Sunday, August 28, 2005

Passing rain

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This is fiction, but the story is directly lifted from my friend Stu and what he actually saw (the story hit me very hard).

Although melodramatic, many of the themes in this story I I would keep, it has many of the motifs that I associate with life in Taiwan.

The wind catches the rain and moves it horizontally; it moves fast but looks slow, looks unreal. The rain pushes across, without beating, it gently shifts along the empty street. Taiwan pauses and Tainan watches from its insides. The city waits. I watch the floating rain, falling around buildings, past windows, and over lives.
I watch the rain from my balcony. It creates an enclave that holds the rain away. Tainan gets dirtier in the rain. The oppressive stench of rot that fills the sewers rises, and reaches higher. Now, the stench reaches the 8th floor, but I stood on the 9th, preserved from it.
This rain started with a lightning strike. Then it poured. It poured so hard it became more of a mist; the air became water. As the winds picks up, the rain never seems to hit the ground, just float along. The thunder gets worse.
People are still driving in the rain, cars making the same irrational decisions, but slower. Motorcyclists wearing bright yellow garbage bags, or blue, green, and yellow jumpsuits. Flashes of neon trying to stay up on the slick road.
Below my balcony is a one-way road. A car comes out of the parking garage under me, and turns against the legal flow of the street. Symmetrically, but faster, a motorcycle turns the corner about twenty feet away. He is wearing a blue rain suit and a small black helmet on a new scooter, his girlfriend is in a yellow garbage bag on the back.
Their tire sticks into one of the road’s ridges, and the bike quivers, about to fall as it finishes the corner. He corrects to the left. His tire leaves the ridge at once, causing a quick, unprepared acceleration. His bike leaves the ground for a second and then hydroplanes into the black car.
The driver's leg gets crush between the car's side and his bike; his girlfriend leaves the bike.
Her climb and her decent are more awkward than anything else, like throwing up a floppy plastic doll. It does not look poetic or dramatic, just peculuar. She lands on the car's roof, somewhat inexplicably.
She lies there as the scene freezes in the pouring rain. After a second, maybe two, the motorcyclist pushes back his bike back with his good foot. His bike is heavily scratched up, the car has a sizable dent where the motorcycle hit it, the roof is fine; the girl has not moved.
The driver of the car walks out, expressionless. I am nine floors away, and he is not expressionless because I am nine floors away. He just is expressionless, it’s simply the best word for it.
The motorcyclist and the car driver get out and talk. They seem upset as they speak, but it seems more like a passing annoyance or a difficult business deal than out right anger.
The car driver points to the dent. The motorcyclist points to the scratches, his leg, and his girlfriend. She shifts her head. The two go back and forth, pointing at their various loses. The car driver points at the corner, and makes a convex curve to show the motorcycle turning. The motorcyclist points the direction that the street went to show that the car was going the wrong way. Through their hands, its clear they reach a consensus that the fault and damage cancel each other out.
They carry the girlfriend off of the roof, and prop her up on the back of the motorcyclist. The pair drive away, with the girlfriend’s feet dangling from the bike. The car goes the way it was going, the motorcyclist, hopefully to a hospital. They never exchange cards; they just talked until there was an agreement. I walk back inside, and I write this.

5 comments:

Matthew K Warner said...

So I finally get comments and they are to get British hookers, great.

Smiranda said...

Don't be sad. I read through the story but I've got a headache right now so I need to read it again before I can comment since it was hard to focus on.

You and Kat though with your bicycle accidents. At least this story had a happier ending. When I get my internet back we will talk. If you want to call me that's my only form of communique for the moment.

I have heard a Kanye song. And yes, it was excellent.

I think I will have cheese for dinner.

Matthew K Warner said...

Cheese is good, headaches are bad.

The whole album is like that (of Kanye songs). The one you heard is not even the best (the best is called Addiction and gets me AMPED).

I am not so sad, but its hard to get pumped on this blog with so few comments (so bonus points).

Smiranda said...

Ok, even without my headache, your intro is still way too jumbly. I don't know. Employ the use of semi-colons or something.

I don't like the phrase "the girlfriend leaves the bike." It's really too mild and non-implicative of what happened.

I think I'd like to get more of the watcher's reaction, unless you're trying to imply by the detachment of it all that the watcher just doesn't care. Which is ok I guess.

I like the end about the agreement part. It's messed up.

Critique de la Miranda

Matthew K Warner said...

I actually did want the watcher to be not involved. The point is that is he is pointing out some critique, but its not like he is doing anything. That is why he goes back inside and writes this.

The jumble at the start was trying to show how confusing and disorienting the scene is, which is why he ultimately does not do anything. And why he seems somewhat apathetic to such a terrible event.

I wrote that girl leaving the bike part a few times, I just did not like the sound of her "flying" it sounded too gracefully. I wanted something that just sounded like a thunk. Whenever I read about accidents in books, they seem like such slow motion dances. Whenever I see one in real life they seem awkward (by their very nature).

I won't change this one (I don't like it much) but I will use your comments for future stuff!