That Street

"It would probably make more sense if I smoked." "Yeah, it would go with the writer thing."

He makes a motion right here, cigarette between the fore and middle finger, eyes flickering away, an expression of deep insouciance and, if you can imagine, he feigns womanly mystique. He smokes for real since age 15 on the island of Malta. I knew nothing about Malta until I met him. He smokes like a man. He doesn't dwell on it. I imagined Malta (the first time I heard about it on a rooftop bar at 4AM when a blackout hit the block just as the sun began to peak), to be filled with blue lagoons and tall tales. I liked the way the syllable melted in my mouth like dark chocolate with hints of orange spice.


Malta with the boats and the lonely days and the hungover cuts and the cameos from dreams. Malta to him might be like a cloak of memories, warm, intangible, cold, distant. I take this cloak, and I think about Malta like I could own it too, because a place Malta just sounds like the opposite of here, this place, this Beijing.

It takes me exactly 45 minute to bike from work to home. I work crazy late so whenever I get off work I'm biking home furiously from fourth ring to the heart of forbidden city like I'm fleeing orange demons. Then I get to this street, and I'm talking about this particular street where my new apartment lives on. It's a narrow street with a little park, and canopied trees, and old people strolling, and when I make sharp turn there, everything just mutes, and I can hear only the trees, and the moon.

New place is sick. It's like a new life, and my only priority is seeing that moon framed perfectly in my window.