Propaganda Down the River

What happened in this story, happened just a few hours ago, and a good 2 months after the last story. I am not supposed to write about it today. I was supposed to let it rest in my mind, until proper ideas and reflections could form so I could decide on what to make of the life experience and how to express it in words. But how could I treat a milestone of our relationship that way?

“Everything has been choking today,” he said while nursing his water bottle.

I looked to my right, straight into his eyes. It was hard to make out colors in the weak sunset light, but I could see the light brown marbling eyes shining. A lackluster shine. He seemed tired.

“What’s wrong?”

“I ran away from home.”

Subdued voice, as if the sound struggled to get out but ended up grating itself again the throat like sandpaper.

“I’ve been having this very strong urge to see you. It’s become a physical pain, being unable to see you since the last time we met. And frankly I’m a little bit scared.”

He was 46 years old. He was also married.

“Listen to my voice. It’s barely there. It’s so repressed.”

We were sitting on the bank of the Saigon river in District 2. Half-finished high rise buildings, conjoint with their lived-in counterparts, littered throughout the other side. Ho Chi Minh City has never been so bright at urban planning.

Small waves came and went. He liked being near water.

We held hands and did not let go until we had to leave. Dinner with mom for me, dinner with his wife for him.

And then I remembered what I told him earlier today. “The world would have been very lawless.”


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