Smoke Thirty

The final scene of the holo depicts Moon’s troubled return to earth, a slow-moving, almost haunting montage of his metamorphosis from an astronaut into a late twenty-something Korean man catching the subway to Incheon. Nobody recognises him. His journey decelerates as he switches from subway to bus, and then to foot. Somehow, of course, we know he knows which way he’s going, though of course even the holo is lost in this montage maze of street scenes, metal wires and neon hangul. Zero finally emerges onto the almost-deserted seaside wharf at Muuido, that place he never did get to as a child, not even as a runaway. He sits at a small food stall and eats, watching the twinkles of airbus lights coming in to land on the eastern side of the island. Perhaps the ajumma actually recognises him but she is off-screen, the holo harbouring in on Zero’s almost imperceptible disappearance. As the credits roll we see him drinking soju and smoking. After a glance at his wristwath he makes a connection on his PCB. The display lights up, and a human face becomes visible there. It’s animated but I know it’s me. I can tell by the smile on your moon-bathed face, and the television look in your eyes.

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