body as friend (or foe)

my body’s a friend tonight while i’m scarfing down heaps of korean barbecue, determined to get my money’s worth. in the bathroom, i do the math. 12 plates of food would equate to $5 per, which would certainly be worth it. i’ve barely eaten all day, feeling little appetite and suppressed hunger. so the small monster unleashes at the table. i stare seriously at the meat, assessing how quickly each types cooks, sensing the unevenness of the grill. i watch the fire, blues and yellow licking the metal.

my body’s a foe tonight on the verge of explosion. the 12 plates have come. by plate 7, boyfriend is done. he has been done. will you be ordering more? he looks at me with wide desperate eyes. my own have hardened into determination. somewhere the headache i’ve had all afternoon evaporates. in its place is now a racing heart and fueled adrenaline. we soon find out that he is a terrible sidekick. “now! wait, no.” i glare at him. “now!” we turn at the same time to a coast not-clear. i glare at him again. he laughs into his sleeve, and i dump a small plate of disturbingly authentic octopi. i think that octopi do not deserve to be eaten. they’re too intelligent.

when we skid out of the restaurant, hearts beating wild, we compare it to our summer heist of 2017. we’d roadtripped to a restaurant with a view by the mountain, a view by the sea. in lieu of the four hour wait, we slipped through an open chain-link instead. as a child, i flirted with rebellion, hard–rules were only made to be broken. these small tastes of harmless rule-breaking take me back to a time when we ran into locked rooms only because we weren’t allowed. adrenaline was always what makes it memorable.

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To nobody in particular–

I broke my ‘no caffeine after 12’ rule. I had two cups of coffee, one decaf, and stopped by the local Indian market for masala chai (or chai masala, whichever it is) I broke my ‘no caffeine after 12 rule’ so that’s why it’s 1 and I’m on my phone, eyes bleary, legs jumpy.

Apparently one of my students cried after seeing how well he did. And admittedly I teared up when I heard how another did. I’m apprehensive about my later students, though. I sometimes feel as though I can sense these things, and I felt like something would be off and lo and behold, failure memes galore. My stomach sank a little. I had woken up to two emails from parents, effusive in gratitude and kindness. I said thank you, so or so is so or so brilliant etc, and I wish her the very best etc.

But ah, we will see. The next few weeks will be interesting. Truthfully, I’m just taking life as it comes.

The chai was okay. It tasted too milky, and then too authentic. And so I sipped it three more times before I liked it. But it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, so I think I’ll finish this box and buy a new brand next time.

A few days ago, I fell in love with a hamster at the pet store. My heart still aches when I think of his soft fur. I desperately want a pet, but dogs smell, cats are sheddy, hamsters live too-short lives, and rabbits are scarce. Sigh. He looked like a mound of snow with a slightly muddied head. I had already cycled through names (snow? Cotton? Rufus?) but ended up not buying him. Then I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I grow attached quite quickly to little creatures.

Audible sigh. I’ve already found most of my graduate school resources and outlined all the chapters in the textbook because my mind gets so numbingly restless. It screams to organize information and consume knowledge.

On another note, irks me when people shit on reading. I can understand how much of a disadvantage it puts kids at when they can’t read efficiently. (As my eighth grade Latin teacher once said, “you know when you call a subject stupid because you don’t get it? Well, the subject’s not stupid. You are.”) Efficient literacy is a hard skill to teach and have. I’d prefer to teach math over reading comprehension any day, because logic I can explain, but written nuance? shit.

I could ramble on about the advantages of effective literacy and this impact on the education gap, but it’s 1:30 and I’m exhausted because I broke my ‘no caffeine after’…well, you get it.

Another midnight letter addresses to nobody in particular. Regards, warmly, have a blessed day. From, me.

escapril

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we left the cold blank walls
white and bland
stripped of photos
of colors & memories
that’d be left, soon enough
i was littered with anxiety, apprehension
—excitement, above all
of not knowing the change that was
to come

since then, it’s been more of a yearning for
continuation
as i drive through the well manicured
trees that carve in like
they do in the movies
pristine and intentional
i find myself feeling like the summer before then
before that start
before we began

today i wake up to a third letter
i begin to map out schedules, requirements
and costs
this time
i yearn for stillness, not movement
practicality, not dreams
mute pastels, not lights
familiarity, not novelty
i curl into what is safe

reaching to any and all good
that came before
things are different
yet not so much
five years have passed
but it feels like nothing has
this is my new fresh start
a sturdy continuation of everything that
has come before


we used to dance in the rain
because we wanted to be like stargirl
stargirl with the long blue dress
stargirl with the whiskery pet rat
stargirl, who meditated on fields
and danced in the rain
and who lived so vivaciously
we wanted to do the same

we used to dance in the rain
because it made us feel free
as people ducked into corridors
we sprinted onto fields
we filled our oxfords with mud
laughed with our chins to the sky
we would immortalize youth forever
cold shirts plastered to our backs


remember when
you had your soul with you
honey
(resting on a) crow’s perch

(i thought)
when am i gonna lose you
(for we had) grown nothing
sin no halo (so you cried)

