Trips Alone

Being an avid observer, of the surrounding environments, the life of a people-watcher, translated…

Because of work, I’d needed to have roundtrip travels from Hualien to Taipei and Taipei, to Hualien, in order to save up the fares, I’d often taken the “transferring commutes”, taking the double decker busses for some way, then the trains. This waiting and transferring, transferring and waiting, sometimes, I’d felt tension, and I’d, gazed out the windows, and suddenly, felt very relaxed, like it is, a sort of a miniature “trips alone” out of my ordinary life.

like this???  Photo from online…

In the process of my commute, I’d often initiate my “small theatre” mode, guessing at which seat I would be, given, would it be window seat, or aisle seat, would I get to see the sea? Or that I’d, start to observe the passengers all around me, from their ages, to what they’re wearing, to what games they’re, playing on their cell phone, the images from their FB homepage (am I being, too observant?), their LINE conversation (am I, breach someone else’s privacy?), listening in on the conversations (can someone call the police on me for that?)………all of these, are the points of origin of my imagination, I wanted to know, who the person who was, sitting closest to me was?

For a while, I’d even gotten so nutty, that I’d had to get the seat on the first row on the busses, that way, I got to, observe the driver at a close distance, and, his name would be, right up overhead, in front of me! In the age of Google, you will leave behind, an electronic footprint if you log online, and other than just imagining people’s lives, I get to, cross-check the facts, and, I’d often, lost control, in the one-hour ride, to the point that as I got off, and thanked the driver, I’d, actually became, genuine.

查看來源圖片like this???  Not my photo…

And so, this, is being a people watcher, and this person enjoys it, because, there are, NOT many other alternative “forms of entertainment”, so, he’d found fun, in observing the world around him, and, this trip alone became, more interesting, instead of just, watching that clock in the stations, wondering, when the busses or the trains will finally come and take you away!


Trips Alone

How the love the two of you once knew had, slowly, dimmed out, translated…

You’d Found a Café in the Snow that’s Growing, Sat Down. You Saw, Out of the Corner of Your Eyes, a Woman in a Red Jacket, She Sat, Leisurely, Sipping on Her Coffee, Looking Confident, But Not Too Proud, Seems to Tell the Rest, that She Knew that the Man She was, Waiting for, is Hers, Although He’d, Not Yet Professed His Love to Her………

I’d gone to Berlin for a lecture in the spring, there’s, still that coldness in the air there. The first evening in Berlin, you were, working on the PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow, then, suddenly, shouts broke through the silence of the night, someone was, shouting out racial slurs, you’d tilted your head out the window, saw some stumbling figures. You’d wanted to turn back to R, tell him, “It’s no big deal, just some teenagers”. But you’d, forgotten, that you’re, on this trip, alone.

You’d turned on the radio, the DJ said something in German you couldn’t catch fast enough, then, the song started, quietly. But, in this night that’s, disturbed, music seemed to serve the purpose of repair, but, although the music had, grasp onto a nerve of yours, but, you’d, worked along, and, failed to pay enough attention to what he was singing, until the final few lines, the trumpet started, sounding off in the background, and the singer, “it’s all so quiet”, and, the trumpet’s tune rose with the notes climbing up higher, then, as the highest note that the trumpet played came to a halt, the singer, “in Berlin”, and ended the song. You’d, immediately, gone online to search for the song, and, listened to it more than twenty times. It’s all so quiet, It’s all so quiet, It’s all so quiet…in Berlin. This section of the lyric, sounded like, they were, made for you.

illustration from…圖/李孟翰

Although this was the second time you’re here, Berlin was still a strange place to you, last time, there weren’t that many Muslim vendors or Turkish restaurants, and, it was, impossible, for you, to NOT feel discriminated here. But, why did you, gain that sense of unprotected vulnerability for the silent nights in Berlin now?

In Ginsberg’s poem “Returning Back to Time Square, Dreams in Time Square”, nobody saw that invisible trumpeter, only that poet who’d, stumbled down the streets, after the world changed, chasing that lost dream, accidentally, found the trumpeter again. You’d heard that trumpeter’s sorrowful music playing—or perhaps, it was, your hallucination too?

Or maybe, because it was, spring back then?

The repeated once chorus had:

I’d get lost anywhere

As long as I’m found

I could be anyone

in any town

Yes, so long as we got found, who would be afraid, of getting lost? Naturally, we’d not needed to worry of the various roles we’d played, so long as we get to, return to that very first, original role, assigned to us.

