When we came across an abandoned playground it had just started to rain, giving the grass an open, welcoming, lush scent that made the area feel like it was calling out to us. We were too grown up, too big, too adult to really enter the play area, but there was an old swing set that felt more attainable. The swings were covered in rust, and looked like they hadn’t been used since we were kids, but we took the chance anyway. You could have called it a time machine, but everything was off, different, weird. I couldn’t get the momentum I used to, and the subtle bouncing of my breasts going up and down with each push of my legs made me realize I was far past the age where things like swing sets were appropriate. Being in this area for children felt like a dome, a sanctuary, from things like death, bills and responsibility, but even being there on that day was awkward. That lush feeling that the rain had given off earlier turned melancholic and the longer we spent doing things we cherished as children the more uncomfortable it became. We knew we had to leave all of that behind. We’re too far down the rabbit hole for this to have felt reassuring. When we left the playground it faded into the distance as we walked further into the mist until it wasn’t visible any longer. We only went there to keep grief at bay; attempting to wash the death of a loved one off of our skin, and escape the mourning of things out of our control, but even with this effort it was impossible to take anything with us when we left the playground. It was already gone. It had been for a very long time.
Taipei Story (Edward Yang, 1985)