(go and) save me from your kindness
fill me up with (your) anthem
throwaway
my man

break free
little white
dove
one day it’s gonna break


did you know that psychopaths
do not feel much anxiety?
that they remain unnervingly calm
heart beats low and steady
the truth is
she says
I do not remember the last time I was genuinely anxious
her hands lay flat
maybe I used to be
but not much anymore
not much anymore
in what situations did you ever feel anxious?
a small nudge
I don’t know. dumb things, little things like
indecision, emotional pools
hands clasped


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there’s an outdoor smell clinging
to my hair after we sit outside on the patio
to our left are thickets of dried up bushes
to our right are seesawing heehawing burger devourers
we talk numbers, business, philosophy
finance and people
i decide i’m more interested in the personnel part

there’s an outdoor smell clinging
to my hair as i sit on a small foldable
army green chair, virgin suicides
propped open in my lap
to my right are big rubber tires
to my left is pungent smelling vinegar
filling the giant vat that used
to be my bath tub

today i sit indoors
lightly observing rain drops clinging to the window
cliched trees sway in the wind and murky
green water ripples thru the canal
this is the most intentional deja vu
the greenest of green spaces
i left and i returned–
this is the closest i get to nature


nostalgia.png

on the last night
i very much
wanted to leave

by the stacks of
kleenex tissues
glass and dust
donatable
non-donatable
hopefully-were-donated
goods
i was very much ready to go

please come
i am making ravioli and soup
i’ll bring you tissues–just please come

so we piled into the car and talked about pharmacy
arrived at her home to
orangey butter lights
crawled the staircase to the lace
and gold living room
trailed
to the leather couch i’d watched end of the fucking world on
to the desk i’d painted “best friends at”

to the bed where we’d
watched bachelor and gossiped
and cried

over the tomato thick soup
i lament illness
(full circle) and movement and
so many little things i can’t remember–
we set the table
forks spoons plates
food atmosphere celebration and
all

embracing this time
for us all to be
together

like extended family
we bond
like fourth cousins
we cackle
we watch in amusement as family members begin
to pair off
raising their voices in enthusiasm
waving wildly

we curl up on the couch
observing quietly
and my heart feels so warm


time of day.png

morning dusk
falling dawn
blinding white

covers


a love poem

the less love there is
the more i write about it
the more love there is
the less i write about it

when i’m swimming in love requited
the last thing i want to write about is love requited


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what color is this
the woman asks
i stare at it hard
beige and grey, i decide

when the woman pats the foundation
gently on my face
she observes and so do i
it’s tinted orangey

do you think this goes well with that?
the woman says
i pause and say yes to the cream–
i thought they were the same outfit


hard edges soft smiles
skin cleaner than artificiality
musters
floral beckons pink
gasps
femininity’s clasp
and loosening fingers


must you gab on so constantly interpret my quiet for surliness you’re doing that thing where you go silent yes my life 99% of the time who’s got time to talk so much well I do I love it and my lips are pursed and my head is saying must you gab on so constantly


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dirt and grime and a cloud of dust / I promised I wouldn’t leave again


we were made of stardust
of a billion cosmos
skin of the sky
(and as we looked towards the night
I so very much wanted to believe it)

us–can you imagine?–made from the destruction of celestial bodies
only to return, full circle, to the dirt beneath weeds
i told myself that one day I’d buy you a telescope
just so we could see our mirrored selves

lighting up
a swarm of melting bodies


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there’s a quick lilt that falls on her lips
sky kissed bronze falling in wisps
she leans in forward and nonsensically quips
“red velvet red velvet draped her hips”


 

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cinnamon flecked bodies of
spice dipped milk
churning spoon and metal
glass clinks
aromatic whispers from my arms throat
and up
a full-bodied warmth
dances into my chest


 

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were dreams the actualization of
latent unsaid
content?
(as freud posited)
or were dreams of something more
meaningful–
say, synchronization?
(as jung offered)

as i lie in bed
wrapped in distorted memories
cocoon of broken lights
i piece together the nothingess of logic
knowing that my subconsciousness
has weaved itself
indelibly
incoherently
infuriatingly

back into myself

day 16 of escapril 

a letter to you

I was accepted to all four graduate psychology programs I applied to! It’s official, I guess. I’ll accept an offer tomorrow.

It’s funny. I never thought I’d go to grad school. It was around my freshman year I stopped caring about grades as well. I figured nobody would see them, anyways.

