Ghost Month
(Part 1)
Ho Lin
[Total Pages: 20]
Lin Page 1

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Bundled in a poncho, sweat indistinguishable from rain, he waits out the thunderstorm underneath the awning of a video store. Rainwater dances everywhere, off passing cars, the vinyl seat of his scooter. His hand rises to his mouth and nose to ward off the fumes belched by the latest round of traffic. Soon, he thinks, maybe five minutes more. Summer cloudbursts are like clockwork, arriving at 1:30 p.m. on the dot, dissipating fifteen minutes later, sweet ionized air left in their wake until the early hours of the evening, at which time the smog crawls out again in a triumphant mass and the cycle of pollution and cleansing begins anew.

His glasses are fogging up. He does not wish to move. Movement creates kinetic energy, more kinetic energy results in more sweat, the body becomes that much more uncomfortable. Figure another five minutes, a few more miles. He will be late. A bitter sigh escapes him as he flicks his fingers over his lenses like windshield wipers. The world reemerges, foggy glory surrendering to the lumpy brick and soaked shingles of the run-down apartment buildings opposite.

The latest American movies are on display in the video store window. Funny how the Chinese translations of the titles have a sameness to them: Killer Woman. The Marvelous Killers. One Second to Death. He likes these titles -- they have the whiff of honesty to them. He recognizes