i met bro. xu online years ago. he was like a big brother, or an uncle. he was older than the people in our group and he lived in one half of an island and a girl lived on the other half. above him was a festive area where the they had parties. he would invite me, which pissed of most people because i was not 18 which you needed to be to go in adult places. but bro. xu would invite me and spend some time with me when i came. we’d talk together and laugh. he invited me to a cowboy and indian site — where most of the indians were german. bro. xu was a chief. it was interesting because i knew a lot about native people because my dad had been ceremoniously adopted by a cherokee, long long time ago. before i was born. there is a story about why and how but i don’t remember. did i tell this to brother xu? if i did maybe he could tell me what i’d forgotten.but when i talked with him today — for the first time in a very long time — i was very polite. i said nothing out of the way, no jokes. he had a new picture in his profile not the one he’d taken at a restaurant where i think he held a glass of red wine. his hair was shorter…or was it longer? he looked like he’s been working out. his arms had definition that i didn’t remember seeing before.
but this time i didn’t babble, didn’t give him a reason to be uncomfortable and to run away. i looked at several photos of his baby girl. when i last saw her she was in a stroller, now she was three and walking. she was cute and already knew how to pose for pictures.
it was about two am in china, and we said our goodbyes.
i walk a new path to return home.