To Write About a Sunset

Tyler Golec

Photo Taken by Joshua Chon-Pah Hernandez
Photo Taken by Joshua Chon-Pah Hernandez


“You should write about this,” Josh said looking at the sunset over Taipei. A bright blur sinking into the derelict and aluminum roof tops.

“The sunset?” I asked. “I think I will, in some way.”

“Yeah man,” Josh said with his camera out. He had put down his beer for a moment to try and take the best picture of the sun. Not the easiest job on the moving MRT. “This camera is alright,” Josh mumbled.

I would see the picture on Facebook. Josh, isn’t couth, polite, quiet, well mannered, or even very well dressed. He could stop the world in an image though, so that all the strife, maladjustment, delusion, and repressed potential of a moment could be brought to awareness – to consciousness. In Josh’s pictures I saw life. I saw what I constantly fail to create in words.

“Sometimes it’s hard to describe something like the sun without slowing down the story,” I said. “I try not to use huge words. I write for people, and I want to them to understand, not be bored or confused.” I drank from my beer. “And you need to make it feel different. I can’t just say that the sun is bright yellow and hot.”

“Yeah,” Josh said. “Fuck big words. I like that. I like when I can understand. You should write about it though.”

We got off at Shilin Station and found a Family Mart to get more beer. The Taiwanese watched us as we fulfilled stereo types. We watched them as they fulfilled theirs. We found a bench and Josh talked. I mostly just listened.

He talked of Korea and China. He talked about, racism, isolationism, and the variety of plagues that seemed like the trend in any community where diversity lacks. He talked about old jobs, old friends, lost friends, and lost love. “She said she couldn’t marry me because I was a foreigner.” His words didn’t convey the nonchalance he’d wanted. He was silent for a moment, eyes lost – looking. He found his answer in another drink of beer.

He talked of America too. About how rock and roll had died. About how Jack Black had killed himself in a bathtub, and how they hadn’t kicked the door down in time. His friends had to confront Jack’s sister. She called then, “His good friends.” Josh could only lament that it was with them he’d died.

It was the sun dying now. Just a faint glow somewhere, barely holding off night. I spoke to, of life, love and dreams. Not as long, as Josh. He had chased ambitions, ideals, and desires for over a decade longer than I. despite his assertion of failure, he continued to spin together experiences people twice his age would never have.

We continued to walk again. Dodging scooters on sidewalks and wandering into alley way temples. Past a too hot husky, with fur that reminded me of home.





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