You’d gone to Athens for a meeting, the sun had, shone down everywhere. After the meeting, I’d gone to Mykonos. The bright sunlight reflected into the alleyways that twisted and turned like the walls of a labyrinth, you’d wandered aimlessly, and was, drawn to a table with an empty chair in front of a café, and, you took that very first photo of an empty seat. It was, very rare, that in the afternoons, the seats were, still vacant, and, you looked upon those empty chairs, like they were, alive, and waiting, patiently, for a customer to come and sit. But, you’d had, another, delusion, that all the customers from before never, actually left, that there were, the ghosts of, customers past sitting in the seats.

like this???  not my photograph…

You’d recalled how you’d traveled to many islands with R from before, once, she’d complained that you’d only, taken her to the islands, and, you were, dumbfounded, every time you’d, planned out the trips thoroughly, you’d made sure, to include an island in the itinerary, and she didn’t like that, and that, was when it’d, dawned on you, that she’d, favored the city living lifestyle. And so, you’d, thought, had you not scheduled these trips to these, islands………then, you’d found, that your thoughts, never actually, got off the islands you’d, gone to—you’d, kept pondering how to make the amends, should you, try satisfying her more the next time? As you were, about to, leave those, empty chairs behind, you couldn’t help, but look at them again, felt, that you’d not, gotten everything that you need, to take with you.

Those windmills in the distant hills, from a certain angle on the island, you could, get a complete view of, but, you seemed, to have, never caught them turning. Until the last day when you’re about to leave, you’d, walked to the ferry, and, you seemed, to have seen, the windmill, turned. You’d instinctively turned, to tell R, but, that huge cruise ship docked, broke your illusions—at which time, there was, a large group of younger eastern girls getting off, you couldn’t help, but look at them, and, so long as the ladies were thin and tall, you’d, sought them out, as if, trying, to find something that’s, familiar and lost……until the tourists all got onboard the ship, and, you’d, carried that nostalgia of unwillingness, alighted too.

You went to Yangzhou to lecture, the autumn light reflected onto the lakes. After supper, you’d gone with a group of younger scholars, to continue the meet in the city, they’d found a pub, “For Youth”, with a live band. And, as everybody went in, they’d, received a red bandana, turned out, it was, a day of nostalgia at the pub, other than the pop music from Hong Kong and Taiwan, the young musicians also performed the tunes from long ago. And everybody, in their Red Army bandana all, sang along too; in the help of alcohol, the revolution, seemed to have, begun all over again, and no matter how many products were, produced by the outside world. As you all left, everybody looked, and, there’s, that feeling of, vacancy. After exiting For Youth, the streets became, vacant too, and, Michael Buble’s “Home” came from the distance, there’s, that feeling of surrealness. You’d told everybody to stop walking, and the song was at:

Another aeroplane

Another sunny place

I’m lucky, I know

But I wanna go home

I’ve got to go home

You shook your head, “Come on, too overly expressive.” But, actually, you were, trying, to mask up the feelings that were, awakened in you; you’d become, another flighter; kept boarding the next plane, arriving at the next sunny place. But, you’d always, traveled, alone.

all alone, without the company of someone he loves…photo from online…

You’d arrived at Lithuania in the winter, but, the chills of the winter already got there ahead of you. Before the meeting was over, you’d, gone to the capital of Latvia, Riga. Your friend told you from before, that this country, is very tiny, but had, amazing architectures, especially, when nobody else was there. And so, you’d, gone out in the snow early in the morn, and trekked the streets. The winter morning, you’d, walked across, and in-between, those ancient buildings, like you’d, entered, into a dream of solitude: all the tourists, gone, only those, shy ghosts, still, lingered on. As you walked, there came, a beautiful woman from the turn of the corner, you couldn’t tell if she was, Latvian or Russian, but, there’s, that hint of sorrow, from either the northern weather, or some other reasons. The moment she’d, passed you by, you’d found, that a button was missing from her shirt. You’d wanted to turn back and share this with R, but if this time, she’d called you “boring”, you would’ve, had a valid reason; because this reminded you of Rilke’s book, mentioning how the young maiden the man bumped into, and he’d found that a button was unbuttoned from the back of her shirt, and, guessed at how she must’ve, felt angered by something before she went out…………and, you’d, mentioned it to R: the time she’d, rushed out the door, and, you’d, chased after her, to button up that missed button on her back………

In the storm that grew, you’d, found a café to sit. The snow fell harder outside, and, you’d, worried about the woman you’d, just encountered, that she might freeze from the cold, then, you saw, another woman, in a red jacket, sipping on her coffee in the corner, looking self-confident, but without the ego, like telling those around her, she knew that the man she was waiting for was hers already, although he’d, not professed his love to her yet……at this very moment, a memory of winter came clear to you. R too, once wore her read coat and waited for you in a café. That day, you were running, seriously late, and, as you’d arrived, you’d, apologized profusely, but she’d, spoken aloud, “I’m not, waiting, for you!”

