Days of being wild
The lovely song “It’s Only Time” by the Magnetic Fields is playing on the ipod stereo now, accidentally. It’s on shuffle. Then again not so accidental. I put it on there, along with 2900 songs, so the chances of that coming on at a time like this aren’t completely infinitesimal. We’ve got choices in the garden of forking paths. Last night, after we left work late (Saturday is when we send the magazine to the printer, in a frenzy), and after a group foot massage, David, Yumi and I ended up in a path headed toward the gardens of Victoria Park. We were in a police-controlled, inescapable crowd of hundreds—the last time I was in one was during the Republican convention in New York, though that one was a bit rowdier—who were being corralled because the number of people already at the gardens was already too much, presumably something like 10,000, though I’m not very good at estimates like that. Let’s just say that things were very crowded, and even more crowded than you might think because after all this is
Also, there was great cause for coming out when we did, as it was the Lunar New Year, the year 4703 actually (I know, I know, it crept up on me too!). Because it's the year of the dog (something I want to talk about later), everyone was wearing furry dog hats, or they were looking at mechanical dog clocks that waved their paws, or they were wielding inflatable dogs,. Also, they had inflatable hammers, inflatable batons, inflatable fish ball kabobs, inflatable police shields, inflatable bar stools (those last two being inexplicable in a context admittedly already quite inexplicable).
We pushed, or were pushed, our way through the crowds, passing by all assortment of stands selling household items and toys as useless as the inflatable stuff. When we got out, I grabbed a stick of fish balls (un-inflatable). We made our way back to
Last night David and I watched “Days of Being Wild,” which is Wong Kar-Wai’s 2nd film (made in 1990), an important souvenir of
But then again, not trying to remember (and he also tells his friend this is a problem of his, memory) means that you have no sense of time at all. Ie, you never move. As his friend narrates at the end, “A bird that’s always already dead.” Our days of being wild—what a charged phrase in terms of memory, some great time that we want to remember and yet can’t help but forget—these days are numbered, and in more ways than one. We have to try to remember and deal with all that that means, or we won’t have any days at all.
Basically, I think Wong’s idea is that love is a continual reckoning with and ultimate defeat at the hands of time. We always lose to time, but we also can’t not fight to regain what it's taken.
Our best weapon is memory.
[And then suddenly the music picks up again, and we're moving.]
"It's only time..."