As Tears Go By (1988)

8.5/10 – Grilled Seal of Approval


Wong Kar-wai movies (well pretty much every beautifully exotic foreign film too, I guess) offer great incentives to get out of the country and head back to strange lands on the opposite side of the Earth. The brilliant lights and colors and sounds of Hong Kong blend together with stunning women and sweeping operatic scores and mafioso and it’s easy to imagine myself standing in the rain in the middle of a bustling unusual city crying and begging my former girlfriend or wife or love or lover to come down from her apartment so we can talk and repair the broken strands of Us. There’s almost always a scene in the heavy rain in these movies, but I’ve never cared strongly enough about a disintegrated relationship to stand outside and beg for a small glimpse of her formerly familiar eyes, so it’s odd I would imagine myself doing it in Asia.

I told one of my ex-girlfriends, “No one’s going to love you more than I do,” (I was listening to a lot of Band of Horses at the time) and, of course, at that time, in that room, with us on her bed and her mouth spilling out the words that were cutting us apart, sure, I believed it. She, on the other hand, instantly saw through my bullshit, and simply laughed. Not in a mean way like she was making fun of me, no, but in a way that signified she knew she had more knowledge of the situation and that she knew she was the most mature person in the room and the one required to make the decision that must be made. She wasn’t mad at me, if anything she felt sorry for me. She felt sorry I was older than her and a whole lot more emotionally stunted.

So, I spilled a couple tears and we hugged and I left through her bedroom door, down her stairs, and out the back to my car. I had a 45 minute drive ahead of me to reach my house, and as I pulled out of her driveway and then out onto the street, I thought back over the evening and the last couple months when we each had barely seen the other and the months before when we were seemingly “perfect.” “Oh, where has it gone wrong? Where has it gone wrong? What happened? Oh, fuck. Now I’m going to be single. Now I’m single – god damn it.” I thought as I slowly rolled home. I turned up the music – probably Taylor Swift – and, with a bit of shocking realization, I quickly realized my breaths were slowing and my pulse was returning to normal; I was already getting over being dumped.

This girl I had just told, “No one’s going to love you more than I do” just an hour ago was already flitting out of my mind. I was more upset, or actually more annoyed that I just wasn’t going to have a girlfriend anymore, and that there were no options for me to find another since I was living at home in the middle of  farmland bumfuck country New Jersey (currently still fucking there, thank you very much), than I was about losing her and her love (or if not “love” than at least her infatuation).

No, by the time I was halfway home I was pretty much over the whole thing. It didn’t stick to me long – it never does. Like many men, (and I forget where I am paraphrasing this from) we simply step out of our door and away from our families and shed our skin. And we step through another door and into a new life. Clean. And I was simply stepping into a new life. I was over it before I even finished passing by memorable locations we had visited. I wasn’t mad at her – I didn’t feel much of anything for her at all. She dropped out of my life and out of my mind at the same instant, and since neither of us are ones to contact the other for coffee or drinks or to catch up we simply continued on our divergent paths never once looking back to wonder where the other had wandered during the time since we broke apart.

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