why I like a person instantly? I liked her.
She couldn’t do her job well, but she kept smiling and had a pleasant voice, even though she only knew a few English vocabularies. She dared to speak “beautiful” several times with her funny Chinese pronunciation, the word I avoid to speak because of my conscious shame in pronouncing certain English words imperfectly. She had a lean build but was not small. I don’t like small people, I feel like a giant when small people are around. However, I like people have a lean build. She tried to massage my body just squishing here and there, leaving finger marks on my bruise-prone skin. I just let her do what she did. Earning a living in the unfamiliar world that might be intimidating to her (or not, I didn’t know) must be hard enough. I had a tender feeling in my heart towards her for an unknown reason. And I liked her at that moment. I tipped more than enough and left. My legs were a little shaky going down the steep stairs. The stairs had led me an hour before to that sketchy massage place in San Francisco Chinatown. Probably I won’t see her again in my life, I won’t miss her or she won’t remember me, but I will soften when I think of her when my memory touches this time and space. I forgot to ask her name. The only things I know about her are that she came from China two years ago and had a husband and a 27 years old son.
People stare at me. I wore higher heel sandals on this trip. Not that crazy high but enough to make me taller than most of the women around and make my legs look longer. I didn’t bring many clothes, so I wear almost the same clothes every day. In addition to that, I packed the wrong clothes. The weather is much cooler than I expected, but I wear the same short pants without buying any new ones. And I really don’t care.
As I loved this city when I set my feet on this part of the land of North America for the first time in my early twenties, I still love this city. Not overwhelming… just enough of everything, vibrancy, courtesy, and charms… the ocean and the hills, trees, flowers, dogs, parks, the pier, sea lions, and their meaningless barks to claim their territory. Nob Hill and homeless then, Nob Hill and homeless now.
I love being here, but… this time, I won’t stay here because I have a home.
If I am a homeless as I was before, I must have stayed in this city… now, I will go back to the place that my being belongs to… the place where the weather gets often mean, the place where pain, sorrow, and joy plait, the place where I have my people who come and leave, sometimes leave beyond my reach breaking my heart, but still… I built a house, got a dog, and deposited memories there… so I’ll be always going back to the place that I feel now as, “home”, the place that had been lost to me for most of my life.
Maybe a wind rests there under the white fading moon, waiting… waiting for me… to blow, to tousle my hair… I’ll close my eyes… then.
<Auguest 16th, 2018>