Excess Baggages

When we reach certain age, we are not only be blessed with wrinkles and wisdom (in that order!), but also with tracks and history. Some can be seen and touched (kids, ex boyfriends, pressies from them, tongue-pierced), some are intangible stuffs, like experience (the best, the worst, the biggest, the funniest, the weirdest…), and memory.

The latter is the most difficult thing to handle. It is just fixed in your brain and has left a wound in your heart that never heals completely.

One of the girlfriends, after a year of turbulence relationship, has found a peace with a very sweet guy. The guy who really respects her, very cares about her, and 180 degree different from her previous boyfriend. Oddly enough, she’s still hung up on this ex-boyfriend. She remembers well the colour of his skin, the thick of his hair, the wrinkle made when he smiles, his voice, his smell…. She also remembers well how mad her friends were, trying to safe her from herself and her troubled boyfriend. Her brain tells her that he’s nothing but bad news, but her heart, her heart sings a very different tune….

There is nothing she could do but close her eyes, remember about her ex-boyfriend at least once a day, then go back to reality.

Memory, cruelly, can shape our future as well. Some people have experienced that. Everyday we cannot spend a day without thinking the subject of the memory (ex boyfriend, ex girlfriend, the colleague in the next cubicle who just got married last week, a best friend that we secretly fall in love with….), and then after a year and we still have a heart attack everytime we hear his/her voice on the phone, we would say to ourselves, “Damn, why can’t we just forget him/her, and move on?”

My best friend in Surabaya, has had experience a bitter love in his tender age. He’s a serious and quite, even when he’s only 18; and his girlfriend for 3 years left him when he needed her the most. The scar she made has left him wounded until today. He still can remember the sound of his gate cracked open and his girlfriend showed up with concern face, just before she dropped a bomb in front of his face.

Then someday he said, “OK, now it’s time to move on!”. So he found a new job, a new car, a new favourite colour, bar, music… Eventually, he promises to himself, he would find a new partner.

It’s been 12 years now, and he’s still single today.

Memory sticks like band-aid, it hurts if you leave your scar open, but it will be hurt when you pull it open. You smell Giorgio Armani perfume from a stranger and your mind wanders to the walk in the park with her. A cuddle in the living room reminds you of what you used to do with your previous partner. A white sedan makes you remember the landscape surround you while you were driving out of town with her. The memory sinks so deep there is no way to get out of it.

What can you do except keep it safe and locked, while pretending you’re 100% healed?

But then we secretly vow that we would never cross the same path again. We would not take any risk at all, because we still remember how hurt it can be! Sadly but true, we build our own fort behind our memory. It’s so high and deep no one would be able to reach it. We turn on the light on the front door, but we keep the rest dark and closed. We have so many layers of protector it would take forever to reveal them.

Can we really forget the past and leave it all behind? Not just the memory, but the memory that shapes our future. Memory that makes us see the world in a cynical way. Memory that makes us deny our own feelings.


Maybe, in time……



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