Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sketch #18

There’s a beautiful and sad story behind this sketch. This weekend, I’ve been listening to Deep Forest’s “Sweet Lullaby.” The native song, called Rorogwela, is from the Solomon Islands, and it is about an older brother comforting his young brother after their parents have died. This is what I imagine they would look like. Here are the lyrics and their translation~


Sasi sasi ae ko taro taro amu
Ko agi agi boroi tika oli oe lau
Tika gwao oe lau koro inomaena
I dai tabesau I tebetai nau mouri
Tabe ta wane initoa te ai rofia

Sasi sasi ae kwa dao mata ole
Rowelae e lea kwa dao mata biru
I dai tabesau I tebetai nau mouri

Sasi sasi ae ko taro taro amu
Ko agi agi boroi tika oli oe lau
Tika gwao oe lau koro inomaena
I dai tabesau I tebetai nau mouri

Sweet Lullaby

Little brother, little brother, stop crying, stop crying
Though you are crying and crying, who else will carry you
Who else will groom you, both of us are now orphans
From the island of the dead, their spirit will continue to look after us
Just like royalty, taken care of with all the wisdom of such a place

Little brother, little brother even in the gardens
This lullaby continues to the different divisions of the garden,
From the island of the dead, their spirit will continue to look after us

Little brother, little brother, stop crying, stop crying
Though you are crying and crying, who else will carry you
Who else will groom you, both of us are now orphans
From the island of the dead, their spirit will continue to look after us

Sketch #17

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sketch #16

I know—seriously—a glass cup?! Am I so bored with sketching interesting women that I have resorted to water?! No, I just wanted to celebrate the fact that I now have real sketching pens. For the last three weeks, I have been sketching with foul pens that give out if I press too hard or if I press too softly or if I just press the darn wrong way. Not to mention the fact that those pens make me a lousy artist because the lines are so thin and light that I always make tentative lines and tentative lines mean that there’s no flow, no life to what I’m trying to sketch. Then, sometimes, when I’m trying to make thin and light lines, a humongous splotch of ink will burst out and ruin the sketch! Argh!

I am confident that the sketching pens—Sharpie—will usher in stronger bolder lines. Not to mention the fact that each pen costs $1.25, so if I buy 50 Sharpies, that will only cost $62.50!!

Pens are one of the few things I absolutely enjoy buying. I have fifty Magna Tanks, the only type of pens I write with. Twenty are still in their packages, fifteen are on my desk, and fifteen are in my school bag. If I do not have a Magna Tank with me at all times, then it’s like walking around naked. Magna Tanks are essential to my life. They allow me to write smoothly, without having to press too hard. They can be usually relied upon to not give out. Observe how smoothly they glide across the page:

I was very disappointed to find that Magna Tanks do not make good sketching pens, but now that I have observed and delighted in the wonders of Sharpie, I am content.

Sketch #15

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Artwork #1

I have problems with all of the sketches I’ve posted. (If anyone viewing them can tell me what’s wrong with them, I’ll be eternally grateful. I love advice.) Most of them are unfinished—hence, lots of white space. I post them either because I don’t know what else to do with them at the moment, or because I realize that the sketch has suddenly veered into an ugly direction and if I continue, the ugliness will make me nauseous.

For example, Sketch #11:

is sort of okay, but really, it is absolutely lifeless. There’s no movement to it. I’m the type of person who’s too self conscious to dance or sing, so I let my sketches dance and sing for me. On the dance floor, I am a broken doll, but, honey, when I put that pen or pencil to paper, I know my moves. Well, sort of—I’m still a bit awkward, but I’m always learning new moves, and that’s what counts, right? Anyway, in Sketch #11, she looks bored stiff as she looks at Mr Giant Butterfly. The lady’s body looks limp. Her neck looks stiff. She looks high and haughty. Heck, Mr Giant Butterfly has more expression on his face. After I finished sketching and shading in Mr Giant Butterfly and compared him to Stiff Lady, I thought I was going to lose my lunch right there.

