(ISSN: 1527-5467)
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.


JAN 2003



















(This is a chapter taken from the novel A Place for the Son of Man, Chapter 1.

The chapter has simultaneously been published in Wordbridge magazine,

ISSN:1540-1723, Winter Issue 2002)




      The footpath descending steeply to his underground apartment, which ran along the sidewall of the moss-covered brick house, was slippery with mud, encroachingly narrowed by high grass growing on its sides. Clinging to it was the tip where dead-rat-smelled decaying rubbish lay in dunes betraying the stubbornness of the big bully and ¾the handicap of Marie Antoinette’s blooming rockets the colour of red soil. It was that clammy red colour that smeared the small valley down below. Not far from the house, bushes with spiky vines climbing over its branches, pines with curly grass ferns winding around its trunks, all crowded into the copse that blotted out D Boulevard few blocks away. Traffic noise echoed in sometimes, but dumb was the dejected heavy sky of a sleeping sun. Night seemed to occupy the day with her solitude, distress, emptiness, and speechlessness.

He stood hesitating on the slope, few steps from the soiled, paint-stripped wood door where a piece of pale and wrinkled light lay, uncomfortably, sleeping. His face, weary-old in his early thirties, ill-fated with a nasty scar slashing across the left cheekbone, seemed frozen with the leaden eyes that gawped but seemed to see nothing within sight. The evening was soaking wet after rain. The air liked water, and a fish could swim in it. Here and there, down in the valley, up in the hills, houses bobbed in the vagueness of the landscape. Entangled with the phantom of a blundering-about remembrance he found himself the all of depression of those dull roofs, those half-asleep pines trees, the peppery smell of rotten grass, of damp soil, and in them all was thrashing about the spirit of a haunting place which, far away but seemed near round to be touched, tangled up his memory with the confusion of reality and dream. It was 1968 when he landed up in that land. Gun in hands, flesh target all in the mind, he ran, hid, lay, crawled, and at last stood still staring at the battlefield, found no enemy, no sign of threat to be portrayed as evidence of war. Nothing. Nothing but the peacefully unquestioning houses in the friendly welcoming paddies. But, kill it, burn it, destroy it. That was the order. He ran across fields, set fire on houses, joined the hunt against men and women, got trapped in their strange world, struggled with it, held on it, lived it, then became a part of it. And now here it was. The same face, forlorn as always it has been. The clouds of meekness, the sky of sorrow, the undergrowth crouching under tall trees, and the blades of grass jostling against the slippery path under his feet were harking back to his days in a place of no mercy. Then the muddy field. The smoking hut. He felt it. How real it all was. All was in him. All was out there ¾at the end of D Boulevard agitated yet calm, noisy yet dumb, in the apartment on the second floor of a wretched condominium. It was Daly. It was She.

Daly. No sooner had the name echoed that it got enough strength to turn him round.  He straightened himself, retraced his steps, with stumbling steps again, round again towards the front of the house the doors tightly closed. It was five o'clock. Someone appeared briefly at the window. Not him. He said to himself. The widowed owner had taken his vacation in the south weeks ago. In the upstairs of the house was living now a tenant who had just moved in few days ago. “The upstairs is now rented. To a single, like you. It's a nice upstairs, with the outside private stairway, you know that.” The owner said. But that was a man or a woman the owner did not say, and he did not ask either. Now the one who had been alone was “alone together” with someone. Unexpected cars were parked in the front yard, fast-food wrappers strewn in puddles of water. He frowned, walked off towards the avenue, heading D Boulevard. He decided to walk a long way to that condominium. But a bus was coming near, and stopped. Heedlessly and heavily with deep slough of self-pity he stepped up onto the bus as its door opened, and left behind him his apartment in the basement, the only haven he fought hard to grasp since returning to his homeland, with no identification, no document, not even a single piece of papers to identify himself, after the war ended in 1975.




