Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl

It was a typical hot and humid DC afternoon. He walked three feet in front of me around his parents' house to the backyard where thirty of his relatives were already grilling and combating the summer heat with cold beers. He came home from New Jersey to celebrate his niece's first birthday and invited me to come along. He had actually invited me several weeks ago but I didn't take him seriously until he called me the day of asking if I was ready to go. I frantically ripped through my closet to find my straightest looking shirt and put on the best bro face I could.

As soon as we arrived, he went to say hello to his parents and his brother whom he hadn't seen in a month. I immediately dove for a barbecued drumstick like a wild savage hoping to avoid awkward introductions to people who had never seen a gay Asian boy disguised as a straight white man before.

His older brother, who has always derived joy out of teasing him, started talking loudly. "How come you still haven't brought home a girlfriend yet? It's been three years in college and a month in New Jersey and you still can't get a girl?"

I eyed a platter of deviled eggs and popped one in my mouth. And then ate two more. Okay three.

His mother interjected with a smile, "Oh come on now, leave him alone."

His brother continued. "Maybe he doesn't even like girls." And started laughing with his friends.

I grabbed the an ear of corn and gnawed on it furiously trying to drown out their conversation.

He had already had a few drinks and looked upset. I could tell he was deep in thought but figured we would go up to his room later and talk about it in privacy. And then make out. Instead, he turned toward his brother and shouted, "Yeah. You're right. I don't give a shit about girls. I am gay and _____ is my boyfriend." He looked right at me and I stared back, doe-eyed and hungry, sitting in a cheap lawn chair under the shade of a tree.

I quickly looked straight down and began taking non-stop, successive bites of watermelon, hoping to avoid the eyes of thirty or so conservative WASPs and their judgmental babies.

He walked towards me, took the watermelon from my hands, and threw it on the ground. My eyes were still fixated on the wasted fruit when he grabbed the back of my head and kissed me hard on the lips. He smelled like charcoal and tasted like beer. I tasted like watermelon.

He took my hand and pulled me up, leading me quickly towards the front of the house and back to his car. He never turned around to see his family's reaction, but I looked back for one last glimpse at the scene we had just caused.
Mouths were still open in shock and no one was speaking. And I stared longingly at the cake that had yet to be cut and served.

But this isn't really what happened.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I am in Chinatown when three tourists come up to me, unaware that I am a tourist myself.

Touristy Mommy: Do you speak English?
Me: Not really.
Touristy Mommy: What is dim sum?

I am in Chinatown when he sends me a text, "When are you gonna be back from Chicago?" I tell him I will be back Monday night. I wonder why he asks because regardless, he is still going to be in New Jersey. My whereabouts are largely irrelevant. A few minutes later he asks when he can call me. This immediately feels strange, this proactive effort to speak to me.

As soon as I return to the hotel room, I hide in the bathroom, turn on the stall shower, sit in the bathtub, and call him. He picks up and his voice is comforting, despite the sound of the shower in the background and my racing heartbeat.
He tells me he was in New York City last night. He stayed out too late and needed a place to sleep so he went to the apartment of a man he had hooked up with before [we were together]. This is where the man tried to kiss [fuck] him. So he left and went to the train station and fell asleep until the first train left for New Jersey in the morning. He tells me that nothing happened and that he loves me.
I ignore the holes in his story. He's never been to New York City before, why would a former hook up live there? Out of everyone he knows living in New York City, why pick this place? Why did he have that man's phone number and address? What did he expect would happen? I don't interrogate him with these questions, partly because I'm afraid of the answers and partly because I've been in the "shower" for too long. Deep down I know he didn't go there just to fall asleep. But I tell him I trust him. In my head I rationalize that trusting somebody is not as hard as being alone. But then again, I am alone right now, aren't I.

Maybe this is a self fulfilling prophecy. I was so desperately worried about him cheating that it has become a very real possibility. This is ironic and obnoxious because I dream about discovering ten million dollars of cash in my basement all the time and that prophecy has yet to materialize.

Later in the afternoon, I muster up the emotional composure to take a walk down Lakeshore Drive and then eat an entire stuffed pizza.

When I wake up the next morning, I feel like hell. I self medicate myself with pain killers and Jamba Juice. My sister has already checked out and the hotel room feels dark and empty. As I gather my things and motion towards the door, I look back and find it difficult to leave. Like closing the pages of a good book, it's hard to watch these adventures and this life[style] come to a close. And I know that when I land in DC, I will have to return to a life[ ] and perhaps a failed relationship that no amount of painkillers and Jamba Juice can pacify.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chinese Buffett

My mother calls me at work.

