THE STRANGER OF UNSOUND MIND

I first came to Indonesian shores in the spring of 1997 and I acquainted her in a restaurant in the city of Jakarta.

She was an exciting, exquisite, extraordinary creature with a radiant beauty.

I was then a mature man of forty years and she was a sweetie just turned twenty.

I tell you honestly that I love her now as I loved her then.

I still call her my wife but we have long not been together and she is married to another.

All it took was a declaration to the Court and a judicial dismissal after three strikes.

Then it was in with the new and out with the old, except the old remained to be looked after by the new in the same house for a number of years afterwards.

It is a painfully long time since I have ever seen another living soul.

It has been so long that over time, I have forgotten my age.

It has been even longer since a kiss was tasted and enjoyed from the lips of the one woman on this earth whom I dearly love.

And I can barely recall the last time she uttered a single word in my presence, let alone to me.

I love her so much.  I always dream about her.

Last night, I dreamnt I had died.  She took my corpse away in the car to a far away place and dropped it with carefree abandon into a river to be taken by crocodiles.

She watched over from the bridge fifty metres above but shed not one tear.

I used to be a lawyer in England and I gave her everything I could, everything she wanted.

Later, after several years of marriage, when her mother became sick with cancer, we made the decision to come and live in Indonesia.

I gave up the career in law and made do with becoming an English teacher.

For this duration, little did I know or understand about the country Indonesia which had embraced my life for more than a decade.

How little did I realize that love would come at such enormous cost.

I truly loved this woman and believed that she loved me.

Now I know that could not be the case.

There comes a time in a man’s life when he is so obviously not the man he used to be and not able to provide.

I know you will say I am crazy and of unsound mind, that I am living out a fantasy derived from self-pity, depression, loneliness, isolation and dimentia.

That may indeed be so.

I know I do not live alone,  I see shadows on the walls and ceilings which sometimes pirouhette in erotic postures.

And I hear noises which echo to the core of my being.

There are monsters all about which come to attack.

I know it is impossible to kill a cockroach and cockroaches are all about in my squalor.  They represent to me humanity in another form.

If I died tonight, slumped on the floor in a slovenly stench, nobody would know for days, perhaps even weeks of my desperate demise.

But the predators would have their field day in the preliminaries.

It would have come to that.

I am a stranger in a foreign land and have become the unwelcome tourist who has overstayed his welcome.

There is only one escape.

About the partner of my wife, I guess that he is strong, loyal, faithful, loving, honest and reliable, youthful.

All of the things I am deemed to be not.

I know they think that I do not have any comprehension of what is going on and that they are doing their best for me in the circumstances.

But I do understand.

I am certain that my dear wife aches for finality.

The time for that finality has surely come.

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