"In my deceased father’s room I sat down on the carved rosewood bed. Hunched between the parted panels of the yellow mosquito net, I sat amidst my father’s belongings—the bed, its embroidered mat, the porcelain pillow, the tea, the rice liquor, the areca-nuts and betel leaves and a tiny pot of lime. They were here for him when he returned in spirit.
For many years now I had replenished them every morning so that when he arrived nothing was missing, nothing was stale. He could read his favorite books. He could write, as was his passion, in his annals. He would find again his ironwood scepter, jade shrubs, his chess men in green and white jade, chopsticks made of kim-giao white wood that turned black against any sort of poison. They were arranged there under glass."