Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Walker

A friend created this out of a photo he took of me walking in the Salk Institute of University of San Diago, last October.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Day For Night

I took off early yesterday to see the Bienial 2006 at Whitney, after working like a dog for a whole week.

I liked most of the photography works, especially the three way projection of Billy Sullivan's works, and the large black and white photo of a sad man sitting in bed, fully dressed.

I also was looking at a familiar little painting in The Wrong Gallery, the work you took me to see in the gallery in Chelsea.

Then there was this peice of artwork with file folders, on the cover, it said: You only say you love me when you are drunk. I smiled when I saw this.

Hum, I think I said this sometime to you. Then we had a revised version: you can only be truthful in bed.

You said it as loud as you can. You have been honest.

Yet, I have been cautious in trying to be sure of your feelings, to read your silence many ways.
I love you. But my wanting to know for sure drained you.

Caution of love is most fatal to true happiness, Bertrad Russel so said in the Conquest of Happiness.

A book I have, but never read, until my friend borrowed it, and I read it on her couch.

The chapter about Affection said it all, said it well.

True happiness is only truly obtainable when we forget ourselves, not afraid of being hurt.

I only ever want for you and I to be happy. I hope you are now.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Night with Red

It was a rainy weekend in New York. I was working all weekend in the office.

Tonight, Sunday of April 23, I know I had to leave at 7:30 from work, to make a date. Powerpoint deck can wait.

Today is the last day of A Road Map of the Soul: The Complete Keislowski at Walter Reade Theater. I did not invite any friend either, it will be me, my soul and Keislowski.

The closing film is what I have missed for so long, Three Colors:Red, or Rouge. I watched it for 10 minutes long time ago on DVD. Then I said I was not ready and it deserves a better time and better me. So I waited.

I was wandering around areas near Walter Reade Theater weeks ago and happened to see the brochuer about his film showing. I wanted to see the Double Life of Veronique as well, but I missed it. It was hard to keep track of life these days.

But I would not miss Red, this night.

I almost. I left arond 8 from office, the film was at 8:20. I got out of the cab and ran. When I reached the ticket office, the woman inside said: it is sold out. But that is the stand by line. I looked to my left, 3 people were standing there. I waited. I would stand by for Red, for Keislowski, for worthy things in life.

The line got longer. 10 minutes past the show time.They began to sell tickets to us. "You either sit in the front or the very back." We were told.

Taking a cup of coffee and a piece of banana bread, I walked in. I saw in the semi darkness there was empty space at the end of a long bench at the very back of the theater. It has the best view, since it is the highest level. I went straight there. Butt on the hard wood bench, leaning againt the iron bars, I realized it is not as comfortable, but it suited me just fine. I would rather sit in the back than in the very front, looking up.

Valentine was in the car, changing channels, right before she run over Rita.

Red curtain in her photo shot with her facial profile, red Jeep driven by the young man who was taking exam; red and worn out wall in the old judge's house; red sofa in the fashion show....I was watching Red. I felt familiar and warm.

Her face outside and inside the mirror in the same shot is stunningly beautiful, when she talked to him in his house.

"I dreamed of you last night. It has been a long while since I dreamed of anything nice."

Tears came to my eyes.

"You were 50, happy. When you woke up, you smiled at someone beside you." You know he loves her then. When he dreamed of her getting old and happy.

Tears came out of my eyes and going down my chin. I had to wipe it with my fingers.

"Maybe you were the woman I never met." So much pain in that man's eyes, and love.

I dreamed of you Saturday night. In that dream, I was walking out of the office building, you walked in. You were smiling.

Somehow next moment you held me from the back. Then I felt that we probably made love like that. I forgot. It was a dream. Then I fell into sleep.

I was missing you, am. I have not made love with anyone since we were last together in January.

I loved my dream, because you were smiling, and holding me.

When you first dreamed of me, you told me, I was laughing, bare footed, asking you: then why do you kiss me?

I felt like Valentine in the film, living a peaceful and quiet life, waiting.

She wore black in the film a lot, never red.

When I got out of the theater, in love with that old judge's face, looking through the broken window, I walked past Juliat school and turned left, down the steps, toward Lincoln center. Home is 10 blocks away.

A rainny and foggy Sunday night, there were scarely any souls in the garden. Last September, we stood there and kissed for a long time. Tonight I walked past it silently, slim, light, and alone.

Met was still magfinicent, I made a mental note to myself that I should catch an Opera before the season ends, if possible. Anything will do.

