Nonsensical post

No structure: free form, degraded hand-writing. Cursive, illegible. Makes me think: rap, jazz, free-style. You do it often enough and it sounds rehearsed; you get it right the first time.
So here I go, this was my day:
God, help me. I didn’t want to get up from my bed. Limbs weak, eyes dry. I put on my make-up, had Oreos for breakfast. Put on my falsies and got in an Uber: 8am photoshoot.
Some people can put on more makeup and look beautiful- I however, can only go so far. I look middle aged or like my face has been painted on like a festival mask (it is le Dia de Los Muertos). I am also awfully self-conscious in front of a camera. I focus on the fact that my eyes don’t crinkle when I smile, that I must look dead and insincere. I don’t know where to position my body, so my arms are fat and my shoulders are hunched – the body of a hag. Crazy to think I used to get a kick out of play-pretend modelling. Sleepovers were for perfecting catwalk, bootcamps for sexy squints.
I went home to rip off the lashes and put on my workout clothes. I went from acapella to boxing crew, all of whom were wearing hoodies as uniform. Made a joke about running on Oreos. Chimed in on the banter, got teased for my “night-before” makeup. I love this group: so encouraging  when I forgot the combo and even more so when I got it right (whoops, cheers, high-fives). It’s frustrating to deal with memory blanks. I check out and my body goes berserk. Don’t think about it, just feel it? Ironic that the key is mental repetition. Think about it.
Microwaved chicken, left over couscous with parmesan cheese. Bread and jam, two eggs. And Oreos for the rest of the day. Insulin spike won and I took a nap, only to be woken up by a phone call. I had agreed to Skype but my soul was dry. I LOVE MY FRIENDS but sometimes I let my temporary discomforts take over. I am drained, I am annoyed, I am bothered by the prospect of socializing. But remember: she’s going to graduate- you are lucky she even makes time for you.
Today I scrolled through my phone and wasn’t all present in conversation. Today we talked about this temporary home- it feels real now, like it could last. But we are just passing through. But speaking of the ephemeral, I downloaded Tinder and swiped for a brief fifteen minutes because I remembered this cute Burning Man guy who didn’t reply me after asking to hang out. (??) Such is life.
Talked to God seriously in the shower and came across something profound:

If obsessing over a certain kind of behavior will actually increase the probability of that behavior manifesting itself, and if it’s the intent of our heart that really matters anyway, doesn’t it make sense to take the emphasis off the behavior and place it on making sure the intent of our heart is right? Doing this accomplishes two good things. It will restore our relationship with God, helping us to regain our victory, and it will make the manifestation of the behavior less likely by depriving it of its importance.
– Jack Kelley

#preach. Food does not have the power to control me- neither through the fear of giving in or through obsession. We are all works in progress. I’m okay with that.

I watched a presentation on childhood development and technology and loved it– I realize I love research for it’s findings, not for it’s methodological design (bye pHD).The concept of contaminated time is also so real and intriguing- with technology and constant access to people, work, and school, we no longer have separate spheres of life. We no longer have a set time to do different things; we forget there are seasons in life and do everything at once. We can’t get away from work and are constantly stressed. I recently learned that some French companies will shut down email access during lunch hours for their employees. The French know what it means to live well. I also frkin love podcasts. I daydream about listening to them during research but it can get distracting so I listen to music instead.
I was pleasantly surprised by an interview offer for the developmental minor I applied for- although, the only available time slot for me is TOMORROW. Good luck to me!!!!!!

Sleep beckons.

 

Wined and dined

This restaurant might be too high-calibre for us. Take the telecom tower stools, for example. We clamber on like children straddling our horses. We watch, bewildered as they switch out the forks and knives: one for entrés and one for mains. Why they would do such a thing eludes me.

The napkin is dropped once and retrieved by the waiter. It is dropped twice and retrieved by the tip of my heel. I am an imposter in painted red lips, checking my reflection every so often to remain in an upright posture, as is only proper.

