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Like Vietnamese Spring Rolls on a Rainy Hong Kong Night

I walked out of the elevator, and the rain welcomed me. Outside, hitting the concrete hard, were April showers, fast on the feet of a few days of blazing heat. It was about a quarter until eight, and I hurried for a friend awaiting me near St. Mark’s Place.

A step out of the elevator and a step of the left to escape a table’s hard wood, I noticed a girl to the northwest of me—smiling, beautiful, with shiny curly hair. With glistening eyes, she waved and I got confused: Why was she waving at me? She’s beautiful, why would it be that I couldn’t remember her? Keeping my feet in rhythm, I slowly walked toward the left, a direction that did not lead to my destination. I needed to go to another location to compose myself, to decipher the mystery of the girl.

And suddenly, among visions of momentary strobe lights and loud music and afterward thoughts of 75 cent hot dogs at Gray’s Papaya came visions of her face and voice and suddenly I realized who it was. And by this time, I only felt dumb. How could I have forgotten her face? This question has no answer. It happens.

A few minutes later, I walked past her once again, waving back. She smiled and my heart caved. Sometimes chances fly away so easily in front of your eyes, mostly because you let it.

Sometimes it’s not laziness that holds us back, but the big caution sign that flashes before our eyes before an intended action. Sometimes our mind can’t calculate fast enough, our fuzzy transistors all going buck wild. Sometimes I’ll say something and do something else or not do anything at all. Sometimes it happens and we don’t realize it. We can’t stop time. We can’t jump space. We can’t do things that would let us undo a thing or two.

I walked out into the rain without an umbrella and streaked past two avenues and a few streets on the way. Sometimes what’s there for you is more important than what could be. And for that kind of speculation, taking chances against hard knock truths of reality isn’t worth it.