One of our neighbours has a children’s playhouse in their front yard and walking past it Asha dashed up on their lawn straight into the playhouse and wouldn’t leave. She was on cloud 9 million inside that thing, grinning and peaking at me and saying in a hushed excited voice, “Come on, Mommy.” She was so cute and happy inside the playhouse I didn’t want to cut her joy short, but I didn’t want the neighbours to be pissed that we were in their yard in the playhouse trespassing. Eventually I had to drag Asha bodily out and do the fireman’s carry I often have to resort to whenever Asha refuses to yield. The whole neighbourhood was subjected to a lot of flailing, shrieking, wailing and screaming while I maintained pokerface status throughout the tantrum until we were home. The struggle was indeed real. Later I got Asha her own backyard playhouse and my mother-in-law and I took about 50 years to build it even though the instructions said it should take 20 minutes. Our playhouse is cute but small and admittedly not as awesome as the neighbour’s, and of course Asha is only minimally interested. So it goes. Sometimes though, Asha does hang around near it and gets inside, and for a brief moment in time, everything is right with the world, and all are satisfied.
Sometimes I wish Asha could stay two forever even though they call it the terrible twos for a reason. She’s so goddamn cute though I’d venture to say I’d take all of the terrible just to be able to keep enjoying the cute. I hope Asha’s just as cute and sweet and beautiful as she gets older but I hope she doesn’t keep throwing random tantrums still by then lol. You’d never know it from these sweet idyllic shots but the whole stroller ride on the way to the park Asha cried and screamed and said, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” despairingly over and over again at top volume which sounds extra loud in our super chill neighbourhood. She was upset because I took off her favourite gold sequins beige tutu dress that she wears literally every day for like weeks now, she refuses to let me take it off, she wails and cries and screams and struggles whenever I’ve attempted to change her clothes, she even demands to sleep in the thing. She barely lets me take the dress off for showers and then instantly needs to have the dress put back on her fucking ASAP. It was cold on the day of these pictures so I put her in her puffy black snowsuit and took the dress off. Asha was outraged. Once we got to the park she was distracted and had fun but then she saw some soccer nets and wanted to crawl under to go places where she couldn’t reach so she got half stuck with her neck and head in the netting, she shouted and cried until I rescued her. Then when it was time to go Asha screamed and wept and resisted and I had to hoist her fireman’s carry over my shoulders and with a poker face calmly slowly bring her back to the stroller and strap her in. Asha screamed and raged and struggled and I kept neutral and calm while everyone either paid us no mind or gave me sympathetic glances. Terrible twos I tell ya. Of course as soon as we were home I had to put Asha’s dress back on her again. Asha grinned and laughed and clapped her hands in delight, her face wet with tears, and so much joyful relief in her eyes. The drama. She loves that damn dress. She calls it her yes.
I had a moment of serious panic earlier today when I couldn’t find Asha, I checked everywhere and then downstairs and finally outside in the backyard and she wasn’t anywhere, nowhere at all. I took a deep breath and checked the last place I could which was the studio and there she was, thank fucking god. She was safe and relaxed and practising DJing with daddy. Such a real relief to find her and so wonderful to see her calmly DJing and having a ball.
Asha has a thing for dinosaurs, she busts out with a dinosaur act that is so convincing you’d almost believe there was an actual dinosaur in the room. She puts shoes one on each hand and that seems to activate dinosaur mode. Asha approaches stealthily with her shoe hands up and goes, “Roar.” Then she grins widely, holds the pose, and looks at you closely to assess your response. It’s clear she fully expects you to be floored.
Sometimes I worry that I post too many pictures and videos of Asha and then I think so what. The girl is so precious and adorable and sweet who cares if I post about her too relentlessly. She is the loveliest and most lovable creature. I am lucky to have this chance in this life to be the mother of such a little angel. If anyone is maxing out and growing tired of gazing upon her adorableness they can just scroll on by or even unfollow me. Everyone else can have their daily dose of Asha and continue to enjoy their inadvertent membership in the Asha fan club. In my opinion there is no greater club to be a part of.
Asha prefers trucks and puzzles and balls she rarely plays with dolls. Today though for some reason she spent the afternoon clutching two mostly naked Barbies and taking them around. Any doll in her vicinity is named Dog, although the fancy scary equestrian doll that Grandma gave her that she loves was apparently recently renamed Baby. Anyway today was a clutch some Barbies kind of day. I guess it be like that sometimes.
The one good thing with feeling shitty is I get to lie around and read all day and not feel guilty while everyone else does all the rest of the work that needs doing, which is a fairly big silver lining. I’ve read more these past two weeks than I have in the past two years and it’s good. I’m always meaning to read more but I never actually do it, so it’s fantastic to actually do something for which previously the best you had was the intention. It feels good which counterbalances the feeling shitty. I always mean to read more but what I really mean to do is write. First things first. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so they say. Currently reading the fully revised and expanded for the 21st century Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care 8th Edition, the one essential parenting book, a handbook for parents of developing children from birth through adolescence and so far it’s pretty excellent. I was worried when I was given the book that it would be dull and dated and barely relevant but actually it’s quite great. Also the latest revision was in 2008 so it’s not totally archaic. I’m learning a lot and also having what I already thought and knew be reaffirmed. For audiobook format, I’m listening with Dylan to The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle by Rob Kenner and it’s awesome but also very sad. Of all the people to be gunned down right in front of the place he felt most at home. Nipsey Hussle was an amazing person. The world lost someone very special and beautiful. I feel especially sad for Nipsey’s wife and his two kids. I don’t think the man who killed him can ever be forgiven. Pictured is Nipsey’s beautiful son who was the same age as Asha is when his father was murdered.
