This is my kitchen window from China. The washing machine next to the sink also served as a perfect dish drying counter, until the spin cycle. The twin hanging ivys outside the window produced the most delicious beautiful dry crunchy leaves in the Fall. The gingerbread man cookie cutter hanging on the wall came from a box of Korean gingerbread mix that I splurged on around Christmas time. The tiny bottle of Glenfiddich, next to the red laundry detergent, came from some airport somewhere in the world. He's busy propagating a pothos here. The disco ball I found in a trash pile while I was exploring; who throws away a perfectly good disco ball??? What kind of life are you living that can't be made more fun by a disco ball??? I eventually moved Mr. Ball to the bedroom window because my across the building neighbor said that the reflection was too brightly hitting her eyes when she would nap on a cot outside in the afternoon. And nap time is absolutely sacred to me.
These earplugs you guys, they’re just the best. The only thing worth living for, there is no more satisfying sensation than feeling them slowly expand and just take the edge off of life. Everything just gets quiet and small. They’re like scotch for my eardrums, increasing my tolerance for all this goddamn noise. I’ve heard that some people prefer sex for stress relief, no way dude. I’d take these two teeny tiny orange plugs and silence over sex any day, sex with you at least.
The last time you touched me wasn’t the worst. I didn’t want to scream in your ear out of frustration, I didn’t have an anxiety attack and need to go hide in the bathroom. I didn’t need to internally monologue myself out of a panic or try not to analyze the difference between this and date rape. Not the violent kind of rape, not the scary back alley stranger kind. The nice kind where you know the guy and it’s been a few dates and he’s expecting it and the kissing wasn’t bad, but you aren’t quite feeling it and you can’t come up with a convincing reason to stop. Maybe if you keep pushing his hand away, maybe if you shift onto your side, maybe if you can stall for time he’ll lose interest, or better yet take a hint and back off so you can keep some dignity without having to Just Say No like a prude anti-drug commercial. Turns out there’s not much difference between the sex we have now as biblical man and wife and the pressure filled guilt and regret sex that so many teen movies with Lifetime channel ambitions peddle. It didn’t used to be, in fact it never really was like this.
Maybe we’re magic, but the bad kind, the unfortunate kind. Maybe our marriage isn’t meant to be lived in linear sequential time order like other peoples. Maybe we really were meant to do “everything on earth together”, like that lovely Gatsby sentiment. Of course “everything on earth” implies everything lovely, everything nice, everything special and worthwhile, everything good. And for us, for me and you, and our unfortunate uncontrollable, unpredictable magic, it seems to be everything unnecessarily hard, everything painful, everything discouraging. Everything painful in the world, I wish to do with you my love.
Isn’t that just lovely? Swoon-fucking-worthy.
My adorable neighbor gave me a tiny jar of sweet and sour jam that she made herself and it was absolutely delicious. I would eat a spoonful with coffee in the morning until it ran out.
My vegetable lady would get mad at me if I bought veggies from anyone else at the market. She would save cilantro for me so I could make salsa.
I shared my umbrella with a woman walking in the rain, carrying a kid on her back for 3 blocks and when we parted ways the kid gave me a high five.
I gave city directions to a country mouse in Chinese. She wanted to know which subway stop to use to get to the mall and useless police didn't know, but I knew and I helped her and felt like A BILINGUAL GENIUS.
A woman on the bus offered to hold my heavy bag of books for me because she had a seat and I was standing and it was disgustingly uncomfortably crowded.
I wrote an English note to a taxi driver's daughter on a scrap of paper because he said she's a very good student and studies English very hard. I'll never meet her but her dad was SO excited.
I gave my DVD copy of Ella Enchanted to jam lady neighbor because her 9yr old granddaughter's English name is Ella.
An anciently old woman put a piece of candy in my mouth with her bare hand at a temple when I leaned closer to have a look and it was gross but I bought some anyways.
I ate a sea slug in a fancy restaurant and it was so fucking delicious I can't wait to have it again.
I loaned my friend 100RMB because he just had to had to had to buy this girl a drink and now they're happily married and raising a cat named Turkey Sandwich.
I fell in love with a little black and white cow puppy. He crawled behind me on the chair at the pet store and pinched my hip with his tiny puppy teeth and I've been his slave ever since.
I briefly joined a Muay Thai club and the head coaches name was Kay. At first I thought he was just saying "okay, okay, okay" and so to explain to me his name he sang the ABC song and stopped at the letter K. So sometimes the whole gym would sing the ABC song to me when I would show up to work out. So funny you guys. Just hilariously impossibly so so so funny and fun.
One time I messed up my schedule and missed a class and the entire school conspired to cover for me. Nothing happened, I didn't get in trouble and no one ever even brought it up.
It's an honor and I am grateful.
If I had pursued photography HARD after college instead of getting married and subsequently my ass kicked by life, I would not have had anything to say or any empathy for anyone else or any kind of real world view.
I NEEDED to get my ass kicked in order to do this now. I would have ended up in a well paying corporate office with AC and "mandatory vacation time" probably in the arts which still would not have been good enough for me.
I met this dumb sweet pretty girl who graduated from USC with a degree in Art History and minor in Finance and she thought that the plastic kitch succulents that had been shipped from Amazon for decor were REAL LIVING PLANTS. In that moment, I had the nicest revelation: "wow, good for you dude. You landed a 'good' job right out of college, and you're basically an event planner. But at least its in the arts."
That could have so easily been me. I could so easily have been in insurance sales and done coke in the bathroom and then gone home to a beige track home with some kids in it and had spaghetti for dinner.
