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.
Your use of epithet strongly suggests that you missed your calling as a motivational speaker.
I’ve missed many callings. Instead I warm my ass with pensive luxuriousness lying around on my belly on a deck divan in the sunshine drinking mimosas, reading books and texting. And cursing iPads for forcing me back into infancy with plodding and ineffectual experiences like two-fingered typing.
Such a rough existence you lead… just another Californiasian trophy wife on slow roast in the oven of life.
If there was an emoticon for ‘Fuck you’ I’d send it.
Have been on the deck all afternoon working on my website, reading Swann’s Way, chatting with Dylan and traversing jauntily the length of my sun-drowned backyard universe with oversize white plush bunny slippers upon my feet, big black sunglasses upon my face and I’m wearing a unitard. Needless to say, shit is awesome.