She’s not the type of character I like to reside in my imagination. If she’s not going to be amazed by Giant Butterfly, I want her out of my life.

So what went wrong with her? Well, here’s my theory of what is a sketch versus what is an artwork. A sketch is a copied thing: I either copy it from real life (like my feet) or from a photo (like the mother.child sketch I gave to Lady Teacher). And that’s the problem. It’s copied. The movements and shadings of my drawing instrument are dictated by what I see, not by what I feel. When I sketched Stiff Lady, I had to concentrate on getting her proportions right—on getting her eyes in the right place, her nose the right size, her arms the right length. In short, dear reader, I was not being an artist, I was being an obsessed technical perfectionist. And that’s why she came out so stiff. I was not ready to let her be herself. I was in too much control. On the other hand, a real piece of artwork is this:

Maybe I’m being an idiot show-off right now, but I’m really proud and happy with how Lady Butterfly is turning out. Lady Butterfly is a re-rendering of Stiff Lady, but this time, I let her be herself. I looked at her, listened to her, and she finally whispered to me that she looked stiff because she was jealous of Mr Giant Butterfly—and that she herself wanted to know what it would feel like to be a butterfly. So here she is, transformed—Queen of the Butterflies.

I am really happy at the moment. It has been almost three weeks since I started sketching again, and finally, FINALLY, here is my first real artwork of the summer. I will finish her wings and all the tiny details, and then, the Gods and Muses willing, I will beg my mother for some expensive French watercolor paper and put her in watercolor. I think Lady Butterfly would like that a lot. Of course, it’s going to take forever to finish the watercolor, but in the meantime, I can look forward to posting more Ugly Sketches and posting more snide comments about them. I will now go celebrate Stiff Lady’s transformation by . . . eating a large slice of apple pie.

And, of course, cheers to the memory of love.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why I Sketch

There was a high school teacher whom I adored for years and years, even after I didn’t see her again. I stopped talking to her because I wanted to be emotionally healthy and sane again. And then for years, I taught myself not to think of her every day. I never told her how I felt, but I think she guessed. As of now, I don’t think I’ll ever see her again, even though she wanted us to stay in touch.

I felt sorrow when I saw her during those last few times three years ago. Before our last meeting, I emailed her and told her how I felt about women, and then we met for dinner, and during the dinner, I realized that nothing could be the same between us again—not with the knowledge of the way I loved and perhaps why I told her. There was no way we could treat it lightly, when there is always love on my face when I see her and when she always turns away, perhaps knowing that I am watching her and the reason for it. If I had known that telling her would mean saying good-bye to her, I would do it again exactly the same way again. I have no regrets.

She is engaged now and will probably be married soon, if not already. To a good man. He has a son by a previous marriage, and so she will be happy, I think. I am happy for her.

Once every few months, I forget that I’m not supposed to think of her, and I search the internet for her name—to find pictures of her and save them, and to find where she is teaching now and how she is involved with her community.

When I sketch women, I always sketch women who remind me of her—if not by their physical features then by the expression on their faces. She is beautiful, but I did not notice until a year after I first met her. What I noticed first were the varied expressions on her face as she spoke about things that mattered to her. I was captivated. And then one day, while listening to her, I looked at her, really looked—and realized with a shock how beautiful her face and body were. Suddenly, her expressions and movements had glow and effervescence, as though I had suddenly opened my mind to her. That was when I first started to imprint her into my memory. She is still the most beautiful woman I have ever known. When I sketch, I sketch the memory of her. I sketch hope and imagination and magic—I sketch what life would have been like if she were mine. In my imagination—if never in reality—she is mine to love.

I pretend that I don’t love her with my whole heart anymore because it keeps me sane. All these years, I’ve tried to love other women just so that I can forget her.

One day, if I ever find a woman who will spend her life with me—it will be a different kind of love. The way I feel now, for this woman whom I’ll never see again—it is a love based on deep, quiet yearning—and this love has affected the person I’ve become, more than anything else that’s happened to me. I may put thoughts and memories of her away, but they are still there, buried deep in my treasure chest.

