I think I finally understand what I have to do; I have to be patient because I never was patient. I tend to be impulsive a lot. I know you’re tired and hurting. I drove over because I wanted to comfort you, but I can’t take this growth away from you. I’m glad you said no to me. When you’re ready, please understand I’m ready to love you the best I can. You’re worth the wait. I lie awake at night, imagining I’ll find your car on the driveway one day. I get teary-eyed when I drive home because I know when I see you I’m forever yours. I hope you sleep well and eat and that you’re as happy as you can be.
Come back home to me where we can grow better memories. It’s been a long road away from you, and I finally saw parts of me I didn’t accept. But I came back and I’m here plucking the weeds and I’m making it right for you. I’ll dust these rooms and I’ll patch the holes I made with my own two hands. Come back home to me and let me relearn to talk to you. I want to relearn how to argue with you, and I promise I’ll always come back if I step outside. I’m sorry I hurt you when I was young. I’ll work on this every day. I’ll chase away our ghosts that haunts this place. I’ll wash the sheets so you can sleep comfortably. I bought this blanket for us. And you can come home when you feel like it. And if you never want to, then that’s all right too. Don’t feel guilty and don’t be angry with me, please. I won’t blame you. You deserve to do what you want and see who you want to see; I want you to be happy and you want me to be happy. But this makes me happy. So take your time, take however long you need. I’ll leave the light on for you.
i am singing songs to you across the laptop and i like hearing my voice because i have a lot to get off my chest:
I remember it now, it takes me back to when it all first started But I’ve only got myself to blame for it, and I accept it now
I want you to be happier so I’ll go
Then why can’t I sleep at night And why don’t the moon look right
I don’t wanna go But it’s time to leave You’ll be on my mind, my destiny And I won’t fight in vain I’ll love you just the same I couldn’t know what’s in your mind But I saw the pictures You’re looking fine And there was a time when I stood in line For love, for love, for love, But I let you go, oh I let you go
Merp merp purple nurple
Today I went to Lee’s to buy myself coffee and a sandwich when I’m suddenly reminded that this was our ritual when we told ourselves we needed to get work done, me writing and you studying for school. I’m a creature of habit. Maybe that’s why getting Lee’s makes me happy –because I remember us going together, and it was one of those rare moments things felt OK. We had just finished working out together –we couldn’t afford much, but we afford a breakfast together. I thought at least things would be hopeful if I kept writing. Coffee was my fuel. Thank you for the coffee.
9/8 I burned my hand that I used to strike you. I burned it 6 times, until the pain became unbearable, and I can only imagine your pain was 10x more than my pain when I hurt you. 1, you loved me and for someone you loved to hurt you like so must have been unfathomable. 2, it must have really affected your self-worth. Thinking back, I had terrible self-esteem because I was hurt like so too. I used to think I was a good person, but I was merely a perpetuation of the anger and violence I learned from my parents. I don’t want to excuse myself when I say that. I just understand that that was where it came from. Interestingly, my mom had a similar, Buddhist ritual performed on her arm to cement her faith in the Buddha… I pressed the light into my flesh and held it there until my skin seared and the fire was smothered. My hand is scarred, and I remember the pain. I want to remember the burning as the heat traveled through my skin and into my flesh. I want to see the scars. I never want to hurt someone I love again. I’m sorry it took losing you to understand the gravity of my sins.
I hope you’re doing well. I hope you’re sleeping well. And I hope you protect yourself from terrible people like myself. I hope you find a love that won’t hurt you. I want to believe there is a form of love in which you don’t hurt yourself or your partner, but I’ve yet to see and experience anything like so. Anyways, like always, all the best to you.
I left the roses roadside.
We said bye many times,
this might be the last
I smell of sadness.
Let’s swim in the sea
Let’s dance on the grass
Let’s go where we’ve never gone,
Do what we’ve never done
I left my hopes roadside.
I drive back the time,
day and night
sleepless, you and I.
Let’s rewrite our time
Let’s laugh, you and I
I left a part of me roadside.
