Baby daddies

Looking back, I think about all the guys who could have been
Like that guy in my high school
Who quietly carried my backpack for me, while I was in-between lightheadedness
From blood loss and menstrual pain
And loneliness



Missed connection

Hi. I was nine years old during my stay at the hospital from a broken leg, and you were probably around that age too. Per request, the nurse brought in a Nintendo to my room for me to play Mario Bros. II one day, and you joined in to play. I was the mushroom and I wasn’t really paying attention to the game and I was just excited about the fact that I was sitting next to a boy. Do you remember me? Bye.

Kicking rocks for no reason

I remember when I had an epiphany that I would ultimately forget again. It was during one of my first jobs in an office as a collage student. That job was where I had gotten a taste of the adult working world. There was a creepy mathematics dude who used to always stop by my desk; especially after finding out that I was going to take a semi break from school and travel the world for a while. His wife was Asian and he had mentioned that she belonged to some welcoming committee — whatever the f that meant. Anyway, I remember sweating frivolously one time when he stopped by my desk to give me a book on languages. I had no idea why I was sweating uncontrollably because I hardly ever sweat, and I also had zero interest in him. I found it hilarious while it was happening, and it made me sweat even more. It’s like laughing uncontrollably when you watch your car sink down a body of water. I heard that it did happen to someone.

Anyway, back to the epiphany… but before that, I must mention that those were good days. I felt so appreciated in that office; although as an undergraduate student slave, I was doing super low level jobs like filing their crap together while they entertained their minds with cool stuff. My cube didn’t have any windows nearby so I didn’t get to see the light of day. It was ok ’cause the job was only like 2-4 hrs a day anyway. There was a graduate student on the opposite side of my cube who wore a beanie cap. He had a little son, and he listened to “Hey Ya” by OutKast on his headphones really loud. That song was going to be the theme of that summer for me.

I loved that time. Although the job was boring, I loved the whole set up. In the drawer of my cube there was a starfruit lotion. I loved the thought of a succulent and shapely starfruit. I also really loved repeating the word gabana during that time, and I really liked saying banana too. So I mashed it together and it was a banana gabana starfruit type of segment of my life.

One enjoyable lazy hot day, I kicked a little rock on the sidewalk as I walked back to my dorm. I was surprised at how good my aim was; considering that I have horrible aim in general. The rock kept getting kicked perfectly. I felt like an Olympic football player. I realized that when I kicked the rock without intention, it got kicked perfectly. But when I kicked it with too much expectations in mind, I got nervous and missed. That was the epiphany: Just don’t care too much!

One moment I was kicking a rock on the campus sidewalk– month later I was halfway around the world carried in the arms of a dude while getting myself into a whirlwind chain of language-less events. He was a French-Spaniard traveling the world too, and body language was the only language we spoke. It was way more fun than kicking rocks. Mmm that creamy skin and that spankable a$$. I know that guys usually objectify women, but I absolutely love it when I objectify men. I was going to be obsessed with his pretty face for many years after that, but a toothless weirdo with the ability to shatter souls could have done just as fine, too. And probably more.

Fifteen years later he wants to give up everything to see me again, says he’s missed me all fifteen years. It was all that I had ever wanted to hear when I cared. Fifteen years later, I don’t feel the same. Not even re-listening to “Hey Ya” is doing it.

I guess it was like kicking rocks. Too much expectations, unintended consequences. No need to regret anything though, it was a great time in my life.


Mr. Mock

It just came to me out of nowhere, but I think his name was Mr. Mock. He was the gym teacher who made elementary school ten times more fun, especially for extremely playful kids like myself. Why would anyone want to sit around, study, and get lost in messed up thoughts when you could be flying and giggling in the air half way during some leaping jump? You could be chasing kids around in hide and seek, or you could be running away from them in a game of tag.
Gym time was just that, and Mr. Mock made it fun by incorporating sports elements to it; although I cared less about sports. We played a game of kickball, as I remember it. It was the closest to tag that I could play during school. My heart skipped a beat every time we were to begin gym class. Not only was the whole concept of gym fun, but I also had a budding innocent little crush on Mr. Mock.

