⟨ I Know I'll Often Stop and Think About Them ⟩

11-Non-existent Place

IKEUCHI ORGANIC - Organic Air Face Towel

Words & Photography / Holun Tang
Translation / Fanny Chan

我應該是錯誤觸碰了這個世界的警報器,嗚嗚嗚──非常吵耳的聲音無處不在,在車上、街上、餐廳裡、電梯裡,各種的嘈音混在一起,聽起來成了一種高頻率的聲音。我羨慕旁邊在閱讀的陌生人,書頁上一幅藍天的風景照片,她好像聽不到這個聲音。

我開始會在睡夢中驚醒,持續聽到這個高頻率的聲音。身體流了非常多的汗。

I must have accidentally triggered the alarm of this world. The wailing siren fills the air. It muddles with the noises from the cars, the streets, the restaurants, and the elevators producing a seemingly high-frequency sound. I feel envious of the stranger reading next to me. There is an image of the blue sky in her book. She doesn’t seem to be able to hear that sound.

I would wake up with a start with that high-frequency continuing to wail in my brain. My body would be soaking in sweat.

早上好不容易下床,來到鏡子面前,我儘可能不端詳自己的臉,只簡單快速地梳洗一下。整理頭髮便盯著頭髮,剃鬍子便盯著鬍子,局部處理,千萬要避開自己整個臉和眼睛,有時不小心地看到,那雙又腫又沉的眼,實在是過於疲累到連自己也嚇壞。

I can hardly get out of bed in the morning. When I do, I walk over to the mirror, and have a quick brush up. I try my best to avoid looking at my face; I stare at my hair when I comb and I stare at my beard when I shave. To get the work done section by section I’m sure to avoid looking at my entire face and eyes. Sometimes I accidentally catch a glimpse of my swollen and heavy eyes, shocking even to me.

別人好心給我茶包和茶葉,讓我在上班的空檔享用,抖擻精神,後來每每發現有一半茶葉早已過期。不是說我每天忙碌到連十五分鐘泡茶的時間都沒有,只是會議和工作總是看不到盡頭,今天的份尚算完成,難得坐在辦公桌前,身體剎那間會不聽使喚,像一個開動太久的過熱引擎,冷卻下來需要一段不短的時間。我就這樣坐著不動。我只能夠這樣坐著不動。茶再美味,也食之無味。

People are kind enough to offer me tea bags and loose tea so I can take a sip to refresh myself at work. But the fact is they are always expired or go stale when I eventually decide to make a brew. It’s not that I’m so busy every day that I can’t even spare fifteen minutes to make a cup of tea. It’s just that meetings and work never seem to end. Even during the rare times, like today, that I managed to complete my work, when I finally got to sit down by my desk for a bit, my body stopped responding; just like an overheated engine that has been running for too long, it takes time to cool down. I just sat still. That was all I could do. No matter how delicious the tea is, it is tasteless to me anyway.

不知道過了多久,身體稍為復原,四周已經沒人。我走到洗手間,摘下眼鏡,擰開水龍頭,在手心勻開潔面乳,洗掉臉上的塵垢。然後我用毛巾把水擦乾,仔細按摩每個部位,面頰、鼻翼、眼瞼、下巴。毛巾柔柔的,真的非常舒服,這種感覺提醒了我要把心放軟,才可以把結鬆開。「我可以在這個不存在的空間鬆綁。」

我發現,有人悄悄替我暫時關掉了警報器。我抬起頭,看了看自己的臉。

I wasn’t aware of how much time had passed when I finally recovered from exhaustion. I was alone in the office. I walked to the bathroom, took off my glasses, turned on the faucet, evenly spread the cleanser in my palm, and then started to wash my face. I dried myself with a towel, and gently massaged my cheeks, nose wings, eyelids, and chin. The towel is so soft and so comfortable. The softness reminded me that I need to relax myself before I can untangle my problems. “I can relax in this non-existent space.”

I found that someone has quietly turned off the alarm for me temporarily. I looked up to take a look at my face.