Then came the rain

It rained on the book fair here in Saigon.

Word and water don’t mix.

But I must admit seeing young readers eager to browse anything and everything, even kissing the note books we handed out, warms my heart.

I can relate to why the Happiness Index listed top countries such as Costa Rica and Vietnam.

Money might not equate to happiness despite its buying power.

Except for things money can’t buy: loyalty, happiness, class, intellectual ability and natural talent in the arts. Yes, money can buy arts, but only commercial art.

We are nearing the Sunday evening gathering at my friend’s studio.

Not concert for Harrison, but for Long, our dear musician friend who had recently passed away.

Celebrating a life.  A pursuit of perfection. Of Art.

In my last conversation with him, I promised to live in full (as I always have).

A promise is a promise.

Long’s musician friends who still love him dearly, will have to perform early since they still have to make a living later that evening.

Books, music, and arts. We are here to make our marks in the world, to brand, to make it lasting and influential. To know and be known that we once existed.

Many held a low view of themselves. Others overshot their positions.

I know my friend well. He lived within his means, his range and his circle.

He left behind many people who are still endearing him.

And he had been one of the few with a smile that is hard to forget.

Thinking of Long, I associate a 7th grader with short-sleeves, playing bass guitar.

Time passing, but not dividing, lost but not forgotten.

I hope when I am gone, I can make a few dents like my friend.

Dents in people’s hearts, because they would be uncomfortable thinking of me. How the hell did he carry all those chips on his shoulders!.

I love Long because of who he was.

The rain has stopped. It served its unintended purpose: street washing. Now can my people go to the book fair!


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