countess from hong kong.


i've been writing like a fool lately, careless with my words, unable to explain things objectively. there was that one letter i sent to a friend after a day of work, and i don't even remember what it was about. it was probably just some crazy rambling, and i haven't heard back from her since. the point is that i want some structure to this, to make this readable, to take myself and my stories seriously. maybe even start capitalizing.

but lord knows i won't. i just need to get it all out there, to say what i'm thinking even if i'm full of shit, even if i don't really mean a single uncapitalized letter i write. it's just that jose rizal wrote a poem called "my last farewell" and it wasn't the greatest poem i'd ever read, but i could tell it meant something, even if it just meant something to him. and it feels as though nothing has meant anything to me for a long while. and there's rilke's "letters to a young poet," and i think about how those letters have lived on. i hope my friend destroyed that letter i sent her.

i want to be able to remember this, all of it, to look back on it and remember exactly what that was like. i was twenty-six years old, and i went to hong kong with my parents and my aunt and my cousin. our first few hours there were kind of crappy. we just walked around looking at stores and when my aunt asked if we wanted to shop, my mom and i said no. after all, who went to another country to go shopping? i hated it, and i felt like capitalism ruined everything. it felt like it didn't matter where in the world i went because there would just be a stupid starbucks, louis vuitton and mcdonalds staring back at me.

there were people everywhere, and i was alone, so naturally, i got to thinking about soulmates again. it still doesn't make much sense to me. the whole idea of a soul is that it's eternal and that it could be anywhere. so maybe my soulmate was born in the 1300's and lived in spain and i'll never meet him/her/it. as hundreds of chinese, filipino and european people rushed past me in mid-day subway traffic, the thought of soulmates was ridiculous. you just find someone you can stand and who can hopefully stand you and that's that.

our first night in hong kong, i walked along the avenue of stars with my cousin. we were on the kowloon side, and across the water, all of hong kong was lit up with christmas lights and other lights and it didn't even seem real. there were tall buildings with giant lights that read: sanyo, hitachi, samsung, phillips, sony, etc. these giants, i think, made the great city what it was.

the transporation was ridiculous. we rarely ever had to wait more than three minutes for a train. everyone there dressed better than anything i had ever seen. my cousin said, “yeah, it always looks like they’re going to a party.” I thought again about the movie up in the air, and the way i now saw the united states was that one scene where there’s a completely empty office save that for a desk or two, and then I saw this sign that read china leads the world in…something…i can’t remember what it was. but it might as well just have read: china leads the world.

i didn’t get it. why’s everything made in china? why do they have all our money? they’re living it up with their fast-ass trains, designer suits, giant skyscrapers and all that shit. american fools always say the liberals hate america, or the conservatives hate america, but really, aren’t the assholes who decided everything should be bought and sold in china really the ones who hate america? it’s just that empty fucking office now…that one guy who’s still on the phone making his last call, just waiting for the blade to come down.

the other things was, is there really a god? i looked around at all these people. how could god, if there really was such a person or thing, keep tabs on all these fools? and because there are so many of us, does it really matter what any of us does? if we fail, if we succeed, aren’t there just millions of others who have or will also fail, also succeed? it was ridiculous how many people there were, there are. i can’t get over it.

no one’s watching, no one cares because there are just too many of us.

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