You come to me in my dreams
You come to me in my dreams. More so lately than ever before. I wonder if it is my way... or my subconsciousness way of helping me to accept your death.
The world you left has not been such a bright one. Your fans are here... some are divided, some are united, some sit on the fence waiting for an 'original' thought. Who is right? Who is wrong? To me the answer is no longer important. I feel worse for those with no sides: they sit and trying to take in everything. They think and mill over each and every detail trying to see how it fits. But the difficultly lies in the fact that the two sides are polar opposite and there is no way to meld the two together.
You come to me in my dreams. I see you so clearly. So vivid. I also see that day so vividly. I can not explain it. Perhaps because I have always had an over active imagination... or perhaps... my emphathy and respect made me yearn to try to understand you... understand the mechanics, the emotions, the physics of that tragic day.
Am I right? I don't know and I don't care. This has been my salvation, my mind and hearts way to accept your passing... therefore, true or not, right or wrong... this is my view thru the 'looking glass darkly'.
Leslie went in Thailand with Tong two years ago. Afterwards when he returned he could not eat without severe stomach pains. And he could not sleep.
Leslie returned from Thailand feeling unwell and went to see many doctors, no helped. He still could neither eat nor sleep. Plus, his voice was injured by the acid from his stomach.
Leslie becomes very agitated in this state. Very upset. Angry. Tong and he fought often and the arguments are so loud and volatile that it is heard outside by neighbors and pedestrians walking by...
Leslie confides in some friends who suggest he see some type of 'master' to help him overcome this 'evil' spell. This master claims to have gotten rid of the spirit but Leslie's health does not improve. So he turns to yet another more 'highly' qualified, more expensive master to exorsize the demon. And he is told so many conflicting possiblities that this only further upsets him.
He returns home to Tong and Tong is furious. Tong does not believe in the exorsisms or the qualifications of these so called "masters". Tong and Leslie argue again. finally Leslie agrees to see a psychologist.
Leslie is given sleeping pills to help him sleep. He takes one. Does not work. He takes two... it does not work.
Tong suggest yet another doctor. This one used to teach at the university of HK and has published many papers. Very famous.
Leslie is put on anti-depressants to try to regulate his mood. Leslie wants to believe it really is something that modern medicine can cure, so he tries.
Tong goes to the doctor's office to pick up all his prescriptions, because he can not be seen going to see a psychologist. And all his visits are done very discretely.
But after a few months Leslie's health still does not show any improvement. One night in November he could not stand it anymore. He does not understand what has happened to him. Leslie does not want to stop seeing the doctors, because it will just stir things up with Tong and have them argue some more. He feels helpless. Out of control.
So he continues to go to the doctors but has no hope. He is lost. He feels useless. Can not sing. Can not act... What if his stomach bothers him when he needs to be on cue for scene... He needed to be perfect. He was no longer perfect.
His hands begins to tremble more. It is harder to disguise his illness from his friends and family. His voice is raspier.. Can not control his body or his mind. It is betraying him.
Tong and his family/friends are constantly asking him 'how he feels?' He resents it. Does not like being treated as a child. Does not want to be a prisoner in his own house.
Leslie does not want to see his friends. He changes his cell phone number. He ignores letters and notes from friends like Anita Mui. He does not want to have to deal with it. He is tired. He is too proud to admit he is sick. He tries to hide. He feels guilt for not being able to control his own mind.
Tong is alway there. Always watching. Telling him what not to eat or what to eat. He can't sleep. He can't eat. He can't think. What is he good for? One night in November he decided he was not good for much. He is passť, now... no movies, no more songs, no more concerts... He takes a whole bottle of sleeping pills.
Tong finds Leslie on the floor next to a bottle of empty sleeping pills. He rushes him to the hospital. His stomach is pumped. When Leslie opens his eyes in the hospital room, he realizes that he failed, that nothing has changed... He is still living his nightmare.
But everything did change. Tong told his friends/family of Leslie's suicide attempt. And now instead of having one jailor, he has many. Every one looks at him like he is a freak, not knowing what to say to him, how to fix him. He is broken... sick... sick in his head. He believes that they all think he is crazy.
Night and day they watch him. They hang on his every word. Tong locks up the medication he suppose to take and will only give him his dose at the proper time. And even then Tong watches Leslie takes it. He feels like a child. He hates it.
He hates how his friends, hates how his lover looks at him. He hates that they think he is insane. But they forgot... yes, they forgot what a great actor he is.
He decides: "Fine, I will play along. I will be happy. I will play majong. I will go out. I will act like I regret taking those pills."
