You probably don’t know this, but I remember that one week you drove to the Cape every morning and night because I wanted so badly to go to summer camp with everyone, but I was too afraid of sleepovers. Thanks for doing that.
Thanks for being supportive when I ramble about how well I’m doing out here on my own. Also for understanding when I’m pleased with myself for being independent and fear-conquering. Thanks for listening when I talk about single handedly taking over the world, and then comforting me when I call you devastated about a sore throat.
The thing is, I know I’m really lucky but I never mention it. These are just a fraction of the thank-yous that have gone unsaid.
One night when I was in high school, we were both sitting in my bedroom. It was back during the days of that white bedspread that had big purple flowers on it, the shoebox filled with handwritten notes that I kept at the top of my closet, and pictures of all my friends taped onto what were back then, eight pink walls.
You were assuring me that whatever terrible thing had happened to cause my incessant sobbing would someday never matter. You were promising that, the giant tidal wave of destruction that had left me hiccupping with tears, soon would seem so trivial.
I couldn’t fathom your logic then, but even when the thought of facing a day at school seemed unbearable, I knew I could trust you. Even then, with my reasoning warped by adolescent rational, you could somehow make everything feel okay again. Thanks for always helping me feel okay again.
Thanks for letting me express myself, even when it meant taking a deep breath to help me shop for an outfit that would work with pink hair and a tongue ring. Thanks for telling me to hang up and figure it out when I call whining that I’m lost driving somewhere. Thanks for forgiving me when I’m snappy and dismissive because of an upcoming work presentation. Thanks for saying you knew I would, when I text you right away that I did really great on my work presentation. Thanks for still encouraging me when I announced that my career “plan” was to become a successful writer after I’m through with my year adventure in Asia.
Thanks for being the strongest, hardest working person I’ve ever known. Thanks for creating memories of family and laughter. Also, for never once pressuring me about relationships and for showing me that all the little things about being me are okay, even when the world sometimes seems to believe they are not. Thanks for forgiving me when I don’t call back, and always answering when I finally do. Thanks for letting me have those teenage years when I declared my independence, and then being there for me in my 20s when I realized I still need you and I always did.
I appreciate your supportive smile even though I know my move has been hard on you. If someday I can be half as selfless a person as you are, then it would be really remarkable.
Happy Mother’s Day from the other side of the world!
the slime of all my yesterdays
rots in the hollow of my skull
and if my stomach would contract
because of some explicable phenomenon
such as pregnancy or constipation
I would not remember you
or that because of sleep
infrequent as a moon of greencheese
that because of food
nourishing as violet leaves
that because of these
and in a few fatal yards of grass
in a few spaces of sky and treetops
a future was lost yesterday
as easily and irretrievably
as a tennis ball at twilight
I remember four months ago when I wished I could flash to right now before getting on a plane. The closest I could get to now was an idea based on images I’d come across. My room at home is an octagon. Eight pale green walls. I looked at them knowing that in a few days I’d be worlds away. This move was so big I thought I’d never see them again.
I’m really good at thinking. Sometimes it means scribbling shit down for a while to break through layers of memory until I’m reliving an experience with every one of my senses. Occasionally, it means slicing a situation into tiny pieces to scrutinize until I claim to know the motivation behind everything that happened.
On those few days, thinking turned into staring at two packed suitcases, but not really noticing them at all. I thought about experimenting and exploring and being really brave under lots of perfectly dazzling neon lights. I saw remarkable skylines and picturesque cities.
The reality isn’t as polished but a lot more spectacular and right now I’m caught up in it.
It’s sometime during the first few hours of a Saturday morning when I look down at black leather boots. They were brand new only a few weeks ago. Now, they’re worn like the filthy, littered, dirty street I’m standing on. It’s lit up the way I imagined it would be. Faces of tall buildings are covered in lights, forming designs that I know stand for sounds.
For these few moments I’m alone, and it occurs to me again that here I am in Seoul. On a winding alley way off of a main road, I’m stepping on flyers and cigarette butts to get back to my friends.
It’s loud here. From every angle around me, it’s so bright and overcoming that it feels as though it’s meant to be a blur, but I can see all of it perfectly.
I weave through some wasted passerbys. It’s a place where strangers are usually friendly and where small bags filled with trash pile up on street corners. The smell is unpleasant. Sometimes it’s overpowered by a cart of hot food where I stop and search for cash. All of it’s so gross and so captivating. It’s surreal when I watch, but I’ve become too preoccupied for observation recently.
