You ride straight into the sun, the sun will not turn back for a full five years.
The wind keeps whistling a quickstep tune.
The halo of the setting sun curls around my shoulder, my shadow, growing huge and heavy, leads me slowly home.
Past the entrance to your little lane, the stone paving is still so damp, the sound of splashing water from dismal cave like doorways. A red bicycle, which has traveled a long, long way, rests askew in front of a billboard, the cheeks of the fashionable girl grinning filthily. Spatulas scrape across woks; the smell of oily smoke and stewed duck spreads with the turbid light of a small lamp. The night market is open for business.
A last abandoned smear of fading daylight hesitates, but finally deeply drifts away with the high rust-and-lichen-mottled wall, and no one tries to make it stay.
For thirty-five years, from halting first steps to the youthful dancing gait of your white sneakers, you have been getting out of the wide mouth of this narrow little alley.
Will you really not turn back?
Ha, the reason you don't turn back is because you don't want to bring the vanished past of you the alley knows so well?
You don't turn back on account of the neon lights rotating rhumba, tango, round after round, so you naturally can't absorb plain moonlight?
You don't turn back because the high towers towering are just like gaping pitfalls, so you'd rather keep your neck straight?
You don't turn back…
You don't turn back…
Dusk memories crowd in.
April. Taiping cliff. We're beside a spring. You twirl a stalk of grass, idly humming "The Marmot," it's a happy, funny little tune, fitting so well April sunlight, birdsong, the sound of water. Only, looking across the yellow flowers open like little stars amidst the grass, you are propped up on your elbows with your eyes, big and dark, distracted, full of pain and tenderness.
We both know you, like the clean spring water by our feet, the flitting shadows of the fish, clearly visible. We have no way to know you, the starkly clear, often elegantly throaty tenor hidden deep inside the "black box."
For this I used to beg, "If you want to cry then cry, let your tears flow, tears flow, quietly…"
Now there is no one to sing lightly, lightly for me, even if my eyes are full of tears, in the bustling avenues, in the traffic, where to look for a glade, a grassy slope, to cry my eyes out under straightforward, earnest sunshine?
How unfamiliar, this dusk!