Sunday, 25 December 2011

Make it simple

Thief was scheduled to be aired on public TV as a Christmas special, so I suggested to Jay and CJ that I dropped by at their place with a couple of friends to watch it and have a little get together with drink and food. Ulysses and Benoît were the friends who were to join me but their bailed out at the last minute. Jay had just moved into a new flat in Guandu, North of the city, not far from where I stayed on my first visit to Taipei.
It was Christmas so I knew my whole family would be together for the traditional meal. I had told my brother I would make a call or use Skype. Twenty minutes before the film started, I got to see them from Jay's computer. There they were, my parents, my brother, Mathilde and the newcomer in the family (who was having a nap, but opened his eyes to strike me a little smile), Mathilde's parents and also Julia, who's now part of every Tôn Thât gathering. It was already quite late in the afternoon, but they were just finishing the Christmas lunch. I exchanged greetings with everyone.
"Next year, you'll come for Christmas and stay until Chinese New Year!" my father said said with when it was his turn, he was holding a tea cup in his hands and his voice was strangled by emotion. It was not a wish, it sounded nearly like a command! I miss him so much.
"Oh! One month? That's a long time!" I didn't know what else to say. That I live far away, each visit has to be worthwhile, though by being worthwhile, the visits also become quite draining. Once again, the thought occurred to me that absence is sometime better to handle than presence. Because absence can be shaped and moulded at one's will.  
It's my fourth absence for Christmas. I don't really have any regret. Compulsory official holidays have exhausted all their appeal to me. Am I selfish? I made the effort through the years, Christmases, New Years, birthdays, mother's days, father's days, anniversaries... but I find it more refreshing to show them that it's always possible to create new and improvised opportunities to celebrate. 

The Tôn Thât family
I promised to call them after the film. But I knew that this little video appearance would be enough. We watched the film. We talked about the next one Rowboat, that CJ is going to do soon in a couple of months. Another short film.
I was also happy to be there with Ryan.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Như An


Sometime, a face, a name that has long disappeared from my memory comes back, still fresh and vivid. On the MRT, I can't help associating faces I see with people I know or have known. 
I love to observe children. They bring me so much joy. Was I ever like them? What's going on in their mind? Do they parents hear them, understand them? Youth, children, agelessness. And I connected my thoughts to Như An, a distant cousin of mine I had known since childhood. She was the older sister of Mai An who was our game companion whenever we would meet during holidays. Như An being the eldest (only by a few years), she first saw us as uninteresting beings. She was more interested in reading magazines about royalties. Royalties fascinated her - much more than us, trivial things!
"Như An always acts like she's an adult", I would say to my parents.
But her aloofness didn't last long and she would soon join our games - not the star war space battles, though. A few years later, she was still the same, physically. 
"Như An is never going to grow" my mother told me. "She has a disease and will always keep the body of a 12 year old girl."
"Even when she's 20?" I asked. 20 seemed so remote to me. "Even when she's 30?". 30 was unthinkable.
My mother nodded with a resigned expression. 
"It's very difficult for the parents" she went on. 
She was a very bright and lively girl, and if anything grew it was her obsession with royalties - the British royalties, as well as the story of Grace Kelly becoming Princess of Monaco. She grieved when Grace Kelly died in her car accident, and she didn't miss a single detail of Charles and Diana's sumptuous wedding.
Once, as we were spending a week end in their three-storied flat in Nancy, she mused about inviting the royal family to their place. 
I vaguely understood that her father worked as a doctor for the Royal Family many years ago. But if I was none too much uninterested to ask for more details, I still accompanied her in her fantasy and elaborated a 'plan' with her. Where they would stay, what room, what they would eat, how we would call them... We would get more and more excited as we imagined what we would do with them.
"But I'm not so certain they will deign to come to 'Nancy City'..." she eventually said.
I grew from little boy to adolescent, she kept the same. We went on summer holiday together. I shared my love for opera with her and she enjoyed watching a whole performance of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. At 19, she looked like a young girl of 13. Only the twinkle in her eyes betrayed a certain maturity. Royalty was still much in the topics. When Princess Grace's second daughter Stéphanie tried her hand at being a pop singer, she of course bought the record. The edge of insouciance.
My last conversation with her was a couple of years later, during the Christmas season. We were spending some jolly time with them in Nancy. I was at the peak of my teenager angst, countless altercations with my parents, especially with my father.
After one of those heated fights, I took refuge in the TV room on the third floor. The lights on the Christmas tree were blinking; Như An was sitting on one of the armchairs. She saw I was upset. She asked why. I told her. Now I don't even know what the argument was about, but I remember her, sitting opposite me.
"You know, I also often fight with my dad... I understand" she said. "He's stubborn so he never listens. I can't talk to my mother either. I don't have the feeling anyone really understands what's going on inside..." 
She didn't say much more, but I appreciated her words. And it occurred to me that since she was supposed to stay a little girl, everyone assumed her mind would do so. Behind all the talks about royalty, I suddenly saw that she was trying to imagine her ideal of an ideal family, she being a princess. A beautiful one.  Did anyone have a clue?
A few years later, I was in my early twenties. As I came back from a tour, I saw a plastic bag with some CDs and records inside. 
"Oh, Như An and her family dropped by for a visit. She left that for you."
There were a handful of 7" singles, songs that she liked, songs which made the soundtrack of our happy holiday time (for the best or, more often, for the worst, remember Stéphanie...) and (unexpectedly) a CD of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.
There was no note. She knew I loved classical music. The CD is still on my shelves.
The last time I saw her was again on Christmas day. 10 years ago? 12? She didn't speak anymore. She had completely retreated in her inner, silent world. Still a young girl, with the difference that with all the medication she had to take, she now looked like an overblown balloon. She didn't join us for the meal and remained in her room the whole time of our visit. 
As the parents were having their adult conversation and talking about Mai An's upcoming wedding, I went to her room. She was lying motionless on her bed. Only her breathing betrayed that she was with us. And the twinkle in her eyes, although nothing was said. I sang a little song.
"I'm better here than outside", her eyes seemed to say. "I would like to go, but I have to stay... for them"
Did she convey that through her eyes or did I imagine it? But that intensity, and the softness in them. She seemed happy to see me.
Her father came into the room to check whether everything was fine. He was glad to see me with her.
"I would be so happy if you could convince her to go have a meal with you. Something, anything..." he said. Poor man...
I know she still lives (is that the right word?) with her parents in a more modest flat near Paris. Her sister got married. The elder brother so far is still a bachelor and still angry with his father. 
Như An would occasionally visit me in my dreams. Of course, in them, she would talk and laugh, yet still remain a little girl physically.


