Sunday, October 17, 2004

vignette: china

I wanted to go to the Merrick event out on the Tuazon Concourse but China was insistent on her new find.

“You have to hear him, Jimbo,” she said, tugging at my collar the way she does when she really wants something. Sometimes it makes me feel like a dog, but more often it accentuates the fact that we’re each other’s other. “His world is old-school, epic magic, kick-ass heroes and fantastic quests. I heard him the other day and fell in love.”

China’s like that. She likes old things.

A couple of weeks ago, she found an archive of pre-links songs, the kind that people used to make in antiquity. I listened, forced by the potency of devotion, to the caterwauling of human voices in some dead language, to the quaint beat and childlike rhythms and failed to be moved whatsoever. China, on the other hand, was on her feet, gyrating around her cubhole as if entranced, singing along to words that were uttered and sang centuries before she was born. “It’s called New Wave,” she gasped, when the photonic recordings music ended. “Don’t you just love it?”

We rode a trackcar to the Riverbanks and decided to go the rest of the way by foot. China likes walking because she gets to point out how much things have changed, how this wasn’t there before, how terrible it is that people just build things over things, things like that, as if she herself lived in times past. Me, I don’t really care. Which is why we get along. I just go where she wants and offer an attentive ear. Once, she told me “Sometimes, Jimbo, I actually start thinking you understand.”


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