It wasn’t the Funyuns

November 24, 2017

I’m such a bumbling idiot.

I was fine a second ago, I swear. I was able to hold a normal conversation without forgetting how to speak, without losing my fine motor control. I could joke about my brother’s antics with one of his classmates sitting at the same table as us. I could tap away on my keyboard, lip syncing shamelessly to my music in my earbuds like it’s nobody’s business.

But the moment a guy with curly, strawberry blond hair stepped into my peripheral vision, chowing down on Funyuns, all my senses sharpened. He offered Funyuns to my brother and his classmate, pulling out a chair next to the both of them. I lifted my eyes from my laptop screen—bad idea, girl.

My jaw immediately dropped, a stuttering, “uh,” escaping my lips and as he gestured his Funyuns, offering some to me, too. I tried to lift my hand from the computer mouse while simultaneously reaching to pull the earbud out of my ear. And instead of gracefully completing the task in one smooth motion, I threw the mouse at myself, yanked the cord out of my ear, and croaked out a hoarse, “No, I’m fine, thanks,” probably topped off with an alluring nervous eye twitch.

Picking the mouse up from my lap, I placed it back on the table, blinking hard, hoping it wasn’t as horrifyingly embarrassing as I felt like it was. I replaced the dangling earbud into my ear and resumed my photo editing as though I totally didn’t make a fool of myself.

EYE ROLL-

I hope he didn’t catch that.

Why in the world was I so nervous? Good grief, I’m so lame.

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Sunny Day

November 15, 2017

The one time I ever visited southern California, I remember feeling inexplicably happy and being okay with not knowing quite why that was so.

My grandma sat in the passenger seat with me in the back and a song came on the radio that I remember being too emotional to listen to before it became popular because it reminded me of painful times and nonexistent realities.

I quietly sang along in the back, gazing absently out the window, never missing a word, bobbing my head to the simple, clean beat. It painted the picture in my mind of a bare apartment in a big city, where I lay on a stiff, leather couch, hearing icy winter breezes tap the window screen, feeling my heart liquefy in my chest because I was wrapped in the arms of my partner who still slept peacefully.

After blinking back into reality, my gaze averted to the ships at the bay, the ferries pulling in to transport people to the island. Still singing along, I heard my grandma turn to the driver and ask what song it was, probably because I was singing it and I obviously liked it.

He confessed to not knowing because he didn’t listen to the radio often. I wanted to intervene but instead decided to just enjoy the quiet moment.

To this day, I still get emotional, unable to listen to the entire song, just this time… for different reasons.

iPod Touch

November 13, 2017

I remember in junior high school, my best friend was my sister according to everyone. Apparently we looked alike which I couldn’t deny due to our semblant ethnic backgrounds.

The first thing I noticed about her when we met was her earrings. They were purple coiled wire with pink spike balls on the ends of the short coil.

Eventually, I grew closer to her than the girl leading my section in band. She and I collectively wrote stories and created characters, handsome, fearless, dragon-riding, sword-wielding, prince-warriors. We fabricated worlds where we were actually sisters and we grew up together, learning magic and discovering fantastical kingdoms.

When I was fifteen or sixteen years old, I had one of the few sleepovers I’ve ever been to in my life at her house. She and I were crowded onto the guest room couch with the window open, allowing cool September breezes filter through the first-story room.

The power was out at her house because her mom forgot to pay the electric bill, but since I was out all day with her family, they didn’t realize it was out til nighttime came. The electric company wouldn’t open til 8 am the next morning, so we lived by moonlight until then. That meant a night of no air conditioning, no phone chargers, and no light. With her bedroom on the second floor, she and I would bake throughout the night if we stayed up there.

But what resonated with me that night was when she confessed that I actually made her feel better as opposed to her parents or her long-time friends in her grade. Crying in frustration and fury at her mother’s forgetfulness, all I could remember was holding her in my arms and knowing she wept without seeing because I felt warm tears occasionally trickle onto my arm while she mumbled almost incoherently.

I recall venting to her about my parents and she would always take care of me and make me feel protected in the big sister role she naturally assumed, the big sister I’d never had.

I suppose it was the least I could do for her.

By the end of the night she had recollected herself and around one in the morning, I began falling asleep while we played hangman on her iPod touch and it was then I finally confessed to her who my crush was, much to her surprise (which is a whole other story in itself; that guy was and still is a total waste of time, a real doozie).

I often wonder if I’m the only one who reminisces on such memories.

Being in love at 20-something

November 5, 2017

See, the thing about being a 20-something-year old, at least for me, is that you become a cranky, old lady who gets annoyed of adolescents in a heartbeat and you get back pain from sitting for too long or from working too hard—either or.

Jokes aside, it might just be me and the cohort I’m in and the mentality I have. It’s more difficult for me to be easygoing when hanging out with friends, even if we’re not close, because now I feel like I’m wasting time. I’m always complaining about not having a clean bathroom and a clean kitchen and I get irritated when the high schoolers stand on my lawn. I sleep relatively early for my age and wake up early to be productive in the morning.

But what really made me notice my crippling mental age difference was how difficult it is for me to fall in love again.

Wow, that sounds even lamer than when I thought it.

