There is no end in sight to this rain which has continued for a whole month. During the first week people still grumbled about it, but they later got used to the rain and started to adjust to this new norm of life unanimously when the rain entered its third week: buses run faster than private cars, but the subway is still a little bit too dangerous to ride; everyone loses their interest in dressing up, so their tussled, rain-soaked hair liberally covers their untanned face, which is a result thanks to the lack of sun exposure; office workers are still holding up their umbrellas as if it’s their last sign of decency, while more and more people start accepting this kind of weather.
The sea level keeps rising, reaching the midline of the seawall. A wave splashes over and devours the seawall.
My teacher is still giving their lecture in the classroom. My school locates at the highest point of the city. The continuously rising sea level won’t affect us.
I stare blankly out of the window. There are always people carrying luggage on their back and walking toward our school. Meanwhile, fireworks bloom into the sky over the sea at a distance, weakly and silently, one by one.
The teacher pauses his lecture, so I return my attention onto him. He looks out of the window and whispers, “The seawall seems to have become lower.”
I follow the group and walk in the middle of the line. Ruins occupy the streets as we pass by; fireworks light up the sky when we look up. There is no sound and no soaring momentum. Fireworks fly up into the sky, and then tenderly float in the air as if they are fireflies or willow catkins in spring. Our captain, who leads the team in the front, orders us to walk faster. I am not good at running. I am out of my breath before I can run any longer.
Someone is carrying me on his back when I wake up. His back is so warm that I covet his body heat. Looking around, all I can see are high-rise residential buildings. Inside, residents are hitting their own doors with giant hammers. When they see our procession, one of them starts yelling at us, “Look, this building has become brittle.” In that moment, I realize the things that look like fireworks are in fact viruses, and they are eroding everything.
I remember a dream I had many years ago. In the dream he said to me, “Paralleled lines are also romantic. Why do they have to intersect?”
“I think we are just like two paralleled lines right now,” I told him in my dream.
So, did we really turn into two paralleled lines which will never cross? I didn’t want to give in back then. I took out my tarot cards, chanted in silence, shuffled the deck, and pulled out three cards which spoke to the past, the present and the future. The present — a Devil card. The devil looks like a Baphomet. Below him there are two chains tying down a man and a woman. This card is ruled by Saturn. That was my first time pulling out the Devil card.
Someone shouts out loud in the stone cave. The noisome voice resonates over the rock walls. Cold air emanated from the gloomy cave during midsummer fails to frighten anyone, so birds which dwell in the cave curse at that self-conceited person with their own screeches. Underground river water from billions of years ago flowed down and corroded the strata cracks, which eventually formed this stone cave. Billions of years, such a time duration exceeds my limit of knowledge. But the stone knows, and leaves us proofs. The rock strata above the cave look like a miniature galaxy, which is no more than 100 meters away from me. Billions of years. Billions. Of. Years. Astronomers say that the Saturn’s rings will disappear in 300 million years. It makes me pity myself, because I can’t even predict my life in half of a year.
As we see from the Earth today, Saturn and Jupiter conjunction happens again with a gap as minimal as 0.1 degree. Genghis Khan died in 1227. The year before his death, Saturn and Jupiter overlapped just as close to each other as tonight. Dynastic vicissitudes had taken place in China around that time, but Europe was still in its medieval period. Internet astrologers exclaim in excitement, “This is the start of a new era!”
In any case, such belief accords with the history of Mayans.
Oh, I forgot to mention. Today I met him. I ran toward him in strenuous effort and hugged him tight. Now, both of us are wearing thick and bulky protective suits which resemble massive zorbing bubbles inflated with gas.