Beijing has welcomed me CON LOS BRAZOS ABIERTOS (with arms wide open), and has granted me the opportunity to discover miscellaneous ways to mend solaces and reconstruct illusions, since we live in one world and one dream. Beijing has taught me of the delights of a January that is soon to come, April’s secrets and December’s longing… all of which I am to embrace. I am a believer now that in Beijing I will always see what my eyes need to see.
Olympic are the moments when the plane lands and my first sigh in Beijing is like a promise. Purple the ink I use to write my poems in heartbeats on the gray sky: Beijing is many times my first wish, my yearning for a new Friday, a walk around Yonganli under the full moon; the prodigious possibility of a Saturday and a holiday; and the childish illusion of a new pen and a new piece of paper to write upon.
Always, the ambiguity between reality and intangibility, Beijing possesses the blessed flow of air that caresses the flag at four at dawn; the grammar of a language which has become my sweetheart despite my struggle to speak. Beijing always, always Beijing; always Wangfunjing and the gluttony sins in the shape of food I dare to try no matter what; always the first brownish read in the first autumn falling leaf; always the perfect memory of rain over me, even when the suns is fond of making me sweat and burn at times.
As was my desired land when a child, Beijing can be my never and my always, my Christmas and my birthday. There will always be a manufactured memoir of Xian Hong Xi planting flowers, Wu Jia playing chess with his father, and his mother asking me to get ready for dinner, in a voice that urges me to get ready for my salvation. There will always be that man on XinHua Dong Jie strategically arguing with Mathematics as his voice recites a poem. There will always be a man with a child in his eyes who is a grown, strong, wise man trapped in the body of a boy claiming he likes music by Ely Guerra. There will always be a river carrying the bottle with a thousand messages that speak about the boy I was and the man I have become.
Beijing will always be host to the taste of home-made Baozi. It will always be the house of my friends Carlos Vera in his black shirt, cooking Mexican food as I pay a visit to him and his girlfriend, who also wears a smile that carries the legacy and premonition of that kind of knowledge that recognizes ageless affections.
The streets of Beijing will always remember my first fragilely spoken Putonghua, sounding like a timid ingenue at one moment and full of universal wiles the next. These streets will always embrace those who live life as the man who plays the piano as if he was playing solitaire: always the memory of the corner in a garden, a basket of fresh dates, always a cup of green tea latté and a loaf of Hongzao bread… Always my undeniable new Asian family and my long new infancy we altogether 一起 made.
The art of writing and the art of happiness were taught to me as one indivisible unit. For such heritage I have no currency to pay back. United and allied, art and joy, together with words and enjoyment, conversation, myth and legend, syntax, will, fantasy and lexicon; Beijing is now perplexedly entwined with them. As one thing I see Beijing- my childhood place and the history of this world I have lived in to be precise. As one thing I see the city I want to go back with no truce, as if I was just going back home for a sip of water.
It is paramount to accept the generosity we are given by others, because it is also paramount that we learn to look at them with the same kind of generosity. Adventures, such as life itself, are an unpredictable gift… I guess that is why my new dear ones always tell me: Rafa, Beijing Huangying ni!
Oh… And in Beijing, I am a celebrity!!