Not an Ode

I wake to an empty, cold half of the bed where the pillow still sagged as if your head had rested there overnight. Your dark brown fur slippers that we bought over Christmas still sits beneath the bed frame, collecting dust where your feet used to slip. Did I mention that I get up much later than I used to? It’s not that I have become lazy and despondent with life but I simply cannot decide what to do with all this time. It is as if time had stopped and while I slept I suddenly became the center of it all.

I tried to keep up our habit of taking morning walks, but I think more people have moved onto our street – the crunching of leaves and the rolling of tires have become more evident. So instead of taking those walks, I lie in bed and make up my mind about what kind of breakfast I would like to have, sunny side up or scrambled.

I think about calling Amy all the time, but I’m not sure what to say to her. She probably feels the same way because the last few times she called there were such stretches of silences. It has been twenty-three days since I’ve talked to her. I often try to imagine what she must be doing as I sit in my napping chair, the one facing yours by the fireplace. The Christmas stockings we put up for the kids this year have been left untouched.

The neighbors dropped by yesterday to check on me. They said they were worried because they have not heard or seen me in the past week. I don’t know why they were so concerned. I definitely went out to the garden to weed the plants on Wednesday, and I have been good about taking in the mail and your newspaper. Nothing much has happened lately in the world, but I did see an obituary for Bill Hopkins. They didn’t even invite me to his funeral, but I sent over pie anyway.

I haven’t gotten rid of the bush in our front yard even though I had claimed that it would be the first thing to go. I always thought it was a very ugly thing but you had this unnatural love and appreciation for it. I saw Sarah’s dog peeing on it a couple of times in the past, but I didn’t want to tell you because I was hoping the dog pee had enough acid to just kill the darn bush. Who knew it would have such resilience to outlast…you.

Not an Ode

My Favorite Person

Grandpa turned eighty this year. He is getting so old I can’t believe how fast time went by. I still remember coming home as an elementary school student with a writing assignment about my favorite person. I think to avoid the often faced problem of picking a parent I picked my grandpa.

In retrospect my grandpa could very well be my favorite person. It’s not because he is anything but my grandpa. He is proud, stubborn and never tells me he loves me, but I never once doubted that it is true.

Grandpa was the one who took me to the open ground in front of the school cafeteria to teach me how to ride a bike. He was the one who brought me and my cousin to the abandoned part of campus to catch grasshoppers, and we kept them on our balcony until they died an unfortunate death. Grandpa was the one who showed me how to read time on his old brown clock above the dresser, and I in turn taught my cousin. He was the first to give me a real responsibility. I kept the time and prepared his medicine when he needed them. And when I could not resist the temptation of  opening the capsule, and panicking as I tried to put it back together, he did not get mad but laughed it off.

And I also remember coming home one day and talking to him but suddenly he did not hear me. Grandpa was getting old and I had to start raising my voice. Now days I listen to him ramble on and on, repeating the same things he told me last time. Now days he has trouble zipping up his jacket, and I have to remember to slow down my pace. He also doesn’t remember much of the memories we shared together, but still though, he is my favorite person.

Grandpa, however, doesn’t pick favorites. He always gave me the same things he gave to my cousin, and he never loved either one of us more, at least not visibly so. I’m not sure how he is able to do that because I clearly have a favorite.

I always want to write from life, but I find it so extremely challenging. In any case, I put this together just now and I wanted to avoid keeping this one as a draft for the next a million years so I posted it! Hope I’m not going to regret this!

Who is your favorite?

My Favorite Person

Koi No Yokan

That’s when I saw him. I didn’t know who he was, where was he from and where was he going. His face was marked by this short stubby nose and a half crooked smile — there had got to be no charm whatsoever there. He was definitely far from what I considered to be handsome. I mean after all those Korean dramas I watched, I kind of expected my ‘love at first sight’ moment to be a little more grandiose — not that I had anticipated a tall handsome rich guy to fall head over heels for me (not that I would complain) but this was truly a little lacking. And yet here I am feeling some sort of weird attraction.

Koi no yokan. I read it about this morning on an article mom printed out about words that do not exist in the English language; it means a feeling that we will soon fall in love.

Heck, I didn’t even know if he was single, let alone fall in love, but I couldn’t shake off the feeling that this is it even despite all my internal complaints.

So there I stood, in my fuchsia coat, awkwardly holding my left arm with my right, in a room of people in black sweaters and navy blue blazers. Dreadful colors.

Continue reading “Koi No Yokan”

Koi No Yokan


Trapped, in what seemed like eternity.

Wings of brilliant blue, royal plum, shimmering feathers, extending, as she glossed over, kissing every curve and turn, every nook and trap.

Doors opened and closed, but a prolonged gestation – a pregnant pause of indecision and she missed the opportunity. Her claws of faded orange could not find the place to push.

She was afraid, I think – of what the world was like.

She has been stuck, blind in this empty hollow place. Neither here nor there for too long; the cold wind didn’t even hurt anymore.