It was, Christmas Eve, you’d recalled, in the U.S. everybody was, spending the evening with someone who’s closest and mattered most, same for the international students. But R arrived Maryland, and, passed through that final Christmas Eve you’d had in the States, but why? She’d, corrected herself: that she was there, for something else, but, there wasn’t anything planned on Christmas Eve, so, she’d, come find you. But, you’d not done anything special, just strolled around South Seaport, and, carried on, in disconnected conversations. It was, really cold that evening, and, the two of you, started, breathing out white air, but, neither one of you was, in a hurry, to find a warm place to sit. Did you feel, that it wasn’t, needed, to have other people around? Or, simply because, you can’t, find a place to sit down? You can no longer, recall. But, the only thing you’d recalled was, as the two of you, leaned in against the railing, and, gazed toward the distant lighthouse, blinking, she’d suddenly inquired, “Do you like, traveling alone?”, without a second of hesitation, you’d, replied, “I used to, from before.”

And so, that, was your experience of love, and, the two of you had, shared so many memories, but, for some reasons, you two didn’t, work out, and, you’re left, with these, memories of the love you’d owned and lost, feeling, nostalgic…

Adding from One to a Hundred, a Treasure Map of Memories

Hated himself, for being too ignorant, and, he respected his own mother even more than before, translated…

That evening, I was riding on the MRT on my way home, the mom sitting opposite was teaching her young math using the math textbooks, and, the memories slowly, came back to me.

Key in the Numbers One by One Slowly

I grew up in the army retirement villages, my father was a former serviceman, a retired veteran, my mother was native Amis, they’d married through matchmaking, without the basis of love, they were, twenty-one-years apart. Because of how they didn’t share anything in common, the differences of their backgrounds, their value systems, they’d, fought a lot.

In my elementary years, my mother worked the graveyard shift at the electronics factory, in order to get a raise, she’d, signed up for the head of her crew’s examinations. One morning, I saw a graded math test, one of the problem was 1+2+3+4+5+6…+97+98+99+100=?, without thinking, I’d known, that the answer was 5,050. This was a famous question, that’s been tested and tested repeatedly on the students. But, my mother got it wrong.

“How did you get this?”, I’d inquired her.

“I’d used a calculator, and keyed in the numbers one by one slowly.” Don’t know how long it took her, to get the answer, and perhaps, she’d, keyed in the wrong numbers on a few, she’d, gotten the answer wrong.

圖/倩illustration from the papers online…

I’d looked at that exam more closely, she’d not answered the problems on close to half of her exam, and, it seemed, that adding one to one hundred took her too much time.

“Did you get the promotion?”

She shook her head.

“Why did it take you this long, and you’d still, gotten it wrong?”, I’d, blurted it out, can’t believe that the problem was so easy, and she’d, still gotten it wrong. Besides, this problem doesn’t need any calculating.

As my mother heard, she’d, fallen silent, only smiled bitterly toward me, then, marched back to the kitchen.

I Seemed, to Have, Understood Something

Later, my father learned about this, and he’d, called me, and, beaten the CRAP out of me. He was so angered he was, shaking all over, pointed to my nose, screamed aloud at me, “The reason why you’re going to school, is because your mother worked all night, to make the money, don’t you know that? What right have you, to MAKE fun of her? Everything you have right now, your mother gave to you!”

So, that day after I left for school, my mother cried silently.

And I’d become, dumbfounded, with all the bruises and bleeding over my skin, stared at my father, then, I’d gotten that wake up call, of how an ingrate I had been, I’d only viewed things, from my own perspectives.

I’d cried and hugged mom to show her how sorry I was, she’d cried, and smiled, patted my head, said it was okay. From then, it seemed, that I’d, understood some things.

And, it’d been, almost thirty years since, and, I’d recalled the incident from time to time, and, felt compelled, to go back in time, to KILL my own ignorant self.

