Monday, July 3rd, 2006
9:00 am – when we part
i am back in the country. i contemplated writing “i am back in my country”, but gradually i am not so sure.
i left the mighty mountains of yunnan armed with too many photos of the sky and memories overflowing my heart.
i turned twenty one on my first day in Tainan. i cried in front of the starched paleness of my grandfather’s hospital bed. my cousin got me drunk that night on Smirnoff and karaoke songs.
my last three days in beijing were composed purely of heartbeats in an inmeasureable rhythm. i looked into the reflection of his sunglasses as i pressed my palm to the window of the taxi cab. his mouth was set in a pin-straight line, and he did not move as the taxi pulled me quietly out of his view. “boyfriend?” asked the taxi driver. “no…no. a very very good friend.” leaving him meant leaving china.
my flight was delayed two hours.
i got into san francisco and dashed toward the gate where my transfer flight was waiting. in slow breaths and 4/4 time, i passed matthew scheer- curly hair, green eyes. falling hard while walking across the golden gate bridge and falling asleep while watching waking life. life moves in cycles. i catch my breath. i can’t stop smiling when i hear Tu’s voice.
the plane slipped into the houston air just in time for me to witness the golden clouds of the Texas sunset. i cried as the escalator brought me into view of my mother’s smile. 800 renmenbi are still carelessly stuffed into my purse. my plastic credit cards stretch and smirk in their sudden usefulness. the future rushes at me with sickening certainty. i have not yet learned how to stand still. i think about being single. i am tired of answering questions about what i write. i seek change with far more dignity than i should be allowed,
“You are what disappears: you are the thing that someone has let go of, you leave a trail of words behind you simply to continue existing.” stephen bor
during lunch, yesterday, i discovered that my hands still hadn’t stopped shaking.