When saw her for the first time, I smiled, like the other kids from the music conservatory. Françoise spoke with a high pitched, nasal Minnie Mouse voice, dressed up in a fashion that would make one think of her as a crossbreed between Little Red Riding Hood and one of these archetypal vintage images of the typical family - she would be the daughter. Two long braids and a pair of thick glasses completed the picture. What else? She was also twice if not three times our age and was always accompanied by her mother, a quiet (resigned?) lady in her sixties. She had the body of a woman (albeit more the Leslie Caron type than the Jayne Mansfield type) but her brain was that of a girl of nine or ten. Françoise was always there whenever I would go to the conservatory to practice or attend a class. I don't know how long she had been studying music there. Years? I guess whether she progressed or not didn't matter, her social life was at the conservatory. She would sit with us at the choir sessions, was seen at recitals given by friends she knew. She was always jovial. Sadness never seemed to touch her. Only once did I see her thoughtful and nervous.
"I'm so scared about the exam result" she confided. We came to see Françoise as our mascot. She was one of the key figure of the conservatory. Everyone knew her or knew about her.
Now, more than twenty years later, I wonder what became of her. During the later years at the conservatory, her look matured as she got rid of her braids and sported a shorter hairstyle, which made her look like an old spinster trapped in childhood.  I don't suppose her mother is still alive.
Is she still studying music...? Who takes care of her?

Friday, 16 December 2011

Whatever works

"It's working great. It's too good. It's perfect, perfect, perfect." The Beta tape of Thief will be sent to the TV station on Monday and then we can both sigh of relief - and have a nice dinner. Jay has just come back from the Dubai film festival, exhausted but obviously without any prize - he didn't mention anything about that in our message exchanges so I assumed.
No erhu for the final version. I'm quite disappointed. I was asked to record solo piano versions of the two songs. I came to believe that it would make more sense to have By Nightfall - the opening song, played in its entirety at the end. But Jay insisted in keeping Un Espace vert. "It's working great!" he said. Whatever works as Woody Allen would say.

Listen to:
Un Espace Vert

I nearly finished the music for Pierre est heureux. Bryan is sick at the moment so we will only resume work next week. A couple of more scenes to score and everything will be completed. At last. The year is ending and I'm finishing all my projects. 

