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Fire

Fire A N D R E W L A M Mister Cao's oolong tea from Guangdong was wasted that woeful Thanksgiving morning; special tea though it was, it was sipped wearily. As usual, we sat at our corner table at the Golden Phoenix, Mister Cao's restaurant, chatting quietly, when Mister Huy ran in as if chased by a ghost. "Undone, absolutely undone!" he yelled, waving the San Jose Mercury News expressively above his bald head. "Mister Bac has committed self-immolation." "Self-immolation?" I mumbled, and the words vibrated in my throat and swirled between my ears, reigniting that terrifying fe of long ago. The fe blossomed quickly, a flower on fire, a restless, transparent bird of paradise in whose pistil a Buddhist monk sat serenely. "Self-immolation!" I repeated. The meaning sank in finally, the fe soared and wavered, and the monk fell backward. His charred body went into a spasm or two and then was perfectly still. "Oh God!" I said. "No!" Mister Cao in the meanwhile had stood up and snatched the newspaper from Mister Huy's hand as if the two of them were engaged in some desultory septuagenarian game of relay. "Are you joking?!" he yelled. Heads turned. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Manoa University of Hawai'I Press

Fire

Manoa , Volume 14 (1) – Apr 1, 2002

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-943x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A N D R E W L A M Mister Cao's oolong tea from Guangdong was wasted that woeful Thanksgiving morning; special tea though it was, it was sipped wearily. As usual, we sat at our corner table at the Golden Phoenix, Mister Cao's restaurant, chatting quietly, when Mister Huy ran in as if chased by a ghost. "Undone, absolutely undone!" he yelled, waving the San Jose Mercury News expressively above his bald head. "Mister Bac has committed self-immolation." "Self-immolation?" I mumbled, and the words vibrated in my throat and swirled between my ears, reigniting that terrifying fe of long ago. The fe blossomed quickly, a flower on fire, a restless, transparent bird of paradise in whose pistil a Buddhist monk sat serenely. "Self-immolation!" I repeated. The meaning sank in finally, the fe soared and wavered, and the monk fell backward. His charred body went into a spasm or two and then was perfectly still. "Oh God!" I said. "No!" Mister Cao in the meanwhile had stood up and snatched the newspaper from Mister Huy's hand as if the two of them were engaged in some desultory septuagenarian game of relay. "Are you joking?!" he yelled. Heads turned.

Journal

ManoaUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Apr 1, 2002

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