the city center. the bustling downtown. the urban core, the central business district. the immense skyline. the beating, the beating of heart of a major metropolitan area. the view from a distant highway is usually signaled by a wall of steel, glass and concrete towers a beacon to those drawn to the hope of something more with dreams of greater lives those outsized ambitions too large for small towns. and i sit in the middle of it. admiralty. i sit i stare i write. i sit i stare and i don’t do anything. i look around a coffee sits in front of me on the bench where i am sitting. a fly occasionally lands on my notebook attracted by the whiteness of the pages and black text on it. i let the fly walk around until i finish a sentence in my mind. then i send the fly away by a single wave of my hand. i finish what i am trying to write.
i write about hong kong about its buildings about its people. people are everywhere. i see them walk talk eat drink sit. i see homeless people sometimes i give them money sometimes i don’t. i’m a bad luck for begging people because i tend to have foreign coins in my pockets and i never look how much i am giving them. at least twice a day i see someone i have already seen before, somewhere sometime in the past and every time i do it makes me smile, it makes me feel at home, i’m home in hong kong. i walk by a post office, it’s open. i walk by hundreds of seven elevens in the city, they are always open. i walk by bars restaurants and fast food shops, streets are lined with neons and lights, cars are everywhere people are everywhere. the city is always busy. it smells of chinese food, it smells of fresh and old seafood, it smells of unwashed hair and sweat, it smells of new shoes and deodorants, it smells of sea, it smells of trees and rain. it smells of money.
i pass by a white junkie, singing and playing a guitar. i recognize him, he recognizes me. he sings tears in heaven, he sings brown eyed girl, he sings a song i know pretty well but cannot remember the title. he sings the beatles, the rolling stones, bob dylan and anything in between. i particularly smile at the van morrison’s song, he sees the smile and says this is for you. and i listen and silently sing and i think how much i love this city and how much i love its people and everything about it. and then i walk and pass by another hundred seven elevens and starbucks and i stop in some of them to buy water and coffee. i take a ferry to the kowloon side i walk some more, i get on a bus.
on the bus i finish reading bright shiny morning with this post already written in my mind.
my writing style is currently highly influenced by james frey, i realize that and i also assure you it will be gone soon.
November 1, 2008