I suppose she is my muse. I painted murals for her. She has several of my artwork. If I could, I would give all my artwork to her. The first artwork I ever gave her, I gave idly, not really caring, just thinking, oh, she might like this, but the expression on her face, and the way she touched the inked lines so delicately with just the tips of her fingers—I felt as though she were touching my heart with the same love and delicacy.

Here is that pen-and-ink drawing~

And that’s why I sketch. Not only because I like observing the world through an artist's eyes, but mainly because of the memory of love.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lady Librarian

There’s a woman on my mind.

The most essential goal of my life right now is to be emotional stable—for long periods of time—perhaps forever. I’ve done an excellent job so far this summer. However, there’s a woman on my mind. So how to deal with this? I read lots of AfterEllen posts which say—Oh, there’s this girl. XYandZ happened. Does this mean she likes me? I’ve never felt this way before. Also, ABandC happened recently. Why is she giving me mixed signals? What should I do? I never reply to these posts, but I often think that there are two clear options—you either pursue her or you don’t pursue her. You either decide to sit down and have a heart to heart chat or you don’t. In my situation, the clear option right now is I don’t pursue and I ignore. If there are unclear signals, then I decide that it’s all in my imagination and go from there. Too many times in the past, I interpreted something incorrectly and . . . let’s ignore the Romantic Tragedies of My Life, shall we?

I don’t have the Flirting Gene. Instead, I have the Awkward Conversationalist Gene. Many times, when involved in a conversation, I purposefully say something really stupid or weird. To spice up the conversation. Very detrimental. In contrast, when someone flirts with me, I clam up and stare. I know the rule is that when someone flirts with you, you flirt back. However, I have a very slow brain. It takes me at least a minute to understand a joke. My sister can attest to this fact. Flirting, I understand, require immediate and correctly coy responses. I am incapable of this! Hence, I will not pretend that there’s anything going on.

Now that I’ve made it clear to myself what I will and will not do, then I will now proceed carefully to unburden my mind.

I tutor at the public library in the children’s section. I often see a certain librarian. She has short black hair, waving off of her forehead, deep set gray eyes, and a voluptuous figure. Her skin is so white—like cream? –like ivory? She usually wears a long sleeved black shirt and black pants—which goes well with her white, flawless skin.

I don’t know her name, her age, her marital status, her sexuality. Henceforth in this blog, I dub her Lady Librarian. I have tutored for five years, and so I’ve seen her once in a while. This summer, I am tutoring Monday to Wednesday, and when I decided to tutor, one of the chief attractions was seeing her. I think—since I want to settle in this town, I can look forward to seeing her for years and years to come. I will stop tutoring someday and settle into a job, but I am a ferocious reader, and as long as she works at the children’s desk, I will see her, since I read lots of YA literature.

There are certain people, who—when I see them, make me feel happy and safe—simply because they are who they are. I like to memorize people—to write about them, to sketch them, to think about them, and I’ve spent lots of time thinking about Lady Librarian. I don’t know anything about her. Is that a chief attraction? Possibly yes, since everything is in my imagination. Everything is possible. She could be everything.

Here’s what I want—if not to pursue her. I want to have a nice conversation with her. I want to be able to see her, say hello, ask her how her day is going, and go from there. I want to slowly get to know her. She enjoys talking to people. One of my favorite things to watch is Lady Librarian strolling among the shelves. When a child asks for a book, she strolls purposefully to the shelves. I’ve watched her countless times. I have no qualms about watching her, because how can she notice little me sitting at my tutoring table? She strolls back and forth, picking books up, pushing in chairs. Once, I dropped my pen, forgot about it because I was busy tutoring, and she strolled by, knelt, picked my pen up, and placed it next to my hand. Now, if I were a quick thinker, I would have looked up and said thanks. The perfect thing to have done could have been to lay my hand gently, briefly on hers.