The rain changed the appearance of the town not in the least, not making it less heavy, and the air, no sooner had it thinned out that it congealed into the damp of evening. Here and there, on the wide walls of huge buildings obscure shadows were more and more sinking, falling; they pushed upwards the stretches of light, making them floated on the surface of the huge glasses.

At a crowded bus stop on D Boulevard he got off the bus; almost fell for being shoved by a heavy man. He gained his balance, walked on, between people and traffic, signs and stores noisy for anything but a friendly word. An old greying in dirty and slovenly clothes approached, holding out his hand for alms; the speaking-eyes were begging at first, then, dumbly starring. He delved into his trousers pockets for a dime, shrugged his shoulders, and hurried into a flower shop.

“Hi there!”   

The voice was from behind the counter. A nice-looking young oriental lady he used to know paced out. She smiled. The white smile. The dim light glinted on her white china teeth. He thought of a bare young ear of corn.

“How are you today, sir?” she paused, looking at him, “Some of the perfect white roses I have today, am I correct?”

“Just some of them.”

“A dozen?”

“Oh no, not that many!”

“You want, like, half a dozen?”

“Yes, yes.”

He nodded, said something, heard something, but it seemed he said nothing, heard nothing at all. The lady went inside for a moment, and returned with a little bunch of roses wrapped up in a piece of gift-wrap. Paid for it, he went out. The old homeless looked at him, then the roses, bleary-eyed. “He must think I am in the money for these.” He laughed, bitterly, but stopped short, found himself ridiculous, for it was hard possible that he wasted his stamps ¾which he had had hard time to exchange them for some pocket money—on such luxury things. The small, untidy place down the basement flit across his mind ¾cold cooker, bone-dry kitchen sink, empty old fridge, bed, table, chairs miserably crowded together in the front room. But, in a sudden, the room darkened, slipped away. A man ran bumping into him, staggering for a moment, and then, running past, melting away into the pavement bustling with people and people crawling along.

When he was about to cross the street he heard behind him running steps in confusion, then, the shrill high-pitched voice shouting, and then, tire stretching, siren blaring. Before he had time to turn his head, a strong hand seized him by his wrist, bent back his arm, and threw him down on the stomach at full length, with the roses thrown to one side. A black shadow fell upon him. In panic and confusion, he tried to hurl the burden away, but felt at once a gun point pressing down the back of his neck. “Don't move”¾ The cold voice lingered about his shoulder. He turned his head a little to see the heavy round face, and the dark colour of the police uniform. The policeman, who with one hand still bent his arm, searched him through with the other for suspected weapon.

“You're caught!” said the policeman, stood him up, coaxed him along, to his car.

A buxom woman, huge breasts dangling, high-pitched voice ringing, rushed up to them flinging up her hands:

“He snatched them, and ran. The theft. My flowers, where are my flowers?”

“Here they are,” the policeman picked up the flowers.

“Gosh, not those!”


The man threw a quick glance at the fat face knife-cut into halves by slitty eyes.

“Of course not!” The woman¾a street flower vendor¾ grimaced, stamping her feet. “Picked the wrong guy, don't you see? I sell daisy, only daisy, from that cart. Don't you see? You let go the theft, don't you?”

The policeman released his prisoner, gave him his little bunch of flowers that was now a ruin. “Well, this is a mistake, mister. You can go.”

“Damn you!” cried the woman. Damn you! He too wanted yelling, cursing. But he said nothing, mustering up his courage to say nothing. He threw the crumpled things into the bin by the officier, then crossed the street, went deep into a narrow avenue. Fifteen minutes later, he found himself standing in front of an old condominium.

