Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The rain after the typhoon

After the typhoon, the rain comes, nearly nonstop, for as long as week. It breaks occasionally, but I hear I should not expect the sun for some time.
I have a lot to write, and not the will, time, or skill to get it all down. However, the grey skies, gentle drizzle, and beaten attitude of the city should be a much better inspiration than an Oreo frappe. Perhaps I can write something melancholy, or, if I stretch, gloomy.
Though life has been too good for melancholy. I am the first person to lodge a complaint about someone blessed with everything and pouting about nothing. As hypocritical as I am, that would be too much of a stretch.
I have an apartment that continually amazes me. Every time I come home, I can’t help but enjoy the place. My living room is the best part. I have really gotten to make it my own. Night and day, it maintains the impression that it is just as big as it should be. It rides the edge of excessive so cleanly, that it becomes just right. I like to dance in my living room, knowing that much of the neighboring apartments can see me through my wall of windows.
I enjoy watching the middle-aged woman learn to play the violin across the street. The crazy white dance should leave an impression on the neighbors.
Tomorrow will be the end of a long battle. My vanity fought my desire to be dry, and I think the desire to be dry finally won out. This makes evolutionary sense. In the wild, vanity might help one find a fertile mate, however, being dry could save a life. Thus, in conflict, it should be expected that my ancestors would be willing to wear a neon blue, yellow, and green rain suit. Although a uniform hideous enough for the NFL, I am going to be joining the legions of the 80s rain suit army. As it is the only rain suit available this side of the color pink.
Next week, I will have a scooter that amazes me. The scooter is waiting to move when the current owner leaves. I actually agreed to a different scooter and had to pull out at the last minute. I was going to take an ugly, fast scooter that ran well. Instead, I am getting a beautiful, faster scooter that runs well. Inspired by a friend, the scooter is now named 魔鬼 (mo2 gui3), or, the Devil. Perhaps that is getting off on the wrong foot with the new guy, but I think he will like it.
The wettest I have ever been was in Guadalajara Mexico. I was three miles away from my new home, and the rain started. It did not have the suddenness of Bangkok, or the burn of Hong Kong, but it was bad. Feeling uninvited from the city’s inner-dry-sanctuaries, I just got wet until I found a Burger King. That is why I never got into Mexico; I thought they wanted me to be wet.
Today was the second wettest I have been. It sounds impressive, four-foot geysers flying from my hydroplaning scooter while dodging cars that decide to be in my lane for no reason. The problem is, I am used to it. I am in a city that is sliding on oil slick streets, always on the verge of an accident, and that seems okay. I even practice my Chinese during my rides.
My life is not so neat and orderly, divided up by my lavish possessions and slippery drives. However, my ultimate failing as a writer is that I cannot write about something occurring, when things are so up in the air. Its one of the reasons I cannot be a writer. I cannot capture that mystery, that suspense of what will happen.
I did not write about the typhoon, because I was not really sure what it was. I should be able to take a reader up to the edge, letting their imagination circle like the clouds bearing down on the island. I was imagining flying buildings and toppled buildings. Yet I did not know how to express that. My pride and arrogance did not want me to express thoughts that would turn out to be wrong or foolish. When I know everything about the situation, I can make piffy comments, but I can’t make people care. The people who care are those who know me, and they care anyway.
Before the typhoon hit, it was full of potential. I had never been in a typhoon, let alone a “Super” Typhoon. In fact, my experience with natural disasters was limited to blizzards. I am not sure if a blizzard is really a natural disaster, being in a blizzard is a fairly benign experience. One sits there and watches snow, occasionally looking outside and thinking, “yes, that is a lot of snow.”
Being in a typhoon was pretty similar experience. Wind and rain whipped around, but it was not like my place was going to fall over. Occasionally my bathroom rattled a lot. Mostly however, I hung out with friends, occasionally going to a window and saying “yes, that is a lot of wind and rain.”
At what seemed to be the climax of the storm, my friend Stu and I decided to go to 7-11. We did this under the pretense of getting food. As we were leaving the garage I asked him, “We are doing this just to say we did it right?” We both agreed.
It would be different if we lived in one of the poor apartments like other foreigners. I have heard of a handful of stories of people bailing their house out, or getting a swimming pool in their living room. I was just disappointed when neither Stu nor I got airborne.
My personal life is currently in the rain after a typhoon, and I don’t have the piffy comments to describe it.

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