Monday, November 15, 2010


It is interesting to me, that there is a certain vanity I succumb to, even in death. When I was a teenager enamored with romanticism, I believed that drowning was the most beautiful way to die. I don’t know if I saw it on TV, or a painting, or read about it, but I have this very vivid mental imagery of a lady walking out into the sea, back facing me, dressed in white. And she walks deeper and deeper into the sea, while I look on. I know she is going to die the further she walks, but there is something so heartbreakingly beautiful about the scene that I don’t stop her.

Even before that, at a time when I was devouring all the Chinese classics on screen, it was in fashion to die of TB. It felt dignified, coughing up blood and laying down to rest for the last time. Ladies could cough discreetly, holding exquisitely embroidered handkerchiefs. This coincided with the time I was always coughing as a kid. I remember regular visits to the doctor, and endless bottles of horribly-artificially-flavored medicine. I also remember wondering if I had TB too and could die in this poignant way, in a garden with the cherry blossom petals all around me. Straight out of a scene from "Dream of the Red Chamber".

Yes, I was weird even as a kid.