He looked like a Ken doll, or Flash the superhero from some TV show in either the 80s or the 90s that had always stuck with me. He had brownish hair, blue eyes, and a sharp jawline. And he always wore gym clothes, which included a track jacket.

Yeah, so granted I was probably nine and he was probably over forty, now that I look back… and embarrassingly bite my lip. As a kid, your concept of “a crush” is really really innocent and extremely vague. You have to remember that as kids, we’re brainwashed with romantic ideals from television and movies that constantly showed adults in love. It was always like “maybe I’d grow up and get a chance”… I guess. It was super innocent.

Every time he gave me attention in the class, I felt like I was the only one. When you have a crush on someone, it distorts your mind into believing that they’re paying attention to solely you, when in actuality, they’re treating everyone the same. But I do remember one time, when he was teaching us how to play baseball, where I felt extra special. I was sitting down with all the kids and listening to him explain the rules. Obviously, I didn’t care. He took my hand and used me as a demo to explain to the kids. He said, “If you’re left handed, you stand to the left” and he led me to the left, and he said, “If you’re right handed, you stand to the right” and he led me to the right. I think I got my directions wrong, so he playfully said left, and pulled me left, or right, and pulled me right, or left, and pulled me left, or right, and pulled me right. I giggled so happily and ostentatiously, and he was laughing too. Basically I was in zen when I sat back down. I felt so special. I thought Mr. Mock would always know who I am.

He did, when I saw him in the parking lot in front of K-Mart. To my childish embarrassment, I was with my entire family including my grandparents when we got out of the car as Mr. Mock was pulling his cart out. I think I froze still, but Mr. Mock did acknowledge and said, “Hi” or gave a nod, or something.

The next day in gym class, he called me “Ms. K-mart” and I felt special and acknowledged. Of course, when I thought about it years later, I wasn’t too ecstatic thinking that K-Mart actually went bankrupt and that company became a joke. Anyway, this was back then. Still, I think he would have remembered me years later. But soon enough, I never saw him again.

I did visit that place when I was in my late teens and entered his empty office in the gym. I never even knew there was an office in the gym. He had a picture of an elderly pear-shaped woman sitting down on a chair at his desk. Maybe it was his wife, but it couldn’t be his mother due to the newness of the picture.

So that was that. Right this minute, I wonder where he is now. In a nursing home? No… he can’t be that old. Maybe he’s in his sixties now. Either way, I doubt he’d remember me. We’d have to zoom back to the past, back to the gym class when he playfully pulled me left, and then right, and then left and then right again. I can still hear the echos of my giggles.


To be like him

The ride down the lane; down the tube like straight roads of my memory. Blurred visions outside of lights passing by amid the darkness. The lack of conversation and the lack of memory of the few brief things we talked about. I was too consumed with comfort of a ride home from the place I interned at. No bus tonight. It was a smooth drive with a professional man who earned a living, who had a Russian accent, who had a place of his own, a car of his own, who paid his own bills, and who offered to drive me home from our office. I was just a poor graduate student who mostly associated with other broke students. Opening the door to his car, it felt like I was touching something valuable. And when I sat down, I felt so relieved in the presence of a real grown man. We were essentially working in the same department, but he had a legitimate higher position while I was a temporary intern. It was the first time I fell in love with the thought of being like him. I could smell the freeing scent of becoming a self-made woman one day; earning my own money, owning my own place, driving my own car, of being a professional, of being powerful, self-sufficient, just like him, someday…

Written 2014/06/12, based on past

The smell of anxiousness

Bring back those anxious feelings of my childhood: the distinct smell of dry noodle mixture and seasonings inside the chemical smelling 80’s plastic lunch box. Bring back these feelings of isolation and fear of differences, the fear of rulers and authorities (teachers), and the fear of rules and systems that used to cage me within the school boundaries; where my mother would be on the other side of the gate after they closed it on me to begin this school thing. Where I had cried and cried because I wanted to be back into the arms and comfort of my mom, my home. The lunch time tiffin box was all those things I feared. I still smell it here and there, and my stomach tightens as I sit in my office today and contemplate whether it was worse then, or is it worse now.