God, why do I always run into attractive men when I look like crap? Oh, and no smoking didn’t last longer than a day. But hey, it’s better than nothing, right? Besides, I know if I want to quit it’s going to have to be because I want to, not because I want to have a couple of “healthy” days.
Day 1 of no smoking. I feel fine, I don’t feel agitated or restless. However, I predict that this will only last two days.
Rest in peace Elizabeth Taylor…
It’s amazing how uplifting music can be. I’ve been down, unhappy, and stressed in the past week or so about a guy who’s being a jerk. But music is one thing I can rely on. Music will never abandon me; music is here to stay. No matter how many times you listen to a song, that song will never change. It won’t change like the skies change, like people change. Music captures a moment that can never be altered again; music captures fantasy.
Across the Universe
Love is intangible.
I regret not getting to know my father. My parents divorced around the time I turned the naive age of
thirteen, and I spent those years too angry at him to see anything more than a destructive force in my life.
Maybe it’s because I don’t remember the pain I went through as a child well enough to reinforce any ferocity or
hatred, but I know now it is in my heart to forgive. My forgiveness delayed itself for too many years and I have
lost the person to bestow it on.
Hatred was not intangible.
“If anything happens, call the police. Your dad’s crazy, he’s threatening me with a knife,” screamed my
mother from the living room. I was in my room with my older sister1, Jen, the one we had to share because my
parents wouldn’t - no, couldn’t share a room. I felt numb, sitting there on a plastic red chair, unsure of how to
deal with the tumultuous demons which had taken over both my mother and father. I had never seen such anger
until they spent every single night screaming at each other. I never slept for more than a couple of hours, only
experiencing such a luxury when my mother would leave for work at the crack of dawn. Every night, my father
would enter her room and try to discuss the divorce. My mother’s passively aggressive tone of voice would soon
erupt into what I believed to be screams which only insanity could produce.
“Let me sleep. I have to work, the kids have school in the morning.”
Repeatedly, every single word, yet none of them could be perceived in my father’s mind. He wouldn’t listen, even
when he left her room. I remember those few seconds in which I thought maybe, just maybe I could close my
eyes and fall asleep; instead of staring wide-eyed at a bumpy ceiling, my heart beating by the hundreds. Then
the doors started slamming. Every single night. The radio would blare so none of us could rest. My mother’s
door, the washroom door, kitchen door, patio, basement, every single door still echoes in my mind. My father
refused to sign for the divorce, because he would have nothing. I blamed it all on him though, the divorce. He
had lost his job at the car shop, borrowed thousands from the bank, and as a result buried himself in debt. He
was going to start his own business, re-open the car shop, but he failed. My mother especially liked to remind
him of his failure. She called him worthless, told him he should die, tormented him endlessly of how he didn’t fit
the conventional ideal of a man.2 As a child, I wasn’t angry at his failure. I was frustrated because he borrowed
so much money and didn’t do anything about it. He didn’t seem to care and he never looked for a job; even
though he pretended to flip through newspaper ads all the time.
But I was more angry at my mother. She never tried to help him, he was hopeless. He couldn’t put
together a resume by himself, he couldn’t fax a resume or a cover letter properly. I remember trying to help him,
but I couldn’t, not at the inexperienced age of twelve. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, or the copious amount of
alcohol my father started consuming, but I could feel him losing his mind. It was a sunny day, when me and my
sister were sitting in our room, enjoying the silence. My father walks in to our room.
“Don’t do LSD. This is what happens to you,” hes says in such a way that almost sounds ridiculously
pedantic coming out of a man who never had anything to teach me. He comes back in a few seconds later, in
such a way that made me realize he needed someone to talk to. I pretended to listen, smiled occasionally, as
though I was dealing with a stranger and trying to be polite.
“You know, I always loved Stephanie the most. Jennifer, I still loved you, but I loved Stephanie most,” he
said, lacking any sensitivity towards my sister. I took none of his words seriously. It annoyed me how he
always spoke with grand gestures, as though he was telling an important story. He wasn’t a bad storyteller,
actually if he had half a brain, he could have been a charismatic speaker. But he seemed dazed in those days,
he had no direction.
The first time I remember my parents arguing was when we drove down to California3 in my mother’s
white Honda. I was nine at the time. My father couldn’t remember where to turn. Turn left. Turn left you fucking
bastard. I remember how mad she was as she sat beside him in the passenger’s seat, and how he kept
counteracting her statements, telling her he wasn’t familiar with the area. I never understood why we drove down
to California, when my father owed so much money to the bank. Even to this day I can’t fully comprehend it. We
spent thousands on that trip, money we couldn’t afford to waste. Maybe it was their last attempt to try to pull
our family together, to imitate the grinning dream-like families one could witness throughout Disneyland. I have a
faint memory of my mother stating she didn’t want to go, that we didn’t have the money. My father somehow
convinced her, or maybe she just did it so he would shut up. Their plan worked quaintly, spending quality family
time together, gave me the false impression that their wounds were patched up. But they weren’t, they were
only wrapped temporarily. When we got home, the intensity of their fights only increased. The nine-year old me
was left on the pier of San Francisco.
