“Your job as students who are receiving this privilege called education is to do your best to achieve great things, all the while advocating for those in the rows behind you.”
“Your job as students who are receiving this privilege called education is to do your best to achieve great things, all the while advocating for those in the rows behind you.”
I sat on the nice new glasses I got in Cuba and pretty much irreversibly destroyed them. The lenses are scratched and chipped and the arms are all bent wildly askew. Then, being blind and rampaging the streets of an unfamiliar city, I fucked up hard trying to get home from running errands and got pretty profoundly lost. I ultimately figured shit out and returned hectic and hyperventilating. Dylan gazed at me gravely while I described my misadventure with melodramatic gestures and overemotional words. When I was done, Dylan said, “Christ. What would you do without me?” “Roll around naked in a ditch,” I replied, “until I starved and died.” “Hm,” said Dylan. “So would you though,” I added. Dylan seemed about fit to refute the remark, but then intelligently desisted. “I love everything about you,” he said instead, which were of course exactly the only correct words. Because long term relationships take work. The point is to relish the work. And when you relish the work, you’ll relish each other, and the love will burn true and continue.
It seems because I am of unknowable age, background, orientation, classification, type and identity—and possibly also because I am reasonably attractive, outwardly mysterious, unboxable and byzantine, people are always asking me questions. They won’t stop with the questions and they tend pretty much to believe anything I tell them for answers. People believe literally just any old shit that I might feel like saying. Especially when I pull the inviolable Asian Card, people motherfucking don’t bat eyes.
I told a guy while we smoked outside some small city club that I was the girl in all those incredible Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon tavern fighting scenes when I was just seventeen. He gaped at me and did the sputtery version of blinking. “You were amazing,” he intoned, all hushed and whispering. Wondering then what in the Sam goddamned Hill I was doing slouching about in a nameless city at some no-account bar, I said, “Field work.” As in I was researching the role for my next Asian stab at sensational cinema. All excitement and reverence, he glowed with understanding. I gave him my smile that is exactly like a wink but with no winking.
Many people believe too that David Suzuki is my father. They are every time respectful and awed. I tell them he may be a famous environmentalist to the world at large but he’s just plain old dad to me. Another person another time said I looked incredibly familiar. I said, “Ever heard of Miss Saigon.” Guy stared at me flummoxed and gobsmacked both. Casting my eyes demurely half away down and in a voice that is synonymous with a shoulder’s shrug I both tuneful and dismissive said, “No biggie.”
The best though is this whole my feet getting smaller and smaller thing. I used I swear to wear size 7 and now I’m barely filling out a size 5½. When I raise my bare foot high and people gaze perplexed at my living proof truth of this, I tell them it’s the complex work of genetic ancestral memory. I love to throw around the term “genetic ancestral memory.”
My elaborations go like this: “My Eastern rising sun genes can sense that my feet were never manually bound, so now genetic ancestral memory is just sort of kicking the motherfuck in. My genes are doing the binding for me. Amazing, right?”
People maintain their intent faces of captivated interest and careful astonishment but reveal usually still a strain of confusion. Timing it perfectly I gaze chastely forward into the future and declare, “It’s an Asian thing.” The collective expression upon all those beneficent faces goes, “Oh!” and all is understood, believed, swallowed beautifully white people whole and everyone wins. They’ve learned still more fascinating wisdom of the East remarkable Asia type stuff and I’ve amused myself once again to my usual highly improbable always extravagant often unforgivable degree.
Three questions I always get asked are what do I look like without make up on, how old am I, and what is my sexual orientation. Of the 4 or so billion Asian people on Earth at present currently not wearing make up, I probably look exactly like one of them. Whichever age is the nicest and most awesome age to be, I am that age. Whoever is intelligent, original, brave, beautiful, or cool, I’ll be interested. Sex has nothing to do with it.
I told Dylan that overnight my arm got all crooked rammed beneath my head and pillow, lost proper blood circulation, and went horribly to sleep. “Yuck,” I said, “I hate that. It feels real awful, like when I bonk my funny bone. I flung my arm away like it belonged to someone else but the arm could just be flung only so far.” “You know what I do when that happens,” said Dylan, and he made a loose encircling gesture with his hand that I was soon to learn was fairly masturbatory. “It’s called ‘The Friendly Stranger,’” said Dylan defensively when he caught my expression. “I’m surprised you didn’t know that,” he added. I continued to look at Dylan and that look was meant to convey all manner of messages. The friendly stranger. Shit. What planet is this.
Dylan walked in on me one day looking with interest at something and chuckling. “What,” he said. “There’s a list I made,” I said, “in this here notebook. It’s called Things I Love.”
