Saturday, November 27, 2004

My Fragile Heart

My Fragile Heart

I'm bracing myself for a very painful weekend ahead when Liverpool meets Arsenal on Sunday night, or rather early Monday morning. With all the injury woes that the Reds are facing, it will be quite miracle if they could even manage a draw. If Liverpool does lose again, it'll be three consecutive losses in a row and my heart will definitely be shattered into smithereens.

How does one overcome a broken heart? Some people never get over it. Our lives are often shaped by the bitter experiences that we've encounter in the past.

I'm reminded of the character Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens' novel, Great Expectations--one of my all-time favourites. In the book, Miss Havisham decides to forever isolate herself from the world because her bridegroom didn't show up on their wedding day. She remains dressed in her bridal gown and spends the rest of her life sitting in the room where her wedding banquet was supposed to be held, with rats crawling all over her rotting wedding cake.

In that memorable scene where the young protagonist Pip is brought to Miss Havisham's house to play; the conversation goes something like this:

Miss Havisham: (pressing her hand to her chest) Do you know what I touch here?
Pip: (hesitant and shy) Your heart?
Miss Havisham: Broken!

Miss Havisham vows to take revenge on the entire male species. So she adopts a pretty young girl, Estella, and briings her up to be cruel and heartless to men; the poor little boy Pip--the one with "great expectations" is intended to be one of her victims. There are about a dozen adaptations of the novel for the cinema and TV and I've watched and enjoyed at least three of them. The last one was the modernized version set in present-day Florida (!), starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Will I wake up on Monday with my hand clasped to my heart? Broken!

Well, maybe I should have more confidence in my favourite team. Perhaps all of us should learn to emulate manager Rafael Benitez's spirit: "The good thing about football is that, if you lose, there's always a next match".

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