Listen to:
Aaken & Tin - To the Sun

A sigh of relief, this time for ChihWei who gave his concert yesterday in Taipei at the National Concert Hall. He and Chun-Chieh, the pianist had been rehearsing intensively the past week, trying to get the best of the little they had, and remaining focused in spite of inner gut battle between the organisers, family and teachers... 
The programmed was oddly composed. What was originally supposed to be a concert with a spotlight on ChihWei became a double star billing once young prodigy Chun-Chieh entered the picture. The pianist being more famous than ChihWei, matters couldn't be done simply. Since he had to share the light with his musical partner and he decided to put show off piano pieces in the program. (show off they maybe, albeit usually played as encores...) In the end the program didn't make sense. No direction. The first sonata (César Franck's) was underplayed, due to pressure, lack of rehearsing time... The piano pieces made the whole concert sound like a musical mish-mash. Fortunately, the whole evening was saved by the Richard Strauss's sonata. It wasn't perfect. Precisely because the two musicians were not so confident about the piece, they had to pay more attention to each other, thus creating a true, lively partnership, something which was missing during the rest of the concert. I wish they had one more week on their hands. ChunChieh's technique is phenomenal (the fact that he learned that monumental Strauss sonata in less than a week is telling), his touch pearly. Contrary to what he liked to believe, these qualities were in better display when he was playing with ChihWei. His choice of show off pieces was to say the least, bizarre made me think of those women who get obsessed on a particular part of the body they do not feel confident about, and desperately try to enhance, forgetting in the process that it's only a detail that maybe others wouldn't even pay attention to.
Strangely, the ticket ChihWei gave me just disappeared from my desk. It was still there yesterday but nowhere to be seen when I was about to leave the house.
Bizarre, vous avez dit bizarre?

The concert allowed me to see KunLin again. We had not talked since last summer when I gave him all the documents he needed to make the proposal for next year's concert with Avi Avital.
The project was to have a concert focused on Avi and the Taiwanese traditional music ensemble Chai Found, themed on the Silk Road. I was to compose two pieces and make an arrangement of Béla Bartók' Romanian Dances. It was my first commission to compose pure music. The event was to be held at the National Concert Hall next year in September. Until KunLin found out that Avi was having two concerts in Taipei this coming February. When he confronted Avi, the latter pretended (?) that he thought the concert was organised by KunLin. Maybe he should have been smarter when he elaborated this excuse. KunLin felt betrayed and now is about to cancel the project. Unless... unless he finds another mandolinist - he knows a more famous one than Avi Avital. Or unless the musician plays another instrument. I had told KunLin that even if the project failed through, I would still compose the piece, this time for cello instead of mandolin. Writing for mandolin was a challenge I was willing to take, but writing for cello will be a great joy. This left him with some new thoughts about what to do.
We shall see what happens. KunLin will organise a meeting with the members of the Chai Found ensemble, FangYi, the other composer who was commissioned to compose for Avi.
And there's another project he mentioned, a series of events for the 800th anniversary of the construction of Notre Dame. Dance? Music? Theatre? Cinema? Apparently, it's an open field. He asked me to come up with an idea. The events will be held at the HuaShan Culture Park.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Ebbs and flows

I'm battling. Just by saying so, the thought makes itself reminded that I could simply stop battling, take a step back and realise how pointless and trivial it all is. I do that, then I throw myself back into the turmoil, as if something in me needed that self indulgence in negativity. 
The first few weeks of elation that followed my return to Taipei were quickly followed by this silent tension which I felt has been growing fast inside. Has it been triggered by my (temporary) fall out with ChingYao? Alberto's mute rejection? Do I create the situation where nothing seems to be right in my life? Do I have to blame it on the moon, the eclipse, the stars, the lunar knot - something Nicolas has been telling me about, which still doesn't make much sense to me, or the change of time? ...
Whatever the reason, I'm starting to believe I am in depression. Nicolas had hinted that fact when he was there in Taipei, last spring. Depression, not just since last week, it's been months, if not years, with ups and downs. And the downs are getting more dangerous at each ebb and flow. 
I'm losing the appetite for things, I desperately cling to what I see as my only salvation - work, music, something creative. I don't know whether this image of a lonesome artist is that successful. Work itself has proved unsatisfactory. Finding words to explain it leads me to this familiar conclusion: it all depends on me; then why do I take so much wicked pleasure in dragging myself down?

I find some solace in the company of Brendon and Lesley. They're kindness and light spirit are soothing to me. They want to open the basement and turn into a cosy café for people who wish for a more intimate atmosphere as opposed to the broad light of the first floor. 