I’ve been a bit quiet this whole past while if you’re wondering why it’s because I feel shitty all the time. I feel shitty all day long, all day every day, and I feel like doing nothing but breathing shallowly and lying around. I also feel anxious and guilty and worried. Apparently everything I am feeling is common and normal and to be expected and apparently it’s all very good. Apparently the sicker a woman feels, the healthier, smarter and stronger her baby will be and the more likely it will be a boy. I think this probably is a bunch of nonsense people tell pregnant women to make them feel better about feeling sick. That said, I hope it’s true anyway, because actually it does help, in its superstitious superficial way. I’ve been reading a lot, researching, studying, preparing, reminding myself about all the things to expect and watch out for. I’ve learned that it’s extremely rare for a 45 year old woman to get pregnant naturally, like under 5%, without the aid of expensive fertility treatments, and without having to resort to frozen eggs or surrogates. I’ve also learned that in the extremely rare case that a 45 year old woman does get pregnant, upwards of 60% of these women have miscarriages, that’s about two thirds of the group. That’s a whole lot of miscarriages. So I’ve got to be thankful and I’ve got to be careful. This is a very special pregnancy and will be a very special child, if only because the circumstances themselves are extremely rare and special. I’ve just got to be confident and cautious and take absolute care, since it would be heartbreaking if I did have a miscarriage, especially since I already opened my big mouth and prematurely stupidly told the whole world I was having another baby. But I will be confident and cautious and I will take absolute care. Everything is going to be okay. Asha is incredible, our gorgeous darling perfect sweet angel, and her brother or sister I am sure will be too. Finger crosses. Please wish us well, send us good energy and good thoughts. Help me get through the shittiness and arrive at that place of health and good feeling. Thank you for caring. Thanks for your support and friendship.
Last night I stayed up until 3:47 AM and conquered the entirety of Laundry Mountain. I did two loads of laundry, folded, sorted and put everything away, including the piles from three previous loads. I washed and replaced all the bedding, I even did all the ironing. I don’t think in my whole life this has happened ever, let alone in a single day. Funny that on a Friday night this is what pleases me. Quick, call the Feds, there’s a raging party animal on the loose! No but seriously and oh my god for real. I am a hero. Especially with little Asha running around, getting into everything and actively resisting my housecleaning. She shoves me away from wherever I am trying to work and demands I play with her instead. She jumps maniacally upon the bed, throws sheets over her head prompting me to say, “Where is Asha? Where did Asha go?” and I tickle her when I “find” her while she screeches and giggles. She loves to drag everything out from their spots and aggressively shake the clothes as if to say, “Take that! And that! And that!” She basically undoes whatever work I’ve done and laughs about it. She’s so adorable I can’t be mad. All this shit takes forever to do, then you add an agent of chaos like her into the mix and it’s impossible. Which is why my achievement last night is especially glorious. I might actually deserve a medal.
A girl asked me do you want to be in our gang, I said what are the requirements, she said you have to be a little bit Asian and a little bit crazy, I said you just 100% described me. My dentist swears up and down that someone comes into her office that looks exactly like me, she talks like me, she even has the same laugh apparently. My dentist had all the dental assistants and the receptionists gather around to see and all sundry murmured agreement. I said listen shit I don’t know who this bitch is but I’d love to meet her she sounds fucking terrific.
Yesterday I carried Asha and walked the dogs by myself for the first time. I also gave Asha a bath on my own, these are some real milestones. Next thing you know I’ll learn how to drive and while indoors I’ll be able to tell which way north is. Maybe I’ll even learn how to whistle, snap my fingers and roll my motherfucking r’s. Woah there nelly.
12 THINGS I HATE ABOUT EVERYONE
1. People who point at their wrist to ask for the time. I know where my watch is, pal, where the hell is yours. 2. People who say, “Oh you just want to have your cake and eat it too.” Fucking yeah I do, what good is cake if you just “have it.” 3. People who say, “It’s always the last place you look.” Of course it is. Why would you keep looking for something after you’ve found it? Do people do this? 4. People who say after watching a film, “Did you see that?” No, I paid a bunch of money to come to the theatre and stare at the damn floor. 5. People who ask, “Can I ask you a question?” Was there a choice? 6. When something is “new and improved.” Which is it. 7. When people say, “Life is short.” Life is the longest damn thing anyone ever does. What can a person do that’s longer? 8. When you’re waiting for the bus and someone asks, “Has the bus come yet?” If the bus had come, why would we still be standing there? 9. People who say, “He’s gone to a better place.” Oh yeah? And fucking you know that how? 10. People who don’t say hello, good morning, or thank you. 11. People who are high on themselves, people who act dumber than they are, people who are rude. 12. People.
Oh my god I just made a perfect cup of coffee for once in my life, I’m a grown ass woman finally. What next? Solving world hunger, stopping all wars, clean drinking water for everyone, cures for every illness and disease, peace in the Middle East? Better do it quick since this is my good hair day. Dylan is going to be so stoked when he gets home to see how much his goddamn wife has levelled up. I just washed and chopped up a pile of fresh vegetables, fried a duck egg and grilled some sausage. In other words I cooked for like the third time ever and it was actually pretty fucking good. Like who am I. I am the type of person that climbs up onto a chair to get at a hard to reach cupboard in order to use some rarely chosen cups and the dishes high up at the back so that they get their “day in the sun.” I actually worry about these things. God probably does a lot of rueful headshaking and sorrowful shrugging whenever he gets an eyeful of me. But maybe God now is just a little bit stoked to see that, despite it all, one of his dark horse experiments might actually be working.
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.
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.
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.