Eyecandy

Happy is me Happy is rain in California Happy is a book with sunlight Happy is milk tea with caramel, please.

Happy is a dog when you haven’t seen her for a while Happy was my dog she lived to 19 and then we said goodbye but she went happily.

I went on a trip and I found happy Happy is where you are and what you have Happy is coffee with friends.

Please walk with me on this sunlit sidewalk. The clouds are bathed in fading fire and we finished all we had to do. We have dinner and that’s enough. I’m happy in your hands and I’m happy in my skin.

 

 

A little too introspective

My mind is sand upon a shore. Every morning, I build my castle from the ruins. And I watch the waves, ripple after ripple, anxious, breathless, with the knowledge that all will be destroyed when I lay to rest. I’ve longed denied that this is the nature of myself, and in that denial, I relapse into weakness. I look to others in some tortuous exercise. What do they have that I lack? How are they so blessed while I inherently damaged? Well, today I’ve found some clarity. Shut the fuck up. How much shit do I have to purge from my mind? These conspirators, they want my castle aflame. They are arsonists. How they search for any fuel to start my destruction. And yet, they are undoubtedly me. I am at war with myself.

If not the fires of my own evils, then its the waters of an indifferent world. It’s high waters now. The shore, everyday, is being eaten. Every morning, I stare to sea, trying to understand the nature of this world. I’m trying to see the goodness. Excuse me, I’ve been wearing my negative lenses for some time now. I see love. I see good-will. I see family and friends. And I tell myself these are good. These are the only good. But how do I see the good in myself, when they told me I was shit for so long? Fuck that. Fuck this schizophrenic exercise. I am me. I am my problems as anyone is his. It’s time to make peace.

I am not fucking sand. I’m not fucking king. I’m over-complicating it. I am me. And I wish I can just shed my evils, but this is some life-long shit. This is until death. I am losing my focus. I lost sight of my dream. I lost the beauty of my words. But I’ll find it all. I’ll find it again.

 

Verbal Vomit

I misspent much of my days scouring my memories for the halcyon days that never were. And in my search, I sometimes find snapshots of some kind of happiness that I most likely manufactured. Why do I partake in this stupid nostalgia searching? Perhaps it’s to convince myself I’m not hormonally imbalanced. That I’m not this depressed nutjob. It is that or revel in my anxieties as I entertain the numerous ways everything will go bad. Worrying is my luxury and privilege. But how do I flip the switch? How do I say I am no longer this person? I try. I can’t. I suspend myself, always, at this point of discomfort. It is a balancing act. I am a tightrope walker. If I fall, it’s either bliss or its torture. And inevitably I do fall.

I guess that’s where writing comes in. In this never ending cycle of picking up the pieces, writing takes it all away. Step one I vomit on a page. Then I put it away, and maybe re-read it later with the same ‘this-sucks’ mentality. But in the least, in that afterglow, I can just exist. My mind is unfettered. I am numbed, tranquilized, and wonderfully languid. And with that I will now attempt to write something.

I like sunsets because I like to imagine that everyone is relieved on their commutes home. That when they sigh, they’re thinking of something comfortable like binge-watching the Office the fifth time.  I like sunsets because I can sit at Portos and drink my coffee. I can play writer as I struggle through chapter six. The trick is they don’t have Wi-fi. Don’t get me wrong, I need to write. But there are a lot more interesting things to do than write.

I don’t write high because that’s a waste of drugs. One time I made the terrible mistake of smoking with my roommate before writing an essay. It was a great steaming pile of shit that I ultimately submitted in defeat. I couldn’t look at my professor in the eye for a while. Thinking back, I doubt he even cared. I was just another C in the room. If I ever become a father, I don’t know what to tell my kid. It’s like yeah grades are important, and you would want your kid to give a damn, but in long the run, who the fuck cares? I blame Asian parenting. It wasn’t the end of the world! Then again, I’m not rich and I didn’t graduate from Harvard.  I was just that kid caught in the middle, trying to be more than I really was. WEH.

I’m getting existential. I like to believe I’m not here just to work at some job and walk the line of ordinary -special snowflake shit. But that’s sounding pretty good with the bills coming in. Grass is greener kind of shit. I want to end this on a happier note, but I’m tired. FACT: STEAMY POTATOES > COLD POTATOES.

 

A story about nothing

At daybreak, they flew out like great cranes cutting through the heavens. Some mornings, the air was turbulent. But today was calm. With the wind, cold and biting, in their hair, they watched the earth, eager for the time they can step on solid ground. They followed the stream that cut through the farmlands. The ground drew closer and closer with all its details; fields of water and rice stretched as far as the valley ran. In them, the clouds and sun were reflected. And then they let go. Their paper planes flew away without them. They fell and fell until the ground kept beneath their feet. They looked to one another happily.