We have just one glass of wine each, the cheapest on the menu. I spit on my arm mid-conversation. We have tap water, the small portions. But there’s tripe, porcini mushrooms with potatoes and four postage stamps for Ravioli. Garlic bread, complimentary- a highlight with the olive oil. We are surprised by it’s quality and potency. Being here is like scraping a C in the top set for Maths, or buying a Rolex when one eats dirt on a daily basis.

***
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the siblings who wanted to share their rack of lamb and rocket salad dish. They had ordered too much. “That’s nice of them- not the fact that they offered but that they didn’t want to waste food”. Rare in a place like this, perhaps. How very lovely.

“Si” he affirmed each order. The Italian waiter- I suspect, the manager- who reminds me of my Dad’s best friend. The one I used to have a crush on, with his stubbly chin and sparkling smile. He stood a little too close. Touched my wrist gently in recommending the porcini, when he caught my eyes scanning for the bathroom. And he did so with a smile bright enough to have been the one before the kiss.

At the movies

People make mistakes all the time. My friend looked up the wrong times for the movie. The popcorn people gave me a box of Pretz instead of the POCKY I requested. I didn’t even realize until the third stick, believing until then that the chocolatey bit had broken off in the packet. Not the worst thing that could happen, but a close second.

***

Thoughts on Jason Bourne the movie? Older, silverfox Matt Damon with the muscles is very attractive. Alicia Vix is also very attractive. I’m glad they didn’t hook up in the end- would’ve been too predictable.

***

Before the movie, we went to MacDonald’s. You either eat a salad, or you go all out at MacDonald’s.
“Dinner with a view”, he said. We sat on a platform, watching people line up for their orders.
“You want to hook up with him, don’t you?” he jested, pointing to a very saggy Tommy Lee Jones. I love the feeling when the spirit of laughter is held in the air. Tingly. Like it could all come crashing down.

***

You again. I’m blind to the flipping cars on screen. I’m fighting off your hands at my thighs. We’re sitting on the porch and it’s night time- our playground. You’re telling me about your heritage, where your dad comes from or something of the sort. It’s that dark eyed look I remember. And then I let it go, returning my attention to the billion dollar set being destroyed.

The depths of indifference

I wrote this last summer:

In fact I am happy to be going back to LA. I have found a window to sit under. Tea whenever. I can leave the campus at three am and walk into the city if I wanted to. I do meet people randomly all the time. There’s no good time to date? I disagree. There is a time called not now. When I’m not happy enough myself, not whole enough independently to let anyone in. I don’t want to depend on another person to make myself sane, or have my feelings so wrapped around this person that I don’t know who I am. I have boundaries, I am an individual. And this will not change with a man.

My thoughts on relationships have stayed the same. With the additional: I only want a man who can help me serve God better. I love love love to see growth- both in myself and in others. Probably why I like reading and blogging so much. I see that I’ve only grown more in love with Los Angeles… Even then, I was a little indifferent about the city itself. I’ve learned that indifference is something I cannot stand. It stops me from writing and being creative. I’d pick depressed over indifferent any day- unless indifference is a symptom (#defeated). I just hate going out for dim sum with my grandmother and my aunt, unwilling to smile or even clear my throat. There is nothing to say. I might as well not be here. I have no feeling towards these human beings. I don’t even look up when my helper speaks to me or hands me a plate of scrambled eggs. “Thanks”, I say as I scroll through Daily Mail. The one saving grace is the intense jealousy I feel inspecting every documentation of Tom Hiddleston and Taylor’s romance. It must be a ploy. But Tom is too good a person to play the media like that.

I’m writing about indifference because, in spite of learning not to base my self-worth on the certainty afforded by achievements, part of me is still obsessed with pinning down favourite somethings. I rejoice over little discoveries that confirm that yes, I can be moved. Yessss, I am not a waste of space! I feel like a failure if I don’t know myself enough to come up with an answer to “what are your favourite artists?” It mostly-always throws me into an identity crisis. But here’s something: it’s okay to enjoy the feel of songs rather than their content. That can be equally as important and profound. I appreciate what sounds can do! Let your memories perform.
I don’t need to have a favourite artist or a go-to song. I listen to songs that suit the mood; it must fit the vibe of this real-time movie. I just don’t know why I find this so uncomfortable to come to terms with! As long as I find my stability in Jesus, I don’t need any other favourites to mark me as an individual. He is my constant.

