Monday, August 08, 2005

Broken Flowers-Remembering of a Long Lost Friend


It is 3 am in New York right now, and I am typing. I can not sleep and I am thinking of the beaches and summer time like it is right now. I have not been on the beach this weekend, or last.

Hamptons, Jersey shore, beaches in Rhode Island and Southern California. Then I thought of my friend, the long lost friend, a quite girl who wrote poems which were as sharp as knife or as tranquil as water in a pond, a girl who recited Waste Land.

She died the first year she came to the US, actually the first month. She was drowned in the sea of Southern California. A small and quiet body disappered under the white wave, under the forever sunshine.

Although she was not beautiful, she was beautiful.

I remember we went to a hair salon together and she had her hair cut one side longer than the other side. She had very dark hair.

She was shy but never shy away. She was quietly determined and brave. Her statement of herself was written with quite demeanor yet powerful poetry, out of the inner passion of fire.

But when you sit in front of her, you felt only tranquility and certainty of uncertain things.

She smiled quitely at me when I was weak and unsure of things and that smile said: You are going to be OK.

She sometimes lighted a cigarette. I liked the way she held it, not pretentiously or seductively as most girl who smoke will do. She held it like a pen, like she will write with it. And she held it like a man would hold it too.

Welled up inside her were feelings of extrem beauty and loneliness, I imagaine. Yet she smiled at me and said: things are always going to be OK.

I know she must have the heart to love but I don't know she has ever been loved by a man in her short life.

When I left Beijing to the US, I left her my skate blade. I doubt she ever used it. Because she left Beijing to go to Southern California soon after, a place with no winter and no ice, I assume, to skate on. Meanwhile I went to Update State New York to face the endless winter of Rochester.

We never see each other again since we parted in Beijing. I did not even talk to her after she came to the US, she died too soon. She died too young. She died 11 years ago. She stays young at the age of 24 until now.

I asked my friends to try to find out exactly what happened. I still don't know. I will try to find out myself next time I am going to California.

I also wanted to send her parents money soon after I heard what happend, but I never got the contact. I never did send money to her quiet parents in a small town in North East China.
Although I always wanted to.

Tonight I thought of her and her smile. It has been a while. I miss her and I always wonder. What if she has been alive and has finished her Communciations Degree? She would have written so much more poems. Would she be happy? What would she say to me now? She would surely be loved by a man with heart and soul and who would that be?

Only questions but no answers.

I could have visited her. I could have sat infront of her and asked her: What make you write and what make you happy?

She would smile her usual smile, I think I can tell a certain sadness in that smile now, a sadness to know that life is not perfect. But knowing that imperfection yet keeps on smiling.

Life is not perfect for her and for all of us who have known her and loved her. But life is so worth living for, I know that is what she would have told me.

1 comment:

baomin said...

When I heard her death more than 10 years ago, I was shocked as anyone could be. Life is a mystery as death is.

I had never quite known her during a few encounters when she was studying in the graduate program. But I could tell that she was different. Just as you said, she was quiet and reserved, but she did exuberate fire. Her remarks about loser holding a different kind of value and beauty was audacious and refreshing to say the least. She would have become an amazing poet if she could live long enough. But she'd got peace and tranquility for ever.