I enjoy having ChihWei at home. He's completely focused on his upcoming concert this Friday - tomorrow already! This energy brings me calm and helps me go through this troubled time. The pianist, one of those once celebrated young prodigies now turned adult seems to be creating a tug of war. The young star (or his parents) doesn't want to be just an accompanist - how could he even think he would be, these two sonatas, César Franck and Richard Strauss' are (beautiful) hell to play for the pianist! I was amused to see how in the programme a sonata for flute and piano has now been termed, 'Sonata for PIANO and flute'...
Well, if one has a closer look, it's again the same story involving an ignorant, egomaniac backstage dragon-lady mother who wants the 'best' for her son.

Strawberry boy Ryan popped up into my life. He's young. 22, tall, puppy-faced with cherry lips. Delicious in his eagerness to see as much of me as he can. Also quite outgoing and observant - he's studying public relation. 
I'm like a cat which has been thrown into cold water and is still shivering and shocked to know what to do. But the very fact that someone wants me in this simple and direct manner is comforting. But yes, like Charity Hope Valentine in Sweet Charity, I can't help giving it one more try.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Start the Play

Duke Ellington playing on my stereo. I'm alone (at last) in the flat. ChihWei is rehearsing with the pianist for his upcoming concert next week, Chubby is still working at his gallery, Nana has gone to some remote island near Singapore and I enjoy it.
I just saw Wei Wei (Jasmine) for tea. We finally managed to make some time and see each other en tête à tête after more than three years. I wanted to tell her about my play Before my Eyes. Now the ideas are starting to become clearer - each time I get the chance to talk to someone about it, new details, new angles of approach rise to the surface of light. Wei Wei suggested that I kept everything written down and sent them to those involved in the project, namely she, Isabelle, Tsuyoshi and CJ. That will allow everyone to contribute feedbacks and ideas, and also relieve me from the pressure of having to work on my own and deliver finished a finished play. I'll start settling the base and all the elements I have, also copy passages of books, poems or articles which inspire(d) me and develop from there. That will also allow everyone to follow the process and contribute to the project. I'm glad that Wei Wei accepted to be part of the project. I think she will be perfect. I'm having doubts about Isabelle, not as an actress, but about whether she will summon the strength and courage to leave her worries in France and take the plane to work with us. I have hardly seen her during my stay in Paris. The usual cycle of personal reasons: husband, family, worries, career, life, husband, family, career... When a problem becomes a habit, it's harder to get out of the infernal cycle. I no longer know what to think regarding her. I have to concede that this play was supposed to be a present to her. Knight An delivering to fairest Isabelle a gift of life and creation. But fairest Isabelle remains mute and distanced. And the knight An becomes another Don Quixote.
Wei Wei's suggestion will get things started. Her input and direct involvement will be a good help for me.
She also accepted to be one of the faces for the music video I'll make of Nothing comes to Light. Yay!

Another erhu recording session with WeiJen yesterday. It's always a pleasure to play with him, but I wonder if this session was very that necessary. I don't want to give in to negativity once more. This past week has been a nuisance. I get in cranky mood before I realise it. I attract negative thoughts like a magnet, meditation or not. I question everything and everyone. Rage is always about to explode at any slight opportunity
 Jay seems to like the new music for the chase scene. Good. But/however/nevertheless (...?) he hinted in his last message that the erhu may give the scene (film?) too Eastern a vibe, when the film is actually more American in style and structure, despite the fact that the story is set in Taipei. I forgot that this point was exactly what shocked me when I first saw the film. Jay's use of the Gershwin song gave a very Woody Allen (circa Manhattan) atmosphere contrasted heavily with the story and everything else. Yes, only the direction was American in style. I want to tell him that since he asked me to rewrite the score, he should expect his film to be different and evolve to another place. Now he's in Dubai for another film festival (a film festival in Dubai... I nearly chuckled when I heard that)
The wise thing for me to do now: not taking any decision. Let the week reach its resolution and I shall see more clearly very soon.
A good shag would be the solution for now. 

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Chasing music

Did a dao liao knife massage today. My back feels like battered meat, but the stuck energy has gone. I feel liberated.

Jay sent me a note saying that he liked the new music for the chase scene in Thief. That's a good step. However he liked all the music I gave to him. They just ended not matching the film when he did the editing. How will it go this time? With ChihWei and Nana staying over at my place, I get to pay attention to their ring tones - people call them often, obviously. Then I recalled how a friend told me he had used my song Second Breath as a ringtone. It was what I had to do. Use Second Breath! In the scene, a ring tone turns into the accompanying music for a chase scene at the night market between two girls. I added some percussion, lots of cymbals and redid the piano part. WILL IT WORK????