What we like so much is someone who is authentically happy with themselves. The best thing is to be confident in what you believe in, to stand tall knowing that you are living out your principles regardless of what people think or say. To not have to fake anything. To be honestly radiant, without even trying. The antidote to my indifference, I initially thought, was to change the scenery. Maybe, go out into the city and drink more coffee. See a friend I really like. But I’ve come to my senses: the change begins INSIDE my head and heart. It’s all about perspective. Because the minute my family left for Canada and I said goodbye to my helper as she prepared for Indonesia, I remembered all the reasons why I loved them. The way my dad kisses my forehead, how my mum praises me for home exercises, how my helper always goes above and beyond in her generosity and thoughtfulness. How my sister makes me laugh and how she always looks at me with admiration and fondness. I am always surrounded by such love. Indifference melts away when I remember.

Indelible

The hum of the blow dryer. Dad’s fingers sifting through the damp strands of my hair. Tossed, ruffled, falling like sand.
—–
The sun on my chest. Blistering heat. Sticky thighs. Summer.
—–
Thailand. I’m dripping onto the tiles and Iggy Azalea is trying to rap. She’s the realest. The taste of sweet sprite and raspberry vodka. Chips floating in the pool.
—–
Grey. The sound of a thunderstorm. Calming. Blankets and cold toes.
—–
Warm. Body Shop strawberry bath bubbles smell like candy. Sister and I are tasked with separating the big bubbles from the small ones.

Shorts

“The moon is like a lemon wedge”, she said.
And I told myself it was beautiful and that I was going to write it down.
We ran with the lemon-wedged moon.

– – – – –

What if she never saw herself as an artist?
Would I be the artist for recognizing her art? I’m taking the truth and I am framing it.

– – – – –

We don’t create, we translate. We just don’t remember when or where we had once felt the same way. All of you poets and creators! We are the same! You describe what is in me.

– – – – –

My story is the most outrageous. Until I hear yours.

– – – – –

We are moments colliding. You remind me of all these other good things.

– – – – –

The music is an animal. A moving mass that has possessed me.
A language. We have diffused into each other.

– – – – –

INVASION:
Thought is a polluter. Please, can you get out of my head.

Jump

When your heart is pounding and you’re worried you might get your foot tangled and  it’ll be embarrassing because all these people are watching… Just do it. Run in and jump that rope. You can do it.

Let them order you a shot of tequila even though you’ve sworn since the last time you can’t down the thing without gagging. Thinking about the taste makes you want to retch. You can feel the adrenaline rushing and you’re so nervous you’re shaking. But throw your head back. You can do it.

Stare into the tiny bottle. It’s counter-intuitive to let something drop into your eye. You feel the urge to blink, to protect your eye from the foreign liquid. But your eyes will feel better, promise.

Dare yourself to sing at the next open mic session. The jitters are natural but they aren’t necessary. It’s like that after every performance… You learn that fear is transient and that it is quickly replaced with comfort, trust, ease. You always want to do it again.

You’ve always imagined waxing to be unbearably painful. But it’s not nearly as bad as you thought, was it? And how about that time, at six thirty in the morning, when nobody would jetty jump? You raised your hand and quietly regretted it. But that reprimanding voice lasted only a second, because when you made that splash and let the coolness envelope you, you realized that the drop was worth it (and proceeded to jump again and again).

Do things that scare you- things that you know won’t hurt you really. It’ll be fun, exhilarating. The experience will be it’s own reward- like you’ve survived something you didn’t think you would. Do it and be proud (looks like Nike says it best! lul). Make the list of things you’ve done, the times you’ve embarrassed yourself grow longer. Collect those stories, your little milestones- because you’re the most exciting person here.

