Attempts to Journal, Pt. 1

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

We wore matching clothes today: bright yellow tops that ultimately looked ridiculous together. We tried to get a friend to wear yellow as well–we’d loosely planned to meet and go to an art show–but alas, plans fell through. It’s okay, though. ’twas still a good day.

God, I used to write journal entries like this all the time. I’d come home from school and go straight to the computer where I’d write and write and write. I’d write about the stupidest things, things I’d never care to remember the next day or month or year. I’d write things like, we each had baked potatoes for lunch and then made wild chants upon finishing them. Life’s a million times more interesting now than it was then. Ironically, though, I don’t feel the need to write about it as much. Or even record it. But it could just be a momentarily lapse in obsessive life-recording.

Anyways. Where was I? Right. Journaling. I’m trying to get back into it.

Image result for chewing gum show

Started and finished Chewing Gum on Netflix in about three days. It’s kind of hard to describe how utterly weird it is–it’s cringey in a do-I-laugh-or-cry? sort of way. And it’s so absurd that it catches you off-guard multiple times in a funny discomforting way. My best friend didn’t like it much, but the Internet’s raving about Chewing Gum. At first I didn’t get it, thought it was strange and foreign, but then it grew on me. Next thing I know, I’m imitating the hilariously uptight little sister who’s religious and shrieks a lot.

It’s quirky. But, y’know, I like weird, I like quirky.

Now I’m trying to get into Stranger Things. I’ve watched about an episode and a half, haven’t gotten too far. It reminds me a lot of the video game Beyond Two Souls–from the (Spoiler alert!) government-rooted shapeless evil blob to the hunted protagonist girl with short brown hair and supernatural powers. Update: turns out I’m not alone in drawing the parallels.

Oxymoron

figure

 

Things I might be certain of:

We’re swimming in norms no one person decided. Maybe the sky is blue. This may or may not be a dream. I like writing incoherent text posts at one in the morning. I deeply suspect that a part of me secretly enjoys–thrives on–the stress of procrastinating and the last-minute headaches of: oh God, oh God, I have an essay due tomorrow and I’ve no idea what the prompt is; I didn’t pay attention any of the times my professor touched upon the paper so now I have to ask around for the prompt and I really should have done this sooner.

Oh. I did fine on the last paper, the one I wrote the afternoon before. The fictionalized one. I don’t write fiction, I haven’t written fiction, not since it got squashed out of me in HS. But when I was eight I liked writing fiction, fiction about girls with blonde and blue hair (all those Mary Kate and Ashley books getting to my head) I never wrote about aliens or dystopias but I guess I’ve been thinking about that a lot (all this data mining getting to my head) so I wrote a paper about it. My TA said he’d have liked me to elaborate more on the story, which I don’t think was even included… Was there a story? Mostly it was like an excruciatingly drawn-out description. I did this my first semester, too. I came up with some drawn-out fictionalized character reading from a book I hadn’t read and then–then what? I did fine.

This is a cycle. I procrastinate, do fine, grow lax in my ability to churn out last-minute papers, then get headaches the day before. I think it’s part laziness, part perfectionism, part I-just-want-to-do-it-because-I-can. I mean, I don’t know.

I keep wishing it’s Christmas. Yesterday I went downtown. Twice, actually. First to wander around the city, second to celebrate my roommate’s birthday. On the car drive back we passed by bars and clubs and concert-cafes and it was so odd catching glimpses into people’s lives–like the city equivalent of peering into brightly-lit homes in suburbia. To see some of the things/hear some of the sounds/feel some of the vibes these other people are experiencing, it’s like witnessing something that isn’t yours to witness or feeling nostalgic for lives you have not lived. God, it’s so unnerving, so mundane at the same time. I can’t explain it. Something to do with seeing. Living, if just for a moment, vicariously through so many people you might never see again. Maybe it’s like the concept of scopophilia we learned about in my queer politics class, just the sheer pleasure of looking, of seeing. Maybe.

Also, ah. Like the happy drunk who cries oh I love you, you know that, right? Totally. I feel exhausted-quiet-grateful for the people who’ve been in my life for years. Raises glass. No, but really. I think sometimes I have the tendency to drift like driftwood, tumble like tumbleweed, forget incessantly to respond and get back to people. (By sometimes I mean always) People come and go. So do roses, foxes, and Little Princes. But in the past few years, a handful haven’t left. And so Oct 17th 2016 1:14 AM I’m going to be grateful for that. Yes, yes, this is my puddle of gratitude.

Day 16: Small Things

Like Jesus’s face on the painting in the kitchen, like the bird’s beak as he climb up the wires. Like the piece that falls in the stove splintered open and my face is chalky caked with make up and even though my camera’s hanging from my neck I haven’t touched her in eons. Continue reading

Flight to China

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I mostly draw on the 15-hour flight to China and–figuring the others can’t hear me over the hum of the plane anyways–sing loudly to J. Cole. After a few hours, I grow antsy and talk to some strangers in the plane gallery while eating crackers. I end up befriending a cool guy named Arthur: he’s from Shanghai, raised 2 generations of hamsters (!!!), and plays drums and Yugioh.

The plane lands; China feels smoggy and warm and familiar.

We go through customs, I say bye to my plane friends and we walk past faceless strangers until I spot Jiu Jiu (my Uncle). He’s holding up his silvery camera and recording the whole thing. Note: we share the same obsessive need to document every aspect of our lives. Then I see Jiu Ma (my Aunt) and give her a hug. We take group photos with her pink selfie stick and walk to their car. I keep thinking to myself: I’m home, I’m home, I’m home.

I feel exhilarated and exhausted and, happiness pumping through my tired little veins, pass out in the car. Apparently we get lost on our way to Jiang Yin—I wake up to snippets of them yelling about the unbelievable traffic in Shanghai. “Four hours! It was only supposed to take three—” Then I listen to Hypnotized by The Notorious B.I.G (for some reason I screenshot it) and drift off to sleep again.

When I finally wake up, it’s eight and dark and we’re just about home. Jiu Jiu takes us to the local noodle place, one of the many pocket sized walk-in restaurants lining the street, and we eat dinner.