Nihilism In China

Shadow Window Millie Ho

The sky is a cataract sheet.

When I got my hair cut, I asked the hairdresser if his hands hurt from repetitive movement. He laughed and said that the problem was his back. “I’m six feet tall,” he said. “In this occupation, 170 cm is enough.”

A professor once told me that people are nails. “If you stand up, you will get hammered down.”

You’re supposed to sleep after lunch.  I trace the walls I ruined as kid and listen to stray cats meowing like they haven’t had a squirrel in ages.

Hot water runs three times a week. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, I watch my hands shrivel and turn pink. I regret painting my nails red before a funeral. Not even Chinese New Year could make up for my blunder.

“Hey,” someone calls. “Hey, girl in the long coat.” A man staggers towards me in the street. He wears a black hood and his hands are in his pockets. He has a familiar air about him, like he was somebody featured in a newspaper you read a month ago.

“I know you from somewhere. Aren’t you that person’s daughter?”

I say something and his face folds up in disappointment.

It’s another place that isn’t mine.

17 thoughts on “Nihilism In China

  1. Otto von Münchow says:

    I love your way of writing – as in pictures at first unconnected, but then slowly start to impose their idea upon each other. A very emotional text spurring all kinds of thoughts. And I love the picture – the actual one. It’s adds depth to the “story”. Very nice.

    • Millie Ho says:

      You can say this is a nod to the superb narratives in your photography, Otto. Like your post about improvisation, the photo is the framework, and the creativity is in the words.

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