zonbi ni natta

I think very strange thoughts.

The inside of my head hasn’t caught up with the rest of me. Once, I was very dark. My words were dark, my clothes were dark, my thoughts were dark. I outgrew this pretty quickly, because in general my persona is happy and bright. The clothes became neon, the smile grew, I became bubbly and sickening in a fascinating turn-around that relieved my mother (even though she prefers I wear dark red rather than intense green) but confused my friends. The thing that had taken me into the darkness wasn’t overly sensitive emotional crap, but rather a fascination with all things morbid. Whereas my outward appearance has changed, that inner morbidity is still thriving.

Monkeyface still remembers, the day we first met, when Oni and he were slightly tipsy and Jubby was a-visiting. A cat skull to the face, reconstructed to the point where the jaw could be manipulated, maniacal teenage laughter and scampering away, leaving the boys bemused, confused, and shocked.

We didn’t kill the cat, but the cat was dead, and the parts left behind were cleaned and examined, our curiosity grown to great leaps and bounds.

What was death?

I feel the past couple of years of my life have been a kind of death, for me. My own internal purgatory where I struggled to change things instead of accepting what I had. The desire to change is still very there, and wiggles around often, but instead of just hoping for the future I’ve decided to also live for the day.

I’ve re-invented myself, again.

Unlike the phoenix, who leaves in a flash of glory, I’m more slowly clawing my way out of the darkness with the strength of will alone. No glorious firebird am I, rather a creature that still remembers what death was like, still has bits clinging.

Rebirth, yes. But as a zombie.

I mean, at the very least, zombies dance a lot more often.


Once, I climbed the mountain
The wind pushing me forward, the sky calling me.
Reaching the peak, I spread my arms –
The only way to get higher was to jump.

Trusting the sky, trusting the wind,
The first step towards freedom and happiness
Thrilling excitement, holding my breath.

Falling, descending, plummeting.

Slamming into the restless water below
Down, down, gasping for breath.
Reorienting – reaching again for the sky.

Bursting from the freezing embrace
Buoyed by the same driftwood I passed on my ascent.
Fighting as waves crash me into rocks.

The shore keeps getting further away.

New Experiences: Autumn

Growing up in west-central Florida there are only two seasons: Summer and Chilly. Sure, in the cold embrace of the Chilly season native Floridians are absolutely convinced that frost is fatal – those who venture outside into the frigid 60ºF air huddle together like penguins, backs to the wind and arms hidden inside fleece pullovers and fuzzy red hoodies. The used car that was such a great idea in July – with working A/C that puddled on the floor and the heating hose mysteriously disconnected from the ventilation system – is now a chamber of death and doom, with seventeen extra blankets piled in the backseat for those crisp January mornings. But you persevered, and survived against all odds, and less than six weeks later you leave Chilly’s dire clutches and start the incline back to Summer.
I just began month four since my relocation to South Carolina, and already morning temperatures have declined to the point where I dread walking outside. There’s a fresh breeze blowing down from the airy Appalachians and I shiver just thinking about it. I raised my concerns to Auli.
“But, Kao, it’s just FALL.”
Stunned silence greets her after this exclamation. After a few moments, I can do nothing but barrage her with questions. What do you mean, Fall? Is Fall a subset of Chilly? Will we be returning to Summer soon? I don’t like Summer, but this cold is going to KILL me.
“It gets worse. There’s still winter!” she says overgleefully, joy in every note to ward off accidentally catching the despair that begins to roll off of me in her direction.
“It might SNOW!” she chirps.
My mind suddenly snaps back to the day seven months ago when I moved my mother-in-law here. There was this powdery white stuff, everywhere, and the dog was confused and I was confused and I had to DRIVE in it and I was absolutely sure that I was going to plummet off a cliff, taking the dog with me, and there were nowhere near enough blankets…
It snaps back again, to a year before that, when tricked by the thought of new experiences a certain over-happy comrade convinced me that I had to meet ALL the seasons, and I went a-visiting West Virginia in the winter and got hit by my first snowball [and almost fell facefirst into a park bench for the effort] and was actually stuck INSIDE for fear that driving me to the airport to return to Chilly would cause us both to die.
There was nothing that could be done, she assured me. I was going to be affected by “seasons,” whatever those were, whether I wanted to or not.
I sit behind my new desk and gaze out the glass front of my new workplace, staring at the brilliantly blue sky, the smoke-shaded clouds signalling that another front is pushing through, it will be even more Chilly tomorrow. The trees are beginning to change colors, dying off for a time, taking a well-deserved rest, and the wind carries the faint odors of woodsmoke, pumpkins, and all of those good times always celebrated on television but stared at with confusion by people from the land I called home.
So this is “Fall.” I think I might like it.


