Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Shanghai as a Stranger

It’s that person you think you know, the one who makes you feel comfortable. But then a remark, a casual gesture or a sudden glance that becomes a deep penetrating sling-shot into your eyes reveals the distance between you.

And like that, you know you’re dealing with an utter stranger.

I hailed a cab, Shanghai, thinking I knew you, when suddenly you stared me right in the face. You stared me right in the face with your concrete slabs, your rotting porticoes and your dolled up waif women looking at me on the street corners with fear and a hidden disgust. You spoke to me in words that suddenly seemed more distant than I knew before, their syllables garbled in a way you knew I couldn’t understand. You pointed at me with your neon lights, raising shadows all around me. The cab driver asked me where to go and I was speechless.

I didn’t know you, Shanghai. I didn’t know you at all.

posted by ferret at 3:45 pm  

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