The dark and bleak days have gone. Stéphane told me we were going through a lunar knot, an eclipse and a full moon at the same time. No wonder! Being a lunar person myself...


I love to listen to guitar music at the moment. Mostly baroque guitar. Bought a handful of CDs: Bach, Scarlatti, De Visée, Rameau. 


Bibbe sent me a patch of new poems! They're beautiful. I already used one and blended it with some lyrics I had written last week - when I met Alberto for the first time [sighs] ...
As a coincidence, she wrote: 

Punctuality defeats me
I'm always late
And my great date goes missing...

The woman is a medium! I couldn't help thinking of ChingYao who makes it the big complaint against me.
But she goes on:
Kissing someone else tonight
Locked in their embrace
While Grace's face
Shadowed smiles
Just out of reach
In that far off place
Always just around in the next corner...

Monday, 5 December 2011

Triple NO

No from Alberto. He told me he had no feelings for me, even if he would have liked it. Disappointment contained. Page forced to be turned. An immense void. It's like planting a seed, watching the first little bud then killing it. What to do? All my fantasies of winning him as a knight would just deserted me. Not again.  But yes, again.

No from ChingYao. I have become the target of his rage and anger. Paradoxically, we are the best of friends. He's my closest friend in Taipei. But this anger that he has been keeping inside for too long is now overpowering him. Strangely, but not surprisingly, the ones who show more love are the ones who get all the blame. 
"You're the trigger of all my anger", he had said last week. 
It's unfortunate. My only flaw if there is one, is that I am late at our appointments. Not always late, but as human nature goes, it's always more convenient to remember the bad things than the positive ones. As a consequence, each meeting wears its share of growing pressure, which would instantly vanish - but not be forgotten, as soon as we would start having our drinks, our laughs and our good time. 
But lately, I felt that ChingYao was less and less himself. I feel truly sorry for him. Was there a way to help? We talk a lot. So I confronted him last Wednesday during Mrs. Sheu's singing lesson. She asked for a pause to answer a phone call, so I took the opportunity to ask: "What was going on?". He didn't want to talk about it, yet he would resume the discussion, then say again that he didn't want to talk about it. People love circles don't we? His uncle had just passed away. He went to the funeral, and realised (realised?) that nobody really cared. He was the one and only one making the efforts (if you use a microscope to watch a bug, you may not see that an elephant is standing next to it). Feeling unloved? Not unknown to me either. Or to many others. But what I didn't understand was this rage. Where did it originate? During that summer in Paris where we first met, four years ago, already, I had detected it. Strong and raw, and overpowering. It disorientated me. It even made me fall sick and feverish for days.
"I also make you wait for me on purpose" he said. Make me wait, change plan, bail out at the last minute, or not telling me at all about any change of plan... Call that revenge?
I felt uneasy. It wasn't fair for me, for our friendship. The anger attached to the complaint seemed disproportionate to my 'offence'. I'm the mirror, of course. Mirror, trigger, whipping boy. ChingYao wasn't the first friend with whom such thorny situation would take place. My cousin Thu Vân, Silvano, Philippe, Nicolas had many volcanic outbursts directed at me. Flashback and I immediately see the bullying and beating up I endured at school, since kindergarten. But my attitude had usually been a passive one. Passive and understanding. Or passive and out of touch with what was really going on. It's not even because my parents have taught my brother and I to respond with kindness and a certain aloofness to violence. Never fight back. Never answer back. Such behaviour was undignified in their eyes.
Compassion, love and forgiveness, said Nana. Forgiveness, especially.
I am trying to figure out what there is to learn in this situation. 
I want to stay away from ChingYao for a while.
"Don't let it ruin your friendship", James said to me in a message today. Ruined it isn't - of course. Of course? But definitely altered.

