Drinking tea while gazing down the neon streets of the chrysanthemum city. I sit here alone. I am a stranger in this land, a white devil of the barbarian West. I smile to the waiters and gaze out at the endless throng of people bustling through the streets. For the first time in a very long time I feel truly lost. I think about the reasons that brought me here and they now seem so removed from me. It would be easy for me to believe that my whole life prior to this moment was a dream. I have no connection to my life here, I’m like an old toy washed up on a beach next to the driftwood and debris. Unknown. Unclaimed. The metropolis of the East surrounds me with noise.
Then my phone rings. I flip it open with a quick “Hello” and hear my daughter’s voice respond with a cheery greeting. She chatters on about school, dance class, and what’s been happening in my absence and the slow smile that creeps across my face reaches through my heart and down to the foundations of time. Just like that I have been reconnected to the world. We talk for a while. I tell her I love her and that I’ll be home soon. We exchange other words but they don’t really matter, the contact has been made. We hang up and I depart the tea shop, a spring in my step. The city holds no sway over me now. Its noise breaks around me like cobwebs and the stares of strangers hold no power.
The world is not an objective thing, nor is the mind totally subjective. There is a continuum of reality. In this neon maze I have become more real than the world around me. The road rises to meet me. It knows me.