How long does it take for valuables to be taken if left unattended? In San Francisco? On a busy street? In the Mission?
How quickly will the lure gather a passerby’s interest? Do they look to be stolen? Does a call into the wild say take me PLEASE!
Quite often, I bike without a lock, betting that I will not stop anywhere that requires my bike to be locked outside. Ever since the “accident” 2 weeks ago, I am forced to use my more expensive bike—the super-light Cannondale that is priced at over 1k.
Today unexpectedly, Sashimi and I stopped for ice cream and burritos. However, neither us had a lock that could encompass both bikes. One of us stood outside in the (pseudo-freezing) SF cold with the bikes—carelessly watching the bikes as the other went inside to procure the food.
As I was standing next to my Cannondale, a clear non-biker gave me a look and said, “That is a beautiful bike.”
He didn’t look like a bike enthusiast but I thanked him anyway, standing there warily.
But of course, there were a few times that our mind was fully distracted with something inside, with our backs turned for a full 30 seconds. But the bikes remained out there where it always was. And everything was ok.
Here are the foods that I typically dislike with such fervor.
Bread-like things (including sandwiches and pizza)
Too much oregano
Hearts of palms
Pumpkin when not done correctly
Too much alcohol
When are you truly yourself? Unrestrained? Feel to act without any potential judgment? Freedom to clearly to state your opinion and remain respected?
Are there the few people that allow you to do that? That allow you to grow? To not lose yourself? To be truly yourself?
When I am myself, I take photos freely without fear. I openly talk about my anxieties. Silences are never awkward. I show limitless affection—hugs are natural and welcomed. Sleep takes over easily. I am incredibly magnetic during those times.
Last Saturday, I stood in the kitchen chopping carrots and parsnips. The slicing and chopping movements were stress-relieving from invisible barriers that I grew. Chop. Slice. And trying hard to appear unbothered.
Sometimes you’re with someone and the physical touch is enough to remind you that you’re not alone.
But then sometimes it isn’t.
As I stood there in the concert with bright lights and blaring melodies…trying to stand on tiptoe so I could see, all I could do was lose myself in the music, letting thoughts spill in through the top of my head and down.
I remembered what I decided today and what I learned. I remember the childhood traumas that I discussed in the morning. Next steps, next steps.
And the stream of thoughts circled through me like fresh breaths as they sang, their bodies barely visible through the tops of heads and bright LCD screens making the real unreal.
And then I was back once more in reality.
In that moment, I also thought about how painful it would be to maimed but alive.
Humans are so hard to kill. We are resilient animals. Now with so much life-saving technology. We even beat the creatures of the invisible size.
So that’s what I thought in the brief seconds as I was lying there on the concrete, squeezing my eyes closed. Screaming like a performance so that cars would not run over me.
As I was screaming in sudden panic on the ground, I thought, What a life that I haven’t led…
I felt something huge of metal approach me from behind where I was lying on the road. This is it flashed through my mind and how I didn’t settle things in my life, how I left so much things untied…and how this was my worst nightmare.
Then everything paused.
Then I got up and saw that my bike was underneath the car. I checked myself and realized that I wasn’t hurt. The driver came out of her car and asked in between tearful cries, “Are you ok?”
A bicyclist and another driver stopped asking if we needed any help, but I was on auto-pilot…more confused and unsure of what to do. Yes I should head back to the mission…I have something at 7…
But I stopped myself and got things in order, staring at my mangled bike.
In college, I saw a counselor for several weeks in sorting life issues. During one of our last sessions, he came in with contacts. No glasses. And it disrupted my thinking. The glasses seemed to change everything—I could no longer talk to him normally—even though intellectually he was all the same. It was unfamiliar, unfriendly, and uncomfortable.
I am a slow changer—drastic haircuts are a foreign concept to me. I drag my feet when it comes to anything that changes my appearance. In all, even when I get or do something completely new, I wish that people would not notice and that I would blend into obscurity.
I am a contradiction with the performer inside me, wanting to be seen and heard. I want to dye my hair blue, maybe streaks. I want to wear something that I never wear. I want to say things that I never say. I just want to be crazy. Because doing that, I’ll be different. I hope.
I gasped with surprise when a coworker stated with certainty, “The worst thing to tell you is that you’re normal.”
When I was 11, my 6th grade English teacher declared a motto to us. Looking back, she probably was under 30 instead of the ancient adult age that I saw. Red hair, bright eyes…a desire to change the world with the class. She often talked about her neighbors in her apartment building. She cared the most, I remember.
And most vividly, I remember her saying, “Don’t be normal, be different.”
I buried it within me. To be normal was an aberration. To be different was to be better. Every day, I sought to be someone who didn’t blend it, who tried to be different.
What a conflict of interest wen sometimes all I wanted was to be accepted.
And then she advised me, “Don’t focus on what you lack. Focus on what you want. Wanting is creating.”
The other day, I decided to try it out. Rather then saying “I don’t have guidance”, I bluntly made the request, “I want your guidance. I need it.”
And magically, things changed.
You can get along with most people
You enjoy foods of all kinds—from haute cuisine to ridiculous fatty foods from county fairs
You appreciate the greatness of Jack Bauer
You don’t mind the presence of a non-drinker, non-smoker
You know what a mobile phone is
You listen to music. And when I mean listen…that you love music. And you can appreciate music that you don’t normally listen to
You know what I mean when I say…I am not very SMRT
Your energy levels are off the charts. Without any input.
You will support me in my foursquare obsession (but you can make fun of me too)
You don’t believe in taking taxis
You will leave the toilet seat down after use
You believe that there is always a way to get something for cheaper, but if you want something, you will get it
You prefer cold weather over hot weather
You love big cities