The car park was empty. At this hour, poor folks in the condominium labouring somewhere in factories had not yet returned. He entered the passageway, following the dirty flight of narrow steps that leaded up to the second floor. The corridor reached a dead end; the saffron light was locked up, liquid alike, thick. The doors standing in a row were closed. He walked floating along, found himself at last in front of a door. Like any door. But this was marked 16. Why 16? He wondered. A secret number. The numbers, cut from wood, in black paint, no more than six inches in height, were stuck on the grey door with nails. A meaning of life? A symbol of death? He did not know. But vaguely, he realised one thing: their existences were not merely symbols as to be seen. They were, in fact, the "selves". The smaller they were, the bigger heaven and earth they contained; the more immobile they were, the more violent they became.  And the door, as always it has been used to close. To close. He muttered to himself, and sighed, hanging his head to look at the dirty floor. The rose he had brought her yesterday, or the day before he could not remember, remained in its old place. He stooped, picked it up.




There it was at once ¾the old ghost. Beside the path going along the Tidal Basin cherries blossomed pink the lip colour of young girl. Daly stood near the water, her long hair waving in the breeze, her white ao-dai brightening the lake. That was more than enough, he said. You appeared to this country as an angle from a different world. A far away land. Of bullet and bomb. Of fire and blood. Houses had collapsed into ruins. But pure lotus still bloomed in the fields. With you, I had more than enough.

      “Really?” Daly turned towards him, looking at him kneeling one foot on the grass; her eyes limpid as the lake water were drown in somewhat of tears.  “Angel? Please! I was drifted to this shore, dragged to this town, and poverty and misery were all damn things I was granted at last. You know it all. But I wonder, how many of them¾ girls like me, angles as you say¾ did you kill?” Daly smiled, “Look at you. Gosh! It's a firing position, isn't it? You have now no gun, but I still can figure it. Anyone can figure it. Any of them¾my people ¾could see a GI's in that firing position once, in rice-fields, in villages, anywhere.”

“Daly,” he raised to his feet, looking at her with anxious attention.

“Is it not true? I can see it as it's bound to happen, that you are now pointing your gun at me, and shoot, in that position.” She smiled, again.

“Daly, please. It was already ten years now. Ten years, enough for a girl like you...”

“I'm a girl no more,” interrupted Daly in a discouraged voice.  “I'm a woman, married.”

“Yes. You told me once. Me too, not a young man. I was a husband. My wife remarried right after the news came to her that I had been missing.”

Daly cast a sidelong glance at him, said indifferently:

“What is the point of that you say?”      

     “You know what I am saying. It is the past. Daly, listen, it's over.”

“You talk the GI's voice. Over? Burning. Killing. Destroying. Then, over?”

“No more rocket for them,” he said, begged rather, the bitterness was in his tone.

“No, of course not. I don't mean to criticise. But the truth is that you kill!”

Waiting for no more saying from the man, Daly turned back, pacing away. He followed her silently in a short distance. Cherry flowers fell broken on the path. It was not so cold. But her appearance of sorrow and loneliness, her frail long dress of smog¾ it seemed, her paces lighter than air on the so solid soil of America that the steps of a walking mountain could not shake it, all made he feel all had been frozen and the winter suddenly emerged onto the pink and the rose of spring. At the path-end, Daly stopped. He paced forwards:

“Did I kill? No, I didn't. The war did it!”

“Oh, please!”

He stood silent. Daly raised her head, looked at the obelisk-like shaft soaring into the sky, in the distance.

“That monument is built to commemorate George Washington,” he explained, after a long pause. “There is a black wall about, engraved with the names of fifty thousand men died in that war. Died. Daly, they all died.”

Daly frowned, looking away, gazing at the leisurely floating pedaloes in colours in Tidal Basin. On the other side of the basin stood the white marble tomb of President Jefferson. And walking, standing, sitting on the long and large steps down below, in front the expensive marble platform, were tourists and local people.¾ No, they are nowhere in sight. All those men are dead.¾The thought flit across her mind.

“They all died. Daly. Tell me one thing. That you don't think I just went there to kill or to be killed.”

“No,” replied Daly, and then paused for a moment. “Oh Heaven, what am I trying to say?”