She has gotten used to the yellowing light on the ceiling as her sun. The buzzing of moths as her only companions. She has long forgotten if the sky is supposed to be this concrete blue, or is this even blue at all?

So no matter how she flapped or how she jumped or how she shot up so high, She could not soar.

The crashing of rocks hit the bottom of her stomach, and she could almost taste it.



That weekend, every inch of the Earth crawled with people, like worker ants on vacation. There were children screaming, laughing, running after each other, and into their parents’ arms. There were groups of teenagers, finally out from school, lamenting on how slow time is, and how much they want to be free from the grasp of their parents. There were lovers — she especially hated lovers — cuddling on the benches, holding hands, kissing at every turn and every corner.

It was a quarter to eleven when they met for lunch at the small, cramped Italian place, between Arnold and Forrest, built at least fifty years ago, and not much has changed since. The chairs were designed to last, but not for comfort, and the tables rocked back and forth on the stone laid floor. The waiters — which consisted of the owner’s three sons — were particularly bad, constantly spilling food and drinks. If it weren’t for him — for memories of him, she would never come here.

She sat next to the white picket fence surrounding the restaurant and stared through the menu. The daily special was not a matter of concern.

A man in dark navy suit crept up behind her. His shoes were nicely polished, shining from the reflection of the sun. His tie, a floral piece, was neatly tucked under his jacket. He stopped behind her, chuckled as he landed his warm hand on her shoulder; the inside of his palm sweated through the thin satin. She felt his breath on the back of her neck as he planted a wet kiss on her painted cheeks.


He sat down and asked for an order of lobster ravioli.

“And for the lady?”

“Just a glass of pinot noir rouge please.”

“Great, and may I recommend our dessert of the day –”

“That won’t be necessary, would it?” He winked at her, pulled out his fattened wallet, and stole a quick glance at her chest. Then, he reached out his left arm and pointed his index finger at her:

“You should’ve ordered pinot noir. You always used to order thatWhat’s pinot noir rouge anyway?”


She shrugged, and turned to observe the streets. People looked at her with searching eyes, and she glared.

He adjusted the tail of his blazer, undid the last button on his shirt, pulled at his tie and continued, “You got the check?”

Continue reading “2.”



In an apartment on the second floor overlooking the seacoast, Emilie Simon is singing her Desert song as the ceiling fan hummed along. There is one pink lamp, casting on the floor a singular shadow. A woman curls up in the corner of her bed. Her nest of hair is resting on the belly of her pillow. A book, L’Étranger by French philosopher Albert Camus, lays open to pg. 113.


The phone buzzed on Friday while she was wearing her favorite two-piece dress, blanc et noir. She was squatting on the kitchen floor, next to a pair of pumps, peeling a bag of red onions. When the layers of onion came off their plump round bodies the stinging sensation always drove her on the verge of tears, but she never cried. She blinked twice, hard, and placed the phone between her left cheek and shoulder with ease. Years of work as a secretary in a high-end fashion boutique have made it an easy thing to do.


“Hey! It’s me.”

Upon hearing his voice, she picked up a raw onion, examined it in her hand, and took a bite. A drop of onion juice trickled down the curve of the vegetable and onto her arm as the instant burning shot up her nose and left her with a bitter foulness in her mouth. She paused, and then said:

“I didn’t expect you back in town so soon.”

Continue reading “1.”



The homeless man hands the pamphlet to her.

“If God is for us, who can be against?” It says.

What a funny thing to say, she observes.

If God is really for her, why would she be in such a state of desertion and abandonment right now? If God really is here, why is she suffering this heartache, this pain, this misfortune? Where is God now?

Paroxysm of rage, sore and sour from disappointment, starts in her stomach and shoots up her lungs.

She stares at the words again, burning a hole into the crumbled page. The homeless man smiles a toothless smile. He wears a knit hat, covering his ears and unshaven sideburns. His prickly stubble sticks out like the bristles of a kitchen scrub, silver and white. He is wearing a mud green coat with a hood. It looks new and she wonders where he stole it. His swollen and raw fingers poke through his sleeves. His nails are jagged and bitten; his nail bed soaked with dirt and feculence.

He starts to speak:

“God bless you!”

Spit splatters on her painted cheeks. Her cat eyes narrow as she moves to wipe away the sputum.

She looks at him again, and his tin jar of rusted copper coins catches her attention. He nods and backs up. He takes out a few more pamphlets from his pocket. She imagines he does this often – this trick, to get people to give him money.

The frosty wind wraps around her. She pulls on her scarf and buries her face in it, reading the few lines again:

“If God is for us, who can be against?”

She takes her first step forward. Her golden curls tickle her ears and she buries the pamphlet deep in her pocket.

Maybe it is time to heal.





as I gorged – feasting on last night’s pumpkin pie, sweet yam, and cranberry sauced ham,

my fingers wet with insatiable appetite,





as I thought of you and

the blue of sapphire,

the blue of that moon one mid-autumn night,

the blue of the three gold crested buttons on your left sleeve.

The blue of your eyes

They all seem so –


Hollow to me now.