After work I come home to more bad news: Cathreen has chipped her tooth. I tell her this has to go online. "Some people I guess won't believe all what happened to me," she says. I don't believe it myself. This is the kind of thing that wouldn't seem honest in fiction.
We go back to see the rest of the Chinese movie, Secret, and it turns out the girl wasn't dying. She wasn't hiding her mortality--the secret she was keeping was that she was a time traveler from twenty years in the past. The movie goes on from here for another forty minutes.
This is the kind of thing I love about Asian movies. I saw a Korean film once about two jesters who perform for the king. The first half of the movie is comedy. Everyone dies in the end.
Turns out Secret was not a sweet little melodramatic romance but sci-fi.
I think about Cathreen's hand, her hair, her tooth, the movie. Something here seems significant.
I will never be able to string together meaning as amazingly as life does.
Here are some notes about this project, good and bad:
First, this seems about as accurate to real life as something can get--good and bad.
Second, I guess I've censored myself a little--bad.
Third, what I write affects what I write--good and bad.
(This last one, for example: if Cathreen reads what I write that changes what happens, and what I write, next, not like working with a set past.)
If I dream I'm too tired to notice.
I fry eggs and bring Cathreen her medicine in the morning; I tutor her student again; I come home and wash her hair.
I've cooked the rice with too much water and it all sticks together in one big lump, refusing to come apart. When the grains are too loose Cathreen calls it "flying rice," an expression in Korean.
As I write now the dogs are scratching at the floor in the living room. Some leftover of their primal urge to dig holes.
the project has moved
Read more at matthewsalesses.com
Read the Essays from the Beginning
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