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zonbi ni natta

Sometimes
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.

Ascent

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.

Tumbling
Betrayal
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.

Moms

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.”

張り裂け

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

Years

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. 🙂

Routine

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.
^_^

Frustration

There was just something wrong with the colors. The red… it was too shallow. The green was too faint. None of them were vibrant and I began to crave blue. Blue, the only color not at my disposal.
“Agh! They’re just not working!”
“Well then, work on a different one,” said the Messiah. “You’ve got tons of pictures there, if something’s not working for you then just move on to the next.” Her immediate attention was taken away as Raraneko once again displayed a beautiful design, complete with whirly-gigs and punched sunbursts. On blue.
I quashed the jealousy spinning its way around my innards. Oh, the blues.
The night was a loss. After accidentally [*insert shifty eyes here*] spending $60 on new and exciting things, my absence of blue was causing me to go into apoplectic fits. The new neon orange album, with it’s squiggly lines and random floral pattern, was absolutely perfect. If only there were some blue to go into it.
But now. Now is a new month, as it is May 1st. Tomorrow is May 2nd, a week [or a month] from the ill-fated doom that was last Saturday. And I will try again, to scrapbook my way to cuteness. I’ve done it before, it is in me. After the new lease on life given to me by last-minute Peelander Z, with so many activities completed since then, and so much excitement on the horizon, tomorrow shall be splendid.
But first, so as not to tempt fate, I’m going to stop and get some blue. And maybe some purple, for good measure.

Fridays

In a world full of brownish-gray cubicle it is very rare to feel alone. The only time this ever truly occurs is after two on beautiful Friday afternoons. Even though there are no windows in my area of the office, I can feel the pure blue sky and puffy white clouds reflecting their way from upstairs – where such a rare thing as a window does exist – by way of the bright orange and yellow walls. They are tempting, but there is another hour of work that I must fight my way through before I can retire home.
Behind me there is nobody for at least four rows of cubicles. As I sit at the head of my row, there is no one to my right, and the only row in front of me is completely unpopulated as is the rest of my row to the left. The closest coworker is farther away than a knight can move in chess. The “Laugher” left at one, and the Messiah is in a meeting. Old Man leaves at 12:30, Old Woman is on vacation. The silence reverberates off the bright blue ventilation tubes in the ceiling. I can do *anything* and nobody would be the wiser.
Instead, I sigh and answer the phone as Monkeyface calls with a inquiry that I can’t satisfy and return to my empty email inbox, hoping against hope that a time warp will occur and it will magically be 3:10 very soon.

America…

Today I went to my first peewee football game. I’m not interested in sports, I don’t like them, I don’t follow them, and if my future children ever end up interested in sports it will be through absolutely no fault of my own. Unfortunately, the Messiah is a downright hardcore football fan and thus her son Messiah Jr plays football. Calling it peewee was probably a little harsh, I think technically it’s referred to as “flag.”
The sun was sweltering, the breeze was brisk, the sky was a beautiful shade of deep blue with puffy white wisps drifting their way across it. I watched chubby over-indulged children play rugby for a while, and watched them sob as they lost. A hawk drifted by, clasping a struggling squirrel in its death-grip, floating on an upward breeze to alight, daintily, on its nest at the top of a hulking piece of electrical infrastructure. Merely moments later it took to wing again; probably having fed it’s squalling chicklets and now in need of some peace and quiet.
Messiah Jr and team lost. It was upsetting, as the other team was apparently full of bad sportsmanship as they congratulated each other for each of their four touchdowns. It was embarrassing, however, as Messiah cheered, and screamed, and told the players what to do as if she were a coach herself but terribly, contrastingly, loud. As a person who calls attention to oneself only when I feel I am being genuinely interesting, Messiah’s urgency in conveying to their players that it was a “nice throw!” or to “shake it off, it was a good play,” made me wish that I had claimed the red chair instead of the blue. That way the rapidly appearing sunburn would instead be camouflage instead of clashing.