THINGS I LOVE
“I’m last,” Dylan said sadly.
“At least you made the cut,” I energetically replied.
Privately I was embarrassed that greater than half and all of the first mentioned loved items had exclusively to do with food. I felt particular dismay at “Sesame Oil” landing squarely in first place. Not to knock sesame oil though, clearly I love that shit.
If people don’t love you for who you are, you should ignore them, or tell them to go fuck themselves. You should never change for somebody else, you should only change because you want to change, because you know you need to change, because you want to be better, and you know you can be better, never because someone’s trying to live your life for you or control you. You should be your biggest threat to yourself, and you must also be your biggest supporter. You are your own worst enemy, and you also gotta be your own best friend. Once you master that shit, everything else is icing. And we all know that icing is great, but icing is worthless without the cake.
Dylan called me urgently to the studio and so I rushed in. “Want to see a man doing manly things?” asked Dylan. “Sure,” I said. “Who wouldn’t.” And so we spent 20 minutes watching a time lapse of a handsome shirtless barefoot male individual alone in the woods doing everything for himself. He built a fire pit, made a fire, created special clay tiles in the flames and then baked them in a drying shed he had previously constructed. Later he used all the tiles to make a magnificent roof for his hut. This can-do man dazzled our eyes with all his calm capability. “I’d suck his cock,” said Dylan.
Later we were chuckling over how Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt comes flying off with every opportunity, regardless if he actually just scored or not, or even if he left a match injured. “You’re not even gay if you fuck Ronaldo,” said Dylan. Meaning Ronaldo is such a specimen, who could blame anyone for the sex part, man, woman, young, old, Real Madrid fan or not, gay or straight.
While online shopping at one of my several Asian distribution sites, an ad featuring an enormous picture of David Beckham appeared. “The most handsome man on the planet,” the ad declared. “I love that Asia has decided that David Beckham is the world’s most handsome man,” I said. “He’s probably the most handsome man in the universe,” said Dylan. “I’d suck his cock,” Dylan added and I felt like the statement was becoming a mantra of sorts.
On my Instagram I follow an account featuring all things Bruce Lee. I showed Dylan a cute gif of Bruce Lee shimmying and Dylan gazed on approvingly. “You’re not even gay if you gave Bruce Lee a blowjob,” said Dylan. “You’d just be doing the right thing.” Indeed. One wonders if there’s not something about Dylan that his wife should maybe know.
I said, “When I reincarnate, I’m going full Mantis.” Dylan said, “You just want to eat men’s heads. “NO I DON’T,” I said. Neither of us had anything further to add, so we dove into dinner. Afterward, Dylan fucked with my vibe a bit, which he does sometimes, and we argued by what we did but didn’t say, until finally I shouted, “Stop being destructive with your actions!” Dylan said, “I’m NOT.” I said, “You’re a big pile of poo, that’s what you are.” I added, “You’re a dirty diaper that hasn’t been changed in MONTHS.” This is how we fight, this is how we argue. I could hear our roommate staying out of it, keeping to himself, and laughing cautiously in his room. Dylan after an offended pause commented, “I get you a bit of booze and now look at you.” For the record, I look goddamned beautiful.
You can’t solve the world’s problems by being withdrawn, uninvolved, depressed, dismissive, cynical, egocentric, inflexible, opinionated, judgmental, critical, and selfish. You also can’t solve things by being timid, helpless, spineless, hopeless, defeated, and weak. You can do a lot more than you think to make this world better, to make yourself better, to make everything suck a whole lot less and be a lot more cool. And just what are you doing? What are you actually doing? I’m talking serious man in the mirror stuff. Or woman. Especially woman actually. In many ways I know it’s harder, but that’s possibly because it might matter more. Everything hard matters and what seems impossible might matter most. To be passive is to die. Don’t just make a difference. Make many.
It’s amazing how furious people get over Dylan’s haircut. Some people are head over heels in love with it and others want to murder him in order to properly express the depth of their hatred. The crux for most people is they want Dylan to look normal. They want Dylan to act normal. They want Dylan to be normal. But why would anyone want to be that? Why would you want to be lifeless, monotonous, forgettable and average? Fuck that shit, and fuck the people who don’t have the balls to be different. Fuck being normal. Normal is for chumps. Bend some goddamned rules, burn the envelope, destroy the box. No one will ever care about how safe you played it. Beauty lies in daring, and greatness takes risks. Live, or die boring. Fortune favours the bold and history celebrates men with special haircuts.
