I was walking back from brunch, thinking about what else I needed to do before heading downtown. Not paying heed to anyone I passed on my busy street. It was a lazy weekend morning.
As I passed a Mexican boy of 10 years old, he looked straight at me. He cupped his chest and jiggled the imaginary sandbags as if they were bouncy. Then he declared loudly, “Hola, chica!”
At first, I was nonplussed. I was silent and did not react. But moments later after he had passed me…I started cracking up and couldn’t stop laughing.
In college, I used to think Fridays were the worst. I had the worst days.
I would wake up—something horrible would happen. Maybe I burn my food and it would be disgusting. Or that I miss the bus by a minute and I can see it pulling away.
Then it would collapse into having a fight with a friend. A spat with a lover. Or my manager yelling at me.
I would lose something. Over pay something. Get shafted at a store. Receive a bad grade.
At the end of the Friday, I would declare to myself—always bad luck, every Friday is the 13th.
Yet they are just events. They are just purely events. It is simply that I lost my keys and that’s ok. It’s unrelated to the fact this evening’s unexpected argument. It’s not the reason that I dropped a precious plate at my friend’s house. No causation or correlation.
So then, I will not say I had a bad day.
…would you want a cat or a dog?
Sometimes a cat can be like a dog and a dog can be like a cat.
Convenience fees. Ticketmaster.
Bands showing up late. Thanks, popscene.
Alcohol spilling my clothes…and my fancy shoes
Couples who love to grind with each other…and everyone else around them
Long hair flying in my face
Keeping my balance while people around me mosh-pitting
Tall people. Period.
But I can’t resist. To see music performed live…is the best feeling in the world…
Halfway through the second movie, I was suddenly paralyzed by anxiety. The moving images in front of me suddenly did not matter.
I left my expensive light on my bike. Outside. In the public eye.
Quickly, scenarios ran through my head. Do I walk outside? Do I try to excuse through the throngs of movie watchers? Do I disrupt this film viewing—a film that may be only shown once in the states?
Maybe nobody took it, I hoped. It’s probably stolen by now.
So I sat there trying to let the moving images seep into my consciousness. It was a depressing film—about the poverty and struggle in war-torn region of the Philippines—about the harsh reality of old tradition, gender roles and financial burdens.
I had a first world problem…that was in no comparison to the strife I was seeing on the silver screen. I lived in a country of peace, stuffing myself well in the upper middle class…as a true yuppie in an urban city. I was sitting in comfortable seats in an artsy independent theater—temperature-controlled. Safe.
But nonetheless, after the film was over, I quickly mentioned my reasons and rushed outside.
It was gone. The bracket and the light. I cursed myself for forgetting because this was the first time. Technically the first that I left it there. It felt dirty suddenly. I didn’t like that someone had touched my bike and unscrewed the bracket. Someone’s filthy immoral fingers took it. With the intention of taking something that was not rightfully theirs. Did they rationalize by—she should have never left it—she deserves the punishment Or was it simply—this would sell well on craigslist?
I still have trouble riding that bike, knowing that someone touched it. Touched it inappropriately. Taking it from me. Violation. It’s miniscule. But the anger is inside me.
Just for a bike light. Lighting my way in the darkness.
Said in Lawrence of Arabia and Prometheus.
On Friday, I had a minor medical procedure…which itself I didn’t really mind much. But it was the pain that increased afterwards…that I minded.
Normally, I am the type that will deal with the pain. I bear it with gritted teeth. Sometimes thinking that this is reality, after all. Pain is the burden of being human—that we are tied to our bodies.
This time though on Friday as I was writhing on my bed from the pain…I thought aloud, “Ok I will take the doctor prescribed pain medication. Yes, please.”
So I shuffled to Walgreens, barely 2 blocks away. At the pharmacy, I recognized the woman who had mangled my photo order a few weeks earlier—somehow wasting more than 10 minutes trying to find my single print when it turned out to be in front of her. Why was she at the cashier?! But I could barely see through the fog of numbing pain. Just give it to me.
