Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Cancerous Religion.

Thanks daniel y. go!

I was 15 when my aunt passed away. She was the first person close to me who died and I didn't know how to deal with it, perhaps in the normal ways that people cope with their first loss, but in my egocentric mind, I felt, and I still believe to this day, that my struggles were unique.

I remember I was studying the Bible in my English class in school and I remember thinking that it was somehow against the rules. I mean I went to a public school for Christ sake! Were there not rule that separated church and state? My English teacher said she was not teaching us about the Bible but merely using the Good Book as a piece of literature to be studied and analyzed and close read just like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Catcher In The Rye and all those other novels we read. I remember thinking that was some how blasphemous but not really understanding why. I bought and read my first Bible that year, the same year my aunt died. I remember thinking there must be a reason or a connection for that but I never worked out a good reason without it sounding like a conspiracy theory. So perhaps it was just a coincidence.

I liked to think that I was a firm believer in science and facts and concrete evidence which organized religion didn't provide and I looked at devout believers as weak, lost souls who needed a crutch to lean on to get through life and I believed that I was stronger than that. But the longer I lived the more I realized that I was deficient in the basic decencies that most people learn about every Sunday in church, because of their religion, because they had a crutch, because they had a guide, that I never had and then I realized that perhaps there was something to this whole religion thing. But when I wad 15, in my twisted adolescent mind, I saw it as a curse that killed my aunt. It was actually the cancer that killed her but it all seemed the same to me, religion was a cancer that infected my life because once I let it in, it spread like wild fire consuming everything in it's path including my aunt who could not get out of way before destruction torched every inch of her body and soul and mine, my mind was forever tainted with death.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Plan.

Thanks Corie Howell!

In life, I didn't believe in an after life, or in heaven, or in reincarnation. I believed that after life you died and that was that.

I find it interesting that I was wrong about death because I still feel so alive. To me death was the only sure thing you could count on, so I was prepared to fall out of the life of the living into the grit of the earth where everything goes to die and decay and end but sometimes, like in my case, something gets stirred up and creates a new form of existence, dare I say life? Because as far as I can tell, this, whatever it is, is similar to being alive. I find myself wandering as aimlessly as I did through life, although now I'm wondering how much this existence matters in the grand scheme of things.

You see, while I was living I was one of those people who didn't listen when I was told 'don't sweat the small things' because that's all I ever did; all the time. Every mole hill was a mountain, every deal a big one, I was so sure that I had only one shot to live my life that I wanted everything to be perfect and so I planned and stuck to the plan and was completely disoriented if things didn't go accordingly, so much so that I would crumble and break and lose my way completely.

I planned every single detail from what I would wear to work for the next month to the final outfit I would wear on the day I was put to eternal rest. I never figured out how to act if things didn't go my way until it was too late and I saw myself being put in the coffin in the white chiffon dress I was supposed to get married in instead of laying to rest in the Chanel suit that I hoped to be able to afford some day. I envied that body wearing my dress, it was beautiful and elegant in it's simplicity because that's the kind of person I was, muted and passive, downplaying my traits in an effort to hide who I was. The dress didn't announce a bride walking down the aisle, it commemorated a life that wilted like a flower whose petals have fallen, but the fragrance still lingers long after.

Oh, well, I guess that's life, and death. Since I have another shot at existence, I plan to make the most of it, I plan to figure this place out a little bit more, I know what I can and cannot interact with, although I have yet to find someone I can interact with. Everywhere I go all I see are blank, vacant stares of the living, head down avoiding eye contact, rushing to who knows where? I wonder if that's how I lived life too, because now I'm wide eyed and looking at everything and everyone hoping to find another soul just as eager as I am to connect.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

She's So Lucky.

Thanks Gold 41!

I vaguely remember my grandmother telling me that her mother was one of those people who were lucky to be alive, and because of that so was she; later I realized that also because of that, so was I. My great grandmother's life was special because it was saved before she even began living. But then again aren't we all lucky to be alive? Isn't every life special?

My grandmother told me that the stars aligned that day in just the right way so my great grandmother could live even though she wasn't a boy. But aren't each of our lives because of some cosmic fate, the result of actions and decisions and choices of other people? Although most of us, or I hope most of us, were wanted. I used to hear my friends say things like, one day I want to settle down and have children, or we waited 5 years after we hit married to start a family or I really want a girl or I hope it's a boy. My grandmother's mother on the other hand was not wanted simply because she was a girl. This was like a century or so ago when the Chinese thought that girls were worthless and if the first born child wasn't a boy they would kill it. Actually, now that I think about it, the Chinese still have absurd rules about reproduction, so maybe things weren't so different back then, just slightly skewed. I think about my own thoughts on babies and wonder how much influence my Chinese heritage had on my decision to only want boys, except I didn't make it that far in life to have children. I don't regret it though, some people should not be parents and I guess the way the stars lined up in my life, I was one of those people.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On the Other Side.

Thanks indieink!

My grandmother always told me, "wear nice underwear when you travel, just in case something happens." To her there could be nothing more humiliating then dying in holey underwear. What would they think if they pulled you out of the wreckage and the elastic band around your waist was all stretched out? Probably nothing, I would hope that saving your life would be the priority but then again maybe I'm wrong, maybe they are scoping out your underpants.