There was one guy sitting at the fountain, smoking, blowing out his smoke, toward the direction of Met, alone. He looked like a man with stories. He looked like he came from somewhere else. A couple sat on the other side of the fountain. The girl looked me when I passed her.

Why this night of wet and lovely April felt like a night of stories to me, ghostly, or it is just Keislowski playing his tricks, touching my soul.

I walked down 9th Avenue, three college student-looking young men stopped infront of Fordham University and tried to take a picture of a sculpture in the mist. "You can not get that", one of them said. They looked at me when I passed them.

I walked past them, passing the Starbucks where I sat and took a black and white picture on July 4th last year, before my trip to see you out in the west. That Starbucks then alwasy reminded me of that July. It was closed and empty when I walked by it tonght.

I crossed the street toward 8th Avenue on 56. I always like that quiet street. Somebody whistled some tune in the distance, behind me.

An old woman smoking outside a building, short, small, wearing slippers. She stared at me serioulsy when I passed her. She had something in her eyes. Do you want to talk.

I thought of the old lady trying to throw that bottle inside the recycle bin. I will help her as well.

My bread factory store on 8th is still bright. The young Hispanic guys who work there have facial features that were almost Asian.

When I got out, and walked along the 55 street, toward 9th, I realized the holiday light is finally gone. It is Spring and trees are clouded in that tender green of new leaves.

A man in his late 20s was parting with his parents on the corner of 55 and 9th, maybe after a show. He was relieved to say goodbye, the parents were hesitant to leave just yet.

I crossed the street, before getting into my building, I felt that I love so much, this city, this night with Keislowski , and you, and people that we were and will be able to connect to, so long as we live, turning a corner, right there. Nothing will be too late.

Red stands for fraternity in the French Revolution, Blue, liberty, White, equality.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Why I Love Gromit

Here are the reasons why I love Gromit to death:

-He reads Crime and Punishment.
-He knits.
-He says nothing but says everything.
-He says nothing but not silent.
-He never smiles but makes you feel warm.
-He has wall paper of meat bones in his bedroom.
-He is very relaxing while reading "Electronics for Dogs".
-He is brave, clever, resourceful and loving.
-Again, he knits.
-He does not like Cheese.
-He is more humane than human.
-He is a dog.
-I love dog.
-He remindes me of you in some facial expressions, or maybe the facial expressiveness.
-He makes me laugh even in painful times like this.
-He likes tea.

The first time I saw Gromit was with you, when we watched "Wallace and Gromit, The Curse of the Were Rabbit" together in the theater near Lincoln center.

In summary, I really love Gromit and feel thankful for the Brits who created it. It is sad to know that the warehousing for the models of A Close Shave and Wrong Trousers was burnt down last October. Lucky for us viewers that it has been captured forever on these short films.

In tough days, think of things that once or still makes me laugh, like Gromit, like you.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter, Thinking of Spanish City

Easter Sunday, I just woke up and was thinking of riding my bike along the west side highway and going to one of the churches on the upper west Side, not for service, just to go and sit there for a while.

And Easter, reminds me of the plan we once had, to go to Seville in Spring, to see the Semana Santa and the Seville Fair, to drive to the small and white villages on the seaside on many small excursions.

Spain, to me, means this little promise we made to ourselves, to go there together, to see the bull fighters and flamenco dancers, to see the country of blue water, white houses, and brown plains, home of beloved painters, to love each other and not thinking of it while taking in this land, across the ocean from here, the city where we live.

Easter and Spring, it gives us hope. I am thinking of the Spanish city today and is hopeful for your happiness, my happiness and one day to see that city, glistering in front of my eyes.

You will be there with me.

"The Easter Holy week, "Semana Santa", and the Seville Fair, "La Feria de Sevilla" (also Feria de Abril, "April Fair") are the two most well-known of Seville's festivals. Seville is internationally renowned for the solemn but beautiful processions during Semana Santa, and the colourful and lively fair held two weeks after.

During Feria families set up casetas or tents in which they spend the week dancing, drinking and socializing with their whole extended families. The women wear elaborate flamenco dresses and the men dress in their best suits. The fair grounds are set up like a type of village in which each street is named after a famous torero, or bull fighter."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I have not been in Blockbuster for a year. And I walked in the one on 51 Street and 8th Avenue the other evening, and rented Crash and the Weatherman.

I don't know what it is, but blockbuster gave me the feeling of being homy, that dull and relaxing life of renting a movie and spent the night enjoying somebody else's story, knowing that you are safe since you are not playing.