What my hair looked like half my life ago. Yes that’s a thousand million long black cables, wires, headphones and cords which didn’t make nightly for the world’s most comfortable sleeping. Actually it was like cozying up to a plane crash and having many jagged metal parts poke into my brain. Think besides being amazingly original, impressively difficult and incandescently cool, this hairstyle was meant to let everyone know how committed I was to technology and to sound, and how profound and deep if not downright holy was my connection to music. Think I even attached an antenna to my head. I have no idea how long I made this look work. Surely the excessive discomfort I enjoyed nightly put finally a stop to things. Kids right. But what is art if you don’t suffer for it a little bit.
No matter how autonomous and self-sufficient you think you are, life is too complicated to try to make a go of it alone. When things gets rough or hard, it’s essential to have someone there to help figure things out, and to do some of the heavy lifting. A life without the love and support of at least one person that you honour with both your affection and your trust is difficult to fully realize or conceive independently. It’s not just the tough times either, it’s not only misery that loves company, it’s happiness too. Goals achieved and good feelings felt are nothing if you’ve no one to smile at or to hold tightly, if there’s no one there to receive the words, “This is wonderful,” “I love you,” and “I am happy.” Joy is one of life’s rarer moments of pure beautiful human feeling. Sharing joy deepens it, and it’s the sharing that makes the happiness we feel both more meaningful and more real.
Once you get to a certain point in your life, people start trying to tell you that magic isn’t real. These people are trying to quell your sense of wonder at the majesty of the world, and you mustn’t let them. Because magic happens all the time. Whenever you see something utterly beautiful in nature, and you take the time to notice it, it’s magic. When you recognize the love you have to give and the love you receive, it’s magic. Magic is in the look and touch and nearness of someone who matters to you. It’s magic even when something sad or terrible happens, because there is magic in the very fact that you care, and that you’re still there. Magic happens when you stand up for what matters. Magic happens when you don’t let anything ever beat you, no matter what. Magic happens when you are part of the force of love. It’s magic, no matter how dim the hope, how slim the chances, how great the cost. Magic happens every time you give, every time you love, and every time that you are strong. The magic only stops when you let it. The magic is in you and it is all around you. Because the magic is you.
Jamaica is called “the most homophobic place on earth,” and Jamaican men from Kingston who listen to dancehall music are the most homophobic group, actually it’s some of our favourite dancehall artists who incite and encourage hatred and violence. The situation is both depressing and dangerous, because we love Jamaican men and Kingston and dancehall music, but we are not entirely loved back. These men might murder you if they even think you are gay, Dylan has already been threatened several times. The problem runs deep in the culture, it’s deplorable and sad. I wish we knew how to help or what to do, without either of us getting hurt or killed.
Yesterday Dylan wore a baseball hat, and everything changed. Suddenly everybody was warm and friendly and kind. The lesson it seems is do not underestimate the power of a ball cap. At the grocery store, I met a group of girls from California. They gave me vague and secret smiles. Their friend came running up holding aloft something big and green and wrapped in plastic. “Guess what I found,” she sang out as her girlfriends gathered around. “KALE!” she squealed. The California girls linked arms and cheered. An amusing and adorable small taste of home, life every day, everywhere, and in all moments, is filled with such strange contrasts.
One of the guys at the resort just got a dog and he was describing how it was all going. “Boy dog or girl dog?” I asked. “Boy,” he said. “Oh I love boy dogs,” I said, “but Christ are they ever a handful.” The new-dog man nodded knowingly. “They destroy virtually everything,” I said. “Tear shit apart, stop every five seconds to piss on poles or whatever, marking their territory, and they hump fucking anything, even the air. It’s kind of a bit much. It gets to a point where it’s sort of ridiculous. The expression on their faces when they’re doing it though, all their crazy instincts and little patterns. It’s like they can’t help it. And they’re kind of dumb sometimes, a bit dopey… But they’re so smart in other ways, and hilarious, and wonderful, they sort of get a free pass. You can’t not love them.” Everyone present nodded varying levels of assent and agreement. “Actually,” I remarked as an afterthought, “Boys are kind of like that too. They’re a mess. Totally clueless. Pissing everywhere, destroying things, and humping everything they see.” The swaggering lesbian seated next to me snorted, grinned, and leaned in. “I’ll drink to that,” she said, and we made our glasses clink.
At Changi Airport again killing time because our flight which was supposed to leave at 7am has been massively delayed. We’re each of us in diverse states of confusion and collapse, because last night was the bridge party (very fun), we returned at midnight, packed up all our things, slept not more than two hours, woke at 330am, left the hotel at 430am, and arrived at the airport exactly on time. Then our flight was cancelled due to a volcano, and now our new flights don’t leave till 3pm.
Walking through the airport, we gazed with awe at an immense and delicately beautiful sculpture. Music on the eyes, we were mesmerized.
