reminders, to love who we can, that fire, and whose feet have walked these streets


It’s strange cycling in the darkness before dawn. The cars aren’t expecting you. They are tired, they are balancing coffee against the ever-present rain. Everything looks like a sad slow song, a woman singing, her heart broken six months before when she came back to find a note taped to the door, “I don’t love you anymore.” My glasses had covered up with rain and the streets reflect like they were made of water, so it feels a little like blindly flying. Sterring myself onto the dotted line, I let go of the handlebars and thought of death, how so many people believe there’s something after, that it’s a door. My hands up, I tilted my head back and let cars slide by on either side. There are no stars here, no souls to carry me home.

The viaduct I was on curves between our two stadiums then arcs above what used to be Expo 86 but is now just leveled industrial area turned into closed off parking lots awaiting miraculous rebirth as condos in time for the Olympics. From bicycle level, on one side you can see water, on the other, the Sun Yat Sen gardens, the beginnings of our thin Chinatown where they filmed the opening of Global Frequency. Late at night it’s usually empty, you cycle along it and feel like the sole survivor of some strange war, but traffic slowly gathers after six o’clock, gaining a crucial morning momentum. Dangerous. There’s no space for anything but a breath between the cars and the cement side guards. I’d forgotten what hours weren’t safe anymore. It’s been so long since I’ve ridden such a strange quiet time on the highway. Traffic lights are still ignored by taxis but joining them are people speeding and people too slow to remember the gas pedal, how it makes the machine roll forward.

I could have touched the vehicle as they’d passed. The wind lifted my artificial hair and it danced, a perfectly timed stunt-driver minute, as cinegraphic as a pearl. I looked back again, up, and bitterly smiled. The only truth in stars are that they might not be there anymore, the light we see is such a shadow, and that they travel.

I looked down after the cars had passed, wondering if they’d even seen me, and quietly said out loud,

“Some people would think that was lucky.”

It’s a strange mood, feeling invisible, feeling like that woman after she smoothly drops to the floor and leans on the door, note in her hand, hurt too dry to drip from her disbelieving eyes.