I don't feel peaceful watching crash. I was crying non stop while watching it. I understand what it tried to say, even if it is being said in a dramatic way, the story is compelling.

Crash comes from anger. Anger comes from the fear of not being heard, not being loved as who you are, or not being loved period, and being marginalized because you are an outsider.

As immigrants, we over behave or work harder and believe that is the only way for us to get somewhere. I cherish this city as if it is my home, but I still know that there are so many words, songs, talking and past memories that I don't understand or have ever heard of. And I tried extra hard to understand it since it is so worthwhile. It has its beauty when I understand it and being understood, the feeling of expatriate and explorer.

It is not about blending in, since I don't care to blend in wherever I am, at home or at a strange land. It is about getting through, reaching out and getting known and knowing. Getting close to things and people you like and who like you.

I am afraid my anxiety of our relationship is partially from this anxiety of getting to know you and being known by you while we are from such different background. We did well, but maybe not enough.

But there are ugly ones. I got a ticket once without knowing it while reading a book sitting in a passenger seat of my SUV. Did the policeman ever think he can walk up and ask me whether I, an Asian woman, maybe can drive and move the car?

Going to Chinatown at summer embarrasses me with its noisy, chaotic, strange dialect, and dirty water flowing in front of the Seafood stores. I feel I don't belong there, but then feel guilty about that feeling. but I don't hesitate defending a Chinese guy in public who was being insulted by a Hispanic security guard (like in Crash) for not speaking English and I translated for non English speaking immigrants in the ware fare hospitals in New York and feel happy about doing something meaningful.

We all judge ourselves constantly and inevitably find we are all flawed and weak sometimes.

I have a friend who is trying to buy a diamond for his wife and he was yelled at after having a second thought: You Chinese just don't have enough money for this, don't waste my time. I know that Italian man is just a jerk or is in a bad mood that day for whatever reason. But you still walk away angry and hurt. And I don't know how black people really feel, but I know it got to be worse than that.

And the Koreans is said to not like the black people and I was told I was a racist by you since I said I think if one work hard enough, and then one can get out of bad situations since this country is about opportunities, more for the sake of argument since we were getting on each other's nerver already.

One reason I like Crash is it is a little more complicated than just simply taking the stand which we all take. It tries to discloses the fact that we human beings don't usually trust or like people who barely speak of our language or look very different. We all have our fear of being judged , disliked and looked down upon and we strive in our own way to get over the anger, to feel good about ourselves, or to stay away from harm, sometime by being a wimp, like the director husband in Crash. And there is no easy solution for this other than people being understanding and each contribute a little one at a time.

And gun control will help as well. And the segregation and pain of black people in this country is far beyond the immigration experience that I am talking here.

"We don't know what we really are". I found the younger policeman's shooting of the innocent kid saddest crash of all. He is trying, but he failed miserably at the time of real test, when he does not know the person.

Knowing is critical, knowing promots understanding, but the truth is most of the time we have to take the leap of faith and risk making decisions when not knowing, or not knowing enough.

I think I am crying for all the feeling of loss and remorse that I have had lately as well, since I am wondering about me, how good a woman or human being I have been for you and for everyone else that has been close to me while struggling with a very unhappy job and immigration situation and keeping up with family expectations that comes from love, and thus ever more heavier while constantly trying to confirm who I am and what I have become.

I love you deeply, but did I love well with all these strain, anxiety and baggage with me?

Life is not easy, but a strong, rich and honest soul and true love can carry us far and carry us there. We all know the right way, the question is how to get on it or stay on it.

Why We Cry

Today there is a weird farewell toast for one of the senior person in the company. I awlays kinda of like her, although am not really close to her. She belongs to the time that we, you and I, had lot of sweet memories together.

She was here when I first started, seven years ago, a new comer to the city and to the agency. I was yet to know that I would run into you one day.

When she began to speak and choked a little, I felt like crying as well. And I did. I even had to go grab a tissue.

I was crying for many many reasons, for missing you, for missing us, for missing the good old time, for a time where familar faces show themselves in the long bleak days of work, for the time of batman visiting.

Half of the people there I don't know, and much less like. And it is getting smaller, and colder, everyday, or it is just me getting tired and picky.

People were trying to carry on some conversations and made it look happy and cheerful.

The leaving woman said to me in whisper: This felt like my funeral. I thought of the live funeral in The Weatherman.

I know that is not the reason why I cried.

My boss looked at me funny: Are you upset TOO?

I don't know what that means, especially the "TOO". And I did not say anything.

