TURN LEFT, TURN RIGHT

Winter was worse than usual that year
The city was cloaked in dampness.
The sun lay hidden behind heavy gray skies.
Everyone was depressed and,
Occasionally, even tearful.

October 6: Partly Sunny
She, a writer, lived at ..19 in an old apartment block in the center city. It was her custom to turn left when she left the house, no matter where she was needed.

He a musician, lived at ..17 in an old apartment block in the center city. It was his custom to turn right when he left the house, no matter where he was needed.
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October 15: Cloudy with sunny intervals
He never runs into her.

October 28: Temperature dropping tonight
Things haven’t been good for him lately,
But sometimes he makes a little extra
Money playing in upscale restaurants

November 7: Overcast. Winter is coming and dampening spirit
When he’s not practicing the violin, he goes to the park, where he whiles away the afternoon feeding pigeons.

November 11: A cold afternoon wind
At times he feels life is empty.

November 19: The winter sun draws long shadows on the ground.
She’s in the habit of turning left.
He’s in the habit of turning right.
Will they ever meet?

November 23: The days are getting shorter. Mostly cloudy tonight.
She’s translating a tragic novel.
It makes her feel the world’s a very sad place.

December 2: A thick bank of clouds moves slowly overhead.
When she’s not working, she likes to go downtown for coffee.
She strolls along the streets, watching the people talking to the cats.

December 10: The sun comes out, but inside it feels damper than ever.
At times she feels life is colorless.

December 17: Fair
She’s in the habit of turning left.
He’s in the habit of turning right.
The two have never met.

December 20: The rain is on its way back
Like most people who live in cities, they don’t know each other, even though they live side-by-side.

Click the image to open in full size.

Outside of time.
But,
Life sometimes favors us with inexperienced coincidences;
Even parallel lines cross sometimes.

December 22: Weak sunshine. Dense black clouds pile up over the hills.
And so it happened that one
Day they met in the park
Beside the fountain.

Same day.
It was like meeting a long-lost friend.
Winter lost its bleakness.
They passed a glorious afternoon together.
Toward the dusk the skies suddenly opened.
Hurriedly they exchanged phone numbers and parted.

That evening: Rainy.
As usual, he ran to the right.
As usual, she ran to the left.
They were soaked to the skin, but happy at heart.
That night, they were both too excited to sleep.
They lay listening to the rain falling.
She in ..19; he in ..17.

Outside of time.
But,
Life mixes in many mischances, too.
One minute you have hold of the kite;
The next, the string is broken.

December 23: A cold front sends temperatures plummeting.
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December 24: It rains all Christmas eve.
She’s afraid to go out in case she misses his call.
He tried to decipher the blurred paper, but every combination he tries is wrong.

December 31: Freezing temperatures. The cold front lingers. The rain continues to fall.
The radio broadcasts the New Year countdown. The end of another year.
Sad and disappointed, they pass a sleepless night.

January 5: Cold gusty winds.

January 12: The weather finally clears. The sun appears briefly but the air remains cold.
The changes in the city are startling.
The fountain where they met is going, to make way for an overpass.

February 2: Temperatures are warmer, but it still feels cold.
He tells himself optimistically that, like in the movies, he’ll meet her around the next corner or in one of the cafes along the park.

February 14: Valentines Day. A few lonely stars twinkle in the evening sky.
She walks up and down the cold streets.
Suddenly a bare tree lights up with a million colored fairy lights, and,
Unexpectedly, she bursts into tears.

February 25: The sky is veiled in thin gray clouds.
She goes up.
He goes down.

Click the image to open in full size.

February 28: The azaleas are about to bloom, and in the mountains the wild cherry blossoms are out.
The days pass slowly. Neither catches sight of each other.

March 9: The air is full of the fresh new smells, spring has finally come.
The crowded street brings back memories of their short but happy afternoon.

March 23: The days are gradually warming up. The night skies are clear and starry.
In the familiar, and yet unknown city
They search for an unknown, yet familiar, figure.

March: 30: The rainy season arrives.
On rainy days she thinks of him more than ever.
He wonders how she could have disappeared without a trace?

April 13: The rainy season ends. Pigeons take to the skies.
He dreams of flying over the city, searching for her.

Click the image to open in full size.

May 9: The sunset turns rosy pink, then deepens into sapphire.
She sits in the lonely corners of the city, remembering.

May 18: Toward the evening a slight southerly breeze ruffles the air. The glowing red sun slowly sets. Another spring day is over.
The dazzling night-lights increase his feelings of emptiness and loneliness.

June 9: Large clouds hang stationary in the sky.
For some reason, she is low in spirits.
Thinking of how alone she is makes her sadder still.

July 20: After today’s thunderstorm, the moon looks exceptionally bright.
In the maze of the city, they can’t hear each other calling,
And they don’t know where to look.

August 19: Clouds, chased by the winds and rain, race across the sky.
Complaints about gloomy weather, pot-holed pavement, traffic lights and unreliable buses.

August 31: At midday, a bee flew into the room and buzzed against the windowpane.
She wonders, is he still here in the city, or has he moved away?

Click the image to open in full size.

September 5: The weather is hot and airless. Listlessness pervades.
Playing with the same yellow tabby.
Feeding the same stray dog.
Listening to the same crow sing its dawn melody.

September 24: A fine morning mist. The leaves are turning red.
Looking out the window at the same view.
Smelling the same scented air.
Hearing the same tunes coming from next door.

October 5: Cool. The leaves are turning yellow.
Walking through the same fallen leaves.
Sitting beside the same tree-lined path.

October 15: The last warm days of fall are here.
Playing with the same old lady’s baby.
Noticing the same green hat with long, floppy ears.
Both at different times.

October 26: The wind begins blowing from the north.
Their only memento: a rain-blurred phone number.

November 8: Clear and brisk. Inside, darkness spreads gradually.
In her room,
The sound of someone playing the violin floats in from next door.
It’s a melancholy tune.
Is his room,
Isn’t it her birthday today?
I wonder where she is now?

November 19: Winter is in the air.
The memories are fading.
He begins to doubt whether that afternoon ever happened.
Click the image to open in full size.

November 30: The midnight moon, shines coldly in the window.
The same postman delivers them both letters from far-away friends.

December 6 amp and Cold.
They live so close……….and yet so far.

December 17: Another sunless day. No stars. No moon.
The city feels like a prison without walls…confining, suffocating.

December 22: Continuous drizzle
She’s determined to leave this depressing city.
He thinks it’s time to take a trip to the bright sunshine.

December 23: It starts to snow. It hasn’t snowed in years.
As usual, he turns right.
As usual, she turns left.

Same day
The snow falls gently.
They meet at the bus stop.

December 24: Snowing heavily
Someone is singing “Silent Night”

December 31: The snow stops, and the temperature rises.
A happy crowd in the city square awaits the New Year countdown.
At exactly midnight they hug and kiss each other.

Click the image to open in full size.

March 6: A bright sunny day. Fluffy white clouds float overhead.

Spring has finally come.

______________________________________________________

*Turn Left, Turn Right (Chinese: 向左走·向右走; pinyin: Xiàng zuǒ zǒu, xiàng yòu zǒu; Cantonese Yale: Heung joh chow, heung yau chow) is a 2003 jointHong Kong-Singaporean romance film, filmed in Taipei. Produced and directed by Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai, the film stars Takeshi Kaneshiro and Gigi Leung. The story is based on the book A Chance of Sunshine by Jimmy Liao, who makes a cameo appearance in the film. It is also the first Chinese-language Asian film ever from Warner Bros.

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