(modified from the Nov 2012 original published on another blog)

Why would I do that? she whispered to him.

He chuckled and said nothing.

She traced the prism patterns underneath them, triangle upon triangle, reds, plums, blues stitched together. The little flowers along the edges had faded and a long rip ran along the top, the part she always tugged on when she was cold. Safety pins held it together.

As she snuggled into his shoulder, a breath escaped his nostrils, landing in warmth on top of her head.

She giggled.

What?

The sun’s tickling me.

——

I got into Daddy’s car and drove on battery power. The sun had set but it was mostly smooth sailing; the road signs were clear enough. Even in my blind rage, instinct and well-honed driving skills got me through the local streets without a hitch.

Somewhere in gritty North Jersey, I took a jughandle left and a ramp onto I-95. About five miles down this baby, so familiar to me, the engine started sputtering. I didn’t wanna stall there of all places so I took an exit, parked not too far from Milltown, and got on my fold-out scooter.

Cars minded me for the most part but I couldn’t handle giant intersections, not with the lights changing as if they were a show, greens turning without warning to reds, turning to illogical arrows. I waited for my green arrow, every muscle in my body tensed, my right foot ready to kick off as hard I could. When it finally came, it didn’t stay long enough. Cars from two directions, four lanes, crisscrossed around my slow-moving body, headlights blinding me, as I dodged my way through the overlap of 16 lanes and tumbled headfirst into some dark corner.

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My childhood snow globe souvenir
a crack in its bottom-side
leaks drip, drip
drip
forgotten 19 years

A dome of air, plastic,
and dried-up glitter
imitation snow clumps clogging
miniature windows, the Eiffel Tower

I shake the glitter loose
—and glimpse your dusted eyes—
only to let it flop
lifeless and flat
on the blue plastic river.

——

f6.highres

This is how I prepare for summer:

  1. Clean out closet
  2. Shave legs
  3. Clean out freezer, stock with fruit
  4. Grow mint farm
  5. Make ice

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Now all I need is a good summer read to go with my mojitos. Too bad most of that will be the books I’ll be teaching for the next three months.

Currently writing:

  1. #66, a poem
  2. #67, undecided

——

He was driving me with his windows down, arm out the window, when a white Audi pulled up to him and asked him for directions. The driver answered brusquely and let the guy drive ahead. Then he closed his windows and turned to me and said:

“That guy knew where he was going.”

“Then why did he ask you?”

“Maybe he just wanted to talk to me.”

“Because you had your window open?”

I didn’t know whose hypothesis was crazier, his or mine, but he didn’t say anything. Equal parts confused and unsatisfied, I looked down and went back to kakao-ing my friend.

“Whatcha doing on your smart phone there?”

“Oh, just talking to my friend.”

“You know, I write things online. A lot of people read my writings.”

Oh dear.

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The last time I saw Harry, he was buying me dinner with his January paycheck. We caught each other up on our lives but there really wasn’t much to say; nothing had changed since the last time we’d gotten together, seeing as we were both still at our respective crossroads. For him, it was music or school and as for me, I persisted in my search for the next job, a better job.

I liked to ask Harry where he would be if he could be anywhere right now, what he would be doing. He never had a satisfactory answer, that bastard. Whenever I urged him to drop out and pursue music, that goofy grin of his would tumble from his lips. I didn’t have the heart to push him. So we walked the streets and talked about people. Anything happening with Jared? No, of course not. Have you met anyone? Nah.

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[line breaks might not occur in the right places when viewed on mobile devices]

I walked down a drunken road
just shy of closing time
the playground silent and bare
without children chasing cats
or mothers chasing children
like before

I walked down a drunken road
where unsteady men stood spitting
pavement slick with road wash water
trading glances, laying an ogle —

I walked down a drunken road
counting the moths under lamplights
glowing orange in the faded morning,
missing five faces, remembering a hundred —

I walked down a drunken road
thinking about my friend
her dead grandma
They’re gettin’ old, they’re gettin’ bad
but I’m all right, don’t you worry
I still see dawn everyday
___I still eat toast with my juice

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Currently writing:

  1. Issue No. 1’s Letter to the Readers
  2. Two features in the Learning section
  3. #61 (a short story)

Currently reading:

  1. 김애란 – ‘침묵의 미래’
  2. 박완서 – ‘친절한 복희씨’
  3. Kerouac – On the Road
  4. Hemingway – A Moveable Feast
  5. Solzhenitsyn – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

——

My best friend is in law school and he generally dislikes it. When he’s not studying, he gets stoned and writes me lengthy emails about his pot-induced epiphanies, rating each one on a “highness” scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the “highest” he thinks he could get. Whenever the rating exceeds 5, I am wary, because the higher he is, the more insipid the contents.

His most recent email, however, was different and strangely enough, unrated. It was autobiographical, and it made me feel things: concern, curiosity, potential. There was potential for some kind of discovery there.

In it, he presented an argument for his self-diagnosed identity crisis that went more or less like this: I am my accomplishments. I lose my potential accomplishments to competitors more successful than I. And when I do, I lose myself.

Instead of pursuing his dreams, he becomes reclusive and spends most nights smoking up and experimenting with his drugs. Averaging only 3 to 4 hours of sleep a day, he lives on various substances that keep him awake.

He’s actually successful in his studies and career — he’d pass for any respectable law student — but as with most of us, he feels something lacking.

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