He turned towards her, absorbedly looking at her. It was the same oriental ivory white face, childlike-but-experienced-looking, which he had ever seen in those cities, in those villages he had gone through. Gun in hands. Mouth shut. Eyes opened looking for eyes that opened to the death. And he saw it. He saw it in the nightmare he hoped to have gotten away, in the daydream he wished to have died with. The young lady, face soaked in tears, was kneeling over the bloody bodies of her husband and her only child, cried rubbing salt into his wounded soul the night he understood he had no enemy in the land of both hatred and love. The crying spiced with bitterness his appetite for peace. And the eyes. They were the same black and round eyes, endured, questioning and suspecting, but full of compassion that now made the refuge for his homeless heart. Did I kill? Didn't I kill? Oh gosh, is that important so? He shut his eyes. No, I see nothing. 

“I see nothing. It’s over. And we must try!” He said.

     “Try what?”

     “Try to live on. And we live together.”

“Bad joke, you know.”

“No, it's not a joke. I need you. And you need me too. Alone, you are not going to survive!”

“Hey, playing the big hero?”

Daly looked at him. After a short moment, she said:

“I need you. Yes. I need you because you are all the man I want to be with for now. But, despite how much I need you, I can’t marry you.”

“Why?” he cried.

“I can't, that's why. As you say, it's over. And I don't want to look back. I can marry a man, but I cannot marry the past. This you must understand.”           

“I understand nothing at all!” he interrupted her, hurriedly.

     “Don't pretend you don't! Let me have my say again: With you, I can't. Know what I mean?” Daly laughed, bitterly. “Tell me, what do you expect from me?”

     “My life. Daly, my life!”




     The voice echoed. But when he looked straight up again at the number bearing no meaning to him at all, he knew that was a hopeless voice. There was the sound of a key turning softly in the lock. Some one was just coming home. He knew it was about 6:00 pm, and peoples living in the condominium who left at daybreak for a long day of hard work were bound to return. He stood still for a moment, waiting for the tenant entering his apartment, turned back then, walked hurriedly towards the stairway. As he was putting his foot on the step, he stopped. Down below, at the foot of the stairway it was Daly standing motionless. Her gaze was on his face, her back against the wall. The dark-yellow light got thicker; yet the short flight in front of them seemed to be a long distance. They stood speechless for some time. A woman's voice echoed in from the car park; he descended the stairway.                    

“Is it you?” said Daly.

      “Yes, it's me,” he smiled, gazing at the smiling face of the old ghost in flesh,     “Shall we take a walk?”                                         

     “Yes, of course.” Daly said, turned walking towards the door.

He followed at her heels. They walked slowly along the condominium towards the street, then heading D Boulevard. Daly was still quiet.

“Are you afraid of being seen by your neighbours?” he asked.

“No. But why?” Daly stopped, looking at him.

He gave no answer. They resumed walking. Seeing the books in Daly's hand, he asked:

“Still going to school?”

“Necessary evils. I should try. To learn a bit of something.”

     “Yes, yes, you should,” he said eagerly.

“But last week, no. I was away, not in town.”

“I see.”

     “See what?”

     “No. Nothing,” he smiled. “Give them books to me to carry.”

Daly gave him the books. A police car dragged on to a stop, and out came a man's voice:

“Hey, you guys must use the sidewalk, you know that?”

He led Daly by her hand onto the sidewalk. The car drove off. “Must they bother with people standing here or sitting there?”

“He is fine,” said Daly, stood leaning against the trunk of a tree.

Time at day-end stood still between awakening and sleepiness. Light sank gradually. Here and there appeared lumps of darkness. Suddenly, he fell down on his knees, wrapping Daly's feet in his arms.

      “What are you doing?” Daly horrified, squatted on her heels, and pulled him down onto the grass.

     “Daly, please!”

     “Please what? Silly, giggly, you know?”