The first time I thought my mother had lost her mind, was one morning when she was taking a shower.
They had been arguing all night and I was awake listening to every word. My father went down to the basement
and turned all the water off in the house. My mother was groaning in the shower, screaming, “Why, God?
Why?”. Groaning like she lost all consciousness of what she was doing, like she was being tortured. It always
started out innocently, my father would want to talk about the divorce. My mother would always tell him she
wasn’t going to change her mind. Doors would slam, yelling would persist, no one slept. My sister tried to
ignore it as much as she could, she would pretend to sleep. I never pretended, I stared at the ceiling with eyes
wide open, heart pounding, body trembling.
One night I slept downstairs on the dark blue, leather sofa. It was long, long enough to lay out on, though I
only took up half of it at that age. The first time I saw insanity in my mother was that same night. She shoved
open the kitchen door and grabbed a butcher’s knife out of the drawer. She was swearing, in a hostile tone,
words I can’t remember. She had told my father to go kill himself, or to die many times during their fights. But I
never thought it would come to this point. There was wrath in her eyes, an anger within herself that she could no
longer control. I was lying down and jolted upright, I couldn’t believe what I was actually seeing. Usually, my
parents fights were faceless, I only heard them through the walls of my bedroom.
“No! Don’t! What about us?”. She never answered, I had screamed it, but she was too determined to hear
a word. There was nothing I could do but wait. I could hear my mother telling my father, how she was going to
kill him and how he deserved it. There was nothing but rage in her voice, no fear, no guilt. That night, something
happened to my father. I imagined him bending down, trembling and crying. He told her he deserved it. He told
her to bring the knife down to kill him. He deserved it. I waited a little bit longer. I heard nothing for a while, until
the creaking of my mother walking back to her room quietly and closing the door. I was sure she had killed
him. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t feel anything but shock. I was scared, too scared to go upstairs amongst the
shadows of the night. I fell asleep, somehow. It was silent after that incident, silent enough to hear my own
breaths and the wind whistling through the door outside. The next day, I went up the carpeted stairs and
walked past my father’s room. It was typically a mess and he was no where to be found. The knife was thrust in
the middle of a phone book. There was no blood and I wasn’t sure whether or not to be relieved.
By the time I turned twelve, I no longer felt like a child. I had seen too much of the atrocity money brings
to married couples, that somehow being stuck as a witness made me believe that I caught the gist of
adulthood. I was even there when my mother tried to explain to him, the mathematics involved in his debt. We
were going to be evicted, and the amount of money he owed the bank was incomprehensible to him. He owed
roughly under $187,000, and ended up with only $7000 of the amount left from the house. My mother ended up
with less than $200,000, and to this day is still paying off her mortgage of her new house, which is more than
$200,000. There were no options for my father, what could he do? I hoped he would go to Australia, where his
mother4 and the remaining members of his family resided. I was scared that he would end up homeless some
day, and to this day I’m not sure if he is.
We started packing our belongings, my mother, sister and I, in cardboard boxes. My father watched,
emptily and I can’t imagine how isolated he could have felt. But then, I only felt hatred. I remember him saying
something about keeping his acoustic guitar in case he becomes homeless and needs to resort to busking. I
stole a couple of his belongings which to this day I still have with me: two Beatles compilations and a Rolling
Stones album5. There was one night where I stumbled upon him in the living room after a fight occurred between
himself and my mother at the dinner table. She had pushed his plate of food off the table, it shattered as it hit
the railing behind me and onto the tiles of our kitchen floor. It was his fault though, he complained about the
lasagna being overcooked, and my mother was so on edge back then. She snapped at anything that was
slightly irritating. It didn’t help that she worked long hours every day of the week besides Sunday, to provide for
the family.6 I looked up at him, not saying a word. He put his arms around me. His touch made me cringe, my
parents were never affectionate.
“Daddy knows you love me,” he said softly. I felt the hair of a previous day’s shave prick my forehead. I
pushed him away and didn’t say anything. I regret how ugly my actions were that night, but as far as my young
mind could comprehend he had inflicted too much pain on me. I didn’t believe that love came hand in hand with
suffering. There was no love that I could see, only hate and he was standing in front of me in a light grey t-shirt
and slim fit blue jeans.
I was fifteen the last time I saw him, I believe he had dementia or was struggling mentally to grasp hold of
reality. We were sitting in the middle of the food court in Richmond Center on a Saturday. He was disheveled,
his mind all over the place, he was no longer present. He forgot the ages of me and my sister, asked the same
questions over and over again and kept repeating our names like some mad man. He told us not to do LSD or
we’d turn out like him.7 I refused to see him again after that, I couldn’t handle the aftermath of the trauma I’ve
experienced. I couldn’t handle seeing him in such a state. I didn’t want to see him in the first place, but my
mother insisted as he kept showing up spontaneously at her workplace asking to see us.