And now, my dad’s gone to heaven two years ago, and my mom, hair all white, played with her granddaughters, and, waited until I’d visited her back home, she’d, cooked a TON of dishes I loved, and, nagged me on what I needed to be more careful over by the day.

“Mom, do you know how old I am already? Stop worrying, besides, I’m, too fat already, I need to be on a diet already!”, and, although as I’d turned her down kindly, I’d felt that surge of warmth inside of me.

I sat on the MRT, looked at the mom and her cute son sitting opposite to me, I’d called my mom.

“Mom, is it okay, that I come home for supper tonight?”

And so, it took this man until his midlife years, to finally understood why his father punished him so severely when he was a kid, and, he’d known how much his own mother had, given to his family and him, and appreciated how much love he had growing up.


Where Her Persistence Came from

It wasn’t until, many, many, MANY years later, did she finally understand, WHY her mother had, insisted on, bringing her her lunch at school every day of her childhood days, translated…

During my schooling years, the school did not provide the nutritious lunches, either that the students buy their lunches out, or that they’d brought their lunches from home, I was, the latter. And, it wasn’t, necessarily accurate, saying that I brought my lunch from home, because my mother would deliver the lunches to me at school in person, and, the foods were still, hot, and, I’d never tasted those lunches that were, reheated from the heating boxes in school.

instead of letting her child have meals like this alraedy made, not my photo…

And still, it’s a bit, asking too much, having mom bring me my lunch every day. Back then, we had a small grocery shop, every morning when we wake, we’d, waited for the customers to come, we’d not have any time that’s our own, don’t know when the shoppers are coming in, or how many of them will visit the shop, or how much time my mother would have, to cook me my lunch. I could never understand, why she just, didn’t make the lunches the night before, or early in the morning on the day, and just, let me take it to school with me? What I’d not told, was how bad it’d felt, having, to wait for my lunches being delivered by her at noon, and, as the rest of the students all went back into class, to have their lunches, I’m still, waiting on her, and, it’d made me, panicky.

Until one day, I’d grown up, and my mother said to me, “dad said, that the steamed lunches didn’t taste good”, that, was when it’d, dawned on me, why she’d, insisted, on bringing me my lunches every day to school when I was younger.

this was, what her mother had done…查看來源圖片and then, taken it to school to her daughter…not my illustration

And so, it wasn’t, until many years later, did this person finally, realize, why it was, that her mother had, brought her the lunches from home, it was because of how much love the mother has for her daughter, because her husband said, that the lunches that were, reheated didn’t taste that good, and that, was why this woman had, stubbornly, kept delivering the meals for her own young to school.


The Bond of Siblings, on Filial Relations

How close they’d become, after they’re, older, and they’d still, fought hard as children, translated…

My younger brother called me, to get me to visit my mother’s home, to pick up the month-old celebratory pastries for his granddaughter’s birth, I’d gladly agreed. Thinking of how from before, after he’d gladly, married his daughter off, the very next week, he was diagnosed with cancer, and after the chemotherapy and operations, he’s now, a happy grandfather, his life was like taking a bath in the sauna, hot and cold, all, mixed in together.

Come to think of it, I wasn’t, a fitting eldest sister to him. I’d taken him to act up when we were young children. As I’m already, going to elderly, every time around Mid-Autumn Festival, my mother still repeatedly, mentioned my most embarrassing moments t—every year, my house would make a keg of grape wine, to share it with everybody in the neighborhood around Mid-Autumn Festival the following year. It was the year I was in the fifth grade, my younger brother, the third, on the day when my mother went shopping at the marketplaces, seeing how there are, no adults around, I’d told him to open up the closet, to get the wine kegs out, with the name of “wine-tasting”, but it was, because I was, gluttonous and didn’t care of the consequences. The two of us only thought, that this drink was so aromatic, and so sweet, we’d, drunk it all up, as my mother finished making lunch, she’d found, that we weren’t, quite right, that there was, half a keg of her brewed wine missing. And, the two of us had a serious hangover the entire afternoon, after my father got off work and learned about this, he’d gotten, so furious with us, and, we’d, gotten punished, and, sent to the doorways, to kneel, so the whole neighborhood could see what we’d done. And on the Mid-Autumn Festival, my parents’ dreams of drinking the good wines, all went bust, because of us.

illustration from the papers…圖/蔡侑玲

There was one more time, after the return to the school after the summers, the two of us rode on our bicycles, not wanted to head home yet, we’d ridden past the Tainan Park, and decided to go fishing in the pond. But, what do we have to use as a net? My brother was witty enough, he’d taken out the assignment books and the texts from his back, used his backpack as a net, we’d, had a good day of “fishing together”, and, at the end, we’d still, wanted to take a few fish home with us. As the two of us, fools returned home, the water already, dripped out of the backpack, the fish, almost dead, what was worse, was we’d, forgotten all our assignment books in the park, as my mother went back to the park to search, it was, already gone. Such an awful thing, we’d not had any lunch that day, and, gotten ourselves, a real hard beat down again.

