece. some ppl make themselves matyrs when they give love the benefit of the doubt.

the best lesson i've gathered after a series of unfortunate liasons, is to be kind to myself first.

press on soldier!

3:15 AM  
Blogger Noni said...

Dear Bergen,

now that I have had 2 hours of sleep, I am of a better frame of mind then I was at 5 o'clock in the morning. So here is my klentong for the day...

You can fall in love 100 times over but if the feeling is intense, sincere and all-consuming at the time, it doesn't make it anything less than...( okies so grammar has gone to the dawgs too...)I don't think there needs to be ONE TRUE LOVE... for it to be REAL love... sure some lovers mean more to you than others but it just goes to show that you have a big heart with an even bigger ability to love... well it could also mean that ur just one GATAL fella not to even mention the promiscuity part... okokok that another discussion for another day...

The point I am trying to make is... what was the point I am trying to make again????

sorry ek Bergen.. my mind is full of 'industrial processes blablabla.. resistance to antibiotics blablabla... tectgonic plate boundaries blablabla... and the dinner is just 10 hours away... and my book is not ready!!!!

9:01 AM  
Blogger NBB said...

If i were given the chance to end this story, i would like to have the finishing line something like...Catherine ended up having liver cirrhosis. She need a liver transplant. Bergen was the only compatible donor. He gave his right lobe to her. She survived and be grateful. They live happily ever after.

But then, this is your story.

9:42 AM  
Blogger maklang said...


Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder... Take care of yourself...and Catherine too...

11:32 AM  

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