08: Slow Churning
(An unbelievably unhurried piece after https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq1vs75AfE_/)
Standing at the rear of the pier, looking between the narrow window frames, you really could not differentiate where the lands separated. All windows were left ajar, they probably had not been shut or cleaned seeing how grey the panes had become; all of them dusty and blurry. They were not dusty essentially, as they were covered by dust, soot, and water particles, transforming themselves into a surface of coalescence — a semi-transparent façade that resembled the reality of our dreams. On the right was the other side of the pier, with people just leaving the ferry and some ascending steeply returning to the ground floor. Further back the International Commerce Centre stood looming over you, only slightly in front of the horizon, seemingly unflinching to the surroundings. Yet on the left, there stood the Bank of China Tower, once the tallest skyscraper outside the United States, with the two masts at the top expressing the sights of livelihood and prosperity. The architects at least got one of the properties right. Though the Tower, situated like a knife, did not seem to come from the left of our vision: the images that we were looking at were reflected onto the window panes. The dull platinum panes and windows echoed the Kowloon counterpart of the land, as if they did not reach a consensus that on the harbour front, they were livelier than its Island opposite. But dreams were reality still, however spurious they were; they showed you the Real subtly regardless the opaque mask it hid behind.
It troubled me, the feat that was once in front of me to the sides. While I was pondering such topics with teenage angst or acting like the main characters in a music video production, sulking over the edge of a pier, thinking about past loves and present troubles, a ferry had arrived with vintage strings of lights hanging on its neck with travellers from the island. Yet what I did not notice was, in retrospect, another ferry docking at similar times on my right — a ferry that was on its plainer form, just black at the bottom, green in the middle, and a white cover at the top with two funnels.
I remember I took the ferry on the right last time, the one with vanilla design. And once again, standing at the rear of the pier, looking between the narrow window frames, but in early evening; it amazes me the city is now being covered by a shiny sheet of boiling gold. The waves are more calm and leisurely and the tides are still low. The ferry crosses the water gap at ease, strolling under the bright spotlight from the lighthouse and the fortified watchtower. From afar, the island looks slower, though it is still prosperous as usual. Under the dazzling sunlight, both of these experiences do resemble a sight from the past, one where nostalgia reigns and asserts its once-forgotten dominion. Yet it is understandable; the charming ages that had come forth were years of revelry — there were hardships surely yes, but they were joyous and well-earned. I cannot seem to locate where I am right now however, with just short of three weeks’ time, everything seems to have changed drastically. Flats, apartments, or houses of different sorts have sprung up out of nowhere; yet it has always appeared to me that it is the buildings that show me where I am at, to let me know where I am at, and most importantly when I am at.