This life sucks, it completely sucks and I could not have fallen in love with a stupider industry but there is literally NO ONE in the world I'd rather be than ME living in MY LIFE figuring this shit out one day at a time.
But my NEXT life is going to be so good. I'm going to work at Starbucks with my friends in the Caribbean and we're going to go see our BF's play in their hotel cover band and tear up the dance floor every weekend. And we're going to be surrounded by fat little curly haired dark delicious babies and plants on balconies and asses that don't quit.
Your current face is the face of the person you LOVED THE MOST from your past life.
So my mom's going to look like me next lifetime, that lucky bitch ;)
one time I saw a man kick a kitten into the street to get hit by a car.
one time I bribed a police officer with 300RMB to let me onto a train after the gates had closed.
one time I saw a man take a wriggly fish that he had just bought from a plastic tub full of water in an open air fish market and slam it's against the concrete to stop it from wriggling so much.
one time a delivery guy tried to follow me into my apartment and partially touched my boob before I shoved him against the stairwell wall.
one time I saw a huge turtle, hanging from a stick that was being sold on the street corner for meat, by a man who looked like he had walked there from the Song Dynasty.
one time some taxi driver mob boss character tried to get me to hire him to take me home from the train station, and when I pretended not to understand him he said "I'll spank you foreign girl," in Chinese.
For the record, I am not a fan of Eminem or Slim Shady or Marshall Mathers. I don’t even like that name "Marshall". I think, as an artist, he embodies the kind of white rage and misogyny that can have very real and dangerous consequences. The kind of repercussions that are also super difficult to define and vaguely connect themselves back to his music, so it’s nearly impossibly to have a conversation about responsibility. Also his music really only speaks to the problem instead of exploring solutions. Plus his physical style is bad. White wife beaters, fucking ew. (hurry, someone post a photo of me in a white wife beater)
How ridiculous is that term? “Wife beater”. We have included in the English language a name for an item of clothing that you would wear to prepare for a comfortable domestic violence session. Like the “yoga pant” or “boyfriend jeans”. We also have “wife beater” for some fucking reason. Don’t even get me started on violence against women. “Wife-beater”, like it’s a cute, playful, spanking situation, not a bloody bruising physical assault against a legitimate human. Can we change that somehow dictionary? Can we call it “domestic violence tee”? Or “felony assault tank”?
I am however a fan of the movie 8 Mile. Like sometimes, I YouTube the final rap battle scene and watch it 20 times in a row. The hiphop Britney Murphy is just so good and Mekhi Phifer, Mekhi Phifer, Mekhi Phifer until I die, Mekhi Phifer. Ok so here’s what I learned about how to be confident from movies and TV like a real millennial. It’s easy, all you have to do is 8 Mile. This is how I got through the first half of 2016:
You guys, I’m 33 years old, my life has veered pathetically off track, I’m living with my parents, I have like $200 in the bank, I don’t have a car, everyone hates my dog (legitimately, because he bites), I have no job prospects, I’m "working" in a warehouse in Santa Ana for cash (when I can get a ride), my "husband" and his PTSD have gone completely off the deep end and think that the North Koreans have kidnapped Lana Del Rey (with whom he is in a loving mutual and very real relationship). My ass is starting to look flat AND IM STILL THE BADDEST BITCH WHO EVER LIVED AND COOLER THAN YOU BY MILES AND MILES AND MILES. Go ahead and try me.
Sorry, not sorry, you adorable civilian. Oh is your café latte not nonfat? Let me get you a manager handsome, you obviously have some complaining to do. (kiss, kiss, kiss emoji)
See? Easy peezy, lemon squeezy.
Ok, so we get a piece of land where the views are just spectacular and is only accessible by helicopter or like off the grid survivalist hikers who can live off the land and stuff. And we hire a hot tub company to install above the ground hot tubs at the end of every days trek AND figure out a way to maintain them. So there's like 7 hot tubs, and you have to airlifted into the trailhead by a helicopter to start and then you walk for one day and at the end of your day there's a fully functioning 120 degree hot tub waiting for you. And you camp there for like a night and then move on to the next phase of the trail which is one days walk away. Uncover the next hot tub and camp there for another night and move on. Repeat for one week. Boom, spiritual enlightenment.
There are all kinds of issues. I know, but imagine the soul searching one could accomplish after a solo nature hike and hot tub soak (x7) would be absolutely worth it. It's remote, nature people aren't assholes, the stars omg the stars you guys. Come on. We could have rangers on call, and some way to maintenance the hot tubs. No glamping frills, just an above the ground hot tub with a cover and a view.
Someone throw some money at this.
I don't know how you skinny bitches do it.
I think it will have to be fiction, but based on real life events, or at least my memory of real life events, because I don't want to have to get anyone's permission. Do I need to get anyone's permission to share my own story? I think what I'll do is just change names. Change names and take it out of chronological order. That's fair I feel like. I'm sure if it's not, someone will let me know. I get a warning, right? So it's kind of a memoir, but memoirs are non-fiction. Is there a creative memoir genre? Narrative non-fiction maybe? I mean this definitely happened, but I'd also like to share what I think it means. Or maybe in certain cases why I think it happened. That part is pure conjecture with the exception of a few things I know for absolute certain. And I will be diligent in pointing them out when the time comes. I like "narrative non-fiction", let's go with that.
For awhile I thought I wanted to call it "A Life That's Beneath You" based on something someone said to me once. But it's too whiney, even for me. So now I think I'm going to call it: High, Hot and Wet.