Blue August

A guy works in a pizza outlet. Besides this he also has other part time jobs. It's the best way to spend time by working, he told his friend. Money is not what he is after. Everyday he rides on a moped to deliver pizzas, and everyday he carries with him a high-zooming camera and a walkie-talkie which picks up the Police's internal transmissions. Now and then when the a message comes out to instruct patrolling officers to rush to a scene of murder, suicide, smash-up etc, this guy will forget about his pizza delivery and speed his moped towards the trouble spot, close to but just outside the spot. From a distance he watches the photographers of the hit-squads of various newspapers, TV channels etc in action there. He raises his camera, finds the face of the girl he has come for, and clicks the shutter. He leaves the scene, develops the picture, and faxes it to the girl's fax machine in her newsroom without identifying himself. When the girl returns to her desk, she picks up the fax silently, has a look of herself in the picture silently, uncertain whether compunction or contempt is what she feels or should feel, and finally puts it in the same folder silently as she has done with the similar faxes she has received in this 18 months. On this particular day, the guy comes to another scene of crime or misfortune, which he doesn't care, and finds her through the lens again, who is now pressing her camera just inches in front of a policeman who is guarding the scene and in a sort of scuffle with the aggressive photographers. Our guy clicks his camera as he always does, while tears streaming down his cheeks, dripping onto his forearm, down to the elbow, and to the ground. Once upon a time he was the policeman holding the line when her camera ran up to his face, when they caught each other's attention and began their love. But that was then. (From the film Blue August)

Last night I found myself in the big music store again. After a final glance over the bargain CD bins, I turned about to proceed to the cashier. Halfway in my turn I found a woman standing two feet behind me having her eyes lifted and staring at me. She had the same height, the same contour, the same hair style and the same air as the person who deserted me. My turnabout was not disturbed by the sight of this woman in the slightest way. I proceeded to pay for my New Order album, as my mind was in billows, asking myself "Was it her?" Quickly, in a speed uncommon with a client who has come to browse bargain titles but not so fast as to betray any sign of nervousness, I finished the transaction and left the store without looking at the woman again. No regret, on the contrary, I sense resignation and hence a peace of mind. Until that moment I had never been sure I would manage to act like a total stranger to her. Now I not only believe I can, but also understand that it is beyond my capability to act otherwise.

Sam Mok