Not the best photo of Faye. But the best photo of Faye.
The heart yearns. The body couldn’t, shouldn’t.
佛說：前世的500次回眸，才換來今生的擦肩而過。 As a Buddhist saying goes: five hundred backward glances in our past reincarnations, in exchange for walking by each other once in this life.
「 還記得去年夏天在L.A 的機場 」
I remember last summer, at the L.A airport.
It was seasonal chaos to be expected, but I missed my connecting flight from LAX to SFO. I had been dragging my backpack for the past 3 days to get out of South America; I had no capacity for airport-rage. Then it hit me that I might be missing my flight out of SFO, back to Hong Kong the next day. A new ticket would cost a bomb. But I was secretly glad.
It was late. I stood at United Airlines counter blankly, while a helpful staff tried to sort things out. I wrote her name down somewhere; I wanted to write her a commendation letter. At the telephone booths area, with the janitors quietly mopping in the background, I waited with one anxious Brazilian father, two Swedish backpackers. We were calling operators (probably operating from India) for discounted hotel rates. Globalisation.
We waited for a little while, made the obligatory traveler’s small talk, then the shuttle came to pick us up. The hotel lobby was cold and empty, I chatted briefly with the staff at the concierge while he was settling my check-in. His dark circles were worst than mine. I showered. There was nothing on TV but infomercials.
I sent you a message that I was in town. You were out, and showed up shortly in your soft red cardigan. We drove around looking for tacos. The tacos guy said excitedly that he was from Puebla when we were talking about Mexico. He was amazed that I could understand him despite my lousy Spanish, and gave us two more quesadillas.
Back in the car, you said you could drive me to SFO but we might end up dead because we were both too tired. The quesadilla was delicious. Then you stayed because it was late, “The bed is big!” and “This iPod dock sure looks luxurious!” You randomly clicked on a playlist while I pack, then this song started playing. I don’t believe in serendipity. This was just a 3MB out of 12GB coincidence.
We laid in the dark, in silence. “Is there something wrong with your foot?” I asked quietly. I remembered how you walked up to me at the lobby earlier, your gait was slow and purposeful. “I tore something.” I could hear the hum of the AC. “Yeah. I don’t think I can dance for a while.” The bed was big and soft, the iPod dock had fantastic sounds. I drifted in and out of sleep.
The next morning, we had the complementary breakfast at the hotel. You said, “Hotel breakfast is always so mediocre, but there’s something about it that you will always love. Probably a habit that stayed around since we were kids.” I wondered if that was symbolic in any way.
As we waited for the shuttle to send me back to the airport, I saw a florist opening shop across the street. You were playing with your phone. I slipped away and got you a bunch of wild flowers. I wanted to say, “They are colourful and soft, like you.” Instead, I said: “Just trying to get rid off my dollars.”
The shuttle pulled into the waiting bay. Your hair tumbled past your brow in a wave of black, obscuring half of your face as you dipped slightly to pick up my backpack. You tucked your fringe behind one ear and said, “I don’t do sending offs to the airport. Take care.” and pulled me in for a hug. I wish it didn’t have to end in this cinematic manner, but behind you, the morning sun had started to illuminate the horizon. ✈
還記得去年夏天在L.A 的機場 妳捧著一束鮮花清純的模樣
Sunset Boulevard, Santa Monica.
Above the City, around the highway. 妳就是我的天堂
Santa Barbara, Pasadena. 愛情的幻滅原來才是成長
Above the clouds, round the shadow. 迷失也是方向
The streets of L.A will always remind me of you. Perhaps, that’s the reason why this flimsy little demo, means so much to me.
[Note: Faye Wong rejected 旋木’s original track 戀曲L.A., citing “it was too sweet”. Somehow, someone wrote a new set of lyrics to the tune. She accepted it. The lyricist is the guy on the music video, the girl is really his girlfriend. He died from a muscular disorder, shortly after the song released. He was just 24.]
The only thing better than a Deserts Chang song, is Faye Wong singing a Deserts Chang song. Bootleg recorded during a Chengdu rehearsal. Wish she would perform it live one day.
“Sorry. You’ve dialled the wrong number.”
“Is this Marguerite?”
“No. This isn’t.”
“Marguerite. Are you lying?”
“How long has it been since you met? Not Her Voice.”
“I’ve told you. You’ve got the wrong number.”
“Marguerite, its me.”
“Who are you?”
“Who’s Marguerite? If she knew you were anxious, she’d be happy.”