I’m sorry that you’ve been reduced to a common office plant. With your colorful leaves and short stature, yet you’re low maintenance, you’ve graced the desks of office secretaries instead of where you belong. You wish you were like that oak tree outside, swaying gently to the breeze while you have to entertain yourself to the air conditioning that’s always on because the boss has a chronic sweat problem and everyone else is wearing down jackets. You wish you were like that orchid, constantly a showcase on everyone’s Instagram feed and carefully watered and maintained because “it would be such a shame if it wilted”. You wish you were like the pointy succulent squad in the front corner of the desk, next to the zen garden and faux waterfall. A little jungle over there. A little sense of peace, instead of the office vibe that the pencil skirts, striped ties and stale coffee give off. You inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, straighten up a little and try to live it up a little while swaying to the imaginary breeze, facing the window where dreams once were.
Written: 6/16/17 1:06am
I think in French, my mind rolling around repeating Je ne sais pas. Je ne sais rein. And I painfully reel back, hold myself back and go back to writing dreams in English. I head down the street for a coffee, but I don’t drink coffee, so I stop inside and inhale all the scents and memories. Memories of you and a sly and satisfied smile behind the recyclable coffee cup, your tongue stained and your breath smelling of a routine morning strike me and I pause to avoid an onslaught of tears. I order a cookie even though I already have a bunch of cookies and my mind reverberates Je t’aime. Je t’aime beaucoup. Back to work. Back home again.
I yell in Cantonese, the pitched notes, the sharp tongue and suddenly I’m reminded when I sprinted down the halls, barely missing the corners to avoid facing my punishments. Screaming and yelling, hearing only my voice in my head and feeling powerless with Stop it! I didn’t mean it! I’m sorry! And the Cantonese got closer until I grew up, but I guess I could order a heaping bowl of noodles instead of hearing how worthless I can be.
I insult myself in Mandarin, a classic, yet difficult language and demonstration of your truest skill and culture as I struggle to pronounce who I am, maintaining my goofiness without fail only to appear rude and of a child. With a singular glance and formal smile, I’m deemed as unworthy as the silence fills the spaces between us until I’m no longer close enough to understand. What a pity.
I dream in Korean, a light weighted and song-like whisper. Even the most vulgar and harshest phrases, come out as balls of marshmallow, melting your mouth and coating it with a light kiss. Yet, I’m lost and I wonder how do I find the correct recipe to success to treat your heart to newfound memories of joy.
Written: 6/16/17 12:16am
Each week, I’ll be posting a little segment of my opinions of what is happening in the United States. These were written in December 2016 for a class assignment and I felt like I shouldn’t neglect what’s in front of us right now, but to have it be known. This is the first of four installments.
When Kanye West announced that he planned on running for presidency in 2020, we laughed and whispered among ourselves, but loudly enough so that others can hear. We whispered that there was no way this would be probable, but granted how things were going, we wouldn’t mind. He would be doing a better job anyways.
When Donald Trump announced that he was going to run for presidency in 2016, we laughed and whispered, “There’s no way that this will happen.” Little did we know, the imminent future that will affect us all whether we liked it or not. We knew he wouldn’t get very far because the other candidates seemed more probable. Little did we know that this wasn’t the case. His bizarre and radical announcements shocked us, but we weren’t shaken because we had a feeling that he wouldn’t get very far. We turned him into memes, highlighting his old age and wispy hair. We impersonated him because of how much he stood out and how little he appeared to know. As time progressed, we realized how serious he was, but we remained the same. People drifted to sides as candidates began to drop out. From the sidelines, I had a feeling that this was too bizarre to participate in, so I went back to my homework and finished it. My roommate was invested in Bernie Sanders and even after he lost the nomination, she still stood by him. As the year went by, signs and bumper stickers started appearing. Every time a Trump sticker or sign appeared, she would wrinkle her nose and walk away but when there was a Hilary sign, no response would be elicited, but after it was certain that Hilary would be the Democratic nominee and Trump would be the Republican nominee, she would whisper her support.
The two extremes stood opposing each other and while some were for her and some were for him, others would see them as mirror images, causing too much fear and uncertainty for the future of our country.
This piece is very personal to me because it’s something that actually happened. Basically what happened, I had a friend who wouldn’t listen to me, who used my feelings which resulted in the end of our friendship. I wrote this piece to give myself closure of what happened because while friendship is already hard for me to acquire, it was even more difficult to make sense with myself to let go of this friendship for my own mental health. I feel like everyone eventually has to go through something like this. My friend told me that whenever I write about emotional things that happened in my life, the pieces are more powerful because of the diction I used and the strong emotions I have behind it. I would agree, but I don’t usually write highly emotional pieces because it’s kind of exhausting.
This short piece is a timeline of our deteriorating friendship. In the first paragraph, it’s the beginnings when I helped her out with her life and comforted her. In the next paragraph, I realized that she just wanted someone to listen to her, so I let her be until she met my friends and they saw through her, leaving her feeling betrayed. I felt like I was stuck in a middle of a conflict because of two different perspectives I was hearing. At the end of that paragraph, it seals the deal with the fact that my friend just used me for her own benefit with nothing coming out for me because friendship or any kind of relationship is a two way contract. In the final paragraph, I mention the amount of stress this is causing for me, so I end it. The final sentences is basically saying how I find comfort in my decision only through the distance.
This piece could be categorized as either poetry because of the lyricalness or it could be categorized as creative non-fiction because it’s a snippet of a part of my life written in a creative way or it could be categorized as a short story because after all, it is a short story. Personally, depending on where I’m publishing it and who I’m telling this story to, it would be either. It’s partially up to the reader.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this piece!
Have a good day!