However, what happens usually is that I ignore her. If she is walking behind me, I don’t turn around and say hello. I pick up my pace. There were many, many times when I could have glanced up or stopped for a moment as I passed her station, and said hello. It doesn’t have to go anywhere, I could simply say hello, smile, and keep walking. There have been a handful of times when she engaged me in conversation, and I always messed it up. Always said something stupid.

Yep, so that’s one of my goals this summer—act normally with Lady Librarian.

Sketch #5

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sketch #1

My Father

Lately, my thoughts have been on my father.

When I was fifteen, I started to hate him. Too many reasons. My mother once said—You two are very alike. That is why you fight. The truest reason of all the countless reasons. When I still lived at home, and if the both of us were angry at the same time, it was unbearable for everyone. Among all my cousins, I am the first to go away to college—two hours away. And it was because of my father. I loved my family, but needed to escape my father. I hated him all the time we drove up to my university, all the time he helped me unload my luggage into my dorm room, all the time he kept giving me advice. And then we were standing next to the family van. Everyone else—my mother and my three siblings—were in the van already, and it was time for the family to go away and leave me in peace. My father stood next to me, and then started crying. Loud sobs, sniffles, a big mess. He reached out and hugged me. He whispered—I will miss you so much. Take care of yourself. I knew he was asking for more—he was asking me to forgive him for all the mean ways he had treated me. My anger and hate melted. I couldn’t say anything. How can it be that this is the only time I can remember my father hugging me? I was 19, and it was the first time my father had ever hugged me. Even though it took months, I learned to love and respect my father again.

Sometimes, people ask me if I love women because I hated my father so much when I was a teenager. No. I love women because I fall in love with women. What does my father have to do with it? I am not a man-hater. I have more guy friends than girl friends. If anything, I aspire to be more like my father because I respect the way he treats women. His whole life—except when he fought in the Vietnam War, his best friends have been women. I’ve never told him that I’m gay, but I don’t think it’s necessary. We talk about women very matter-of-factly. I ask him to describe a beautiful woman for me, and he does. I ask him to tell me about his relationships with the women he’s loved before my mother, and he does. I ask him about the best ways to treat a woman, and he does. One of the few ways that my father and I are different is that he can easily approach women and I can’t.

Sometimes, I wonder if I was meant to be a boy, his son, and then things would make more sense, but my father treats me like his son/daughter now, and I am content with that. He’s passed down his history to me, he’s slowly teaching me how to make a home a home, and with his life, he’s showing me how to deal with pain, disappointment, and loss.

I think—of all the people I know, I know my father best. And yet, he harbors more secrets than he’ll ever tell me. I have written more words about him than about anyone else I know. He is the villain and hero of my stories. He is the most complicated, complex person I know. Someday, when I finally publish my first book, it will be about him. By writing about him—his weaknesses, mistakes, prejudices, all of the ugly as well as the good—I have learned about myself too.

When I was younger, I would look at women I loved deeply, and I would say to myself—There, that’s a woman who I aspire to be. I admired women who were most unlike me. I admired women for their strengths without seeing any of their weaknesses. That sort of admiration is not something I can grow on. These women don’t show me what to do with my weaknesses, fears, self-hatreds. My admiration for these women was false, based on surface appearances. Finally, now, truly, I think that I aspire to be like my father. If someday I can give a woman and our children as good of a home as my father has given all of us, then I would have become as good of a person as I’m capable of being.


On Saturday, my father and I planted my garden. We dug trenches and placed large wooden blocks into a high barrier on all sides of our long garden. I cut open seven 40-pounded bags of soil and laid it out and pounded it down into our rectangular garden patch. In the middle of the garden patch, we tied together white wooden stakes and trellises onto which the vines of morning glory will climb. We tied small white platforms onto which humming birds can rest between their sips from our blossoms. On the left side of the stakes, we planted lantanas, flower clusters with yellow on the interior and pink on the outside and leaves emerald green. On the right side of the stakes, we planted basil and mint and purple leaved herbs. We sprinkled seeds everywhere. Exhausted, we went inside to rest and nap.

