Saturday, 6 October 2012

Son Shine

"Do you mind if I bring my six year-old nephew?" Xiao Chu asked me when I invited her and her boyfriend Wei Jen to come for dinner. I was so delighted to catch them after the last performance of Double Yellow Line that I didn't want to let more time pass between our next get together.
Fred and Michael were bringing their dog, and old companion of Michael's named Macy who had recently been sent from Australia after months of paperworks.
I wanted to cook for them. I had just received a jar of home-made French pâté and wanted to share that with my friends. I was also curious to see what I could with this chocolate paste that Ryan had brought home. Salty, spicy... It didn't taste at all like chocolate, yet, you could tell it was made of chocolate.

The six year-old nephew stood for a moment at the door threshold before he stepped in. He was holding a book tightly in his little hands - Angry Birds explain astronomy, and looked up at me.
"您好,我是安!" I told him.
He gave me a big smile with two front teeth missing.
"我是 Hank!!!" he said joyfully. I liked him instantly. One minute later, he had decided he liked it there and was sitting on the white armchair.

The dog, Xiao Chu, her boyfriend and the little nephew, Fred and Michael... I had also asked James to join us. As we were sitting around the table, eating and drinking joyfully, it suddenly struck me how all of us formed a re-composed family. Xiao Chu was an orphan. Hank's mother abandonned him after a violent fight she had with her companion, and returned to her homeland of China. Despite Xiao Chu's brother efforts to spot her, she had refused to get back in touch.
"The boy hasn't spoken about it since" Wei Jen told me. 
The boy I saw was lively, talkative and extremely smart. Even if I couldn't speak Mandarin, I could tell how articulate he was. His drawing were not the simple and clumsy ones of a six-year old's. He already had a sense of perspective and held his pencil confidently.
Such moments deeply touch me, especially since I live far away from my friends and family. One may start anew for a better and more fulfilling life, the warmth and love from the loved ones will be missing.

"No more creative flow! The artist is tired" Hank said as the dinner was coming to a close. He was lying on the floor with a contended smile. He made many drawings and gave one to me.
"He never gives away his drawings', Wei Jen told me.
I took it as a sign of his high appreciation. In my mind, I was already thinking of all the activities we could have together in the future.

Noé and Tamise's faces came to me. My little cousins. How I missed them! And I'm getting sentimental!

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