Review Summary: Chino in concrete wonderland.
Outside all the fantasy phantasmagorias, beyond worlds of the obscure rich on imagination, above each creativity-ridden magnificence, there is the simplicity and the dreams brewed within. Instead of endless forests inhabited by mythical creatures, there are roadblocks and panel houses, the concrete monstrosities, testaments to human progress. Taking over the place of magical mountains with wizards are the official’s offices and their red tape rule. And where no natural magnificence takes place, the strident monotony homes the dreams of those striving for amazement. Worlds like these are bound to create resistance against the brute absurdity of life and the life-consuming sameness of living.
Chino was a young lad. He knew not of the world outside, the one unshielded by the brutalist beasts. He could not fantasise of adventures out and above into the cathartic enchantment one’s imagination draw, for he never encountered those. All he could do is enblissen the grey of the city. He fell in love with the city. He worshipped the city’s elegant shapes, its noble simplicity, the engulfing size, the crushing height, and the nights of danger and the days of routine. He learnt to find thrill in every day’s detail. He dreamt of stories that could not happen. He used the crude environment to his comforting advantage. He realised how to achieve a smile in the life he led.
Others did not discover what Chino had discovered. They only saw the world around as the hazed grey demon they were taught to perceive it as. But Chino had none to learn from. He had none to wreck his path towards enlightenment. He was determined to find the peaceful among the crude and he did. Once the tall cuboidal monuments of apartmental comfort stopped their engrossing scare in Chino’s eyes, they turned into objects of admiration. Chino praised the symmetry, the opulently impressive size and the no doubt captivating stories they hid.
But those stories were outside of Chino’s reach. He could not enter others’ lives and observe. So he let them show themselves to him instead. Each day he looked forward and around, not just under his feet as all others did. He started to imagine what each passer-by was thinking, what they felt, what their hopes were, what their relationship with their families was, or what kind of pizza they liked. Once he developed that skill, no monotony was a threat to him. None could strip away his passion for fantasising about even the slightest and most insignificant of microbes. Because at the end of the day, in the eyes of the concrete monsters that held us hostage with the homes they gave us, we were all microbes. And each microbe has a story to tell.
Chino made his own paradiso amidst the chaos of sameness.