Friday, May 8, 2009


I went for my monthly manicure today. My manicurist is a very young lady, in her early twenties. I really look forward to meeting her every month. Not only do I leave with perfectly manicured hands, I'd have two hours of nice chat.

After I sat down and chosen a new color, we started our usual chat. Five minutes into our conversation, she suddenly blurted out that her boyfriend broke up with her. It was a week ago today. She said the day after the breakup, she went to work in a daze. She said seeing me was a relief because she could finally tell somebody while she was working. We had become good friends in the span of two years.

I couldn't see half of her face because she had to wear a paper mask whenever she's working. What I could see were tears welling up her big, clear eyes. Then, a tear dropped. My heart dropped, too. She then told me the details, but they did not register. In that two hours, tears swam in her eyes and an occasional tear would fall. She'd then say, "Sorry, I didn't mean to...."

I don't know if this is the breakup season or not. I still have a very vivid picture of that sad girl's faraway look in my earlier post. Today, seeing a cheerful and optimistic girl whom I know hurting is truly heavy. When she asked me to go for a puff, I could feel that every breath was painful. She was hoping exhaling the puff would let go some of the hurt.

I smiled a sad smile. I totally know how she feels. Again, this empathy comes from been there, done that. Getting older does not mean it hurt less. In a way, I think it hurts more, because "you [do] carry with you every relationship, every hurt, every joy, every pattern, somewhere embedded in your memory." You could even feel another person's pain.

The silver lining is that it makes me a better listener because I could relate to these feelings. I hope I'd helped a little listening to her story today.
(photo :


josephine said...


bonnie said...

我明白呼吸之痛乃是劇痛之冠. 遗憾是会呼吸的痛.
心 . .很酸

pascale said...

I am very sure your ears have done her a BIG favor. Good for you and how sad it is to read this entry...

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