Late last night, before he went to bed, brother told me there would be an eclipse today. He said it would almost be a total eclipse and the maximum point would be at 2:44 pm today. It would have a circle of bright light around the edge but the sun would be black and we shouldn’t look up at the sun unless we had these special glasses that looked like the glasses you wear for 3D movies or your eyes would be severely damaged. Grandma said she heard about eclipses before but never saw one in her whole life and wondered if there was any way to see it. Brother said no, you had to have special glasses and nobody knew where to to get them especially so late at night. He went online and found a site that showed pictures of what it would look like.
I woke up at eight, got cleaned up and went to the computer. There were pictures of what the eclipse would look like and places where it could be seen. Some places were bright, some were dark as tv cameras from all over filmed it. At some point they began to show dark skies, then black skies and people in the darkness staring up and looking though their 3-D type glasses. The sun was still shining at my window.
Finally it was 2:44 pm, the time it was said we’d see it in New York City. It looked a little shady from my window but it was still a bright day.
I heard some kids voices in the street and hoped they were wearing their special glasses.
In the past although I liked going to the mall and seeing the people and displays I began to dislike it because brother would find some place for me to exercise. First it was to slowly stand and watch the fish swim past. Then it was walking a little more, a little more. Then it was walking from one end of the long hall to the other end.
We began today having breakfast at the food court. I had an egg salad sandwich and a huge vanilla egg cream. There’s no egg in the egg cream I don’t know how or why it has that name. The Vietnamese make a similar drink. Basically it’s seltzer water, milk and chocolate syrup. Somebody had the idea of using vanilla syrup which is the flavor I get. And at Johnny Rockets it’s always sweet, even now when the style is to cut back on sugar. I drink much less soda than i did in the past but I’d rather drink half a can of regular soda than a full can of seltzer water with a breath of soda flavoring. Johnny Rockets still made egg creams the way they were made back in the day. Although the company Johnny Rockets was maybe ten or twelve years old at the mall where I first discovered them, they were made to give you the feel of a 1940’s diner. The food was something you would have had in the old days, big fries and shakes, onion rings, apple pie and hamburgers. The good thing was they have a vegetarian hamburger smothered in onion that tastes just like a real hamburger. How do I know what a real hamburger tastes like? I can’t explain that. My mom said I came home and said Kuan Yin didn’t want people to eat cows, that they were gentle and worked hard for humans and gave milk (which I and most Chinese can’t drink). Our stomachs will rumble loudly, until you have to go move your bowels.
Grandma said she wanted to go, her head hurt but first she wanted an ovaltine or coffee. Brother left then returned with an insulated paper cup full of something steaming. Grandma added two little packages of sugar and a lot of milk, than began to slowly sip it. When she finished, her eyes were bright and she was ready to walk with my brother and I.
This finish line doesn’t mean I’m at the end of the game or that I’ve “won”. There is no “won” unless we’ve won at a certain stage because the game goes on as long as we live and we always live but some of us don’t know that right away. “The End” is something we learn about very early. As babies we learn that people or toys we love are taken away from us but we learn that they come back to us sooner or later. Sometimes in better shape than when we last saw them, sometimes a little worse for the wear. Sometimes it seems like they didn’t or won’t come back to us. They did or will, but after a long period of time we just don’t recognize them anymore. But we’ve all had the experience of just meeting someone for the first time and feeling we’ve know them before. We can sit and talk with them about things we haven’t talked about with family or close friends and they understand exactly what we mean.
I don’t mean that meeting again means we will always work things out. There is an online person I know, I can’t say “friend” and I won’t say “enemy”. Maybe he is a frenemy. When we first met he came on in a negative sexual way (and it’s always negative if you don’t like someone that way). Then I ignored him. Then he apologized for past behaviors and said we could move forward. That was good. One day i saw him with his dick out while he watched me dance. I thought, what the fuck is this? We had a few words and he explained that it was natural and uncontrollable for men and I figured as long as he didn’t touch me it was not a big deal. Maybe I danced in underpants once, I don’t remember. I did sometimes dance nude in the club in the past to make money so it wasn’t a big deal.