There were again all manner of delightful Asian kids bouncing around and being elaborately cute. It’s like they can’t help it. One little Asian girl was so precious, she hardly seemed real. “I should just snatch her up,” I said, “I mean, who would question it. Shut up and listen to your mum,” I said in a bossy voice down to my right, and mimed holding tightly the little hand of my new perfectly adorable stolen Asian child. Masia laughed.
Later at the coffee shop, I entertained the gang in an unruly fashion while they all tried to remain awake. For some reason despite total sleeplessness, I alone feel great. A little blonde porcelain doll of a child walked slowly past, holding fast to her mother’s hand. She turned slowmotion wrenchingly half around to gaze at me wide-eyed, an imploring expression upon her face. Kids often stare at me unblinking for days, I think it’s the make up, the eyebrows, the facial piercings, shoes, and outfits. The little Aryan girl stared continuously at me, transfixed. “Not gonna happen,” I said, “Too white. I only take Asian kids.” Masia stifled a giggle. “But thank you for your interest,” I added, while the white girl’s mother obliviously tugged her staring child along. Masia chortled and covered her face. Making Masia laugh is part of my job, so my morning’s work was going great.
In spelling and grammar news, the bar has been set so low, I get genuinely excited whenever someone gets “desert” and “dessert” and “lose” and “loose” right. Singapore has been really marvelous, it’s sad to already have to go. But further international adventures await us, the world is bright and beautiful and big. We’re coming through, Bali, and we’re coming for you!
I’m lying on my stomach upon an oversized couch in a darkened room with a little dog all snuggled into the diamond oval space created from vagina to crossed ankles between thighs and a slight bending of knees. There’s a quiet deep precarious joy felt from the warm small furry weight and heat that such a creature in such a position radiates, his tiny sighs and little rearrangings approach heartbreaking in their terrible levels of all that is vulnerable, diminutive, and sweet. Of course it’s very easy for me to dramatically enjoy such miniature moments and muted scenes as I’m so partial to dogs, I don’t really like all that many humans, if I had to choose between dogs and humans, I’d go with the dogs, I’m reading Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man while listening to music. I’m systematically going through all the Soundcloud pages for TroyBoi, Louis The Child, Flosstradamus, Tsunano, Odesza, DJ Ruskee, Beau Young Prince, Tinie Tempah, and Sweater Beats, I’m scanning for tracks to potentially play in my sets for Australia, I’m only halfway through foraging the first of these, TroyBoi is so awesome, I’ve already chosen 15 of his songs and counting. Also I couldn’t help but notice that TroyBoi beyond the talent is muscular, handsome, black, and tattooed, I know these things shouldn’t matter, but they do.
Buraka Som Sistema is my favourite band right now. They’re so badass. Every time one of their tracks comes on, I put it immediately into my favourites folder. Whatever tracks don’t make the favourites folder cut, it’s not because the track sucked, it’s because my favourites folder is overrun with tracks by Buraka Som Sistema. The videos for their songs are also great, fast-paced dance graffiti pieces, fresh, dynamic, and vivid. This band and I are on the exact same page, I’d love to see them. They seem so far only to play shows in Europe and South America, but if they ever come to San Francisco and I can attend, I’m gonna cry. Then I’ll dance and clap my hands.
Speaking of clapping, I’m sorry, but any man that claps his hands while dancing is a homosexual. Especially if the claps are above the head. If the claps occur succinctly twice, and are to the side, then there’s no going back. Nothing against homosexuals of course, “some of my best friends” et cetera. Next, it must be said, anything you do, someone will always be able to do it better, and that person invariably will be black, homosexual, Asian, or a Jew. Life on earth is enormously enriched by members of these four groups.
Anyway I wouldn’t ever want to live in a world that was purely homogenous, rigidly straight, and frighteningly white. Talk about purgatory, nightmarish, and wrong. Like sitting endlessly for hours in secondary screening at the American border facing off with a bunch of sour-faced stiff-spined border agents and customs officers, most of whom are as stupid as they are slow and smug. You’re left to do your best to conceal your irritation, you can never let a stupid person know that you think they’re stupid, because then you’re fucked.
More artists I must recommend include Louis the Child, Elliphant, Tarrus Riley, Damian Marley, Felix Laband, Shaggy, and DJ DSL. ill.Gates for the record is really wonderful too, he’s currently next to me writing a song. I am working on a dj set for my upcoming show in Australia, it’s as challenging eclectic tough as they come, Night Nurse gonna sound the alarm. We’re still in Tel Aviv, and we’re happy, healthy, and well. Before working, we enjoyed a very good stand up performance by Simon Amstell.
Everything is a choice between fear and love, and death is coming. Fear or love, my friends, at every moment, you must decide. Death is coming, so choose love.