Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Shadows of Future Happiness

Despite some indications to the contrary, including this recent blog post, maybe I can be wistful again.

I spent 2 hours last night waiting at the Lamma ferry pier in Central. My girlfriend was arriving from Macau and we were going to catch the 2:30 ferry home to Lamma.

Her employer is a decent sort compared to some horror stories I've heard about employers here. And the fact that she gets to stay out overnight on her day off is proof of that.

When she arrived, carrying a bundle of curtains she had purchased for my place, I felt so unbelievably lucky. I was hot and sweaty and tired so maybe I didn't seem too giddy to her but I was so...relieved.

Relieved that my life has taken this turn and that now I'm in the most normal relationship of my life and it's wonderful.

Living on Lamma means that my life is dependent on that ferry schedule. If I want to meet her late on a Saturday night, there's no sense going home from the city only to ride back in; besides, the last ferry from Lamma to Central is now 11:30 -- a bit earlier than in the past, I think.

So I killed some time having a Tetley's at Old China Hand in Wan Chai. I felt so out-of-place. Not much of a drinker, and with an eye on future domesticity of some sort, I really don't belong there anymore.

Here we are, two lost souls in a sometimes unfriendly city, carrying a bag of curtains home at 3 AM, the banana tree plants swaying near the path, the water lap-lap-lapping in the distance.

I thought of the worlds of difference between us and all of the drama that had colored our separate lives prior to this moment.

Sometimes the mix here seems magical: I work for a Chinese company in Hong Kong and I spent my Saturday having Pakistani and Indonesian curry dishes with an English friend before waiting for my Filipino girlfriend to visit me from the once Portuguese colony of Macau.

And yet, in that multicultural mix of elements -- and the city is surprisingly more multicultural than any of you Bruce Lee fans could possibly imagine -- I found the best relationship of my life.

Who would have ever believed that I'd be able to trade that hell of the Beltway for a commute on a ferry? Or loneliness for love?

And I stopped, at 3 AM in the "jungle" of Lamma to snap a pick of our happy shadows entwined together on the pavement, entering the future a few seconds ahead of us.