Don’t think that my brother and I are best friends because we never spent time apart, as we got into an argument, we’d, thrown the punches and kicked one another real hard, neither one of us wanted to lose. I’m not as strong as he, couldn’t win in our fights, so, I’d, come up with, alternative ways, to screw him over. Once, it was January, I’d lost the fight, and I got, so angry, I’d gotten a bucket of ice, and while he wasn’t watching, I’d, pour it all into his shirt, he’d hollered out in pain because of the coldness, that taught him, to TRY and mess with me again!

After he married, he’d started in business, but was, never good at it. After he’d, declared bankruptcy in business, he’d started working odds and ends, and, spent all the money he’d earned on the betel nuts and the cigarettes and the wines, making my parents worry over him. In recent years, his children are all grown and started their families and work, his household economics got better, and, time flew by, he’d gotten to the age of being a grandfather now.

Seeing how he’d, shaved his head because of chemo, and how round his body became, with that smile on his face, looking more and more like a cute version of the smiling Buddha, I’d felt glad, that the cancer he had, was gone, and I’d, started, cherishing the times we shared, and, the past when we’d, made trouble for each other and our mother will be saved in my memory forever.

Those were, your, wilder days, and, the two of you, although fought like siblings had, still loved one another deeply, and it didn’t matter how hard you two had fought as young children, the important thing is that you two are, supportive of one another, and very close as aging adults.


First Time I’d Gone Shopping

How driven this child was, once she’d, set her mind to something she wanted to get! A memorable childhood memory that’s for certain, translated…

You probably don’t recall when you went shopping for the very first time, and what you’d bought back then, right? Well, I do, amazing, right?

Your mom must’ve told you about that time. I know that’s, what you’re, thinking.

But, nope.

Before I give you the answer, to this, ultra boring question of my life, perhaps, you’d still recalled that illustrated book. Written by Ryuko Tsutsuji, illustrated by Akiko Hayashi’s “First Time I’d Gone Shopping Alone”. Keiko, who was only five, first gone shopping for her mother to buy milk, it was, such an adult task, also, a grand adventure. There were the bicycle that rammed all around, she’d, tripped and fallen, with the loose changes, rolling all over the streets…………I’d recalled how as I’d read it to my daughter, she’d, clenched her fists. After all, crossing the streets, shopping on one’s own, it’s such, a grand adventure for a young child.

And, the very first time I’d gone shopping on my own, it was, thrilling, to say the least. But, there wasn’t, crossing any intersections required of me, I’d only needed, to walk for a short bit, then, I’m, there. I’d gone to buy a pacifier for myself, wasn’t for my younger siblings, or anybody else, not the kind that you put on a bottle, the one that I’d, sucked on for comfort all day long.

what the children’s book look like, image found online…第一次上街買東西 的圖片結果

I’d still remembered what that beloved pacifier looked like to date, made of rubber, yellow, very huge, very chewy; it wasn’t like those, smaller sorts, the ones made of plastic, for the sake of comfort that came later, there was, a round board toward the middle, that looked, too weakly. My “yellow” was, thicker, with the center hollowed, not separated by the parts, very full of force when I’d, sucked on. And because it was empty from the back, I’d even fill up the pacifier with water, freeze it in the freezer, and turned it into a pacifier popsicle for myself in the summertime, and, it’d tasted, even better.