Her: How would you like to make $40 of interest.
Me: How did you find my number?
Her: I need to borrow $5,000.
Me: I already told you I don't think a facelift is a good investment.
Her: My best friend is opening a jewelry store in La Jolla Beach.
Me: I think you should get a facelift instead.
Her: This is how Warren Buffett made his fortune you know.
Me: Investing in small business ventures led by discontent, middle-aged, Chinese women.
Her: And See's Candies.

When the conversation is over, the issue is still unresolved. I'm sure that $5,000 will be missing by the end of the day. She has all my account numbers memorized and considers these "loans" a personal debt I owe her for all the food, shelter, and violin lessons over the years.

Coincidentally, Warren Buffett appears on the front page of Yahoo news in a list of most successful people to get rejected from their first choice college. I read the story, hoping at least one of these people will be Asian, fat, and emotionally unstable.

Buffett says:
But at the time, he "had this feeling of dread" after being rejected in an admissions interview in Chicago [for Harvard], and a fear of disappointing his father.
Memories, light the corner of my mind.
As it turned out, his father responded with "only this unconditional unconditional belief in me," Mr. Buffett says.
This feels... less familiar.

And his story ends with him, "dashing off to Columbia instead." How adequate.

I am never going to see that money again, am I.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's Actually Flitwick

Wallowing in self-pity is a bit like playing near a tar pit. First you stick your toe in and it feels nice and warm. And before you know it you're neck deep in shit and the more you struggle the deeper you sink.

I made it pretty clear from the beginning that this blog would be "an outlet for my emotions." Read: This blog is meant for me to whine and occasionally talk about cute boys and pretty clothes.

My new boat shoes.

Every once
in a while, readers feel the need to tell me to stop being so "emo." That's just not possible. My life is too depressing and I never claimed to be a strong person. I had hoped that my personal doubts and inner struggles would be interesting and endearing and cute. I certainly don't want to drag all of you into the tar pit with me. In fact, I get a sense of fulfillment when my readers derive enjoyment out of my miserable existence. If that's not your thing and you want a light-hearted read, go follow some gay middle-schooler who only has to worry about passing trigonometry and figuring out how to masturbate. Or go here or here.

And as for the person who called me a fuckwit, I have to say thank you. Hearing the word fuckwit cheered me up because it sounded like a professor's name from Harry Potter. (This is one of those people who have to use British slang to sound intelligible.) And here is usually where I would say something mean about you. But since I don't actually care enough to read your blog or follow your incessant chattering on twitter, I don't know anything about you and wouldn't even know where to begin.

But you definitely took my mind off things.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Toothpaste Tears Us Apart

Before Tall Blonde Alcholic left for his internship with Colgate in New Jersey he told me how bored he was going to be in a new place and how miserable he was going to be by himself. He gave me no choice but to feel sorry for him and I tried to comfort him by telling him I would miss him with all my heart and would patiently wait in DC until he came home to me.

This was before I left for Alaska, where stormy seas and evergreen trees prevented us from communicating. When I came back after seven days, his story had changed.

The day I got back to Seattle, I called him while I was on the light rail. He told me about how great the internship was and how much fun he was having with his fellow interns and roommates. They had already gone out for several nights and there was even going to be a party in the near future. His invitation fell somewhat flat on my ears, "I guess you can come if you want." Later that night, I finally got in touch with him on AIM. Only he left after 15 or so minutes because he had to go to sleep.

And there I was, the fool feeling sorry for him. I had thought that we were both going to have a terrible time being apart, except he was having the time of his life. And it wasn't so much that it was fun, it was that the people were fun. This immediately made me wonder what set these people apart from me. What's to stop him from falling in love with them over the course of the summer? And when it's all over won't he hate leaving them, and won't he miss seeing them, and wouldn't he rather stay with them? Coming home to me at the end of it all will be nothing more than a cheap consolation prize for giving up the best experience of his life.

On Tuesday night, I left a small party to hide in the bathroom and call him. I turned on the faucet so people outside wouldn't be able to hear me. I asked him why he hadn't called recently, making snide comments about how happy he was in New Jersey and poking fun at his sudden change of heart. He said, "I thought you'd be happy for me. Aren't you glad I'm not miserable?"

