1 year ago 1 year ago
Flaneurita

ymfy:

It rained for a short time while I was running, but it was a cooling rain that felt good. A thick cloud blew in from the Pacific right over me, and a gentle rain fell for a while. My legs became two soggy matchsticks, clumsily pounding the pavement of the Embarcadero.

The running made me realize how weak I was, how limited my abilities were. My lungs screamed. My head spun. I convince myself to put up with the pain because running offered the only time for me to be alone and without thought. I ran in a vacuum. It’s not a complete void of course, a stray idea or memory will sometimes creep in.

I stop when I’ve reached Pier 39. I’m winded and a familiar pain starts to emerge from my left knee. Now I remember why I stopped running in the first place. The kneecap hurts in a peculiar way, a little different from an everyday ache. These are the only knees I’ll ever have, and I hadn’t taken care of them. A single sailboat skimmed lazily by in the distance. I stare at an American flag flapping wildly, seemingly mocking my current state. I shift my weight to my other leg. Soon, I decide to sit down on a bench, away from the sea lions and the flocks of tourists who come to admire them.

As soon as I sit down, the levees break and thoughts come rushing back in my head. I think about a date several months ago, where we sat at the water’s edge a few piers down from where I was today, watching a massive 450 ton crane dredge mud from the ocean over onto a gridded container. We never figured out what it was straining and sifting for; the grids being spaced too far apart for anything we could think of. I can’t say for certain if the crane itself knew what its purpose was. What guided it? Had it assured itself it’d recognize what it was seeking all along if only it believed?

That day the stevedore became an astronomer and the ocean’s depth: his universe. Searching his small patch of sky, day after day, beyond sick pay and children’s birthdays for yet-to-be-named stars. I threw my arm over her shoulders and together we watched him diligently carry out his sisyphean tasks. I’d see her only once more after that day.

(Editor’s note: They say “write what you know”, but for so long all I knew was Asian Loneliness™…and now that I’m in a healthy relationship I don’t really know what to write about. Do happy people even know how to write?)

1 year ago 1 year ago
1 year ago
1 year ago
For much of my life, I wanted to be other people; here was the central dilemma, the reason, I believe, for my creative stasis. I was always falling short of people’s expectations: my immigrant parents’, my Indian relatives’, my American peers’, above all my own. The writer in me wanted to edit myself. If only there was a little more this, a little less that, depending on the circumstances: then the asterisk that accompanied me would be removed. My upbringing, an amalgam of two hemispheres, was heterodox and complicated; I wanted it to be conventional and contained. I wanted to be anonymous and ordinary, to look like other people, to behave as others did. To anticipate an alternate future, having sprung from a different past. This had been the lure of acting—the comfort of erasing my identity and adopting another. How could I want to be a writer, to articulate what was within me, when I did not wish to be myself? Cite Arrow Jhumpa Lahiri
1 year ago
I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were. -Joan Didion

I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were. -Joan Didion

1 year ago 1 year ago
"Most writers are perfectly normal in the head and just carry on like wild men; I behave normally but I’m sick inside." -Yukio Mishima

"Most writers are perfectly normal in the head and just carry on like wild men; I behave normally but I’m sick inside." -Yukio Mishima