12. June 2013 · Comments Off on Home · Categories: L.. 13 to 15 years

Macau in1950's

The crowd from the ferry clears.   There is no one at the pier for me.   I see a lone rickshaw man.   Will you take me to my grandmother’s house, I ask him.  Yes, yes, he says as he helps me into the rickshaw.

I have only one small suitcase.   He fits that into the rickshaw with me, and we are off in the right direction.  He doesn’t ask me where my grandmother lives.  I guess he was sent to wait for me at the pier.


The gate is open as it always is.  I pull the gate bell for someone to come and pay the rickshaw man.

hibiscus blooms


I see the hibiscus by the gate.  The divided well.   Farther back there is the star fruit tree and the lichee trees near the rabbit hutches.  The custard apple bushes near the steps.  Everything is the same.  It is not a dream.

Why do I think of this place as my home?   It was my mother’s home, but our family has scattered.   I was cast out without anyone saying why.   I am back only because Anita missed her stop.   Yet I feel that I am rooted here, that I belong here in a way that goes beyond common sense.


Ah Ngung comes running down the steps, a toothy smile showing off her new gold tooth.

Titi kisses me on both cheeks as though I have just come back from a holiday trip.  She asks no questions, and that’s just as well.

She takes me right away to my cousin Jose’s office.  He is a doctor.  It doesn’t matter that he is an ophthalmologist.  After a brief examination he assures Titi that I am as healthy as I look.

Titi puts me in her room.  I am to sleep in my old bed.

My grandmother died recently, and her room, next to ours, remains empty and in mourning.


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