Sunrise in China


Jon dreamt of a river.

A river, carrying gallons of ice-cold water in swift currents, concealing its secrets – shameful secrets, dirty secrets, secrets as cold as the water itself - fish and tawny seaweed, oil and debris, garbage and ions of heavy metals.

In his dream Jon walks into the river fully clothed. The water permeating his shoes dresses his feet in cold; and as he walks on, the cold covers his ankles, his knees, his stomach, his chest, his shoulders – until everything except his head, small and ludicrously irrelevant against the vast background of water, is the one with the river - dissolved, fluid, evasive, non-existent, gone.

He pushes the bottom away gently with his shoed toes, bringing his feet up, so that he starts to swim on his back, his torpid body just under the water, and only his face turned towards the indifferent sky with clouds as innumerable and vain as the dreams of adolescence. He closes his eyes and lets the water carry him; he becomes one with its burden of thin branches of trees, candy wrappers, sewage, and dead fish with their peeking stomachs turned to heaven and scornful of God, as if saying, look at us, look what you've done to us.

Then, in his dream, he falls asleep, oblivious of his final destination.