More than two decades ago, someone broke my heart in the worst possible way.
The night we said goodbye, before he left for Paris, I had no idea I wouldn’t see him again for the next 20 years.
I spent the next two years crying. It’s a miracle I survived it.
So ugh, I had to bump into him in Hong Kong two years ago. It was Cedric’s fault. Cedric had seen him in the hotel lobby while I was waiting for the airport bus to arrive. When Cedric told me the ex was there, I told Cedric specifically not to speak to him.
But Cedric being Cedric couldn’t help but say hello. The next thing I knew, the boy who pulverized my heart, tore it to pieces and stepped on it, was walking towards me and saying hello.
I was not prepared for this. I gave him the most evil eye and told him simply to f*ck off. (Sorry, I’m not sorry.)
But what I wanted to say was, “No. You don’t get to smile and say hello and be my friend as if nothing happened.”
After I recovered, I saw him maybe three times in various malls since he moved back to Manila. And always, I ran towards the opposite direction. Sorry, I can’t be friends with exes. I’m not sorry.
It’s a different story when mature artists are involved.
Performance artists Marina Abramovic and Ulay met in 1976 and began an intense love story that resulted in a decade of influential collaborative works.
In 1988, when they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to break up at the Great Wall of China, where both artists walked for three months from opposite ends, met in the middle for one last hug and handshake, and said goodbye.
From March 14 to May 31, 2010, the Museum of Modern Art mounted a major retrospective and performance recreation of Abramović’s work. During its run, Abramović performed The Artist is Present—a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, where she sat immobile during museum hours, without rest, in the museum’s atrium.
Visitors were encouraged to sit silently across from the artist and become participants in the artwork.
At one point, Ulay came to sit in front of her.
Watch what happens.