Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Time, memory, change.  §

The boy goes in for surgery in less than 48 hours. The last time he did this (actually oral work under general anesthesia at a hospital, when he was very small, to correct multiple cavities with which he was born), he was just barely walking and talking. The family unit was intact, though at times strained.

It was a different universe.

This is happening when he’s young enough that he won’t remember what it was like. Years on, he’ll only remember the fact that it happened, as will be the case with the divorce, and with so many other things.

I’m glad that the kids won’t remember much, if any, of this. I hope their memories of childhood are like mine—mostly fog and vacancies, interspersed with very good images, frozen in (or is it out of?) time.

— § —

No job lasts for a lifetime—not in today’s world.

But even when one knows this, the prospect of change, particularly when not expected right away, can send incredible waves of disruption, fear, and the sense of the uncanny through the psyche.


© Aron Hsiao / 2017

I hope there are no changes just now. Yes, I know that there will be someday. I know.

But not now. Please not now.

The hymn of the everyman, before being overtaken (and perhaps at times drowned) by change.

— § —

The most intense experience I am capable of having involves the scent of apple blossoms. Every spring, when I encounter it for the first time, all of reality flickers for a moment.

I don’t know why.

It’s lost in time, like Owie’s surgery and any memories of a nuclear family will be.

“Like tears in rain,” goes the line. So overwrought, yet undeniable.

Why apple blossoms? There’s a significant part of me that imagines that if I could somehow just find out what it is in me—what memory, what experience, what past moment, what meaningful event—that is being triggered and relived, somewhere under the surface, all of my problems in life would disappear.

I would know what it is that I’m alive for. Because though I don’t know why, I am physiologically certain that the apple blossoms are worth being alive for.

— § —

When you’re dreaming, life is unbearably short.

When you’re paying, life is interminably long.

Worse, most of us do both. A lot. And often at the same time.

— § —

All of these serious, well-made black watches. And all of this attachment to steel, to automatic movements.

And yet now I find myself browsing through aging Breitlings with faded cream dials and wondering, since I can’t (and won’t ever likely) afford one of those, whether I perhaps ought to pick up a cream-colored quartz Timex on a leather strap.

What is happening to me?

— § —

I blame the surgery, the job, and the apple blossoms.

I blame change and the passage of time.

I blame the desire to see some things fade sooner than their time and other things to remain forever unchanged.