Life has been pretty rough, and busy, in Kaoland recently. From family feuds, to totaled cars, to hospital stays and fluffy kitties, the world has been a strange, strange, place.
Moms are a great equalizing force. Or at least, Kaachan is. Unless she is the one being directly affected by the mischievous pixie referred here-on as “Failmonkey,” she and I have an amiable relationship, relaxed and anti-stress. As I’m not by nature a person who is stressful, I feel as if I’m a good sounding board to her, and she gives me news in a succinct and straightforward manner.
We had one of those conservations tonight. She called, I answered. We discussed such things as my great-aunt’s upcoming chemotherapy appointments, her incoming cigarette quit date, and how high definition television doesn’t cost any more money under my current provider. I discussed concerns that my current medication wasn’t working as well as it should, she discussed the plague of bull-ants in her backyard. In closing, we had a discussion on faith.
“I don’t know, Kao. I’m not sure I can do it.”
“Yes you can, Kaachan. I know you can.”
“You’re putting me on a pedestal, Kao. And I’m going to fall.”
“No, Kaachan. I’m believing in you. It’s about time I returned the favor.”


I’ve never been so happy to feel my heart break.


Today is my best friend’s birthday.
Birthdays are very important things to me. They rank as my favorite holiday(s), being that there’s a lot less stress and a lot more individual attention. My own birthday comes after the birthdays of all my closest friends, and I do try to make those days as unique and memorable as I can. There have been some pretty epic failures, like when I had Auli drive two hours on the day we had designated to celebrate her birthday to actually help me move into a new apartment. Rara’s birthday last year was pretty fail-ful, as I made her drive us forty minutes to see a movie that was amazing in its original language but horribly dubbed, and I got her to buy me coffee and had her pick me up AND take me home.
On the reverse side of this, there have been some celebrations that I continue to be particularly proud of; I built Becktsar a barn; Mattpi got a personalized treasure hunt; Kathurn was supposed to get a strip dancer but that fell through. Mama got her own personal penguin; Kristi got a movie themed party with a true poster-size imitation of several of her friends imitating the poster for Empire Records.
Today was calm, but in its own way extremely awesome and I’m pretty sure Rara was quite satisfied with it. Lunch, shopping, bowling, television, and cake. There must always be a cake. Even on Auli’s super!fail there was cake. These are the important things.
Rara is… a very important person to me. She is unique, she is clever. She is me in a different body. We somehow grew up in completely different circumstances but emerging with the same viewpoints – even though the reasoning is usually COMPLETELY different. We understand each other in a way nobody else could, I think, and our friendship is probably one of the most important relationships I’ve ever cultivated in my life. She is my soul twin, oftentimes my example, she sings a song that only the two of us know.
I am not sure where I gained my understanding of friendship. My parents do not have friends, nor do my siblings. Celebrating the birthday of someone who was not a family member was pretty foreign in my house, and I do not imagine my parents even remember the birthdays of their old friends. I still remember the birthday of the boy who lived next door to me between the ages of five and seven. I send birthday greetings and virtual gifts to friends literally on the other side of the world. Even if I have not talked to a friend in years, I will mentally reflect upon them in my memory on the day of their birth, appreciating the fact that I was ever their friend, and partaking of some small minuscule activity that reaffirms their importance in my life, even if it’s so simple as thinking of them as I plan my dinner and perhaps changing the meal to reflect them in some way known to no one but me.
Birthdays are sacred.
So happy birthday Raranekochan, my heart-screw-holder and soul!twin. <3. I hope it was great, even if it wasn't as epic as a penguin or a barn. 🙂


I’ve been trying to get myself back into any semblance of a routine lately. I spent Sunday belatedly scrubbing my house from top to bottom; the spring cleaning bug had set in and it wasn’t to be stopped. Unfortunately that means I unintentionally blew of Rara, which wasn’t something I had been at all meaning to do, but I got a lot done. I then realized that my studies had lapsed, and desired to renew my drive to be the best that I could. With a clean kitchen, the garbage taken out, my desk completely reorganized, scrubbed down, and all the dust removed, I brandished a new, green, notebook and thought to myself “I can do this.”
My life was steeped in routine for as long as I can truly remember, and most of it was positive routine. Wake up; get dressed, drink coffee/perhaps eat breakfast [coffee was introduced when I was in 4th grade], brush hair, brush teeth, stumble out the door. Attend school for several hours, followed by several hours of designated after school activity, return home, goof off, fall asleep around 1 am. Wake up, repeat. College was a glorious chaotic event – mornings were not regulated, days were not regulated, activities were not regulated. The self-imposed regime of my earlier years was swept out the window – I was free. Post college life did nothing to stem that tide of chaos; sure I got up and went to work with the same routine, but there was no guaranteed activity after it. And I crave routine. So much.
So I’ve set up one for myself. Come home and study two grammar points. Use the smart.fm software to study 30 vocabulary words, do some dictation; housework! DInner. Then free time.
We’ll see how this routine goes. I’m currently optimistic.