On that note, I’m reminded of the poem Parachute by Lenrie Peters. Check it out. 🙂

The park

We’re showing off our roley-poleys, spinning on the handle bars which old people like to use to stretch their legs. We’re gymnasts! Then we’re blowing bubbles from plastic goo to make transparent balls that reflect the rainbow. Who can make the biggest bubble? And we run around the playground, sliding sideways down the slides, greeting each other through what’s supposed to be a channel for our voices. Two purple metal poles with slits for our mouths to whisper into and for our ears to press up against.
We can’t resist the curry fish balls because it’s a local delicacy. Always five on a stick in a leaky paper bag.

– – – – –

The next minute, we’re illegally lighting candles on trays and staring up at the white face of the full moon. Neon lights hang from the trees and glow sticks adorn our heads, necks, and wrists. You can never wear enough of the glowing rings. My cousins scamper around me, each with their own noisy, bulbous lanterns. We aim to waste the batteries and set everything on fire! Alight! You must milk nights like these for all the magic they’re worth.

– – – – –

The green of the skating rink is olive in the shade. We’re on our backs, head on our folded arms- our makeshift pillows. It’s late and we breathe like we’re sleeping but we’re watching the clouds. We’re friends, though I’m thinking that if I loved a boy, I’d like this a lot.
Look at the stars. Did I know that they are already dead? But didn’t they once shine brilliantly.
And thinking back, didn’t we once?

– – – – –

We shouldn’t have been let out of the house in our attire, but we don’t care, and this is evident as we’re eating out of a variety of chip packets. Slumped on the bench, we perfectly juxtapose the glistening joggers, puffing to finish yet another round, and we quickly become familiar with this one guy who seems to appreciate the humor in what we’re doing. He waves and smiles as he passes and we wave back, as if to say we’re here most days of the week. It’s not strictly true, but this is our park.

– – – – –

I’m growing increasingly disgusted by him. The way he holds my hand and insists on a hand on my waist. The way he brushes hair behind my ear, away from my neck. It’s not romantic. And here comes the talk; it’s pretty much over. It starts to rain and it’s the best part of today. I love the feeling of rain on my skin, the feeling of reckless abandon. I’m a child again, with hair clinging to my cheeks and grass on my legs. It cools the intensity of my confusion. At the very least, he’s romantic enough to twirl me. Then he’s ready to leave before the rain hits harder.

– – – – –

We’re pacing back and forth, in our hoodies, carrying bottles of green tea. I have two phones in my pocket, because the buzz of a text makes her anxious. We talk about the possible futures and most probable ends of whatever we have with these guys. Would I like to kick back with a couple of beers and watch the sunset? Maybe. Would she like to see him again because he makes her feel different? But they’re meant to dip in only for a short while. We’ve only just turned seventeen.

– – – – –

I come here to clear my mind. I have with me a cup of tea, a notebook and a pen. I’ll sketch the trees, the curve of the skating rink. There’s a certain music here, where everything seems to fit together, sing to each other, like counter parts. The sky breaks over green, the wind brings me air, the ants scurry away from my foot. I am taking a break from the people I love, the pain of loving. I am content in being alone.

– – – – –

All the memories I have there are special in some way.

Transcendent

Meditation is not only about embracing stillness. It’s about absorbing the moment and being mindful of present sensations, like being aware of the interminent ticks of the clock and the snoring of my sister, the weight of my chin on my hand, the soft pillow beneath my crossed knee.
—–

2005. My ‘second birthday’- when I made the official decision to commit myself to Jesus Christ. My family surrounded me and my aunt even bought a cake to commemorate this new life. As I watched the candles wink and envelop me in warmth, I thought to myself: this is unreal. Like a picture.
—–

Euphoria. A dopamine/ endorphin rush. I’m on a high, with just enough alcohol in my blood. But Red Bull is most likely the culprit. There are certain moments when I say to myself: I will remember this. It’s the mental snapshot that I take. The boys are coming over to us, pushing through people with their necks strained above moving heads. I squeeze your arm and say “they’re coming now.” And suddenly we don’t care. We dance. We DANCE. And I get this feeling that I don’t want to forget. We’re illuminated in blue, weightless, smiling with our teeth and shaking our heads at each other. This is my meditation.
—–