There’s a light purple circle on the inside of my wrist. I walk down stairs, sliding one hand on the wall because it’s dark. At the bottom, someone shines a light on that circle to let me back in. I recognize the guys playing pool. Here, at a little smoky bar on a side street in Seoul, I see an empty chair and a table full of people expecting me.
It’s so far away from Boston, where familiar faces chat in pubs that have glassless windows throughout the summer. Back home, a spot underground where I waited for the red line every day is in a different time zone. There’s a bench near that station and right now, I bet someone’s walking past it on their way home from work. Where I am, it’s still dark outside.
Here, my seat’s in a dimly lit room below ground level of the second largest city in the world. All this detaches me from the moment, until I hear sarcasm and an English accent. She says that only the guys have managed to pick up any guys tonight. Then waves away the cloud from her own cigarette and declares we’re not going home until the trains start again in the morning.
Sometimes really awesome things happen when you make the right decision. I’ve experienced a bunch of those things over the past four months. I bet more than I even know.
The other day I found myself knocking on the door one floor above mine because I had nothing to wear. We made tea and talked about how we’ll always stay friends and we planned my trip to London. I dove into the closet for dresses, delighted the way you always are when it’s someone else’s
Please don’t send me anonymous messages on Tumblr unless you end it by complimenting my physical appearance and deleting everything you wrote before that.
There’s a siren ringing outside my window. It’s been going off for a minute and a half now but I know why. It’s an ambulance stuck at a red light because in Korea, nobody seems to pull over for them. Cut the shit, Korea. That’s ridiculous. You know who else needs to cut the shit? Me, because I really miss the Kardashianspleasedontstopreading.
I miss those three sisters who have no concept of reality and a limitless fortune they’ve done nothing to earn but pollute society’s perceptions with their manipulated perfection. It’s because despite every truth in the rants we hear about their pointless existence, I still love them.
Those girls fucking breathe in oxygen and exhale superiority. They radiate flawlessness. That’s a pretty tough thing to radiate-flawlessness. On a good day I pull out a dress I haven’t worn in a while and muster up enough conversational words to radiate mediocrity.
Not them. They sip coffee behind tinted windows and sit cross legged at important events with their guys almost invisible next to them like potential arm candy. That’s why it’s all so mesmerizing. Maybe they read cue cards. Maybe they constantly live in overlapping shades of reality and fabrication, but the way they so strikingly glide through layers of flashing camera lights has me a little captivated.
I love it. I want to watch it from my twin bed. I want to watch it in the comfiest yoga pants from my tiny apartment, that doesn’t even have a damn dishwasher. I just want to watch it because they wear mittens that cost more than my college tuition but somehow I’m still on their side.
I’m fascinated with well decorated master bedrooms and real gold zippers because I’m just this girl who hangs two umbrellas on her closet doorknob, you know? I’m someone who occasionally empties a pile of receipts and tampons on the floor of a public area when she grabs her purse from the wrong end, which is okay with me. But some people don’t have those moments, though, and I’m really curious about it.
I miss watching new episodes with my roommate, talking shit about our neighbors during commercials and discussing how maybe I’ll develop a taste for red wine. I miss announcing that I’d marry Scott and then announcing that he’s a dick and then announcing that I love him again. I miss my friends all siding against me when I decide out loud that those tattoo sleeve things really are sexy.
I’ll admit I’m jealous of people who are genuinely disinterested in everything I’ve said. They’re beyond it, probably above it, probably good at cooking and discussing bands and picking out curtains. They definitely didn’t put off buying one of those dish drying racks that hang on the sink and I’m sure they never dreamed of being the pink power ranger or marrying Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Some of them are the type to ramble on about how much they truly don’t care, which is fine.
I have no desire to live a photo shoot lifestyle. I’m happy with being the girl who avoids washing this one sweatshirt because it hardly still smells like cologne and even with being the foreigner who shattered a plate at Starbucks over the weekend. All I’m saying is that I miss watching the Kardashians. Also, that I sorta miss hearing about them.
I shouldn’t have admitted that up there, about the Kardashians and all. I kept doing this thing where I just wanted to go off gushing about it but then I’d close my laptop because I knew I shouldn’t and then I’d just sit there tapping blue fingernails against a hard surface until it got boring. Then I started typing again.