Although I am a nonfiction writer, and a lyric essayist at that, I find myself craving more narrative fiction after finishing Fae Myenne Ng’s Bone. Reading fiction is much more leisurely for me; whenever I read creative nonfiction now, I am always dissecting the author’s choices and trying to figure out how the author did something.
weeks 1-3 in hong kong
Ma On Shan
On the way to Auntie Rander’s apartment with our suitcases the first night, we passed by a dark, wet parking lot in which tiny unseen frogs were emitting long, low sounds like fog horns. I kept thinking the word “bulbous”.
The day after Mid-Autumn Festival I walked in Victoria Park to see what was left from the night’s celebration: strung lanterns, tree lanterns, large display lanterns. I’d wanted to buy a rabbit lantern for Ling Ling (there were many the first few days–later I remembered the rabbit in the moon), but all of the lantern sellers I had seen throughout the street the previous week were already gone.
At night I take the elevator down to the eleventh floor and eat dinner with my grandparents and aunt. Two nights ago we had crab, the night before steamed fish. One night it was just my grandfather and me, and we had a small discussion about literature–he remembers the names of every character from A Tale of Two Cities, The Three Musketeers, Great Expectations, and Les Miserables. My grandfather is 87 years old. Three to five mornings a week he walks to the MTR station and takes it to Central where he continues to work as some kind of architect or structural engineer.
I stopped opening the windows because I was noticing little turquoise flies on the couch and bed, even though I live on the 53rd floor. When I squeezed one of them in a tissue, it left blue streaks. Auntie Lulu says maybe it’s because of the mountains.
As a child we lived on the southern part of the island where everything was less congested and was instead full of hills. So it only feels right that, after a week of searching for an apartment along Hong Kong island, I end up on Lantau, nestled between green mountains.
This morning I woke up to all the windows full of sun and thought, “This is the last time I will wake up in this bed, in this room, next to this person, for ten months,” and suddenly my chest felt very tight.