Letter to the random Chinese girl on the 96.

You will never know this – but by the accident of collision you breached the perimeter. Touched me. Gave me a shiver that I was not expecting. That has given me pause.

You will not remember this – but you sat next to me. Your arm against mine, our shoulders brushing, the smell of shampoo in your long black hair, the satin sheen of your stockings, the little curl at the end of your painted lashes. Almost imperceptible breaths.

I could never tell you this in person – but you squashing into the seat next to me not only made an ordinary tram ride memorable but made something else plain. The human warmth of a stranger’s forearm, an inconsequential intersection – yet still the sexiest thing that’s happened to me all year. It is this I took with me when my stop came.

You did not look up. Not even flinch. Just kept stabbing at your phone. WeChat. Instagram. Smiles for the things that meant something to you.

I can still imagine the softness of your mouth – the impossible aching quietness of a sigh. Gentle like those little breaths of yours. These, it’s true, are the chimera I dance with now. Invisible hands. Intangible motions. Whispers not of your uttering. Promises neither made nor unkept. A gorgeous Chinese girl on the 96 – sitting next to me in a pool of spring sunshine.

Whoever you are.





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