Reading too much into it here! Translated…
There was a public phone by the outside of the bookstore, hung on the walls, like a punctuation mark, and nobody ever comes to use it. In this era where everybody has a cell phone in hand, who will be so nostalgic, and used the public phones to call someone up? Or maybe, it’s for the foreign nurses’ aides pushing the elderly out for a stroll? Or, the younger generation of men and women who call each other up in the middle of the nights?
Nope, none, perhaps? The migrant workers, the members of the younger generation, they ALL have cell phones now.
There were two recycle clothing boxes by the old phone, where everybody would drop their used items in. Because as I moved in, the afternoons were leisurely for me, and I’d often, stared at that public phone, which nobody ever uses, and felt sympathy toward it. There would be passersby outside, and would look at me with curiosity, and I’d wondered, if they feel the pities for me, like I feel the pities for the public phone? Was the secondhand book store too retro, and it’s, right next to the library.
Perhaps, I’d, over interpreted it, the bookstores aren’t as sorrowful as the public phone, and I’d liked to keep on believing optimistically, that this, was the life I’d wanted, and I’d still needed to, set things up in it.
Looking at the public phone, born, in the era of Internet and cell phone, it’s hard for you to imagine, how much emotion had, passed through them. Even Superman changed into his cape inside a phone booth, before he’d, flown up to the skies to save lives.
On the more ordinary occasions, during my years as a student, I’d pretended to go out to buy things, to take out the trash, to use the public telephones to call up my lover, because I’d not wanted my family to spy on me for it. And, the even more nostalgic scene, at the army bases, every time there’s break, the group of men, lined up by the phone, to talk to the ones their hearts belonged to. The phone started disconnecting after three short minutes, no more money left, and, even if there are so many things left unsaid, what’s left, was to say “goodbye”. And, heaven only knows, how difficult the goodbyes really are.
In the era of the public telephones, the nostalgia wasn’t only just elongated, it can also, be measured too.
And now, everything’s happening too fast, too instantly, nobody would write a song for a public telephone, like Joan Baez, because she’d received a call from Bob Dylan, and fallen into that older time, recalling the cufflinks she’d bought for him once, that prodigal son who’d, drifted into her arms once, the loves in the past became forever like the diamonds.
something that looked like this…photo from online…heading into EXTINCTION here…
Or like in the movies, where Andy Lau’s character in the movie, although he’d never imagined the female lead calling him up, but every time he’d passed by a phone booth, he’d stopped for a bit.
And now, probably nobody holds that imagination, expectancy, loss or ecstasy toward the public telephones anymore. Except for me, because there it stood, night AND day, outside of my shop.
One day, I’d finally stood by the public phones, and recalled how a friend I’d missed very much, but had lost in touch because of a misunderstanding, and I’d felt, just like this public phone that’s waiting for the call, but never gets it.
Suddenly, the woman from the homeowner association that lived on the second floor wanted to head up, she’d stared at me who’d become, dumbfounded by the public phone. And so I’d asked her, does anybody use this phone? She said, sure, a lot of people, in fact, Chungwha Telecommunications just came by to replace the machines. Look, it was originally green, and now, it’s blue, isn’t it?
But I’d thought for a long while, and still can’t come up with who uses the public telephones now.
And finally, it’d, dawned on me, in this huge housing complex, perhaps, those who are out forgot their keys and cell phone, and they’d called up their families or the locksmiths. The public telephones are for the sakes of emergencies only, there’s NOT that many emotions attached to them as I thought.
And so, you’re, probably right, there’s NOT that many sentiments attached to the public telephones, and you’d, read too much into it, but that is how we get our inspirations in our day to day living, sometimes, the smallest, barely noticeable things, are what rouses up that strong feeling inside…