Then one day this girl came to Chinatown, maybe she was dressed like a princess, I’m not sure. He spoke to her nice then he wrote me privately and asked to please don’t tell about dancing privately at his house. I agreed not to tell but I also said I would not dance for him again.
Later when she left he explained that she was just a friend, that he was just keeping the respect that he had for her in her role as a royal woman. I said that’s good but it reminded me that I’m the daughter of the Chinese Goddess, Xi Wang Mu. Also, now I am engaged to Brother Xu. So something is ending and a new way is beginning.
Kuan Yin, I remember you too!
That means that despite all the evidence to the contrary I still think Brother Xu is gonna show up and we can go to whatever level we’re supposed to go to. When I last saw him I thought everything was settled that I was gonna have him as my boyfriend, that he could have others but when I sat down, they stood up. There have been many times I played that over in my mind because that was the last time I heard from or saw him.
But a few days or weeks ago, I suddenly heard from him. I was so stunned that I didn’t know what to say. If I said the wrong thing he might disappear again. It was a short chat cause I didn’t want to wear out my welcome so after a few words I left first. He had a new photo and has gotten a little buff. His little girl is now three years old, not a baby in the carriage like I saw her before. This means a long time has passed since I saw and talked to her dad. How do I feel about him now? I don’t really know. I still check to see if he’s online and I was happy that he was. But there was a consciousness of what I was doing and saying and I left before say it all. Yes. I went back and said more late but he was gone then and I only left a slightly incoherent message. Wednesday is the day we’re supposed to meet and talk and whatever.
I still feel we are connected, that we owe each other something. I remember the relief and joy in his eyes when he saw I was alive and back in This World. I know we have grown since then and we have to learn where we’re going. i feel it has all been for a reason and we’ll be walking together in a good way.
Today was Sunday, my day off. Every day i stretch, flex, and do an exercise program before I even get out of bed. Everyday think that maybe i will be back to the self i was before the accident, but there are aches, pains and stiffness. A major turning point came on thanksgiving when brother helped me walk a cross some steps into a small bathroom at someones home. it was hard, and something I was doing for the first time, and I did it. And afterwards I remembered that day and that walk and that it had been on thanksgiving. As my ability to walk became better my mind became stronger. i was saying “yes i like this and no i do not like that.” Well even if i said i didn’t like it. I’d still eat it but said i would not eat it the next time. Miss Ruby had worked as a home attendant for many years from the time she left Trinidad and came to America. She usually had old patients, i was the first young person she had. ok, it’s midnight. i’ll finish this tomorrow.
i woke up this morning and from where the sun’s light was reflecting on the ceiling i could tell it was almost nine o’ clock. i looked at the framed writing on the wall but this time i could read the four chinese words “tien di ren fu”. Heaven or God was Tien Di, Ren was People, Fu was luck. so the idea that i could make out a Chinese sentence in my mind was amazing. I was making improvement on my own. I look out of the window now, and i see and recognize things. I see a building that i know is a library and i know they have been renovating it and that people had demonstrations there and I signed up with the Green Party there when I turned 18.
I saw two Asian young men in suits wearing white short sleeved shirts and knew they were probably Korean ‘elders’ of the Mormon Religion (now called Church of the Latter Day Saints). There are a lot of them here because there are a lot of Asians here to convert who don’t believe in god, ex-communist chinese. but then my dad did and does believe in communism and he and his dad my grand dad were daoists even back in Fujian. And i have been in Taoist festivals and processions in Flushing and many of the believers followed or knew of Kuan Yin or Guan Gong or Xi Wang Mu long before they came to the U.S. Especially Chinese countries outside of China like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. I even heard there are Taoist temples in Africa, but I only heard it, I don’t know.
Ok, now I remember what the Korean Mormons reminded me of. Recently, maybe a few months ago a Korean guy was in a Chinese cyber cafe. Some of the members of the Chinese gang that ran the place confronted him and the fought. i have a feeling he was good. some of the Chinese ran out and came back with some more Chinese for this one Korean. They beat him down to the ground punching and kicking him and he got a knife — maybe from his pocket i don’t know, and stabbed up and the Chinese kid was dead. Of course i’m sorry a Chinese died, especially a young person who did not live to change his lifestyle and become a hero for the Chinese people in flushing. That’s a choice all of us in gangs have to make. when i was in a gang one thing i would only let there be a one on one fight, ore two on two. if the other side won i’d give them some kicks with all my force and then they could go.
