Like Well-cooked Mushrooms

“If the mirror’s audience is not us, would it then tell the truth…?”

Her eyes lowered for a few moments, she pretending to grab hold of the “homesick” fish. Then she looked up, put the chopsticks down on the table and stared straight through my eyes. “May be you are saying all that to make me feel better, make me feel happier…,” she appeared to flush a bit, fluster a bit, fumble a bit.

She sighed deeply and fidgeted some more.

“You know what…? I think if anyone…”

So we spoke to one another, sometimes talking, sometimes communicating, sometimes being drunk. And on and on it went. Then we drenched in rain. Then I said good bye. Then I drenched even more. Walking in Beijing never felt more earthy. When it rains in this city in the evening after such a hot and humid day, it smells like dried up cinnamon. Spicy sweet. Like well- cooked mushrooms. Like the lips that just ate “homesick” fish.

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