Shanghai, CN   200433
Houston, TX   77005




01. Light, Air & Intimacy   2022
        Site: New York City, NY
#CLT #Concrete # ZoningLaw

02. Lot’O’Food   2020-21
        Site: N/A
#Polycarbon #Concrete #UrbanFarming 

03. My Walk is a PROSE   2021
        Site: Houston, TX
#Polycarbon #Steel #ChinesePainting

04. .......
pROSE    no more


Identity Issue #1

Ridiculously Normal

01. The Garbage Guideline

02. Emotion Testified
        Color film

03. Black and Whites
        4 by 5 big format film

04. The Redness in your Beard


Ridiculously Normal

Imagine yourself in a flight cabin, seated by the window, and imagine the background music is the Chaldas Tango, a liber tango. Actually, play it right now if you have anything that can connect to the internet and make a sound. Then imagine yourself staring outside the window, begin with three groups tresillo by the harp, you look at the door of the aircraft next to you open slowly, and people start to flow off, one by one, holding their suitcases and turning around once in a while just to check if their travel partners are still following behind. A man wearing a bright yellow jacket then pushes a little cart towards the aircraft and lets the people put their belongings on it, with them standing in a line just slightly tilted, starting to put his hand on those passengers up and down, checking if anything is wrong. And then, one of them sneezes. As this guy sneezes, you feel the flight moving forward, ready to take off. The man next to you fastens his seatbelt, his belly bumps up and down with the plane, and that's when you start to think about some encounters earlier.

So with the same music, imagine yourself now in a space a couple of hours earlier, just stepping into a bookstore right next to the apartment you stay in. This little man who seems around his thirties comes up and says hi, asking if there's anything specifically you are looking for. No, you say, you then give out this smile, normally it would be an indifferent smile, but this time instead, you make it intentionally sweet and genuine, because it is a nice day, and he seems nice and helpful. You step out to a shelf with picture books, open a book with a hardcover of 16k size, and it's all German inside, you then ask if there are any English books. He leads you to this little section by the display table, and waves his arm to show you all of the English collections. Where are you from, he asks, America? No, you say, not America. You look at the book titles. Frog, Pigeon, Dragon, you wonder why they are all about animals. So you turn back, as it is an intimate space, and it's narrow. You go back to the picture shelf again, pick up the same book, look at the doodles inside, and ask what is it about. It's about a monster, the man walks next to you and holds the book, carefully reads the title and then scans the pages. See, this monster, he used to be a human, the man says. But eventually when he turns back to human, he doesn't feel like he wants to be a man anymore. The man then looks at you and says, it's a scary book, then gives the book back to you. You flip the pages once again, hoping it is in English. It must be a nice story, you think. Then you put it back.

What is this about then? You point at a book with the yellow cover. The man gets it down and reads the title out loud, Ich Mag Katzen, it means I love cats. Katzen is cat, he repeats. Well, I'll take this one then. You look into it, there are barely any words inside. So you hand it to the man, ready to check out. The man then laughs. Is this going to be a gift or just for yourself? He asks. Maybe it's a gift, you respond with a giggle.

You then step outside the bookstore, regretting not coming earlier by all this time you've lived there. It's a good bookstore, with a nice cashier, but it's your last day here. What a shame, you blame yourself, pulling your suitcase to the bus stop.

A human doesn't want to be a human. That's fun. Sometimes I want to be a tree, but then I cannot move anymore, you think about this. But maybe it's good to not move, I don't like moving anyways. But what if there's a farmer who needs some wood for his stove? Then I cannot escape. You then deny the idea of being a tree.

But how can I escape anything anyway, a tree cutting off by a farmer is like me getting hit by a car, if I'm going to die by intervening, I'm going to die by intervening, it's all fate. You then think being a tree is a good idea again, putting it back on your bucket list of wishes.

The suitcase keeps hitting you by the ankles, and it's getting annoying. It also hurts a lot. Maybe I deserve it, you think. But whenever it hits you you still curse out loud. It hurts indeed. Fuck all this.

Earlier today, you are packing for the trip. You open up the speaker to play some songs, it's kind of a habit now. Sometimes you start your morning off with sad music that gives you this dramatic sensation of your life. But today it's quite different, things move on, and you decide to go back to the playlist a year ago, specifically a year ago in the summer, just to let you recall some memories and get into this mood of, let's say, like when you are so close to getting rid of something, before you put it into the garbage bin, you give it a last glimpse. So you turn on the speaker, and play a song called buzzcut season. It's a song you used to play a lot at bath.

One of my exes looks good in buzzcut, you think. He has such a big head though. Actually, everybody calls him “big head”. That's stupid, why did I date someone with such a stupid nickname. It must be that he has no character but a big head, otherwise why they don't call him Mr smartass or something.

So you move your head a little bit with the rhythm and put all the bathroom stuff into your suitcase. Everything is so ridiculously normal, you think.

Once again, you start to recall this image in your head. That the boy you've been with right now, how he would wait for you coming over when you were hooking up - how things are like during those three or four minutes of waiting. He must want to be seen really relaxed, so that he's not actually relaxed. And after you reply “Sure”, he probably just puts his phone by his bed at the desk, then positions his hands back against his neck. If just lying there with arm fully stretching, that would look like a stupid man in a coffin. If keep checking or playing on the phone while you coming in, that's just too intentionally not to care. You think about these and find it hilarious. And how come I just began to fall for him?

You try to trace this back to a specific moment. It's pretty absurd. There's one time waking up in his room, and he starts playing music, and it's raining, and the sun goes into the window cast on his carpet, and right exactly that moment that you find out you might like him and start to freak out.

Thanks to the weather, like how Morso kills the Arabian because the sun is too shining, thanks to the rain.

Not my fault at all.

Is absurdity a real thing that actually pushes everything forward? When that man sneezes, why do those securities just all begin to pull out their guns? It's just a sneeze after all. And the tango is making this even funnier. And that I just keep hitting at my ankles and yelling, that my sunglasses then fall off from my head, that I fall for a boy because it rains, irrelevant and so much like a stupid commercial movie, not even a good one. That night when me and Jadon make out, both of us know we are faking the drunk. And a lot of times promises are more like a restrain from us floating too far from this pool of absurdness, once it gets too normal and clear, you hit the boundary and bounce back. But aren't these things perfectly not ridiculous as well? That most men don't want to be a man, my big head ex is too dumb for college, and when the sun is too shining it makes you dizzy and take bad moves, so you kill the Arabian. Then all these normalities become part of the absurdity, ridiculously normal, that's it.

When it rains that day, the sun comes in with a mellow burn in my eyes, and when I turn around to look into his face, I see this tiny little smirk shining on his beard. It reminds me of my favorite movie. How the beard reflects under the sun with a little redness in it, and how it lets the girl remember this for the rest of her life. It's all cliche, but absurdly I just subject to it.

The music is almost over, you look outside the window once again, they don't shoot the man after all. Welcome on board, and this is your captain speaking. The speaker says. Thanks to that guy on seat 5F, you get on the plane using a standby ticket. It should be an indifferent smile, you think. The sparkle in your eyes just fades. The man sitting next to you reminds you to close off the internet. I already have, I'm just writing a diary, you say. Oh, he responds. You pull out the book. I love cats. Who you won't love? You flip the book, and come off a little card in it. “Another book you might like: I don't want to be a human, a story about virtue and manner.”

All Rights Reserved by Ruizi Zee Zeng