I pause in the hallway. Two parallelograms of light splash over the floor. I step to the window and there is the moon, nearly full, and the few stars that can hold their own with her trembling and burning.
Light out of the griefstricken sky: moonlight, sunlight, cloudlight.
When I was a boy I would walk out onto the sunwarmed concrete in my bare feet, and the morning would be still and quiet.
I hope I have made the right choices. Mr Fei, Mr Squander, indeed; I have thrown away and wasted so much. Not much time left, now.
No, but actually there's more time. Finally some inkling of reality has entered into my life, and the contagion of my mother's despair and self-absorption is wearing away. It's just light, plain light, ordinary day. Things that must be done. The grand ideas and the despair at being nobody all belong to that world where nothing ordinary has value, that world of flickering Ahrimanic desperation.
My mother has a lift chair, we got for her. It's planted directly before the television, turned ninety degrees from the sofas. When we visit, we have to choose between sitting on the sofas, where she can't see us unless she cranes her head around (which she rarely does), or perching uncomfortably on the bricks of the fireplace. She's kept this configuration for years. Sun Ho sits in a pull-up chair at her feet, tending her.
She's quite sharp now. Sharp enough to have resumed the impersonation of someone who experiences the outside world. But really there's nothing but the television.
That's my legacy, one of them, at least. It's the legacy I declined when I left the cubicles. Or anyway that I hoped to decline. I haven't escaped it for certain yet.
Thank you for the help and encouragement. I have needed all of it. I'm so grateful. I hope someday I can make some return.