A Letter from Tropical Metropolis
Dear Phung Vo,
There is a suspicious color in the air here. I don’t dare breathe. I can’t breathe. The reality has never stopped strengthening its body by using an unidentified stimulation, leaving us no way to pour out our melancholy. But tonight, as I stuck my head out of that pathetic window, that bright star appeared overhead, silent and inexpressive. Suddenly, I find the night sky regained its mysterious dark-blue colour after the storm and looked as serene as the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. The sky, this friend that I have missed for so long, embraced me with all of itself. Its generosity defeated the desolate body of reality. Even the lights from the tall buildings on the distant horizon feel as warm as the lights of fireflies, that humans were able to get close again without the worry of being hurt.
Despite the betrayal, do you still remember the smell of fresh vegetables? Do you still run around the city just for a particular spice, a piece of seaweed, a taste of areca palm? People have tried and tried again to speed up this subtropical slowness. However, when we saw the starry sky, we felt like children again and wondered: Will the structure of life tighten up so beautifully, just like twisted muscle and bone? People still wait for a transplantable lung from the dead. The death of one can bring life to others; a disaster for one may bring fortune to another. The tiny dust particles blown away by the storm will gather again one day because they cannot bear their own downfall.
We go back to our room, lock the door, shut the window, and switch on the light. We only read letters from the family and refuse to think about all the sorrows of everyday life, but they still slip through the cracks, letting in hallucinations of the disaster site. In many years, when everything is gone, will there still be a feeling of absence in the air? Will those digital photos that were stored in cloud storage be left behind just like what happened to those old photos? But still, it was only our father’s writing from long ago that was able to trigger secret tears that have been hidden for years—we didn’t realize how rude we were to those who loved us with all their hearts. From here, I will finally learn to face death peacefully and to forget – as one day we will be remembered as long as we have really lived. If only there was such thing as a real life.
When our life is given back to the hands of time.
Wishing you good health!
A friend from far away
13 April, 2012