Jin stared at the motorcycle blankly, trying to think about what he was going to do… he needed to change the snapped drive chain, but he also didn’t want to touch the stupid machine. As he pretended to look at the parts, his mind wandered. He had heard that his friends who went to the city to get construction jobs were paid in a month what he was able to make in a year in the country. His mother needed medicine, coming home from her job in a factory when she couldn’t work the long hours that were required of her, but they were desperately short of cash. He wanted to see the world, too, to get out of this little farming hole and see how people lived, like in the Korean series where everyone wore white pants and colorful sweaters, drove nice cars, and lived in sparkling apartments. Visions of a misty, big-city skyline haunted his dreams and made it hard to focus on work at home, scraping a living out of the yellow earth, feeding the pigs, or working for his uncle in the tiny machine shop. As he eased into work, he set his cell-phone on an old tire, and pop music blared from its tiny speakers, helping him to loose his thoughts in a pink-haze of love lyrics sung in a monotone Taiwanese accent.
He was glad he had his phone. Since he didn’t have a girlfriend and had been left behind by all the older kids, who worked in coastal towns, his cell-phone was his only joy, his only connection… it was his life.
© 2013 Guanxi Master