The farmers greeted them in their rice ponds. In the heavens, the people looked like the slightest brush of paint against a landscape. But here, they animated with their sun-bleached and hardened faces. They ran to them with excitement and curiosity. “How was it?” Chang asked. “Did you see Death?” And Mon said, “Yes, it was indescribable. I don’t think it was sad, nor was it happy. But you’ll see it soon if you like. Please show me your hand.”

Mon traced a word on Chang’s hand. They smiled at one another. “Thank you.” They made their way to the village. With each step, their feet stuck in the mud. It was a welcomed sound, for they hadn’t heard such a thing for an eternity.  “Who will you pick?” Mon asked Xin. She smiled. “I’ll pick the store owner.” They settled in their seats when an old woman came out. She embraced one at a time. She had a hunch on her back, and she shook like her joints were rickety. “Lo, would you like to see the heavens tonight?”

Her stoic face brightened. “Thank you. I’d love to.” Xin took her hand and traced the word. “I’ll bring out the usual then?” Mon and Xin agreed it was good. They sat by the entrance, where a drizzle fell by their feet. And they ate slowly with their bowls of soup warming their cold faces.

A stroll through the rain, and they saw the magic shop. Its owner, a fat man, waved to them to come in. “How was it?” He asked, as he handed them some tea. Mon wasn’t particular of tea, but it warmed his hands. “I think it was good. I’m not sure. But I didn’t have the weight I carried here.” “That’s good,” the shop owner said. “What about you, Xin?” She tried to remember, but it was like a fleeting dream. “I also thought it was good. It was peace. I don’t think there was any pain. There wasn’t any other feelings either. But it wasn’t better.” She paused with a thought in her eyes. “It’s good to be back. It’s good to feel the ground. It’s good to taste Lo’s soup. And I’m happy to hear the rain fall.”

The shop owner nodded. He handed them two pieces of paper. Together they sat beneath the lantern’s glow and they folded their planes. They smoothed out each crease with their palms, making sure it was to their best, perfect. Alas, two planes of different shape and size. Mon and Xin left them at the magic shop, and they took their separate ways in the dusk.

Some Feelers/Alan the Bacteria

And we sat there in the Christmas vibe, in the dark, talking about our anxieties of being in our twenties. We agreed it was a good day, it was the best day in a long while, but these are the things you just can’t escape. I’ve said it many times already, but it’s been a bad time leading up to Christmas.  Maybe it’s a millennial thing. As in we’re all in that precarious part of our lives when our certainties are being pulled out beneath our feet. You lost someone dear to you. I’m sorry is all I can say. Me, I’m lost. I’m standing on cracking ice. Everyday I see a piece break. But this is nice. It’s nice to laugh with you. It’s all we got, and I think I’m understanding who you are and why you do the things you do. Maybe.

The truth is I’m more afraid than I ever been. But it’s not something you can give in to because that’s death. That right there will eat you up and shit you out a broken person. I want to say it’s time to say goodbye to dreams. But I think I’ll hang on in secret.

I don’t sleep well these nights. I dream a lot. I dream too much that I wake up to you deeply asleep. My mind is a blur at 3 AM. I should be doing something, but I don’t know what to do. Sleep is good. Sleep is relief.

This is the time for fiction. I’ll pull something pretty from all this ugliness. With these fingers, I’ll paint a pretty picture. I am bacteria in a petri dish. Let me try again. No that’s all I got. I am vibrantly vibing with my bacteria friends. We’re growing and growing, and there’s music playing. It’s sorta like Osmosis Jones, but not really because we’re not in some guy’s body. Oh fuck! It’s that giant eye in the sky, but it’s cool cause it looks friendly and squinty. We got it all down here. Whatever you can think of. We got buildings made of bacteria. We got Mcdonald’s, but it’s bacteria Mcdonalds and they got bacteria cheeseburgers. We’re multiplying! I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but it made me happy so I’m posting it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty dreams and happy nonsense

If I could, I’d sell my sadness two cents a piece. I’d make a business of this, and I’ll be rich. After all I have an endless supply of sadness. And when I’m rich I’ll give everyone my two cents. I’ll say dumb shit like pursue your dreams or get a job so you can sustain your dreams. I think I got it. It’s all about perspective. I’ll flip like a coin. Heads for happiness. Tails for being two-faced. BLUB BLUB BLUB. Don’t listen to me. I’m full of shit.

Who turned the heavy back on? Seriously who is that guy? He keeps coming back here and fucking things up. We need to get rid him.