I am lost in LA. There are waves of happiness and sadness. But I meet an old friend. We smile, laugh, and talk about life. I meet a family and laugh with their kid. They seem relieved I gave him a toy to keep from being so antsy. I realize this poem makes it sound as if I’m in some stuffy room, bawling. On the contrary, I’m in a brightly-lit, spacious café. I’m with fellow writers. I imagine LA runs on the multitudes of cafes like some kind of mitochondria packed with sad, creative types. I was stopped on the street by a stranger wanting money. He pleads that he needs money to get home, to Thailand. I say no. He is angry, but he asks for a cigarette. I obliged. That I’m willing to share. “Fuck you,” he storms off smoking. I smile, “Have a nice day.” I think about you a lot. Writing helps me accept that I have no control whether you’ll come back. I gave us one final, impotent try that resulted in some kind of fuckery only I’m capable of. It was wrong on my part to try – I know, but I had to try. I wanted to be wrong… You’re right –I can’t make you come back because it’s not what you want. I miss you and I hope you sleep well and find some peace of mind soon.
Remember roses and beer on your table,
chicken salad in the late afternoon,
when I wrapped you from behind,
Christmas day, and I already gave you your gift,
those nights we were lost and we walked
until we found home
Remember the fights that broke us
Remember the scars I gave you
and how alone I felt with you
Remember that I left you first
Remember cuddles in the cold,
nights we drove away not a word to anyone
when I lost my mind and I saw you in lights
You were my angel, but I let you go
Remember how I ran to you
Remember how I ran from you.
Remember how you were never enough
Because I wasn’t enough.
Remember eggs in the morning,
And I drove you to the airport so you can say goodbye to him.
Remember how we screamed until we went insane and I miss you so much.
You told me to remember all the times I hurt you so I can understand how poorly I treated you. I can’t stop remembering. You tell me he treats you right, and I can only be happy for you. I did this to us. I want you to be happy. I don’t want to hurt you anymore.
There is a special place in the 626 where you can stand on a pinnacle of a suburban island and gaze around you an ocean of glimmering city lights. Listen to the static hum and lose yourself in your thoughts. Here, someone not much older than I committed suicide. I won’t go into the details of the suicide, but I’ve often felt the presence of his ghost. And I felt his pain too, for it was my pain.
I left home in search of something better. I’m not entirely certain how I became conscious that home was a bubble. I think it was because I always felt that I didn’t belong. This might partly be due to my parents’ and my generational, ideological differences. But there was also a cultural difference: one American, and one Taiwanese. These cultures were like great forces pulling me in different directions, and I think much of my life was misspent trying to choose a direction. There was this great riff between expectations and reality. Granted, I think that’s something every child experiences. However, my being raised in an Asian culture particularly put me and my parents at odds. You feel your parent’s expectation. They shape you. They become the ideal of what you should be. Simultaneously, you have your own ideas, your own personality, and your own dreams. In my case, they were extremely polarizing. I was nothing like my parent’s expectations. This was something I didn’t come in terms with. Instead, I walked the road of compromises, and it led me to hell. Monsters and shadows followed me. They whispered terrible ideas into my ears, and before long, I found myself on the ledge of a 30 floor building with one foot over the edge. I was a ghost as I walked through hell. I don’t know why I didn’t take the second step. Maybe I was a coward. Maybe I was hoping something better was waiting for me.
So I left home, knowing that I was an outsider. I could feel my world shifting. Things were falling apart. People I’ve known were being pulled in different directions. I was becoming someone different, someone I thought incompatible with the 626. I became a wanderer for some time. I packed my backpack so I could stay out late every night. I walked, I skateboarded, I took a plane across the ocean and briefly lived in Spain, I came back, I drove along the coast, and I saw some other states. And from my experience, I never found a place like the 626. It’s a cliché, but the 626 became this unchanging, endearing place. It was a place that I could never call my own, but I could no longer deny that it was very much a part of me.
Thinking back, I probably hoped for some sort of rebirth. I wanted change, the ultimate change, in which I would be freed from my pains. I thought of myself as a ghost that drifted from place to place, hoping that a place could restore me to some sort of whole. I did this with my relationships. I needed to be fulfilled by something, someone. That longing sent me spiraling into hell. I wanted some form of paradise so I could never hurt again. This was naïve.
I am a ghost. I accept that there is a deep sadness to me. I accept that I constitute polarizing forces and ideas sometimes, but so do many people.