I am here (which is definitely open for interpretation). I am many places, and I am fixed, too, at a single point on a map. Everything is well and very good. Thinking more and more in Mandarin, and seeing characters in my head, feeling like a child myself, walking and walking and climbing the city. The hustle, I’m living it. The weather here cannot decide if it is winter or spring, if it wants fog or mist, to pour or shower. The pollution is pervasive. We live and love among it. Everything is damp – the walls cry, they sweat, the water oozes like sorrow. They are birthing Spring. The ground – inside and out – is slick and slimy. My skin crawls from the dampness. I itch. It tires. And through the smog, its sting, I can smell spring. It is there. It is here. The birds call it every morning. At this very moment I hear rain falling onto tin roof like popcorn popping, jackhammers, bludgeoning of concrete, feet, rubber to pavement, car horns close by, far away. I know when there is traffic on the hill below this window. I am five stories high. I can measure things with sound from here, see the street with my ears, what bend in the road the drivers have constipated themselves. Car horn, breaks breaking, the singing pitch of that necklace of noise, delivery men passing one another in the courtyard below, more voices, continual knocking next door. I hear the rain far away, picking up, it begins to pour, it is pouring, cacophony of kindergarteners. They dim as they run. All of it crescendos, then breaks, just to build back up again.

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