The last thing I heard was that he was in the hospital. I don’t know if he was sick or dying. Maybe he was
just there for mental treatment, maybe he tried to commit suicide. My mother was on the phone, she was
furious that the hospital got our new house number. She told them they couldn’t give my father the number and
told them to never call again. They never did. Even to this day, I don’t know why he was there. Even to this day,
I don’t know whether he is alive or dead. I understood at the time why my mother was so furious. We were all
trying to start a new life without him, and he kept on coming back like a bad dream. It was taunting, but I didn’t
realize that was my last chance to ever hear from him.
I think about him every now and then, but he’s slipping from my mind. He’s not a prominent figure in my
mind that I can’t escape from. I’ve escaped, I’ve let it go over the years as the distractions of daily life consumed
my mind.8 Letting go was a long gradual process; it is in nothing but time’s hands. But he’s still there in the
back of my mind. Love is not intangible. Love is remembering my father with all the warmth I can muster out of
myself, after not seeing him for roughly nine years. Love is forgiving and letting go of sick memories. I read
somewhere once in a magazine, that when a loved one dies, all of the negative emotions seem to vanish and all
we remember are the positive ones. I don’t know if my father is dead, but I’m not sure it would make a
difference. I’m certain that I’ll never see him again and if by chance I do, he will not remember me.
For the first time I thought of my father again. I remember his wide smile, the one
I’ve inherited, the one where our eyes crease and our teeth show in all of our genuineness. I never thought of
my father and remembered his smile, the way he reached his hand out to people when he spoke, the adorning
charm he had on strangers. Now, that’s all I see when I think of him. I don’t think of his madness, I don’t think of
the hurt he caused, I remember who he was before that. Sometimes I see him in myself and other people,
though it rarely occurs that he’s in the back of my mind for me to notice similar idiosyncrasies. For the first
time I regret not loving him. I regret not getting to know him as a person rather than him being my father, or lack
of. Forgiveness came late, years too late.
Regret is intangible.
I’ve never been made to feel inadequate by a man. I’ve never had to do the chase and I’ve never had to guess how someone felt. It’s all bullshit. No one should have to deal with such immaturity; no one, no matter who they are. But I’m a strong person, though it was a heavy blow to my self-worth. Who is he to make me not feel intelligent or beautiful enough? I know what I am and I know he’s missing out on something wonderful, but it’s his loss. Maybe someday he’ll realize this, maybe someday he’ll realize women don’t fall or want to deal with these games, which he’s so well mastered. But he’ll most likely just find the next pretty face to lay all his charm on. Good for him. I hope he falls in love in the future and gets his heart torn apart. I hope a girl leads him on, only for him to discover that she doesn’t give two fucks about him. I believe he deserves it. Asshole. I’m glad he’s stressed from school. Maybe if he stopped flirting with every pretty girl he would actually get some work done. It amazes me though. It amazes me that someone so intellectual can be so stupidly insensitive. I’ve always believed sensitivity comes with an intelligence which we gain through our experiences. The more experiences we’ve had, the more sensitive one becomes. I don’t deny the fact that he’s lived a life full of many different experiences, but his stupidity lies in the fact that he hasn’t learned from them. It’s sad though, how I’m years…many years younger and I see all the immaturity in a man in his late thirties. Grow up, really, it’s about time.
It was just a bad self-esteem day. I don’t give a fuck about her exotic face; she’s short and boring. If he likes a boring girl than he’s a boring man. So in the end he loses. I love my early morning logic.
There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all
But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more
I had a scheduled consultation with my professor, Felicia, yesterday. Somehow the mood in the room became quite tense and emotional, and I felt like I was in therapy. Felicia, with her pale skin and ice blue eyes, I could tell was getting teary-eyed. Somehow, somehow, the words I had put on seven sheets of paper, the emotion I built up behind those words, had affected her.
Sitting on that white couch in her office and having her ask me with such vehemence, “And how does the narrator deal with intimacy after having it and it being hell?”
I was telling myself not to cry. But it’s strange that way, when someone else cries it triggers the need for us to breakdown as well. Neither of us did cry that day, but I appreciate her care, her acknowledgment that her students really are people, not just words on a page. I remember reading on ratemyprofessors that she was a witch, an evil witch. Bullshit. I think she feels everything immensely, has a passion for what she teaches, but that’s often overlooked because she’s composed, directly honest, just like ice.
Apparently I have a James Franco grin. I like my smile because I don’t try to hide it. I’m unashamed of it’s openness and goofiness, and it warms my heart to make someone I love smile just by smiling myself. Honestly though, I don’t know why I have such a huge grin, often I find it plastered on my face for no apparent reason. I suppose for some people it’s extremely difficult to get them to even crack a smile, and for me it’s the opposite as I find any remnants from a previous joke or silly memory amusing. I don’t like to hold back a smile no matter how inappropriate it may be in my surroundings, that’s the difference between me and most people. Can’t be afraid to smile now.