The thought of reading up on more psych studies and research makes my heart tingley. I remember my first psychology textbook: I found it in the biology room and stole it for a few weeks. “Readers don’t steal and thieves don’t read.” Ah. You thought wrong. I was a four year old klepto whose books were hidden from her.


Words. “YOUR AWESOME” my student emailed me. I suppressed the grammar-lover in me. Grammar is important, despite my not adhering to it on here. I used to be terrible at it. Nowadays, I make every single student remember that the semi-colon’s twin is the period. It has a twin.

Sometimes when I see their notes I have to try hard not to laugh. I explained ellipses the other day, foci–a small bane of my geometric existence. I told him to “THINK STEWIE.” So he drew a Stewie and wrote it down on the paper. Where do Stewie’s eyes go?


I spent the past Monday playing video games with my friend. On Sunday we got lunch. Korean. It’d been a while since I’d seen them. We sat quietly for bouts of time. It felt comfortable.


It’s 1:30 AM and I can’t sleep. Insomnia doesn’t plague me the way that it used to. But it crept up two nights ago. I felt an irritating hunger pang and went to the kitchen to find food. I found a roach in my cup instead; I tried not to scream, but I did.

When I can’t sleep, I write. I write until I’m tired. I write until my brain has emptied itself on page. I write until there are no more thoughts swarming my brain.

happy

i am so proud of my students
one of them, whose top schools is my alma mater, (wow, my heart when i say that) got a full score
another increased his score from the 50th percentile to the 90th percentile
now i have two students who have made that percentile leap
and two full-score students !!!
i’m just so happy for them

a part of me feels like this is a karmic form of paying it forward
or, from a more earthish perspective, making use of what i’ve learned
and doing something with it
like yeah, sure, i started to care about school when i was 14
spent 4 years caring, learning, reading books, semi-paying attention
and achieved this goal or that
and then it got easier in college, and i stopped working so hard….
and then i let things go through one ear and out the other

at times, it felt hollow when it was just me
doing something….
i mean, i don’t know. it was fulfilling, but sometimes i’d also wonder
what’s the point of trying to achieve things and then achieving them?
what’s the point of learning and mastering something to just…do it?
it’s difficult to put into words
but did it really make a difference when i stamped into the ground
with my
tiny, tiny stamps?

the thing about explaining concepts to others and teaching
this idea or that, the things that i was taught
is that it feels meaningful
meaningful
i think back to all the people who had helped me
who had spent hours teaching me
who had explained this theory or that concept
who walked me through the confusion and frustration
and i think of all of them, who made a difference in my life
and the thought of being one of many people
who could possibly also make a difference in helping these kids
reach their goals, giving tidbits of advice, teaching xyz
is, like, relieving
and the opposite of soul-sucking (cough advertising)

in the moment, it’s also intensely fun
detour: i used to think that logarithms were hard
or at least challenging–i mean, the word itself is very strange
log-
a-
rithm-
log a rhythm
hey, billy, log a rhythm for me, won’t you?–
but i’ve begun to reframe the logarithm as a mr.potato head
who shares the same body and features as an exponent
(“inverse exponent” they say
what the hell is even that?)
but whose features are simply in different locations
and they (the kids) get it

now that i’m thinking about it
i used to be those kids (the ones i work with)
teaching even littler kids
who would sometimes be really talkative
and cough in my mouth
and make faces of confusion
but at the time, i was teaching for general educational
purposes
like, learning math for the sake of learning it
rather than preparing them for something that could
make or break certain life outcomes

anyways
this is all a roundabout way of saying
that i’m really proud of how they’ve done
like, really proud
and very emotionally invested, ha ha
and that i’m (personally) happy to be doing what i’m doing
it’s a chapter in this life that ties off well
with one of the earlier ones

did i write that i was accepted to graduate school in psychology?
well, that’s a big personal life thing–
i was.
so this–everything i wrote above–is a for-now thing
before
the towards-psychology chapter
so i am relishing in this chapter for now

a pointless post

There’s a whole lot of depth and wisdom on here. Meanwhile, I feel like a small grey seal, washed up on shore, dull with boredom.

I know my eyes will ache tomorrow: too much screen time. I know I’ll doze off into blandness. I know I’ll just–oh, what’s the point. I forget where I’m going with this.

We’ll exercise tomorrow. A significant other is like a built-in buddy. Making time for actual friends is much more effortful and time-consuming. And occasionally draining. That’s another sentiment for another day.

What else? It’ll be warm tomorrow. 80s. Unbearably warm. It’ll dip into the weekend. I don’t know what next week will look like. I’m adamant against certain things. Maybe I’ll bring bread. I think I will.

This was a pointless post. A big blip drip into the sea of deep musings. I have no deep musings, not really. It’s more like a humdrum.

Maybe I’ll take a week off my phone. Maybe that is the answer. Maybe I’ll limit screen time to an hour a day. Maybe that’s why I feel mentally sluggish.