June 18, 2005


Today I sit across an immediate acquaintance talking of government policies with a
who-knows-what, who-knows-where, who-knows-who on the phone.

Now he's talking about eonomy.
I wonder how, as I look at him across the short distance of this table scattered with things that lay absentmindedly in their little space of world - I wonder how he can talk of such things with so much passion and loud voice at such a young age, barely two years my senior.

I sit here with techno-music on the ears, burnt orange lights and designed pants in the walls as though short, black snakes scaled with random beads on the eyes, and a rumbling of food of all sorts on the stomach.

He is still talking,
now laughing,
now saying, "Only $500 for China Poi. $500! Will you go?"

All I can think of is Amy Tan's Joyluck Club (as I hold a book I yet have to start reading by Filipino Arlene J. Chai , whose front cover is graced by a comment of Amy Tan), and I drift to the faces of my mother and my sisters and aunties, and my grandmother. The length of their hair combined covers me right now, numbing my stomach, covering my eyes, blocking my ears.

I am waiting for their scent.
But I smell nothing.
I wonder why I can't smell onions, or perfume, or sweated powdered faces.

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