No from Jay. The music I did for Thief still doesn't matches. If at first, he was enthusiastic about Un Espace Vert as played by the erhu, he now found that it was too strong for the ending and that the instrument sounded out of place, since it wasn't heard any time during the film. (yes, but the erhu was originally intended for the opening). Why not just have a piano version? Now I'm unable to think about any solution. I certainly will tomorrow or the day after. At this very present moment, it's just a frozen state of blank.
I also had to come up with new music for the opening - the erhu sounded too much like a human voice according to Jay and CJ, the music was too deep and sad. Fine then, I did something lighter and more sentimental, à la Misty. They loved it. But until...?
The Bach pastiche which also won his favour in the beginning also got questioned. Too mellow... I replaced it by a scene composed for Les Contes d'Hoffmann, the second pas de deux between Antonia and Hoffmann in Act 3. I reworked on it and added more instruments.
"Too slow", was Jay's verdict.
It was past 11pm. I had no intention to sink any deeper into the shifting sands.  

I saw Stéphane. Taipei is he last leg of his first trip to Asia. In his 'homeland' of Cambodia then Vietnam the previous weeks. Now one week in Taipei. We talked, ate at a food court in Taipei Main Station, had our clothes smell soupy. Topics: Indigo children. Crystal children. It's a lonely walk.
That was our first one-on-one conversation in years. We had a fall out which lasted a couple of years or so. Only recently did we start to patch things up between us.
"Cheer up!" a friend had written as words of encouragement.
Cheering up, yes, by nearly eating a boxful of chocolate and buying two CDs, Bach's Piano Concertos delightfully played by Alexandre Tharaud, and an newly discovered chamber version of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto, by Mûza Rubackyté and the Shanghai String Quartet. Who? What? Where? Thrifty record company (Warner) only put that one concerto on the CD, which makes the running time no longer than thirty five minutes for a full price.
Interesting find though.

Saturday, 3 December 2011


Nana's brother was showing some of his work at the Taipei Geisa show which was held at the HuaShan Culture Park. Open to everyone, this was a good opportunity for young artists and designers to showcase their creation.  Il y avait à boire et à manger, as the French people would say. (You have to keep some and filter out the rest).
Nana's brother's work is based on wood, usually wood he would find on construction sites, wood from old houses. He recycles all of it and turn them into very poetic pieces, be them lamps, benches, chairs or animal shaped objects. His is a very intimate and quiet world.
For the Geisa show, he only exhibited his animal shaped objects, which came as a little disappointment to me. I wanted to see more. I'll have to go to Tainan and visit his studio. The person is made of the same material as Nana. Nearly evanescent, like a kind and silent spirit which may vanish if we come too close.
I relate to this world.

The major discovery was this young boy of nine. I was browsing every stall with Nana when my eyes caught sight of an auto-portrait in pencil. I came closer to examine it. It was uncommon, funny, sensitive and thoughtful. I loved it instantly.
"He's 9 years old!" Nana said. She showed me a short haired boy who was signing some postcards and seemed slightly out of place among this crowd of adults.
The boy, Harrisson had already been painting for five years. 
"He gets immersed into his own world when he paints", someone from his entourage told me.
His parents seemed to know he was a crystal child. Looking at him, I could see the child, the man, the soul all in one. I felt elated and so happy.
"I hope he'll be well looked after and that his parents will understand the nature of his being" I told Nana. According to what she read and heard, it was the case.

The evening was spent at the Escape Artists Café. Brendon and Leslie had organised a hot pot party. ChingYao accepted and planned to bring Nana along as well as many other friends. I had to go by myself eventually, the last minute piece was that they had no intention to go at all. I feel more and more remote fro ChingYao. I don't know what's going on in his mind, but the air is getting chilly between us. Does it hold it against me because I couldn't not use his singing for the soundtrack of Thief? Does he hold it against me for any other reason unknown to me?
However, we had a good time at the hot pot. As I had not brought any present with me for the pre-Christmas gift exchange, I offered to write a song. It was Brendon who was the happy recipient. It occurred to me that if I had to write a song for one of those beauties present that evening, the task would have been much, let's say, delicate. I brought Stéphane who came with the girl who was hosting him. His first days in Taipei - he planned to leave Paris to start anew in Asia, Taipei, developing work with Nicolas. So far, the impression is more than positive. Only Alberto was missing...

I needed some light-hearted moment. Things were getting heavy the past week.

Sleepless moment

"What are you doing? ... Happy new year!" Chih Wei mumbled in a brief moment of apparent wake. I had just managed to kill that one last mosquito with the electric racket. Each time one of those poor creatures meets their doom, the deathly moment is echoed with a firecracker sound. Happy New year!
Chih Wei embraced me as he fell asleep again - we have this tender and intimate rapport now that I cherish. That made it even harder for me to contain an irrepressible laugh.
Now the mosquito dead, I could throw myself again into Morpheus' arms, after hours of restlessness and increasing itchiness due to their loving bites.