He still can not sleep and his stomach continues to bother him. Everywhere he goes he is hounded by the press. "Gor gor, when are you going to work again?", "When is your next album coming out?", "Are you going to do another concert???"
"When will they leave me alone?", he thinks. "Have I not given them so much? Why do they keep following me?"
He goes for a hair cut... camera are flashing... reporters are yelling: "How are you feeling?"
They are yelling: "We hear that you are ill? That you have been curse? What do you think?"
What does he think? He thinks: "You are all friggin fools, idiots. I hate you! Hate your lies. I hate that you never give me a moments peace. Hate how you are all out to get me. You all want me to fail, all want me to die!"
He goes on day after day. His stomach continues to bothers him more and more. Tong has become his nursekeeper, never looks at him like he used to. No admiration. No love... just that same damn look... 'pity'.
"He does... he pities me... Tong thinks I am over. Can't perform anymore", he thinks to himself.
He thinks he sees it in Tong's eyes that Tong think he is over, useless. He hates how Tong treats him. How Tong babies him. Always watching him. Won't let him walk out the door without a thousand questions, always making sure his cell phone is on. Constantly calling him, checking up on him. And he can never go anywhere alone, there always must be a chaperone. Always someone watching him. Thinking he is a failure, that he is too old. He is used up.
But Leslie decided to uses one of his greatest talent... that of an 'actor' to fool them all.
Leslie thinks: "I am confusing them... see, I am a great actor. Tong even thinks I can go out". Even though Tong continues to re-checked all his appointments.
Leslie thinks: "He is calling up people to make sure I am meeting them. Okay. That is fine. I will go to my appointments and they will see that I am fine."
Leslie over hears Tong on the phone inviting people to come over to play mahjong. Leslie thinks: "Fine, you want me to play? I'll play! I'll do whatever you want. I am just some invalid that you must schedule everything for."
They played all night. Leslie noticed they are acting more normal lately. Not so many side ways glances at the 'freak'. Leslie thinks that he has almost convinced them. "I even wear a mask against SARS."
"I put one in my wallet... just to pull out and show them. I tell everyone they should be very concerned about SARS. They should be! Because that would be the right thing to say. It is deadly and that is what a normal person would do. And they must think that I am normal, not some freak."
He finished playing mahjong, it is around 7 am. He showers and gets ready to meet friend for early brunch. He knows that Tong has already check this out. He goes to brunch. Chats with his friend for 3 hours. "Nice guy", he thinks, "I will miss him."
He goes to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel to exercise, that is the one thing Tong encourages him to do. His doctors are always telling him how exercise would make him feel better mentally. What does the doctors know? How can they know? They are not the ones who are suffering? Tong has already called him several times. Leslie thinks: "Tong keeps calling and making up stupid excuses, so I won't think he is checking up on me. He first asked me to play badmittion. 'Fine', I told him. Then he calls me back half an hour later and ask if I need clothes. 'Fine', I said. And then Tong gets the driver to call me to ask if I need a ride? This is getting ridiculous! Still... I play along. Told Florence Chan I would meet her on the 4th floor for coffee. I bet she is already there"
It is 4:25 pm. Leslie looks at his watch. He asks the waiter to bring a table and chair outside so he can sit on the balcony to enjoy the view.
He orders some cigarettes, juice and before the waiter leaves he asks to borrow his pen and some paper.
Leslie stands and admires the view of Victoria Harbour. He thinks how much he loved this view.
His cell phone rings. it is past 5 pm. It's Florence Chan asking where he was.
Leslie smiles and replies: "I am running late. Lots of traffic. Why don't you wait for me outside. I will be right there."
Florence Chan thinks that something is wrong. Leslie is so late. She calls Tong and Tong panics. He tries to get through to Leslie's cell phone. He calls and calls. No answer.
Leslie looks down at the screen on his cell phone and sees Tong's name and number. He thinks: "You will no longer have to worry about me, my love. I am sorry for this... for all the grief and pain I have caused. You are a good man, stood by me while other might not of had the strength or patience to stay, but it will be better this way. I will be free. And I am so tired, Tong. I want to sleep, a good sleep, one free of the darkness that haunts me, one where I can not be waken from. One where everything here can heal with time. You will forgive me, I know... You always forgive me for everything."
He stands on the chair and climbs on the ledge. He turns to face the hotel and before he could think to regret or change his mind, he laid down. Just like he did everynight for bed. He laid down on the cool evening air... to claim his long awaited sleep.
So my love, I will see you in my dreams.
- Cindy from California, USA