     “I feel lost. Daly, I terribly feel lost. I extremely feel in fear, I belong to this place no more. I belong to any place no more. I am losing my grasp; please give me your hand. You must be my life! I must have you; otherwise, oh, what a terrible thought! Daly, I must have you, or I will kill you! No, no! I don't mean to say that. Oh, please forgive me,” he was rambling, “I don't know what I'm saying.”

“Now, now, killing, destroying, you say it!” Daly laughed, aloud.

But the laugh, which seemed to have no echo, died out. They sat wrapping their knees in their arms. Silent. Someone had just passed. A piece of newspaper flying with the wind landed on his face, fell then down his chest. He remained sitting motionless.

You must be my life! His sad voice echoed. She looked at him. Me? Why me? My life was gasping for air. I dragged myself to this town. I was in, but my life still out there. Shit. ¾She repeated the word learned from her classmates¾ You happened to be the spare one after the last terrified earthquake. It was beyond my memory that how we met. How we met? When? Where? At school? In the streets? I could not remember. I wanted not to remember. I came to this land not yet awaking from insane dreams and nightmares. Firing bullets chased me with zeal, running me blind towards the border escaping boat. Then, the days of being drifted to nowhere in the sea. The months of living the life of the death on that island. My heart was drained of blood. My arms were shorter and shorter before uncertain hopes. I need somebody. Living with dead bodies that haunted my memory, I need somebody in flesh and bone. But you? No, I dare say. The past in ruins tied up my hands. My husband, face in blood. My son, chest in holes. And that cottage ¾small as the bird nest on a feeble branch. The GI's rushed into it with his smoking gun. It was in over ten years, yet I could see him now. Know what I mean? Here. There. Everywhere. At the school. In the street. In the super-market. In the park. I saw him on each single face I used to see daily. And even on yours, oh gosh¾ yours. You don't have to kill me. I'm dead! You did kill me. I’m dead!




She could not believe she was sobbing. He could not believe he heard her sob. It was the secret voice of his whole being echoing from the deep cave of his mind. It was his voice. ‘My son. My husband. See what I mean? But they just killed them. Just like that, you killed them.” ¾“Me?” ¾ “What is the difference?” She raised her voice. He sat stock-still, did not know what to say as something in him pushed him pressingly. His mind was gone; he felt limp, and melted into the teardrops on Daly's face ¾the haunting ghost appeared out from the night of her hair. Now, now, you share me it! He thought. It was life. Life filled him with joy, pity, happiness, and unhappy happiness. Life was real, touchable, and was next to him. He put his arm around her shoulders. Tightly, he squeezed it.

“Daly, please don't cry! Please don't cry!” he murmured. “We must not be the miserable, must we? Let's clear up the darkness.”

Daly gave him a look in perplexity.

     “How? It's in me, the darkness. Don't you know? It's me. Yes, it’s me.”   

“We must try.”

“I will try nothing. Because nothing is important now!”

“You don't want it that way.”




Is that the way I want? Withered, worn out, I am dying like a queen-of-the-night dying at three o'clock in the morning without seeing the sun. It seems life is somewhere. Do I want to cut short my hands, as the promising happiness is so close to grasp? And what would be then? What is left of it all, the whole of my life, besides my dead body drifting away uncertainly, besides the painful memory crumbling me in pieces with its daydream? Is that what I want?




The wood board was drifting, drifting, in the sea colourless as the sky the colour of emptiness. The sky was empty. But full of water. The empty sky was full of water. Daly sat clutching at the canoe sides with both hands, cried bitterly. In front of her, the wood board was drifting, drifting, on the still surface stretching into the distance where the line of sight snapped, where the air solidified into stiff rock in all directions. She looked to the left, to the right, laboured to change her sitting position to face what was behind her. All was the silence. Only the canoe softly wagging. Only the sea lightly breathing. It was not life, but the accomplice of death. She cried and cried. And again, felt down in a faint. And again, recovered, in vagueness. 