I’d turned, very innovative in how I’d, sucked on my pacifier, I’d felt so very, proud of myself, at that young an age, I could be, a GENIUS! But, this had, impacted my father even more greatly! Because I was already five, and still sucking on my pacifier. And legend had it, that if you keep sucking on the pacifiers, your lips will turn outward, your teeth would become, crooked (the term oral stage wasn’t heard of back then), back then, there wasn’t the corrections technologies to correct the crooked teeth, and my father worked really hard, to get me off of this bad habit of sucking on my pacifier, worried that I may have crooked teeth when I’m older. He’d put chili paste, mint oils, and put an assortment of stimulants on it. But, as a five-year-old, wouldn’t I, go and wash it out? Later, my father was forced, and he’d, punched a hole on the front of my pacifier. And it can only be used, to drink milk, because if I’d, sucked on it, I am only, sucking in the air. And so, I’d, cased aside my five-year-old pride, gone shopping for a brand new one.

what the writer was trying to buy from the shop…image from online…

If you’d asked me, how much a pacifier cost back then? Ahhhh, although my memories last like a goldfish’s, but, I still recalled, that shiny, cute pacifier I’d bought for myself, for half a dollar. I was like the young Keiko, with half-a-dollar coin in hand, my heart, thumping very fast, gone shopping on my own, I’d, worked up the courage, told the shop owner, “I want a pacifier, please!”, I was about, five, back in 1972-ish???

And, maybe, you’d, questioned, “LIAR, your dad wants you off the pacifier, where did you get the money for it?”

Well, that’s, another inspirational tale, for another time………

And so, this showed, the persistence of this woman at age five, and, she’s not getting off her pacifier yet, because it offered that sense of security, that sense of safety she’d needed in her life, and, there’s no need, to hurry to wean your children off things, just allow them to develop naturally, of course I’m not saying, that it’s okay, to send your third-graders to class with a PACIFIER in her/his mouth!!!



Feeling kinda, nostalgic here, translated…

The heart of the afternoon sun refracting outside my windows, carefully, looking into my house, the light that’s refracted with the corners of my windowsills brought me back to the old days. Lifting my gaze, the familiar sight, pulled my busy steps to a halt—a wheelchair, the final thing that my mother ever used, it’d, accompanied her, until the very end of her life.

Seeing that wheelchair reminded me of my mother again, and, my tears started, flooding me over, it’d, blurred out the skylines, and, the teardrops, collected into a huge drop of water, with the nostalgias, the memories of her, filled in. I’d, stared at the wheelchair, and saw how the years had, turned, with the wheels that kept, cycling. These years, we’d gone all over the places, up the mountains, into the oceans, kilometer after kilometer after kilometer, we’d, journeyed together, gone back to her former home in Marabang Mountain to recall her childhood days, the Sun-Moon Lagoon for that boathouse stay and the cable cart rides, the Dragon-Phoenix Harbor to see the larger ships and the sunset………my mother’s smiles, bloomed in midair.

photo from online…

The wheelchair also, accompanied my mother to the hospitals, in the rain, the wind, or even, as the humidity rose, trip by trip, without any word of complaint, it surely, was, a good helper. Before she had this “assistant”, when she’s injured or ill, and needed to go to the hospital, we’d, lifted her, and, the stresses of caretaking had, slowly, reduced the patient’s dignity. The unfortunate paralysis, and can only lie in bed until she died, such, an awful end! The wheelchairs had, blessed many of whom who were, kept bound by their immobility, the handicapped individuals, with the help from the wheels, slowly moved along, met up with the springtime, sitting on the wheelchairs, allowing the sights to, enrich their brand new lives.

Looking over, the streets, the parks, the hospitals, what sort of a state of mind do the wheelchairs carry? Those who were, still thinking about their younger days, and looking at the photos of their younger selves; or those who had become, dumbfounded, forgotten what year this is. Comparing what’s happening next to the wheelchairs, the colorful people, with their, newly learned Chinese, coloring the faces of those who were, wheelchair bound, trekking down toward the sunsets. And, we’re, no longer, keen on those who were caring for us being our blood, the foreign nurse’s aides and the wheelchairs, became the new scene that’s, hung up, at the turn, over every corner now.

I’d, pushed the handles along slowly, why is it, so heavy? Turns out, it’s, my mother’s, care and concerns for us, and her memories too. The steps she took were, no longer intact, but, the thoughts of missing her so, glistened, in my eyes, the wheelchair carried my mother and the life she had with her family, the laughter, the sorrows too. The setting sun painted that picture of blessing, I’d, cut off that colorful sunset, and, wrapped my love, my wishes in, written down these, words of gratitude, hung them on the back of my mother’s wheelchair, a sort of, a scent of, eternal, nostalgia.

And so, this, is what this woman remembers, as she saw her mother’s wheelchair again, it’d taken her back, to when her mother was still alive, and the memories they shared with one another, will forever, stay fresh in her mind, as the wheelchair will continue, to be a reminder of the interactions they had once shared together.