Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yesterday upon the stair...

The world turns and folds back upon itself in ways too strange and wonderful and frightening to anticipate.

Five days ago I wrote a post about Hello Kitty bling and what an oddity the whole mouthless-cat-Japanese-manga-iconography business is to me. It was a silly little post, distinguished only by the subsequent visit and linky luuurve I got from the Blue Gal.

Until yesterday. When I got a comment on that post from someone called "Andrew", who was flogging something he called the "chinese life" store on Shamian Dao in Guangzhou. He included a link to the online marketplace for this shop. The minute I clicked on the link I was back in time over a year.Another adoption mom we know described her time on Shamian Dao as "hazy", but to me it's as hard-bright as yesterday. Lucy's Store; "A House of Love" (in the picture above, center left rear). Heat. Strollers, cheap toys, wierd pointillist stonecarvings of kids, kids and parents, the fraying delicacy of closening exhaustion. Boredom. An irritated but faintly removed curiousity, like the subject of a racking examining the torsion mechanism pulling him apart. A simple comment, and I'm reliving one of the most boring yet strained weeks of my life.

How inexpressibly odd.

You only think you've escaped the past. Then when you least expect it you meet yourself upon the stair.

"...I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
I wish, I wish he'd go away."


walternatives said...

I wish that you had been able to see more of China then The Island.

FDChief said...

W: Me, too. The little that we did see (Baiyun Park, Chen Clan Academy, Six Banyan Temple) made me jealous for more.

And what's more, that link to "Lucy's Store" brought it all back; Baoxin, the fear and frustration and boredom and heat and anger and confusion that still represent our time in China. Perhaps the worst part of our adoption story was the first (at least, I hope it will be!).

It seems like a petty thing beside the awful story that was Baoxin but the loss of that time, the time to see Shaomei's SWI, to see anything more of her home city and country, rankled me then and still rubs at me now. With luck we will be healthy and prosperous enough in ten years to go back and visit.

But we may not - I'll be in my sixties, the economy may still be crap...

And I seldom think about that time anymore, preferring to enjoy the fiesty little girl I dropped off at daycare an hour ago with her teddy and her juice and her wubbie and her little bowl of cereal.

But those emotions and that time is still there. And every so often something hauls them out of the stairwell and slaps me across the head with them.