And why should I.

Do we need a reason for tears, so long we can cry, even in front of semi-strangers?

I feel I have indulged myself today.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Day Has its Variance

Why I like this line so much, and I know why I miss you so much.

The Oxford Cento

The concept of Cento is interesting. On the poem session of one recent Sunday's New York Times book review, is the Oxford Cento. I liked this following paragrah particularly:

One's sex asserts itself.
Desire And that White Sustenance---
Despair--in a Sahara of snow,
As a sort of mournful cosmic last resort.
Meanwhile, the men, with vestiges of pomp,
Weep for what little things could make them glad.
We hurt each other as the bridegroom and the bride hurt each other.

Life without any news of you, is an empty vessel, even it still holds sunshine, hope, and small goals to be accomplished, in order to go on.

So today when I know that you are doing fine, life is overspilled for the first time in 4 weeks, with not only pain, but some joy.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Picking Up Speed

I sort of lost my virginity to a bike years ago, I know, it happens, accidents that make you not bleeding on the first night.

I am lucky that I was born in a time of more liberty in China-if this word even makes sense there-given what happend to my friend lately, otherwise, I could be stoned to death in older times, for not riding a bike well.

Then I almost lost something else this weekend, to a cycling class, my workable legs. I had problems standing up, sitting down and walking down stairs. I worked it too hard while trying to pick up speed to reach the mountain top, so required the instructor.

It was a good session, I sweated so much that I am happy that I won't have much tears to shed later. If you have seen Chong King Express, you shall know the jogging policeman and what I mean.

It is a good session until I got off the bike and found that I could not stand on my feet. It was a funny feeling, your legs that you always takes for granted, were almost not there for you.

I am training for a tour ride in the city. More info is to come.

Those activities are good at times of this, I need to set up a goal and focus to realize that. I know that I need a good seat as well.

My butt already hurts for the 1 hour cycling class. I can not imagine if I ride for 8 hours, what would happen if I don't have a good seat.

I may lose something else besides virginity, good legs or a heart.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Team

I finally find a team that I can root for: New York Rangers--we all want NYR to win, don't we?

Hockey is an exciting game, live hockey is even more fun. The players are very cute as well. It is a fast game.

And it won't be like baseball--it more just reminds me of you. And I remember once you were lying in bed watching a baseball game on TV, I got down to kiss you. And you said something like you are brave to get in between an American guy and his baseball game. I continued kissing you.

Litttle moments like that kills me.

So finally I have found a team to root for, not like when you get excited about Red Sox or someone else gets excited about Yankee, I will just take the side because of you, not because of me.

Now I have a team here. I am no longer an outsider, am I.

I miss us so much, it hurts like it is creating a hole in my heart and one can see through me via that hole.

But at least, I have a team to root for--NYR roots for NYR.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Phone Booth and Rain

It rained heavily tonight in New York, with no warning. I was already all wet walking from office to the Byrant park subway station while it started to pour. I was soaked.

After getting out of the Columbus Circle station, I put up my trench coat over my head and walked home like when I was 12, going home from School like that, behaving badly, messy, careless.

While waiting for the light to change at one of the side street, I decided to stand in the phone booth to get some shelter from the heavy rain. My face were covered with the rain water of Spring, I realized that I was crying, in that phone booth, coat over my head still, wearing a blue shirt and white pant, all soaked.

I have behaved well and normal for too long, too polished, too defensive.

This is the real me, messy, wet, but real.

Monday Morning Monologue of the Over Achiever

I am sleepy due to lack of sleep last night and the Spring Forward of time and the Fall back of me.

Reading the tons of client material like paralegal made things worse. And knowing my raise totaled $3000 in the last 12 months and for the next 6 months is not comforting.

The same guy sitting at the corner of Pret, smiled and nodded at me when I took my coffee out.

I was smiling back as a nice person will do until I recognized this is the same guy from last week and my smile disappeared quicker than my usual Asian fake smile.

Is the stalker being stalked? Who on earth wear a suit and sit at the Pret every morning at 9:30, or, 10:00 and smile and nod to some girl or woman?

Have you seen the movie Vanish. The Dutch version. That guy reminded me of that good father in Vanish.

I finished my coffee, checked many blogs, thought of you for a while, when the time was solely dedicated to thinking of you while looking at my computer screen or the patch of sky that is outside my office window, had a close-door gossip moment with girl at work.

Now I am sleepy again due to lack of sleep last night and the Spring forward of time and the fall back of me.