I woke up at 7:00 PM and we went to Stephens Lake Park, strolled around with my father, older brother T, and little sister Kim. We sat on white yellow speckled rocks with our feet in the water. Kim asked—Are there fishes in here? I said—Yes, and octopuses and sharks, and look there, a giant blue whale. Kim—Really? T and Kim climbed a small tiered cliff. Father and I walked and looked at the ducks as they crossed the calm lake. There were four adult ducks and fifteen little ducks. We all walked closer to the ducks. Father said—Look at how long and graceful their necks are. These are swans. That’s the leader. Look how big he is. The children and really big too. Duck children are smaller. These are swans. Or maybe geese. I looked closely. Their feathers were black, their necks were gray, and they have the majesty of swans. I said—Yea, I think you’re right. We waited and waited for the lights to come on and light up the lake, but we finally left. I said—Next time, we’ll see the lights.

At home, we all showered and got ready for a movie--The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I went out to water my garden and admire it. As I watered the central part, I saw someone grayish and dark move awkwardly sideways. A frog? No, on closer inspection, it is a bird, and its feathers are disorderly and fluffed. I had accidentally watered it and it weakly cleaned itself. I watered around the bird and dashed inside, telling everyone about the bird in my garden. My father nodded and smiled solemnly. I go outside and sit with the bird for a while. It does not mind my presence. It sits with eyes closed.

Finally, we settled down, sprawled on various parts of our long couch, and turned on the movie. I watched a baby born old, abandoned by his father onto the steps of an old persons’ home. I watched him grow up in a wheel chair, beset by arthritis. I watched him grow younger old, his legs straightening, walking across the stage, his back straightening, his wrinkles disappearing, his eyes clearing, his saggy, skinny chest and limbs growing strong, muscular. I watched him befriend a young girl. I watched them fall in love, she growing older, maturing, dancing, graceful, he growing younger, more clear eyed, face more defined and strong. I watched them separate, the time not being right for them to love each other fully. I watched them close their eyes each night, saying, in their separate beds—Goodnight Benjamin. Goodnight Daisy. I watched them meet again, finally, in the right time, and I watched them buy their house, dance on their mattress, have a daughter. I watched him leave, because he is growing younger, and one day, his lover will have to raise him, and he does not want that. I watched him leave, I watched her grow older. I watched her meeting him again, she older, sagging, he young, handsome, a beautiful teenager, with a face unsure and bewildered, a young face with decades of life to look forward to, but I watched his eyes, which tell the truth, the truth that his young body hides. I watched her grow older still and meet again with a young boy, a young boy that becomes a little boy, who becomes a baby, who becomes an infant. I watched as she—wrinkled, feeble—holds an infant in her arms. The infant has deep black eyes that look up into her face one final time before he closes his eyes. I watched her cover the infant’s face. Goodnight Benjamin. Goodnight Daisy.

In the morning, my sister woke me up and told me that the bird had died. I walk outside, and my father is burying the bird in our newly planted garden. My father said—I knew there was something wrong. It is not right for a bird to come down here to us unless it is hurt. Still, I am glad that the bird found our garden a good enough place to die in.

Update on Squirrel Carcass

Today, I walked to the bus station and thought about the squirrel carcass. In the three weeks I’ve been out of town, everything has changed. The mound of dirt has become a field of grass, blossom-shaped weeds, and tiny yellow flowers on short stems. The carcass is almost invisible, covered as it is under bowing grass stems. Its arms and legs seemed bound by strawberry vines. Its fur is still visible. Where its tail used to be is now a large green blossom-shaped weed.