Yeah when we catch him we should tie him up and keep him in the basement.

Let’s talk about dreams because dreams are pretty. I dreamed of Cuba. I dreamed of walking down Malecon, the road by the sea. The city is colored in an orange haze and the cars that pass me are pastel. I’ll be the Chinese guy in Cuba, and I’ll speak to them in broken Spanish.

Discuple, estoy perdido. Me podria ayuda, por favor? Como llego a mi hotel something something.

They’ll answer faster than I can comprehend, and I’ll think I got it. But truthfully I’ll be in a haze. That’s how it was in Spanish class, where I lost my tongue. Profe Diego, lo siento. Trate de aprender, pero fui muy stupido. Some of that Spanish would be great right now. Gracias, I’ll say because I can feel their warmth and love. And usually they’ll point. Derecha. Derecha. Si, entiendo. Gracias. Sometimes I wish Chinese culture were warmer and more loving. But it’s all about appearances and saving face and stuff that make me feel poopy.

But it is what it is, and who really cares when you’re 24?

I dreamed I was a cook at a Chinese restaurant in Cuba because when you’re Chinese you stick to other Chinese people. But I don’t know how to cook any Chinese food and the other chefs, they’re mad at me for making hamburgesassssss!

Zhe bu shi zhong guo cai! Ni shi mei guo ren!

I really like this dream.

 

 

 

Happy in LA

I wandered LA with not a dollar in my pocket. I’m dressed in this shirt and these pants and these shoes that don’t feel good. I did my hair in a way I think adults do. I ride this elevator to top and they tell me they like me. But I got to drive to LA everyday and that’s a deal breaker. I’m a ghost in LA.

I look to the other ghosts and I wonder how am I really different from them. It’s a fascination with me to count my blessings and watch them slip from my hands. It just seems fragile, you know? So I walk around these tall buildings with my beliefs and my perspective. Who am I to say they’re crazy? I sit down on the street and watch the busy people, the pretty adults who got things down, and the crazy ghosts who babble and curse the sky. And they’re like me, the real me. It’s nonstop here. People got places to go, even those who got nowhere to go.

And I talk to myself like I’m crazy, but in my head, so no one knows.

“This is a world made of money. You can eat money. You can make houses with money, and when you need to shit you wipe your ass with money. People are money. Your friends and family, you gotta have money to keep them. The love you feel is made of money.”

“I don’t like that. I wasn’t taught that. I don’t feel that is true either.”

“They lied to you. They measured you with tests and grades, and they make you care about these things as if they defined your worth. But that was a lie. It was bullet in your leg, and now they’re telling you to run. The truth is you are measured by how much money you have.”

“Oh but I don’t have money.”

This is depressing. This isn’t happy. So I’ll  try to be happy now. I quit LA. I’m in the desert and I let the sand sift through my hand. Fine and silky, it coats my hand like flour. I let my eyes run fast above the dunes to the horizon where the moon sits comfy.

I’ve traveled a long way and this palace pops out in front of me. The towers are made of white stone. There are lush trees swaying in the arid breeze. I walk this paved road to a pond, where I clean myself. The dirt escapes me but I realize I just dirtied the water, and there are fishes in here. Shit.

“You came all the way here just to make everything dirty?” Its some old dude.

That doesn’t sound true. “No, I just came here to get clean.”

“You could’ve used the showers.”

“Oh sorry. I didn’t know.”

He shakes his head. I’ve disappointed you, old man. “You’re a fucking dreamer. I’ve see countless people like you come across this place all the time. Well why are you really here?”

“I guess I’m trying to find happiness.”

Everyone is trying to find happiness. You’re gonna have to be more specific than that. What makes you happy?”

“Writing. No, wait. Money makes me happy.” But then I remembered what it took to make money. I am a fry cook cleaning the crusty grill. I am a warehouse worker throwing TVs over my shoulders onto a truck. I am a cashier smiling at you when I really don’t like you. I am an office monkey trying not to make people angry at me. “Yeah I think money would make me happy.”

“Fuck you. Does it look like I have money to give you? I’m in a desert. I water these trees and I feed the fish.”

“I wasn’t asking you for money. I was just being honest.”

“Look, everyone wants to be happy and everyone wants to have money. What makes you think you’re so special that these things would fall onto your lap?”

You see the problem is I chose a desert. No one is happy in a desert. Most of the time a desert is something you try to get through, to a better place… I think I got it. Something’s on the horizon. I’m moving through this, but it doesn’t have to be ugly. I’m going to get better. I think I found it for now, and maybe it won’t slip out of my hands too soon. Goodbye LA.