I. Proud Mary
The rain kings had left the city. The Chinese laborers did not bet on the monsoons anymore, nor the mango rains. The billboards for Alain Delon cigarettes tattered in the wind, sun-faded and old.
Rock and roll was still playing in the bars; when the bombs fell nearby, the band stopped, if only to tell whether the roof would fall on their heads or if they would be spared to play another day. None of the clubs were open due to the night curfew, so the afternoon became midnight, bands playing to candlelight.
One day, all was silent. There is a peculiar feeling in the air when a city is quiet, as if the body knows something is wrong; people, together, are supposed to make noise. Phnom Penh had been under heavy bombardment, first from the Americans, and then from the incoming CPK. Quiet meant a conclusion had been reached.