music: carsick cars, you can listen you can wait.
We are in Beijing, the royal we, we are wandering, seeing.
I have so much to say but have no idea where to start.
Tonight I was walking around Nanluogu Xiang, wandering into shops, picking up little trinkets. The night is nightly night, and there are tiny little cafes that are just lit so nicely, that make you want to take the arms of your dearest friends and pull them in, sit down in a lovely worn couch, have a beer and talk into the night with your faces aglow from a side, half-silhouetted, noses casting shadows across a cheek, yellow lamps in the corner, the sound of glasses against a wooden desk, the stirring chords of some appropriately familiar music. Amidst this all I was alone, walking, and very happy to be alone, but feeling very lonely, feeling a sudden ache wash over me.
It struck me at one moment walking along the street, as a specific choice available to me, that I could have jumped into a bar somewhere, had a beer, met someone randomly, injected myself into the conversation, could have started laughing together and said something like, 'let's go to another bar!', and all of a sudden things would change, and I would be drifting together within a group, happily. I could have done that, like I did in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Ulan Bator, or the night before in Beijing, but tonight this night for some reason I didn't want to, was too tired to. When I say tired I don't mean physically tired, of course, I mean people-tired, I mean I'm not super eager to meet people, and this comes and goes in waves, sometimes I am, really am, but tonight I was content to be here and curl into myself, content to move on a whim.
And so tonight I walked alone in the streets, just me, and my thoughts, and there are thoughts:
a) I don't know why every time someone does something really great I look at their age and mentally calculate the difference in years between me and them. I don't think it's a good thing. b) I think desire is a muscle, I have this theory, and I think it's a good one. c) I dream worryingly of impending heartache. d) I've been having crazy irrational dreams lately, like yelling furiously at people because they bought the wrong kind of bottled water, or greeting people I've never met before. e) This place feels like home, lately I feel like home to myself. f) I love the city slipping by g) what is it to live and have ambition? what should my relationship to ambition be? ambition is desire solidified as a direction, a concrete arrow cast and stuck in the ground, both productive and constraining, and I can feel myself wanting things, and I want to want things, and I want things already, but also I worry that the path of wanting things all the time = constant nervewracking narrowmindedness (the calculating age difference stuff, and more), and this pace right now is so precious, a few hours at a time, a walk here and there, a little slowness so precious. h) everything can be thrown away, a little, and when you start to think of something as absolutely necessary, that's where I should question it and nudge it a little, because there's always something larger. i) I need to go back to new york and get rid of everything in storage; just throw it away; it's such a metaphor. j) maybe I should meditate regularly, find a method, fall into a routine, thank you herman hesse for the tip. k) maybe I should have routines for routines and routines that are anti-routines of me-not-doing-things-I've-done-before.
and there's l) and m) and n) and o) and p) which are so so so very important but I can't mention here.
later tonight I took a taxi home and the world slid by and we passed by a street with restaurants and lit red lanterns everywhere, and I took out my phone and recorded some video, and the driver noticed and slowed down, and so we glided through this street, awash with red flecks moving rearwards, leaving trails, going 'home' coasting on streets to the sound of carsick cars. now, now, I go to bed dreaming of bikes, trains, ferries, and a loved city halfway across the world.