I just have trusts issues, okay? And commitment issues. I’ve dealt with some stupid people. I’ve been hurt so often that I have become a cynic to the idea of youthful relationships and fresh love. And it’s a task for someone to convince me otherwise, to have me fall for them. I haven’t put anyone else before myself in a very long time, and despite it’s effectiveness in progressing my higher education, I get lonely on rare occasions. Even still, I seem to lack the emotional capability of falling head over heels for someone (unless he’s Alex Bregman, of course).

But when I think of how lovely it would be to hold someone, I quickly remember what it took to be able to hold them, the effort, the time, the commitment, the energy, then I feel remotely grateful that I don’t have that sort of thing to worry about because, heaven knows, I’m awful with punctuality and prioritizing for other people’s time.

I suppose when I meet someone who genuinely wants to convince me and eventually does, should that idea even see the light of day from me, then maybe my grumpy, old self will learn to enjoy something so lovely.

Little Talk

November 2, 2017

There are only three things in this world that I “hate” and one of them is small talk.

I don’t enjoy small talk by any stretch of the imagination. It’s exhausting. The people who do it as part of their daily lives amaze me, really.

How is it so easy for people to talk about the change of season making their allergies flare up, or how well their mutually favorite sports team performed, or what the other person had for dinner last night?

You get nowhere talking small. You get nowhere in the depth of relationships. You get nothing out of it, no existential realization, no paradigm shift, no new knowledge, no inspiration.

I can make small talk but at the end of the day, I feel physically and mentally fatigued. I feel like I have to isolate myself from all outside contact to replenish my energy.

Meaningful conversations, to me, are highly stimulating, not to mention very productive. You learn about others and, more importantly, you learn about yourself. You realize what biases you hold to, what your deepest opinions are, what secrets of your personality you subconsciously held in the dark. They give me the energy to keep going, to dream and create, despite that many may find it exhausting. And gaining new perspectives from others and learning logical or abstract concepts from deep conversations provides a refreshing boost in cognitive development for all parties.

And they’re just nice to have sometimes.

I know not every conversation has to be about politics or innovation, but really, when will the depth of those conversations, furthermore those relationships, truly speak to you if each one is the same with every person you meet?

3 Bars of Chocolate and I found myself falling for you

October 31, 2017

If I’m going to be honest, I was getting weak-kneed at the thought of kissing you.

It was a stretch hoping it’d happen, but I was aware of that long ago.

I never expected everything I discovered about you. It all came as a pleasant, refreshing surprise.

I found myself thinking about how much I trusted you yet I knew so little about you. Every guy I talked to after you just didn’t have that kick, that… Thing. I knew I couldn’t trust anyone else because their intentions were riddled with malicious intent. And I knew I could trust you, without a doubt.

You are honest, brutally so. You are a cynic but you never lie. You aren’t a stranger to weakness but you play it into your strengths. You never have anything to hide. You aren’t ashamed of who you are, what you do.

You are just you.

And I love that.

Red Plaid

October 26, 2017

His button down—it was red plaid. I swear I could never forget it. When I thought I’d never see him again, after I thought I’d lost him to the tangles of fate and time.

What bittersweet and vicarious relief floods my heavy heart.


Just another day, right?

Just another day in the life.

But days like these are meant to give you a chance to breathe, a chance to step back and not worry, even if just for a second. They’re meant to put a smile on your face if you hadn’t worn one for a long time, caught up in the hustle and bustle, the stresses of mundane cycles and repetitive and useless conversations.

I love that feeling I get sometimes, that feeling of what the future might hold, that skippy, heart-racing feeling I get when I think of what happiness lay on the path ahead, what company I’ll be graced with.

It puts a smile on my face after having not worn one for a long time.

Of Candor

October 21, 2017

I wonder if you feel young again, if being around “younger people” reminds you of the foolish tendencies you may or may not have had in high school, however long ago that was for you.

You say it’s been so long for you but, in fact, it’s only been a few years, even though a few years is plenty of room for life to change.

I wonder what life was like for you. I want to know, tell me all about it.

Recall those embarrassing stories and anecdotes from your youth. Paint a picture for me to whirl and twirl in, a picture of where you used to love going to play your favorite sports, hang out with your favorite people. Lull me to sleep in your arms with the songs you used to listen to.

I want to know. I want to know it. I want to know you.

Table Tennis

October 19, 2017

It’s true that you can bounce back from an all-time low, even if you’re not getting the full effect.

It’s true that your poor face can break out from stress, your hairline can bead with sweat, but you can still feel as confident as you didn’t believe you were.

It’s true that despite what you might believe about yourself, you are more intelligent than you give yourself credit for.

And it’s not a matter of convincing others of those realizations—it’s convincing yourself.

The Sky is So Clear

October 17, 2017

It’s like a flat, solid-colored backdrop in a photo studio. It makes the buildings look photoshopped into the skyline, their cubical, mirrored faces reflecting the dull sunlight behind me. There’s not a trace of clouds as far as the eye could see over the horizon or hidden amongst the sparse downtown verdure.

It’s vivid and clear, like nothing could distort the perfection of what undoubtedly lay before my eyes, what story unreeled beneath me, surrounding me, making time itself slow to a gentle cruise.

When something like this manifests itself in my life, I’m astonished. I run, fearful for my life, my sake, my sanity, but all the while fascinated. Fearful, but fascinated. In disbelief of such a catastrophic yet constructive force of human existence. Terrifying, yet inhumanly beautiful.