|Spotless in dust, waiting from free by Zhongwen Yu|
The man held the newborn girl and tears streamed down his cheeks as he said 'you are my Sorrow, you are my Joy. She's gone. My darling, my heart, my life. What shall we do? You and I, we shall survive. She would have demanded nothing less. We won't let her death destroy the most beautiful, precious gift I hold in my arms. My sorry and and my joy. Together, we'll prevail.
My name is Sorrow Joy Andreas. My friends call me Ro. My dad named me right after my mother died during childbirth. My birth. He used to say 'you are my sorrow, my joy.' How can one be both sorrow and joy at the same time? I don't know how he managed it. He raised me to follow in his path. A successful lawyer, an entrepreneur, a killer. My father, you see, was an assassin. Not of lives, but of ambitions. He took great joy in ruining people. Those who deserved it, he would say. Those who took advantage. Those who gave no thought to who they stepped on. "Sorrow, my love," he'd say. "You must be strong, you must be wise, but most of all, you must beware. You look innocent, but I will raise you up as a barracuda who looks like a trout."
We lived in the islands, my father and I, along with a half dozen servants. He filled my head with words and images from Aristotle to Eva Peron, Hitler to Christ, all the way from Mr. Rogers to Mao Tse Tung. Quite a diverse group of men and women from the classics to the present. He taught me to argue, to defend, to criticize and to trip without being trapped. A lawyer, a defender, a prosecutor. A knight in sheep's clothing. Then he left me. Not voluntarily, mind you. Alone on the island, surrounded by paid friends.