What to Do While Waiting for Your Luggage to Arrive in a Hong Kong Hotel Room by Eva Stefanidis

Look through the window and into the night. You are a small black dog with a fluorescent collar. A red and yellow eel preserved in fluid. A paper wasp weaving through the air. Breathe. Note the symphony of demolition: the layers of people who built this city now dead. Feel them clogging your throat like muddy water. Reach out and touch the pall of the city that hangs like a ghost. Debate with yourself whether this is fog or pollution. Are you still who you were before you left? Flip a coin. Remind yourself that humans are cities: always on the brink of collapse or perpetual construction. Catch your reflection in a mirrored vase. See that it is broken. That over time dark spots have crept along its shining surface. Resist the impulse to squint your eyes in order to glimpse a version of yourself one hundred years into the future or past. Know that only this moment exists. That there is nothing that has gone before or will come after. Understand that the neon lights passing through a stranger’s water glass is an unconscious prayer: fragile, profound, evanescent. When the lights black out, lie down on the floor. Allow yourself to feel small. Begin to deconstruct the muscles, blood, and bone of yourself. Count all the countries you have ever lived in as though they were sheep. By the time the porter arrives with your suitcases, you are empty. Which means, of course, you are now fully human.

Eva Stefanidis feels most at home when travelling. She lives in Sydney, Australia

Photo by h heyerlein

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