Two fishermen, naked to the waist, capered before Daly. She drew back, slowly away from them, towards the side of the boat, trembling, stretching out her hands forwards, and cried. On the opposite side, a group of border-escaping men were forced into a corner. They squatted on their haunches, looking desperately at their wives who, stark naked, sat flat grasping their knees or dragging their buttocks about on the uneven wood deck. A little girl, unconscious, lay naked at full length on her back; her arms and her legs spread wide apart. There were about ten of them, the fishermen, who stood yelling, laughing, and flinging their arms about. Some with guns. Some with knifes. Some with their trousers dropped to their knees. Daly put the tip of her tongue between her teeth, but she was shaking, could not bite it off, to die. She turned to look back down the sea. Another face of death. The roars of huge waves dashing against the boat. The laughs followed her close¾ by her back. She turned immediately and was terrified to see a scarred face in just two feet away. The fishermen stood still then, watching. Behind them, a woman, bosoms and buttocks and thighs smeared with blood, was crawling forwards, inched up inches by inches. As coming close to one of them, the woman, with all her strength, reared up, locked one of his legs tightly in her arms, sank her teeth deeply into its dirty and dark flesh. The fisherman cried out painfully, struggling. But the woman, clinging to his leg, bit deeper and deeper, curled up to bear the deadly punches from above. ¾Damn you, fuck you!¾ shouted the man as he hurled her away. She raised herself on her hands, mouth full of blood, threw him a sharp-knifed glance, waiting. In less than a blink, the fisherman in front of Daly flung himself forwards. He raised high his long knife, and¾ with his rope-like muscular arm he threw a hard blow down onto her head, split it in two. Blood poured out over the deck, jet onto the thighs, the buttocks, the bosoms, the faces of the naked women. Someone among the sitting men made a move. For nothing but silence again. No one would dare to talk. The fisherman with his wounded leg turned quickly towards Daly, leapt in front of her. Crazy with anger, he cursed through his clenched teeth, grasped the chest of her blouse with one hand  lifting her up, put the other at her belly, then with all his strength threw her out of the boat, sent her falling sinking into the sea. A report sounded lonely on her falling to death.




As Daly opened her eyes she saw a man lifeless as a ghost sitting with empty eyes in front of her. The violent waves, the border escaping boat, the boat people, the fishermen, the naked women being raped, the crying, the yelling, all disappeared. Daly could not think where she was. In front of her, the man kept sitting still.

“Gosh!” Daly looked round about. She remembered then how she had been thrown full force against her death.

“You save me?” she muttered.

      “I can save nobody,” said the man, without looking at her, “You're here, because you're not dead.” He paused for a moment. “But my wife, she died. They go inside her. She must go out. Comes back no more.” Suddenly, he stood up, screamed at the top of his voice. “No mo ... re ...” The canoe was rolling. He sank back to his seat, stayed still. Daly gazed at him; a vague thought crossed her mind that he went insane. But, she too. Most of her mind had been gone; the rest was paralysed. The two sat face to face at arm's length, looking wearily, witlessly at each other. The light grew dim. The sun was like an iron ball, brightly flaming, about to dip into the water. The man fell to sleep for a moment, then started out of it. He looked intently at Daly with his eyes were then full of darkness.

“Take your clothes off!”

“How do you mean?”

“Take off your clothes!”

Now, now. Daly muttered to herself, dragged herself backwards, just a little, then stopped. Do it, as you want.  She closed her eyes. I'm dying. I'm dead. You're not going to make me. You're going to make a corpse. The man burst into laughing, making her a sign to sit still. 

“All girls died naked,” said the man.  

He didn't mean it. She thought, was at ease, but kept looking at him with her sleepy eyes until his lifeless face became the darkness. At about mid-night, Daly's strength gave out, and she collapsed to the canoe bed. At a moment, she felt the canoe terribly rocking; the earthquake in the water crumbled the massive black crystal night in her. But still, she could not regain consciousness. Not until the next day, as the sun baked her flesh she awoke, alone in the canoe, realised that the man had disappeared.