I wonder how many other people look for that squirrel each time they pass by its resting place. What do they think? Are they curious? Are they afraid? Maybe they think about nature and how life is a complete circle, and that no matter how cruel and painful and bitter the death was, all bodies rot and return to the earth the same way. What I think is—When it is my time to die, it would be nice and peaceful to walk deep into the woods where no one would ever find me, and lay down, go to sleep, and never wake up. It would be wonderful this way because I’ve seen what happens to the squirrel--how worms eat away its insides and how its fur collapses into emptiness once the worms leave. Animals may come and carry pieces of me away. Eventually, however, around what’s left of my body, the grass will grow. Blossom-shaped weeds will surround me. Crimson flowers on long, long stems will bow over me. Rains will wash and polish my bones. Vines will wind around my limbs and over me, crown my head, and tangle around my fingers, holding me tight.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Shopping with my father

My motto is that I don’t shop for pleasure. The only things I enjoy buying are food and books and toys (magnets, water buffaloes, legos—all thrift store brought). I realized I have been lying to myself when I went shopping with my father. He makes shopping fun. We went looking for a vacuum filter on Sunday. The bunny we babysat for had peed and pooped all over our townhouse’s living room carpet and when we vacuumed up the nastiness, the dampness had set into the filter and rendered it dead—or suffocated it to such a degree that future vacuuming ventures created enormous billows of dust. Hence, we went to Lowe’s and Super-duper Walmart to get a replacement filter.

In Lowes we walked all over and I had the chance to ooo and aahh over how enormous the shelves are and how I feel like Jack in the giant’s castle. We found the shelves of filters and shrieked at the prospect of spending $30 or $25 for the wrong kinds of filters.

We exited the giant’s castle and entered Walmart, the giant’s dollhouse. We went looking for the vacuums section and I lost my father. I had turned around to backtrack and look at something and when I turned around, my dear father was gone. I looked and strolled and gave up after three minutes. I had no cell phone on me, but I knew that I would find him—by his coughing or the way he talks to himself as he analyzes prices or by the fact that he just yells my name when I’ve disappeared for too long.

I went over the posters section, because I wanted to find a movie poster of Heavy Metal, because of the gorgeous warrior chick featured on it. I should have known a 1981 movie poster would not be there, but I hoped. Instead, I saw posters with babes in bikinis, Twilight, messaging shorthand, Twilight, guitar fingerings, Twilight, babes in bikinis, Twilight, wrestling champs, Twilight. And heard my father calling my name and so used my powerful sense of echo-location to locate my father, who was standing in the vacuum section. We shrieked furiously at the prospect of spending $20 or $15 for a new vacuum filter. Then my father used his considerable find a cheaper solution powers and we ventured forth into the air conditioning filters section. It was here that we combined our powers of bargain detection and found a $4 filter which could be cut up to fit vacuum’s filter compartment. Triumphant, we exited Walmart and went home. Our dear vacuum still coughs a little dust, but much less.

I think the reason I do not like to shop is that I can expect to spend a lot of money. I can expect to enter the store, grab a shopping cart, and if I want panties or soap or jello, I roll my cart to the shelves labeled thus, and then I have to stand there among numerous brands and look and look and read labels, trying to calculate the benefits of cost verses how carcinogenic is this brand of soap? Booorrrriiiiinnngg!! Stuuuuupidd!! I don’t want numerous options—I want to learn to think. I want to escape the system. I want to stand there and say—Ha, so you companies think you can make me buy your $30 vacuum filter or your $5 teeth whitening tooth paste or your $5 soap that can peel the dirt off of me—well, I have another solution! I can fix up an air conditioning filter to fit my vacuum. I can brush my teeth with tree bark. I can use dishwashing soap to bathe in.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It began when I watched the SouthPark episode “Major Boobage”—afterwards which I decided that it was my favorite episode ever because it features—animated—a statuesque shaggy haired blonde woman with slim waist, long, long legs, and a pair of spectacular breasts. It is so wrong and yet so right that I would be mesmerized by her breasts. Plot goes like—Kenny, high on cat piss, enters an alternate reality—enters riding a rocket powered 1981 shiny black Pontiac Trans Am. He encounters described goddess, and next sequence reveals him riding shotgun with goddess driving—and one of my favorite activities in life is sitting shot gun to a goddess with one hand on the wheel. Kenny, pre-adolescent boy that he is—watches the bobbing and dancing of spectacular breasts. They proceed to her kingdom, where the prize will be that Kenny will proceed to the pool with goddess and where he will rub soap suds on spectacular breasts.

