My Heart Broke in Taipei That Night

Asia, Taiwan

It was a cold winter night.

After a six hour ride on the city’s slower train from Kaohsiung, I arrived in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, shivering, famished and utterly exhausted.

But all the  problems were nothing compared to the pain I was feeling, no thanks to a bad break-up, which unfortunately, came two days before my scheduled trip to Taiwan.

I remember that it was a cloudy evening and no star was in sight to give me even the slightest bit of consolation.

I strolled along the city’s streets heading to the modern financial district of Xinyi district and the busy commercial area of Daan, trying to shake that feeling of melancholy that had been eating me, slowly and painfully for several days.

taipei101

I went up the observatory deck of Taipei 101, which, at 509 meters, is one of the tallest towers in the world. From above, the twinkling of the lights comforted me, even for a brief moment. The gorgeous view of the city is just breathtaking enough to make you forget, even if it is temporary.

I tried to get lost in the crowd and headed to the edgier and noisy neighborhood of Ximending, known in travel circles as the “Harajuku of Taipei”, but the bright neon lights and the wide smiles of Taipei’s youth only gave me the feels. Such attempt, however, proved futile as the sight of couples holding hands, hugging, trying to keep each other warm during that cold night, only made me feel all the more alone.

Thus, in the silence and loneliness of my hotel room, 10 storey above Taipei, I wrote a poem. It was so poignant and heartfelt that even now, whenever I read it, I am transported back to that one moment when all I could do was pour out the hurt that was threatening to overcome me.

A few people have read this particular poem, but this is the first time that I am sharing the circumstances behind it. Read on….

What do you tell someone who has broken your heart?

That you deeply, madly and unconditionally loved him?

That your world crumbled

And your dreams shattered as soon as he walked out the door ?

Do you tell him you’re hollow and broken?

That a thousand knives pierced your heart,

Leaving you numb and devastated

You don’t say anything, do you?

You just stand there, lost,  watching him as he faded into the night,

Memorizing his face as your eyes fill with tears, wondering what you did wrong.

You drop to the pavement, sobbing uncontrollably, begging him to stay.

You shout his name in vain, wishing he’ll come back.

But you know he’ll never do.

And you’re left alone in that moment scarred, defeated. spirit broken

And you know that there will be no tomorrow left.

You just died today.

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