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.



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.


That Year When

It was as if the year when that happened didn’t happen. Mom sat at the table counting the bills and wrinkling the meager check she got in the mail. Mom would often say if only they would hand her the check in person and give her the money they used to buy the stamps. Of course, that would never pass.

Mom didn’t really liked to talk about it. She tried to keep quiet because it was not anything glorious to boast about, but Mom’s New Boss was the nosy type and there was no way he would let such juicy gossip slip away.

So Mom told him about that year when she still worked at the fry shop. Mom’s Old Boss was the nasty type who liked to keep Mom in his office so he could say all sorts of perverted things to her. Mom always took it like a champ because she needed the paycheck. One day he came into the shop and called Mom in. Mom just got this gut feeling that he was up to no good. Sure enough, he started to put the moves on her and tried to force her to do things with him. So Mom kneed him. While he was grimacing on the ground, she grabbed a number 2 from his desk and stabbed his hand so hard it went through and I heard he needed surgery to patch that hole up. Mom also slapped him, but that was beside the point — he had a lot of explaining to do to the police.

Mom came home today after telling her New Boss about that year. She told me she got a promotion and an increase in salary. She said if she knew, she would have told him the story much earlier.

please understand that i am in no way, shape or form encouraging those in similar situations as described above to “take it like a champ.” be a real champ and report that bastard. 

That Year When

the way they all end (with a whimper)

The other day I read this online “somebody asked me if I knew you. A million memories flashed by, but i just smiled and said I used to.”

I wanted to send this to you and say hey. But I remembered we are far pass the days when we can look back and reminisce our bygone days.

Hey friend, what have you been up? I’m so bad at keeping in touch. Do you blame me for our faded friendship? I still remember when we used to hide away where our parents could not disturb us. We would plan out our future. Do you remember? You wanted to be an astronaut and I wanted to rule the world.

How childish do we seem then to us now? Where did our dreams go? I suppose they were never going to come to be anyway, right? I mean, rule the world? Be an astronaut? You get car sick in a 20 minute ride to the mall! I don’t think you could have handled it.

Then remember the days we exchanged notes in the hallway? Chatted for hours at midnight about secrets we thought were so precious? How he looked at you in P.E. today, or how he smiled at me yesterday? Or how you tried to scare me with stories about Chucky? I still resent you a little for that one.

Continue reading “the way they all end (with a whimper)”

the way they all end (with a whimper)

for her

I slipped away quietly, as much as I could anyway. She stood leaning against the door frame, one slender leg crossed the other, red plump lips juicy like two slices of grapefruit– I must turn away.

But her long eyelashes, and those eyes! Endlessly brown like a pot of honey so sickly sweet. She looked like a 50s pinup doll, the tiny waist, the wide set of hips, and the slightly arrogant chin raised just above your eye level, and the eyelids half shut. A little Märta Torén like. Of course, Märta was probably far classier.

She was in a class all by herself.

“Hey there stranger,” smoke puff chatted it’s way up my face. I coughed. Second hand smoke was my least favorite thing about being around her.

“I think you got the wrong person,” I replied.
“You know what I think?” She stepped closer, one hand on my shoulder, ” I think you and I both know you are a lying son of a bitch.”

Ouch. To think after a night together she would say something a little nicer.

“That her?”
She flicked her cigarette towards a woman by the bar. The little lighted firework had a brief moment of brilliance and then landed on the cold hard floor.
“Who’s the suit?”

I looked over. The place where I sat had been taken over by a man in a cheap suit trying to buy the woman a drink.

“Donno, don’t care.”
“Heh,” she snickered, “that’s what they all say until they leave your bed the next morning cold and unfeeling, calling the whole thing a drunken debauchery.”

She tossed her cigarette on the ground and watched it die.

“Probably should get back to her,” she said.
“Yeah. Probably.”
“See you around?” she rose her eyebrow and leaned forward.
With my eyes trained on the cheap suit, I rested my finger on her puckered lips:
“probably not.”

The woman at the bar may never know that she is only half as pretty as Märta Torén, but she will always be good enough for me.

for her