We drive around town in the big gray car and it starts to rain, Hendri says, That’s why we write about cities, he says, eyes on the road. He never wrote about Porto. Or New York. Or Bali, Manila, for that matter, and you don’t think he’ll get to start anywhere but here. We sit in his kitchen and offers me tea, (that’s chinese of you and racist of me) offers to give me a book as a pasalubong from an 8-month trip. Here’s a book about a trash man, an odd job and lots crosshatches and all the dead dreams about writing and drawing. Thanks, Hend, appreciate it and you read it on the bus ride home after Indian.
Sandra had her house on Mango Street, Junot has New Jersey, a mythology. An education with Carver and the whys of short stories- (you figured you were more or less the same). You can’t quit your job, can’t stop doing design work for clients, you trudge through the drudgery (but it aint that bad), since you get beer on the weekends and gin and tonic if you felt fancier in a crisp white shirt.
On sunday nights you read the New Yorker till you run out of free articles (5 per month) that’s the fucking quota, it’s hilarious. You skip reading Amundsen an all the cold-ass stories that start with a train or a station or a below 20 temperature, since the closest you got was the fridge freezer. Or that one particular January where everyone back in college put on their boots, ‘The Fall’ by Rhye, and a girl with the same name as the immediate ex.
You guess it’s a lot warmer here, more passion than the Old World and less explosive than the New World. What are we? What do we sound? You’ve been asking that yourself for years but you’ve found that there are only few who sit on the eggs these cities on the east lay. We’re not too worried about it since it’s always going to be sunny tomorrow. Or maybe the next. Or after the monsoons pass.