You love these Beijing nights. We make circles with our bikes. We make circles on our backs. We take the bikes out on the road, blazing past pedestrians under orange lights. We make circles, half circles, zip through half-hearted AM traffic, past the Forbidden City, cops and public servants, holidays merrymakers. We leave a scene exploding behind us, the noise, the bickers, the flags, the harsh love. Once you take a corner, everything changes, the laughter on your face, the tenacity, the vulnerability. Once you go far enough, everything turns...
...and you're chasing after your own shadow between the tree branches, the ancient buildings that don't so much glower, but sit serenely gazing at you. The city exhales finally, 2AM in the morning. It's been a long day. Bus loads of tourists from all over the country at the heart of the capital. They came by train, by flight, by car, by foot to the womb. What they found instead is only people mountain people sea. You wish you could have told them to come out at 2AM, when all is still and shadows roam like black lights.
You love these Beijing nights. When you stumble into a 7-Eleven, let the fluorescence wash over hair and skin. The aisles so fresh so new so everything you'd ever need. You grab a pack of gum and bop to some electronic dance song in your headphones. The middle age man look at you with a weary look. You watch his mouth move. You observe it. Then you suddenly realize, shit, he's talking to you. Stop being such an asshole and listen. By the time you pull out your headphones cuz your such a misanthrope, you realize he's done talking to you. You say thanks and dodge out, hop onto your bike, and it hits you that one day soon you're gonna be middle age too, and maybe it wouldn't be so cool to bop to Good Time by Crystal Castles anymore then.
You think about the concert on your way home a lot. The way the blue light danced on the singer's every movement, as if the music - bass, guitar, drums - were only her puppets, an accessory to her stage. She threw herself in the blue light, barefoot and fierce. She had it down to an art form. She had the crowd going crazy. She had you and your friends exclaim like fanboy-girls, "this girl is phenomenal." You remember this is Beijing and you're watching a Chinese-American girl sing in English and be so boss in China. Good for her. Good for all of us. Keep going. Don't get so jaded. Don't be sick of Dada and Modernista and What Bar, it's only your second, third times there.
Most of all, take a vacation. Go sit in some cafe in Singapore and mediate on this crazy Beijing life where your world systematically shifts every two months, and be okay with that, really be okay with it.