Fifteen minutes, I downed it. An hour later, I regretted it. Instead of pain, I was overcome by nausea and could not keep anything down. This kind of state continued for another 8 hours as I forced myself through the regular tasks of the day.
Nausea? I would take pain any day.
In the fancy bar, I reached into my bag. Foursquare check-in time. Empty space. I was already not feeling it at the bar—and almost felt relieved to have an excuse to leave. A few scenarios went through my mind—I can use this to leave…I can excuse myself…I can use my loss as a way to return to the hotel.
And oddly enough, I didn’t panic, but in almost automated mode I turned to Cindy who drove us and calmly said, “I think that I left my phone in the car. Can I look?”
She and I walked to her car. I peered inside to the dark backseat only lit by the streetlamps. It was not there.
“Maybe it was in the hotel lobby,” I said slowly. “But it’s ok…we don’t have to drive back—I don’t want to keep you.”
“But your phone!” she exclaimed. “We have to get it!”
Slightly relieved, we drove back to the hotel—only 5 blocks away. For some reason, I was on automatic and I strolled to the lobby. And there it was. In the soft comfortable large lounge chair in the lobby that I had been sitting in only 15 minutes prior. It was in its cyan glory. Big. Impossible to miss. I swooped down and picked it up. Mine. Relieved that nobody turned it in…that nobody took it.
Then I wondered if the hotel people thought for a moment that I was taking something that wasn’t mine. But I was so happy that I didn’t have to think about it.
I got back in the car, satisfied. A little bit more happier that evening. And we went back to the bar. Where I checked in immediately.
hey world! I am here!
Yesterday while eating dinner, I was feeling very tense. Actually nervous for some reason. As I picked up my chopsticks, I could see my fingers shake—fear that I would offend my new friends when I would have to declare, “I do not enjoy eating Chinese food.”
Only 30 minutes prior, we had arrived to a Korean restaurant where the hostess refused to sit us because it was 30 minutes to closing time. I balked, wanting to demand that we be seated since…we were paying customers! But instead, someone said, “Let’s do Schezwan!”
With two additional voices chiming agreement, I desired not to dissent and silently walked with them to the car.
And there I was 30 minutes later, attempting to hide my dislike of the food. The dishes arrived swiftly—the great part of Chinese restaurants. I would eat small bites, mostly so that nobody noticed and enough to whisk away my hunger. A little bit of the tripe, the tofu, the Asian greens…and noodles. But people noticed. Across from me, a friend pushed the restaurant menu in front of me—find something you like. It was a futile attempt because I had gone through this cycle before.
And I was asked again to find something.
So I had to say it.
I don’t want to make it big a deal and I don’t want to impose, but Chinese cuisine is my least favorite type of food.
There was a silence. I didn’t want their guilt of responsibility. All I had wanted to was a nice dinner.
So I amended it the only way that I could, But I love dessert!
I wasn’t kidding.
During lunch, I presented the argument, “I really believe that the world is connected. That somehow we are connected perhaps by invisible webs. How else can I explain how suddenly communication from people happen at the same time. And that is why I believe in ESP. I believe that I can mind read. When I try really hard, it doesn’t work. But when I let it go, it just happens. I know. I just know.”
They gave me glances of hesitation. Trepidation. But at that moment, I interpreted it as expressions of curiosity. I grinned wider and went on a longer rant of mind-reading. It really made sense to me.
Then my colleague said, “I also believe in aliens.”
Moments later, I realized how crazy I sounded. One step at a time to make the uncrazy…crazy.
I celebrated my 30th the only way I know that I can. With massive amounts of ice cream…and sodas.
At Ice Cream Bar, aptly named that it confused people.
With over 30 people including a two-month old and a five year old captured succinctly in photos
With a custom menu made with my favorite things—strawberries, soda, olive oil.
Temporary tattoos, party hats and beads, overfilled stomachs, a board to capture ideas for 31 flavors next year.