It feels noontime when we are picked up at the airport. The mass of sun remains grand beyond the grey clouds, leaves a subtle glow on the edge of everything. Slates, flower bushes, smaller cars. I don’t remember this mountainous road leading home, but the balmy wind that rides with us is familiar: 18°C, slightly humid, tropical-scented.
We come upon that magnificent hall carved into the cliff and ride underneath it. The solemn wood engravings of the ceiling that have seen all of Chinese history, watch us through the speckled sunlight, acknowledge us.
Strangely, in a way that I have grown unaccustomed to, we are in no rush and stop by the roadside for lunch. Watching the locals cooking for us in a straw shed, I can’t say a word, but take it all in: I am home, after a decade, and the intimate connection I feel with these locals proves it. The remainder of the ride is similarly timeless; until we hit the Wu-Hua Street where I grew up. – My mom is revving a Vespa in front of neighbors, with that same old macho confidence – the best welcome-home scene I can imagine.
…The siren goes off, and disturbs my staring at the ceiling. Outside of the window is still Bedford Avenue and the rest of Brooklyn. I feel almost relieved. The trip back home to Taiwan in real life is set for May, and I have been overwhelmed by the idea, and everything of it. This daydream helps me somehow.