Lamma Island, 5:57PM – Overcast.
This was written for yesterday because, let’s face it, not everything can happen on Monday or Friday.
Today the sky is a waxed baking sheet. I go out to the shop only in the evening when the cicadas are still singing. It is more humid than usual and that is why they are singing rather than drilling, I tell myself. I laugh because I sound like someone who knows the migratory patterns of birds and the mating season of snakes. Which I do not.
It is a rare occasion where I only need purchase crucial things that also just so happen to be inedible. Like AA batteries and dish soap. It’s leftovers tonight. A friend came to see me for lunch the day before and surprised me with more ravioli than we could finish. Meat filling and cheese filling.
On the way to the shop, I look at a garden being tended by an old man who still lives in one of the stone houses with a traditional tile roof. My friend who brought me extra ravioli commented on the garden yesterday. They made gestures and sound effects about it. A biological explosion from all the rain. Taking a close look for myself, I agree. When they first put the fence up around the vacant land, I thought it would be just another house. Now thanks to the old man you can’t see even the bamboo trellis.
I think about my friend who brought me extra ravioli and how they talk about gardening from time to time. I bet they would look good in a wide brimmed hat, the kind that gardeners wear, so that their face is hidden while they work until they eventually sense you watching and look up. Hopefully with a smile.
You could say I am out to lunch still and you would not be wrong.
What I have done today is sit on my couch, contemplate the growth of the potted rubber tree on my balcony, and ruminate on a few Big Questions (What is cancel culture? Were my grandparents happy? What was Hong Kong like before air-conditioning?) while sending and waiting for replies to Whatsapp messages from various friends. There is nothing urgent. I have no plans. I read a novel while I wait, mustering enough energy to set myself a page count goal that is punctuated by occasional pings from my phone. I tell myself that what I am doing is the modern-day equivalent of waiting for the postman. Waiting, I have gotten good at that.