8/30/17, 10:33am

I suppose I can’t really be sure whether I’m only home for a short enough time that there’s not enough time for things to blow up or whether I’ve matured enough to preserve my healthy self in a toxic environment. I hope it’s the latter. More likely, it’s a combination of both, possibly skewed towards the former —

I’m coming more to terms with the fact that my parents are people first and parents second: that being a parent was a role they played, but not their entire being. It’s having lived a summer as a bona fide, financially independent, solo adult playing her own one-dimensional roles out for certain people. It’s then having come home to a mother who is now a middle-aged single woman falling way too fast for a middle-aged single man, and although he seems like a wonderful person, it’s all too fast and too much and too middle-school naiveté all the same. It’s noticing that my father is now an aging single emotionally-stunted man with a twisted worldview that will never bring happiness or community, that perhaps if he’d been more lucky he’d have gone down in history books as some sort of crazy genius, but instead fishes every day and gives the catchings to friends he can’t bring himself to truly trust and is happiest when reliving small inventions of his childhood. They have been freed of the immediate role of parenting and have become people — and it’s taken me this long to see that, to treat them as damaged people and not adversary parents, to realize that I can give them love and understanding and support without being influenced by their toxic philosophies and fights.

It’s good to be away. Maybe it can also be good to be home.

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07/07/17, 8:28am

I believe this was jotted thoughts for a poem idea

snow taking up ad space

or is it just blowing back (futilely), wind on the front of a bird’s wings

snow falling

ice statues

there is a special kind of cautious shame in those who bike upwards on a one way street

and some lack even this: they pedal lazily, bike turning side to side

it is a new york sort of reckless meandering

send 

you half-sit, half-lean against a lamp post in midtown. you try your best to shut out the sexy sax man song the busker has been playing for an hour. he’s pretty good, which means you pity him a little for how dead his soul must feel.

you wait for a friend’s call. you text the sf moma number over and over again. 

send me shrimp, you write.

they have no shrimp art.

send me alabaster, you write.

nada.

send me china, you write.

stop.

send me china, you write.

and you realize how fervert it is, that text. and you write it again and again.

send me china.

and again.

send me china.

and again.

send me china.

snapshot

Liability. Late night walks in the city lights. Late night cruising in humid air. Catcalls and cross arms and closed faces. Tortillas with peas and eggs and cheddar, stacks and stacks of Ritz. Banana pancake things in soft grey mornings. Jiggling jammed bike locks. Perfect, glowy skin save for a large and gently swelling pimple under the left nostril. Two hour conversations with HJ on a thin blanket, looking at the sky: “I like when you describe to me your people watching.” Slightly sore thighs. Daily morning crochet patterns pressed into the skin. Books in the grass and a breeze. “BUY ZHONGZI,” in a monotone whine on the corner of Christie and Hester. Soft wet hair and white eyes in a steamy mirror at 1am.

being alone in ny

I almost started this journal off with the phrase, “for the first time in a long time…” — but I realize that’s not quite right. This has been a somewhat gradual process, an accumulation of being with HJ and living in China with not much to do and now being in New York, the city of my dreams since forever, and now being in it in a unique semi-optional but not permanent aloneness way.

Semi-gradually, I’m beginning to truly realize that life is more the day-to-day happy than the long-term happy, and perhaps that the long-term happy doesn’t exist at all; perhaps the long-term happy has always been nothing but something waved in front of me like a goading flag, always whipped away and out of reach as I think I’m charging towards it. And from there, I’m beginning to learn what makes me this kind of day-to-day happy, and furthermore to learn to actively search for what makes me this kind of happy.

I can bike for hours and be truly content. Rivers, the city, the late afternoon light is all somehow more beautiful on a bike. The wind is fresher. The rushing view is exhilarating. And I get the feeling — no, I’m not even aware of the feeling — that there’s nothing more in the world I could desire other than this: not people, not success, not friends, not family. I know this is fleeting, this encompassingly content state, born from a decent enough day of interactions and the security of the temporary solitude and HJ’s worldview, but the ephemeral nature of it doesn’t make it any less real, or any less sublime.