on these strangely cold days in taiwan, the neighbors come to this little oceanside cafe run by a brother (a veteran of the republic of china air force) and sister (a veteran of commerce in the city) to talk of freezing taipei and the other places they travel from. it’s getting closer and closer to lunar new year and people are trying to get their travels in before the end. i’ve come to this little village between two places stricken by the ills of airbnb led commercialization. daily, i wake in a pod of remade cement tubes, hearing waves caressing the stones of the seashore. my fang tooth aches in the chill, the clouds drift slowly, the smoke of the iron pot burning salt drenched driftwood curls in the sweet, sharp way as green island fades in and out of foggy view.
…r.i.p. studio ghibli film living. tell me something, if you heard of an aquarius with four cats running an empty cafe, filled with thwarted dreams and depression, grousing at any customer who ventures in…doesn’t that sound like a grandma lesbian?
alas, alas! an anti-queer cis-dude strikes again and upends a beautiful country dream. anti-queer sentiments stay strong with confucian patriarchy in east Taiwan.
anyways, the coffee tastes better with the smell of the sea, na-Noon, beautifully blue.
2 years ago, same date, an earthquake struck Tainan, almost the same magnitude, killing many with shoddy construction. thankfully, with the improved safety measures and hualien’s architecture built to expect tremors, this earthquake seems to have yielded less deaths. my aunt in hualien, who’s ok, says they’re continuing to feel 餘震 aftershocks.
as a monk once advised me, this world is a reflection of our collective xin. it’s splitting all the time in Taiwan. and looks like the economic landscape is just as volatile, according to Carl Icahn.
prayers for creative 團圓 amidst tragedy. even with few human deaths, what’s lost, the weight of what we’ve built poorly, the harmony of homes…right as everyone gathers for the lunar new year…spirits be strong, sing the songs of sweet gatherings.