Thursday, August 25, 2005

Opening paragraphs of another novel

The rays of sun languidly drift down through the hazy clouds and fall upon the exposed surfaces of Times Square like a blanket of dust gently settling after a commotion. These rays no longer carry the menace of strangling heat. No longer do they strike with untold hate the panting bodies of businessmen wrapped in a stifling cocoon of gray and blue. Yet, even now, as October turns into November, they do not totally forget their memories of scorched earth and sweating flesh. They strike the ground languidly and bounce off seemingly disinterested in the whole affair.The large Sony made screen, which towers over the square keeps showing images of the first Chinese space mission over and over again. An incessant set of images; the rocket blasting away, red communist flags proudly fluttering and a beaming president chase themselves on and off the screen. There is no sound. The cheering masses on screen seemingly muted by the power of broadcast.. The real masses, bored by this endless repetition, pass by unperturbed without even glancing at the screen. An old lady pushes me to get past and this jolts me. I stop gazing at the screen and instead start following this unlikely assailant with my eyes. She is a typical Hong Kong middle-aged woman. Minute but seemingly made of gnarled wood, sandpapered to a surprising smoothness, her light mahogany skin appears anything but creased. I get pushed aside again by the moving crowd and this time I turn around clamping down a rising sense of irritation and find myself suddenly staring straight in to the eyes of a pumpkin. It takes me a second to understand what I am seeing and yet another second to recover from my surprise. I take a step back and silently look at the five foot pumpkin man in front of me. I glance around and spy several more of these walking visions. My head starts to throb, I desperately want to close my eyes and fall asleep.


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