Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I entered a room and there were two Asian ladies, giantesses who towered over me. They were kind and guided me through their home. Later, I met a blond man and I asked him, "Do you enjoy living with your aunts?" He replied, "I would love to live on my own, but I am not free." Then there commenced preparations for a large Asian gathering. A long table was set with small golden statues. The Asians filed into the room and sat in rows on the floor. The ones in front had huge eyes and pupils that wandered, as though they were blind. And I thought with relief, they can't see me, so they don't care how ugly I am. In the front of the Asians, on the stage, there were tall banners to end the Vietnam War and to free the war veterans. The Asians talked and their conversation was displeasing to me, I do not remember why. Suddenly, there were other rows of people around the Asians and I see my friend Erika. She stands up to save us and she shouts Kinsey! Kinsey! It is about sexual liberation. There are outraged mutters from everyone and I know that Erika must find a way to escape. Out of the crowd comes a war veteran, but he continues to morph, so that sometimes he is a businessman. He is distinguished and handsome/he is bent and ragged/he is worn and carefully clean. He morphs, but Erika recognizes him. He walks to Erika and bends down on one knee to talk to her, because she is suddenly a young girl. He picks her up in his arms tenderly and dances with her. She whispers to him, "I am not comfortable. Can we leave?" And suddenly she changes. She is older, and he is holding her in his arms, and they leave.


In English class, our professor made us fill out a form with basic questions pertaining to our grade level and class experiences. The last question annoyed me: Describe something about you that no one else knows. A question to that effect. I despise this species of questions because I feel like I am bragging about myself. After thinking for a long time, I finally wrote something like this: "For many months, there was this ugly mole on my hand. It was large, pinkish, ugly, and tattered. It was disgusting. Then, over a matter of time, it shrunk and now it is completely gone. I was so amazed. Not a bit of mole left."


In Organic Chemistry class, our professor talked about a certain chemical reaction that we thought we knew backwards and forwards. We knew the reason for its existence and we knew why it reacted the way it did. Then, our professor drops this bomb: Wrong! Absolutely wrong! We had been lied to because the lie made it easier to teach the reaction. We had been lied to since Chemistry I! Thought: I love science because of these particular hilarious moments.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


There is a man in a wheelchair and there is something wrong with him. He cannot walk, as though he is missing legs. He glows a menacing orange/red. I and a team are trying to fix him, make him whole again. He watches us and comments on our work. My job is to bring him food every day. We are finally able to make him better again. We put him in a chamber. We stand outside in a hallway, pressing our bodies against the wall. I watch, and suddenly, rays of bright light shoots out of the chamber, and it hurts, as though I am burning away. The light stops and there is still pain on my arms. We enter the chamber and he looks fine. He is smiling widely and staring at me. I am scared but I smile too. I approach him and ask him what he wants to eat. The usual, he replies. He stares. The usual. He touches his ears. And these, he says. I touch my own ears. Yes, he replies, I want your ears, and a little of your cheek too. I go to prepare his meal. I have not refused.


First class of the day is lyrical poetry. *snore* The professor makes jokes. He passes out a paper and we have to put our names in the location we are sitting, a ploy to learn our names. When the name sheet is passed to me, and I've looked at it, I snicker. The thing about English majors: we can analyze dead poetry, but we cannot seem to make a map of our own seating arrangements. When I look around at us, I recognize the shared characteristics of all English majors: we are all pale, sad-looking, and daydreaming. Some of us sprouts full beards, some of us wear the long black coats of the intense artist, some of us scribble furiously in our notebooks, as though the meaning of life were spouting from our pens.

A few minutes into class, the class "genius" breezes in. Every English class has one, and they have each been a complete bore. How to recognize one: he (usually a he) raises his hand each time the professor asks a question, he makes side comments about some ancient literary theory that the professor recognizes but no one else does, he talks about his "research project," he talks really fast, he uses a lot of hand gestures, he talks so much that you wish someone would gag him. I respect the intelligence of these class "geniuses," but I also wish they would respect the fact that they are not the most interesting person in the class.


I don't respect English majors as I should.

Monday, January 19, 2009


There was something wrong. We were all restricted. I went through a line for food. We each got a container, some two containers. We each had brown rice and meat. I was sneaking through the city, frightened and dirty. Dream time changes. There is more color--the green of grass, and I am walking among broken columns. My writing teacher is here. I wish to avoid her, so I am walking among the grass, picking flowers. Violets with thin, thin petals on stems long as my arm. Then, I know she is watching me, so I paint. It is a beautiful painting, but it is not an original. Somehow, it has morphed into the Mona Lisa, and I know I have failed.


My sister and I went bike riding today. Cold. I wore a read wool sweater, and the wind cut through sometimes, like pieces of ice on my arms. Started out at perhaps 1:30 PM, when the sun was still out, a dulled yellow sunlight, as though the wind were blowing the light sideways. An hour later, among leafless, stark trees, the sun disappeared. Peering into the sky, we saw stormy clouds moving away, all in one narrowed direction, like they were sucked away, my sister said. Like into a black hole, I said.

The cold began to seep into my thin purple gloves, three fingers on each hand going numb. Uncomfortable and cramping. Then, what I dislike the most--my big toe was going numb.

When we first entered the trail, birds were chirping on the dead ground and taking flight among the naked branches. After that, inside the trail, it was quiet, hushed, broken by few lonely walkers here and there. Many beautiful dogs.

We came to a frozen lake and approached by foot. We struggled through stiff yellow grass blades tall as my shoulders. We stood on the icy, muddy edge, looking upon a white, light blue lake. The edges of the lake was uneven, gentle waves frozen.

We turned our tired, cold bodies and went back home.


She walked along the cracked sidewalk, hands shoved into coat pockets. So cold. She had passed the wounded body of a rodent, curled into the gutter. The bleeding body had quivered. She passed it. She wished she had taken a rock nearby and killed it. Just a sharp blow to the head and that's it. No more pain. Too late. She's reached her apartment. Up some steps. Opens door. Warm now. Dark. Maybe tomorrow. If it's still alive tomorrow, she'll take that rock and end it.