As she uncovers—Kenny is interrupted.

Blah, blah, blah goes the plot, and then Kenny finally returns and he finds the goddess trapped by brutish villains who have imprisoned her in a metal frame. She is naked—the metal bars barely covering her nipples and her privates, and the villains are laughing with ill intent and holding a mean whip over her. Then—this is my favorite part—goddess gives Kenny a look. The look is calm, but it conveys annoyance and forbearance and displeasure at the stupidity and beastly behavior of brutish villains. She is not frightened, she is simply annoyed. The look says—Can you believe these idiots? Kenny cannot, and he proceeds to kill the villains. Very bloody. Then next sequence features Kenny riding in front of goddess on winged creature. Kenny—short pre-adolescent boy that he is—gets to enjoy the nice sensation of spectacular, heavy beasts bobbing up and down against his shoulders as he soars magnificently through the skies.

Is it wrong that I enjoyed this episode very, very much? As a feminist, should I feel outrage that goddess is a silent sex doll who must endure soap suds being massaged onto her breasts by pre-adolescent boy? I think not. There’s a nice innocence about this adventure story. Heck, I want to be the one riding shot gun, soaring through skies, and floating in pool doing the massaging.

Week in Review

Alas, I have ended my spree of oily overeating. Instead, this last whole week, I have begun a dizzying spell of no sleep, oversleeping, no writing, overwriting. I have written about immigrants, love-obsession, Beauty and the Beast in space, and quiet letters to my grieving aunt. I have read books about death, depression, suicides. I have started reading a fantasy which will have a happy ending, but I have stopped, not wanting to reach a resolution. I have discovered that happy endings bore me.

I have mocked and screamed at my little sister Kim until she cried. I bonked her on the nose until she went running to my father. Then I slept. Having woken up groggy and foul-moody, Kim and I out on the baby swing, onto which she squeezed into a corner while I plumped my huge body down, squishing her even further. I am fascinated by how easily children forgive our mature immatureness. I told her—Hmm, it seems like I am squishing you. Kim replied—You’re big. A good seat belt. First, I proceeded to swing us both, until the metal squeaked and sawed and the metal legs of the swing came off the ground. We smiled and screamed and pondered the likelihood that we will be dumped onto the ground. Then I got bored and said—Alright, I’m tired. Now you swing me. Kim set her skinny, skinny legs on the ground and tried to swing us both. Alas, my Asian obesity is too much against skinny seven years old legs. Oh, but look here. Kim’s determination has set us a-swinging, and we are laughing and hollering and pondering if my weight will ever break the baby swing.

And then, oh beautiful night, we went to watch Up at The Great Escape, a minor theater in our backcountry of Fenton. My tender-heartedness overcame and I wept during a silent sequence—[SPOILER ALERT) beautifully rendered with snap-shot quick successions of a marriage—running up the hill, buying a shack and making it a home, buying two armchairs, one low and squatty for the husband, one pale pink and elegantly tall for the wife, putting a big glass jar on the table, placing coins in it for the great adventure, laying on the grass together, pointing out pictures in the sky, the car breaking down, smashing the glass jar, pointing out all the clouds and all the babies in the clouds, setting another glass jar, sitting in grief next to a doctor, the doctor’s hand on her shoulder—a life childless but full of love, smashing glass jar again and again, growing old, husband thinking back on his dream, husband buying two plane tickets for grand adventure, husband hiding plane tickets, wanting to surprise wife, wife is now is bed, dying, and they are looking at one another, realizing that one has to leave and one has to stay for now, and now husband sits on his low and squatty chair, and next to him, the pale pink and elegantly tall chair remains empty.

Sigh. I have no idea why I just wrote that, but I needed to.