I was left alone, waiting to die, in minute, in second. I cried, then my crying started to frighten me. It liked the wounded wolf howling. It liked the dying dog wailing. Many times, time stood still and froze hard in my brain. It caused a loss of sensation in my whole isolated being, and I said to myself ¾Die. You should die. You must die. Sleep, and don't ever wake up again¾ Not the death I was afraid of, but tragedy, thing appeared out of nowhere. A cloud falling low, a strange smack of wave on the side of the canoe, a gust of wind cool at day and warm at night, all made me listen, with strained attention. My mind tensed to the point I wanted to die at once, to disappear at once, like the man¾threw himself into the thick darkness, into the inky black water. But I could not make it, partly because I lost the sense to act, partly I could not manage my body now dried from thirst now fainted from hunger. I sat looking at the opposite end of the canoe, at the place where the man used to be, tried to figure a face, but no human face I could recollect. What did it look like? At the end of my tether, I tumbled down the canoe bed. But before falling into a dead faint again, I stretched out my arm, felt around the place where the old man had sat for a vague thought of the existence of life.




You're right. We should try. I must have somebody about. I know the loneliness. Sometimes I wished I had said yes. But how? My husband with his bloody face. My son with his chest torn down to his heart. How could I be insane to forget? Be mindless not to remember? To be with you is to be with the tragedy of my life, to be with my crippled past. How could I drag such a life?

Daly looked uneasily at him. The night grew dark in his eyes. She pulled him up with her.

“You should go home.”

     “I'm at home.”


“No place is a real place for me, except where you are.” He shook his head. “I will go to nowhere!”

“Here's to you! Stay here then, you real goon,” she teased, “be a fool in the street!”

“I would rather be a fool in the street.”

“No more playing. And this is just a bit part of it.” She took his hand in hers, squeezed it then released, took a pace backwards, stood hesitating. “Listen, I must go, from this point.” She said wistfully. “Don't be a ridiculous fool. You already said, remember? To live with the past? Uh uhh, no way! Why don't you try to forget? Don't tell me you are. You want to marry me? Just because I am “something” you keep trying to hold on? Love, hatred, the gain and the loss, the regret you feel for hopes that could not come true, the pity you take on your youth had collapsed in ruins, all those stuffs are still hiding somewhere in the dark corners of your head. That's it. Yes? Then be with it! Don't drag me in. It cannot be me. I'm part of it, I know, but I refuse to be. I want to start anew. Or may be, I just want my life!”

“Correct! Let's start anew!”

     “Then, we must part! We, the past, must part!”

“Please do not say so!”

“To live on, you bother with something related to that no more!” Daly said, rather muttered to herself.

“To what?”

“The hell, where I have just come from!”

“No, I'm not!”

“You are! Something related to that damned hell is me. It's me, don't you realise? It's this damned me!”

     Daly said firmly. A little longer she stood, then turned, walked down the pavement. At a distance, she looked back: “It's me!”

He said nothing. He stood seeing her off. The books in his hand suddenly became heavy. The heavy weight of a gun.  



                   N. SAOMAI ¾From A Place for the Son of Man




Editorial note:

-“Marie Antoinette’s rockets”: Rockets is the cultivated flower of ancient Rome, and is Marie Antoinette’ favorite flower. In North America, it spread into the wild.

- Queen-of-the-night: One spices of flower.



 · THE WRITERS POST (ISSN: 1527-5467),
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.

         Volume 5- Issue 1- January 2003


Copyright © 1999  N. Saomai / Nguyen Sao Mai & The Writers Post

Nothing in this website may be downloaded, distributed, or reproduced without the permission of the author/ translator/ artist/ and The Writers Post. Creating links to place The Writers Post, this page, or any of its pages within other framesets or in other documents is copyright violation, and is not permitted.


Return to current issue

Return to Contents