Thursday, January 27, 2011
雪の華 on a Snowless NightAs the taxi glided through the streets of Tianmu, changes in the neighborhood began to pan out through the drizzles of the night - that restaurant where the junior prom dinner took place had turned into an insignificant office space; the line of trendy clothing stores is now replaced by a row of random eatery places or empty store front ready to be rented; Hirota pastry has undergone a much needed and successful face lift; and the major intersection has been given much more greenery decoration well suitable for a flee market to take place over the weekends.
How can I possibly expect things to stay the same when 13 years have passed since my last frequent if not daily visit to this neighborhood? Changes and renovations are bound to happen, only that instead of seeing an uplifting renewal of the all too familiar neighborhood, I see more signs of the aging/fading of a once hotly sought out neighborhood of foreign residents, foreign air, foreign diners and international interactions and exchanges in Taipei.
Perhaps on the cab home tonight, should have tuned into David Tao's very first CD on my iPod instead of Nakashima Mika's "Yuki no Hana". The missing of Tao's familiar melodies perhaps prevented a more accurate reminiscence of the good old days. But hey, if 13 years have indeed passed one by, no wonder even the tunes of Tao's aren't so eagerly longed for while Nakashima's sentimentality seems more fitting for a description of this current mood.
So right there, on a speedy taxi that zigzagged its way through the alleys of my high school neighborhood, I realized that it isn't just that time has outdone this neighborhood's best glorious days; rather, life has carried one to greater heights and deeper wonders that even the most familiar old-time street scenes or melodies can no longer satiate that supposedly craved feeling of "home".
"Home" - this infinitely unidentifiable object and subject has stopped to capture my innermost ruptures of feelings and emotions since Lord knows how long ago. "Home" - this place to which I had interestingly attached the verb, "去" (to go to) rather than "回" (to go back to) when talking about my itinerary to my students and noticed that "slip" of tongue when it was caught by them.
So what do the psychologists say again? That the slip of the tongue effect usually indicates the true intent of the speaker rather than a careless verbal mistake?
And what does it mean when, on a snowless, autumn-like January night in Taipei (for God sake, it's merely 12 degrees C here now!), Nakashima's melody still captures more of my quiet longing and reminiscence than the street scenes of this city that hosted 15 years of my life?
Although, my memory reminds me that on the very first snow night of this winter, I was rushing to make it on time to a work-related dinner appointment, trying very hard to keep myself from the slipping off the icy sidewalk of Hengshan Rd.
Too busy to make sense of my new life; too hurried to seal off my past. "Home" - definable or not, it is no longer within my control to decide where it may or shall be.
Nor has it ever been.
梅ちゃん at 1:22:00 AM