So this is a big thing now in Flushing, “the Chinese killed a Korean!” Yeah, but the whole gang was beating him! Wouldn’t you use anything necessary to save your own life?
2) I saw brother Xu last night. I had written something, as i have done for about a year. Hoping for but not expecting a reply. But suddenly there was a reply, brief and polite. All the cool, suave things i’d practiced saying disappeared. I was tongue-tied and said a few things I don’t remember. It ended with him saying he would see me sometime this or next week. My heart was beating like it was Christmas Eve. I said goodnight before i dragged it out and became a nucience.
School has ended and i’m taking a break. I need the summer vacation to regroup and catch up to where i was. Or embark on something new. The day to day work of finding where i was and how to get back there…that stress is over. As i recover many memories about myself and who i was/am there is a relief. there is also a concern about what causes the gap in my memory, how there can be no mother and then one day i remember a day in the past playing in the snow me, mom and little brother (he really was little then) against dad, brother and uncle. i focused on brother because dad was way better than me, so at least i could get some could hits in. Uncle was taking it easy on my little brother. i glanced over at my mom and wham! wham! wham! she hit my dad twice and hit my uncle once! she could throw with both hands! i focused on brother and dad and mom was getting dad and her brother. i never saw anyone throw like her. and the i realized that i hadn’t seen her do it before. then i was slowly waking up and it was just a dream but a dream that really happened. i remembered it. And I remembered that she was now living in China and has a beauty shop there. And my little brother was with her, now he was fifteen. I wondered if he was tall or still a fai jai? Hmm, that “jai”, is that Jai’s name? How come I remember some Cantonese words? My dad speaks different languages but he doesn’t speak Cantonese. When i play with Sesen and Jai there’s something that I almost remember.
tomorrow, well today is mother’s day. this time i have known it was coming for a few weeks ago. last year i totally forgot. this year i remembered what mother’s day was, and that it was coming. and that my mother was in china.
brother had a bunch of the older scouts over last night and they were all in a good mood. they were talking, laughing and cooking up a storm. a couple brought their girlfriends along. i said hi, but of course i knew none of them. i remembered some faces cause i’d seen – and remembered them since last summer, and summer would soon be here again.
i heard brother’s laughing voice as he joked around with the guys and two girls who’d joined them and i realized it was not a usual sound, him laughing and joking. i tried to remember the past, because it seemed like he had been happier some time in the past. a year ago…two years, four years ago? i didn’t laugh much either, did i used to? what did i laugh about? i didn’t remember laughing for a long time. everyday was the same, waking up, washing, brushing teeth, doing assignments and meeting with the teacher once a month.
i never saw brother’s girlfriend or remembered meeting her or remembered hearing of her. but until recently i could hear something in the morning and forget it by the evening. i am remembering things for longer periods of time now. there’s a beginning, and a middle and an end. the way normal people remember things.
yes, here i am. many times i thought it was too hard, i had too far to go. i was too wounded. i couldn’t walk. i couldn’t move my arm. i was dumped…well that’s not true. i made an ultimatum and bro. xu was like oh no hell i won’t and he’s been hiding since then. then a few days ago, or a few weeks ago i saw him online. inside i was like, oh shit! it really is him! there was a new picture, and he still looked good. brighter. and more built. he showed me pictures of his baby who was now a three year old little girl. she had a smile like his and looked like a happy little girl. he loved her and i was glad cause i’ve known some guys who never came to terms with a girl instead of a boy.
i thought, “i did it. made it through and we made it through and and we’ll meet other again soon and hopefully we’ll be friends.” then the blurry picture became clearer and i knew that what i’d seen somewhere, sometime, would be true. there was something i owed him, or he owed me or we owed each other. we could pay it now or later. the time to choose had come already, and i chose now. now, in this electric life. this world of eternity and goodbye and hello, i can do what i must do. life is long and i’m babbling, so i’ll stop.