And in an instant, the guilt was deflected. I stumbled on the phone, grasping desperately for words that would avoid the truth. I want to be able say that I love him enough to want nothing more than for him to be happy. But deep down I was glad when he first told me was going to be lost without me. Like anyone else, I want to feel important. To see him enjoying himself so much breaks my heart into a million icy pieces and makes me reconsider just how much I really matter to him.

And all of this is much easier for him than it is for me.
I am the one stuck here living our old life. His absence changes everything for me. He is the one who gets to start anew without me. And wouldn't you know, it's still pretty damn great.

So in the end, I suppose neither of us has the upper hand in this argument. I don't love him enough to want him to be happy without me and he doesn't love me enough to be unhappy without me. And neither of us love each other as much as we thought we did before this summer came along and tore us apart.

I turned off the faucet, got off the phone, and went back to the party. Average Brown Quarter-Asian was waiting outside and said to me, "Have you heard from Tall Blonde Alcoholic recently? He can't stop talking about how much he loves New Jersey."

I could have punched her in the face.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Can I Use My Cell Phone In Alaska?

My idea of a fun vacation involves something unique and unusual. This would include, for instance, backpacking through a war-torn African country or perhaps committing a string of identity thefts and bank robberies across central Europe.

My mother ignores my suggestions and plans a seven-day family cruise to Alaska. Hell is a place on Earth and its name is The Oosterdam.

As I enjoy my "Bon Voyage Dinner" on deck nine, I experience a brief moment of deep reflection and wonder if a single potato on this ship didn't arrive pre-cooked.

To maintain my sanity and battle the effects of seasickness, I begin to meticulously judge those around me. To my left, a group of 70+ year-old passengers who can't walk, see, or hear, order a bottle of wine. They will be having more fun than me, most probably. To my right, a group of overweight passengers heap mounds of roast beef onto little plates while discussing with each other the pitfalls of overeating. Straight ahead, a group of quintessential middle-aged Asians, chew with their mouths open and talk loudly about real estate.

The ship makes several stops on land. The first of which is in Juneau. After visiting Sarah Palin's old house, I walk around downtown hoping to find a shirt that says, "Juneau You Want Me."

The next stop is in Sitka. I search high and low for spots where The Proposal was filmed, spots where Ryan Reynolds may have walked on. I would later find out that The Proposal was filmed in Massachusetts.

Victoria was fun. All the boys are cute. I am considering moving there after school.

On board the ship there is a magic show where the magician somehow incorporates the theme of gay marriage into his stand-up routine. "Straight people have been married for years, gay people deserve that misery too." My marriage is going to be utopia with a white picket fence. That's what I deserve. Asshole.

Over the course of the week I meet several new people on the ship. One woman makes a living singing The Way We Were twice a night, every night. One group of tweens has adopted a new motto, "Don't abuse alcohol. Let alcohol abuse you." And just about everyone else on the ship either has a rich grandfather or is a rich grandfather or is a really really cute guy with really really long, dark, and conspicuous eyebrows who doesn't pay any attention to you whatsoever even though you attend all the same events and somehow manage to sit at the table next to him almost every night at dinner.

Towards the end, this trip becomes bearable. Because, let's face it, this is ten million times better than work where you hate everyone and everyone hates you. Also, happy hour is between 3:30 and 4:30 pm. Also, you got to see a whale and a seal and a dolphin. Also, all the fat people make you look skinny.

My one lingering regret is being torn away from Tall Blonde Alcoholic as he begins his summer internship in New Jersey. When the ship docks I call him as soon as I get the chance. He misses my call and returns it a few minutes later. He says he's at Target and sounds distracted. He tells me over the phone about his cool, funny, roommate from Miami as if I'm not cool (I am) or funny (I am) or from an exotic locale (Taiwan). He must have known that I would frantically stalk this new variable on Facebook as soon as I got the chance. He is cute and skinny (absolutely, not relatively) and definitely gay (absolutely and relatively). Inwardly, I have a terrible feeling about this. Realistically, there is nothing I can do. As I disembark, my stomach is filled with salmon and my heart is filled with terror.

And while I look outside my cab window and watch the rain fall in Seattle, I try to come to terms with the fact that things change and people move on while you are gone. I wonder what the weather is like in New Jersey and if I'll even recognize my life when I finally find my way home.