I was the type of person who thought something could happen even on a simple trip down the street to the grocery store, so I was always wearing nice underwear whenever I left the house. And eventually something did happen so when I see my grandmother again I'll be sure to tell her I took her advice.

I don't know how long it will take me to find her, they don't give you a map here, wherever this place is, limbo, heaven, hell if I know. But I don't know too maybe people that passed, not personally anyway, so it should be too hard to complete my mission: to find my grandmother and tell her how I died.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And I Wonder.

I sit in a diner, the air smells faintly of burnt grease and ammonia. I sit in a bright shiny booth stirring my coffee with a thin plastic straw, thinking about my sessions with Dr. M. Immersed in my thoughts I watch without interest as a dark skinned man mops the floors, dipping his thick stringed mop into muddy water, returning the grime back to the checkered tile floor.

Thanks gwen!

A nondescript waitress asks if I am ready and I order a BLT with no bacon on wheat toast with some fruit on the side. My back is facing the door but I know when people walk in or perhaps out too because the metal bell chimes every time the door opens. I glance around me and realize it is almost closing time, one half of the place is shut down with the chairs on the tables, probably so it will be easier to mop. There is an older couple next to the window in the front, gazing out into the nothingness of the gray, bleak sky while sipping their coffee and I wonder if it's something they put in the water that gives everyone in here that far away look in their eyes.

There is a man in a suit counting money at the counter and a women sitting a couple seats down in an apron eating pancakes. This juxtaposition makes me chuckle to myself because just when I really start to believe the world has changed something like this slaps me in face and wakes me up.

All of a sudden I hear a familiar song fill the room and I ask myself why I didn't hear the music before. I start tapping my foot to the beat and wonder if I too am just a small town girl, living in a lonely world and I look up from the swirls in my coffee half expecting to see that midnight train pull up in front of the diner to take me to anywhere. It is then that I realize how perfect the final scene in The Sopranos was with Tony and Carmela sitting in the booth of a diner listening to that familiar tune on the radio because it captured a certain essence of American culture in a way that every heart beating red, white, and blue can relate to no matter where they are from.

Here I am in this diner dissecting my sandwich, eating it piece by piece, first the juicy tomatoes, then the crisp lettuce and finally the slightly burnt toast and I

Thanks grumpy chris!

ask myself how it is that I came to be in this quintessential American moment because everything in my life defied the norms of the country that I call home. Although perhaps I'm exaggerating that point because NOT everything in my life defied the norms, but my life didn't look like the America they showed on TV, the America I grew up learning about in school, the America that always seemed a part me yet an arms length away. While growing up I felt detached from the cultural conscious of the nation that I unquestioningly pledged my allegiance never believing that I would ever be a part of it and then all of a sudden here I am, in any town USA drinking coffee, eating a sandwich and watching myself sitting in a diner that smelled faintly of burnt grease and ammonia, lingering with the nostalgia of a distant time, in a far away land, that wasn't so different and reminds me of my yesterday, my today and without a doubt my tomorrow.

For some reason, this thought grabs hold me and shake me to my core, I see how things that once seemed impossible can one day be my reality. I trace my thoughts to figure out how I got to such an amazing conclusion, and all on my own too. It is with this on my mind that I decide not to go to therapy tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Now is the Future.

I tell Dr. M that sometimes I get flashes like I'm in the future. She asks if the flashes come true. I tell her I don't get visions of the future like psychic do, but I feel like the future that they always show in movies of how everything is high tech is happening right now. Like how everything in our lives is becoming automated so we hardly have to do anything on our own anymore and how everything happens so fast that we don't have time to appreciate what we do until we realize we cannot do it again or how we can hid behind our gadgets while still reaching out to people .

Dr. M says that a lot of people struggle with balancing technology and physically engaging and interacting with others and how we as a species are about to embark on a journey unlike any we've ever experienced before because technology is literally changing our social structure and how we respond to these changes will tell a lot about humanity. I tell Dr. M that I do not have this problem, I tell her that I think technology is incredibly fascinating and it is in fact enhancing our experiences with each other in ways that we are not yet aware and I welcome the screen that protects me from the world as I say and do things I normally would not have the courage to do. Dr. M gets this look on her face that makes me feel like she is going to tell me something I already know and I am right. I tell her that I'm not a 12 year old girl who uses the Internet as a way to hurt other people or make insensitive comments without thinking. I tell her it gives me the voice that I somehow lost as I got older because instead of becoming more sure of who I am, I'm questioning and second guessing myself more and more as every day goes by. She asks me how it is that the Internet helps me do this, then I say that I guess I didn't tell you about my blog.

Now Dr. M wants to read the things I write even though I tell her it's not like a journal or a diary, it's short stories that are loosely based on my life and how I feel about the world. I also tell her that it needs a face lift and I'm working on that, but she still wants to read it. She tells me our session is a little off topic today but that's okay because she has learned a lot about me.

Then she asks about my trip and I tell her I spent most of the weekend drunk and it was great and I can't get drunk anymore unless I'm away from home because when I'm at home I have too many things on my mind and I can't relax and let go and have fun. Dr. M wants to talk more about this but I keep telling her about my trip and how it took me 11 hours to get home.