Monday, September 04, 2006

A City Revisited

My plane was approaching Seattle at 9PM. The cloud covering the city was red rimmed by the setting sun. Surrounded by water, glimmering with evening lights, Seattle seemed peaceful and inviting.

I was admiring the sceneries, overlooking this city that left me memories of bitter and sweet.

There is no more person here that I came to see with a pounding heart, or left with a broken one. It is work, and memories that brought me closer to you, that were waiting for me.

Memories that used to make me ache. I made it a place of pain rather than hope and fun, it was the latter that I now recognize it for.

From Summer to Winter to Fall, here I am, grateful and peaceful, I came to find only memories to remember and cherish rather than to forget and distance.

The lovely book store at Pike Place Market is red in theme, of course, since it is the book store for the Left. I like the broken blue sofa on the red carpet. Blue and red is a taboo combination where I from, but it is perfect here, to me. Perfect.

I left a dollar bill to the girl playing violin outside the bookstore and smiled to her smiling face. She looked like she was 12. The nameless tune was familiar and beautiful, like the Gloomy Sundays.


We stood in this Alley listening to that Irish band, July 14, 2005. I took a picture of the alley, you were standing outside the fence where the waitress was looking. You were like an onlooker in that picture, casual and relaxed, happy. I thought to myself that is the man I love when I looked at the framed view.

In March, I was here again. My heart was heavy. I did not want to leave New York at that time. I did not get a chance to really see you yet, after my long trip. The city in winter was gray and chilly. I was missing you. I sounded sad in my email to you with all trips that I thought that will seperate us.

This time, I walked past the park, the green slope with Indian poles, at a fine day. I looked toward the South west, if I tried really hard staring, I almost see the mountain, Ranier, a shadow of it. You took a picture using my camera last time we stood there, looking for the mountain and finding it.

The sun was warm. People were smiling and resting, even the homeless ones seemed happy. I was too, relaxed after a hard week's of work, and homeless here.

I walked toward the elevator that led to the Waterfront Marriot. The elevator by which you waited for me to go to dinner in that lovely Italian restaurant on Post Alley--Pink Door, across the Irish restautrant named Kelly. I went back there this time, on the balcony, facing the bay. The blue glass and blue table clothy reminds me of the man with blue in him.

I should not have stayed here. The hotel, I should have stayed with you. I was wrong.


That third window from top, on the right, is our window, facing the bay, the harbor and the sailing boat. When we made love, we were wondering whether people sun bathing on the deck of the boat can see us. We waved, laughing. I still remeber how sweaty you were when you run over to see me, when I was cranky for you not come sooner. When I was wearing only a tiny robe, colorful and light, which you were afraid that you were going to rip up if not delicate enough. I opened the door, walked away, you hold me from back, saying nothing, nothing need to be said. And the afternoon was finally fulfilled, taken, known and felt.

At mid of the night, you said: I am in love with you. I love you, at half sleep. I heard them. But during day, you said: you should forget that. I heard the latter, so I forgot.

A beach that had a river run through it, the dune where we lie, a story that you named it: Sorry means never having to say I love you. I was buried in your bed of the corporate apartment reading a book about madness of a young boy.

I am happy now thinking of those days. To remember these memories are my way of missing you.

The last evening of my stay that summer at Seattle was a disaster, I asked you to cook for me, so that you won't have to take me out again. But I did not say the reason. I sounded bossy and needy. I went away to visit a friend and came back. We quarrelled. You eyes went empty and face blank. No, the answer is no. Why, why not. I was broken.

That is the part I don't want to remember. I wish I burst into laughter the next day. I wish I was more light-hearted, good sport, positive. I took your words literarily. I failed every test you gave me and explod on every mood swing you had.

I had been a girl, not a woman. Yet I argued for the opposite.

It was almost like I was looking to be hurt. That was the root cause of the extra pain and all pain. I was the drama queen, to begin with. Negativity was my label. But no more.

Chris, a bit more self criticism, then I am done for now. If you knew me, you would know this self criticism are well justified.

I took this photo in that bookstore since my color black goes well with the color around me. I was humored. I was finally faced up to the fact that I was flawed and am. It is not about who should do better, I should do better no matter what you have done or have not done. In each realtionship, we can only really better ourselves. But the best efforts of one can bring the best effort of the other. There is no guarantee, but you get to do what you get to do when you know this is something cherisable and lasting.

You need your space and your freedom and you shall not be in a relationship that is not healthy, like what I gave you before. It was not real. You deserve better than that. I can give you something better. Yet, timing does not work for us, does it?

Looking back, I am happy for what I had. I am trying for another chance. I am also looking forward to a better me, and even a better us. But today, it is about me and this city that we enjoyed together once.

Actually I felt so warm that I decided to do something meaningful--I bought a pair of boots in the store near Harbor steps. I did not have to. But they striked me somehow, high, burgandy red, riding style boots, masculine looking, yes, even when it comes to sentimental behavior, it always goes back to shopping, for me.

The hopelessly materalistic Asian girl, who works hard and tries hard to fix her flaw, who was really happy in this city with a fantastic man at summer of 2005 and many days after that.

So Geoffery, to answer your question, yes, I have kept the city clean and even contributed a little to its booming tourism.

And to love better sometime is simply just to be a better human being.

Seattle, you did not break my heart.

But I am beyond comfort from this sadness of not knowing you anymore or not to be known.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Neil said...

It's good to hear that you mostly remember the good times.

1:13 PM  
Blogger chris miller said...

OK -- I apologize for the cliche -- but if you haven't already -- play the "A Star is Born" dvd to see/hear Judy Garland in the greatest music-video song of all time -"The Man who got away":


"The road gets rougher,
It's lonelier and tougher.
With hope you burn up -
Tomorrow he may turn up.
There's just no letup the live-long night and day!

Ever since this world began
There is nothing sadder than
A one-man woman looking for
The man that got away....
The man that got away."

12:59 PM  
Blogger New York Red said...

My first ever book purchase by myself is the Wizard of Oz, when I was a student of frist grade elementary school; Years ago, when I had very very short hair, in Beijing, a woman friend from US said I reminded her of liza minnelli...that is my 6-degree connections to Judy Garland....

6:13 PM  

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