We have an exam on Monday… So wanna go out tonight? I’m half-joking, kind of contemplating it. I’m trying to seduce her with the idea and she hates me for it. “You’re just trying to make me say that I want to go and then you’re going to say that you’re just joking”. But we do go. She has her maths lesson and when we arrive it’s already 12:45. Straight to T I think (our new homebase). No Antoine tonight- although someone does look a lot like him. We get a few drinks (some free) and go to all these fun places. Then we push onto the platform. The lights are slicing through consciousness, we’re hogging the airconditioned corner, and it’s the same feeling as the one previously described. So happy. Elevated. Would die happy in that moment.

It’s a beautiful morning. The sun hasn’t taken over the sky yet, but it’s not grey. The sky is blue and purple-ish. The clouds hang dark and we’d have found the moon if we tried. Remember these streets, the padding of our feet along the middle of empty roads. We buy 7/11 food like we haven’t eaten for days and talk about the last time we did this. Could it top that time? On par. Top night.
—–

Even though we have an exam tomorrow we’re listening to Jesse Mccartney and David Archuleta. We’re bringing back the babes of the last decade, so of course we’re listening to Shayne Ward. We’re shouting the lyrics to ‘Breathless’: if we had babies they would look like you, in flat tones and bursts of laughter. We’re flinging our arms wildly and smothering ourselves in sound.
—–

Even though we have an exam tomorrow we’re buying marshmallows and cookie dough. We want to make s’mores. The chocolate digesetives look deformed and we’re poisioning ourselves with gas-burned marshmallows but the crunch followed by the sweet lava is so worth it.

SO PERFECT I LOVE MY LIFE.
To remember.

Prom

Prom consisted of walking back and forth from the bathroom to the tables, lifting up our dresses as we did so to prevent from tripping over our hems. It also involved tired feet, chair-sharing, compliments flying and shutters clicking. The money for makeup, meticulous hair and unique dresses was all spent for one night. If it weren’t for the money (and sentimental decor for my future room), I wouldn’t have scrambled for so many photos.

prom

There. Immortalized: my ladies.

Although most of my excitement for prom came from the expectation of great food, I had the shittiest appetizer. It was some sort of mushroom leek cake; they tried too hard to create a gourmet delicacy and failed miserably. My date (best friend) commented on the fancy napkin holders and joked that his mum would most likely have taken them home with her. I must admit that the hotel itself was beautiful. Gold everywhere. I was particularly impressed by the amazing bathroom with its full length mirrors and cushioned seats. Chair seats.

Then it came time for a compilation of embarrassing videos of people. We weren’t in it, though it’s safe to say that our videos are tucked away on YouTube and set on ‘private’. I found myself in tears watching our tags and skits the day after… We were such embarrassing children.

Also, I always have such awkward conversations with teachers… It starts off fine, but once everything has been said, how does one say goodbye? How should one exit the situation? I always wish for someone to kindly interrupt and take me away.

One teacher challenged us to stay after 12:00 am to dance with the teachers. We didn’t. But I did think about what she said: “I hope you’re enjoying this as much as we did when we had our proms. It’s the last time you’re all going to be in the same room at the same time”.

As it neared 11:30, we threw off our heels and whipped our clothes off in the hotel room. I recall such a comical image of BT feeling his way to the beds with his eyes closed. I searched for shorts but couldn’t find any, due to the misplacement of a bag of stuff (long story). I only brought spandex. So I was pulling on my white T-shirt, relieving myself of the gown, when Kwix asked “why don’t you just roll those up? They look like disco pants”. So I did. I was HANDS DOWN the most comfortable one out.

We split off into our taxis and I reflected upon the fact that the night was already happening. Our prom had just finished and after-prom had just begun. As I’m typing this, the day after, I think to myself that even that has ended.

Then it’s the same dancing and riding through the night. It was fun, I guess, but my inner homebody longed to be HOME. And I couldn’t stop thinking about food. Eat sleep no-fckin-rave repeat.

That was it.