Monday, May 28, 2007

Slow Graffiti

We sat on the steps of St Patricks Church in mid town, facing fifth avenue, with shopping bags from Saks at our feet, from the little excursion to the sales floor. We were caresed by the breeze of Spring, we were watching new york city getting home, enjoying, laughing and finding themselves in love.

Robin is a relative new friend, we were together more in the past 6 months. I don't remember when we began to hang out a lot. A girl soaring 5'8, witty, charming and moving to Denmark soon, for her Journalism study. She currently works as a account person in a smaller advertising agency. Her job drover her nuts, and same was mine, same as mine.

We are staring at people's shoes, commenting and laughing. We are judging people as locals judging outsiders at village market.

Being amazed at couples with 3-4 children tagging along, mostly tourists from other cities. "How could some couple raise so many kids, yet others are panic at the mere thought of the idea. I wonder.

Plain girls with striking boy friends, plain boys with plain girl friends. Woman with a dog that trots like little horses.

We just had a huge Mexican dinner at De Camitos, on 51 and 3rd. Food and dessert and slight drink make us satiated and intoxicated.

If there is one vice that Robin has, that will be, she can not drink. One beer will make her drunk. And I am alcoholic to her.

I enjoy Robin, and vise versa, I think. I told her that if she is a guy, I may fall in love with him. That is about as lesbian I have in my life.

Previous night, the first atmosphere of summer embraced this city. I was exhausted from work, feeling lonely from missing D and felt heartbroken, and scared of failing.

I am afraid also I might be losing the race of out running the pain of my heart.

I called Robin, I said I felt so bad, so low.

She said: why are you scared? You are smart and successful and they love you for what you can bring, that is how you get your job. Why do you worry?

"Maybe, I am always feeling I am not good enough. I always want to prove that I am worthy, for I am afraind I am not, to others." I am thinking out loud.

When I said this about my new job, I know that is also how I felt and behaved when I was with D, I was trying to prove myself to him as well, and I did not believe that he could simply love me for me.

"You don't have to prove yourself. You know. It is only natural that you feel overwhelmed. This is the second week of your new job. Everyone will feel that way.

And this is my new job in 8 years. Something I don't hate as the old one, but I love to do other things more, way more, like writing for you to read, amuse you.

Looking back, I can see how eager and anxious I was in the last week also, trying to prove that I can do this, almost too eager.

I was so uptight. Why was I so uptight? Why can't I relax and be happy with myself. I almost lost my footing again. And I won't allow that--there I go again.

I am afraid to disappoint.

Why I want to guard for everything that I have, as if they can be taken away anytime, as if I don't deserve to have any, as of I am used to be stripped of things. This huge insecruity and sensitivity of being judged negatively. I knew it is this flaw in me that has set me again into a emotional swing.

Robin's mellow voice calmed me. Hers is low pitch, soothing. I said, I am going to gym now to give myself some boost, and it worked.

So we sat together in the breezy Friday night, we looked around, recounting our experience in New York and Paris. The lovely film about Paris that are consisted of 18 short films, thinking we are lucky and blessed to have enjoyed both cities, to have been broken and back.

We are making little plans to meet up in Denmark where she is going for her journalist study.

I looked up at planes flying over the night sky, with cosy lights on, I was picturing those passengers coming home or arriving at a new city.

Looking at planes makes me feel sad and miss D so much. I said.

Why? Robin looked up with me.

It is like as if he can be on any of those planes going somewhere, yet I can only be guessing now of what is happening in his life. But, it makes me feel warm as well, for hoping that he might be travelling somehwere, having happiness in his life.

Love someone fills your heart too. Only we are too naive to know what is true that is being said.

I simply miss him.

Want to walk a little? I stood up.

We began heading to my apt on the west side. The night is sweet and fuzzy. Robin walks fast with her long leg and sneakers and I tried to keep up with my wedged sandal. Slow down!

She waited for me from time to time.

I will get a bottle of white wine.

I would not want any. Typical Robin.

I gave her a look, wine is a necessity for guests, whether they want it or not. I am great hostess even in a studio apartment, always has been.

When I checked out the wine at the register of the Liquir store at the groud floor of my building, the guy gave me a great smile "have not seen you for a while". By a while, he meant a week.
I am not that alcoholic anyway.

I smile back, he is a very warm and pleasant Asian guy--Chinese, my kind.

I can not believe you know your local liquor guy! Robin laughed when we exit the store.
A couple walked in while we exited. I hold the door for them while checking the man out quickly, not bad looking, and the guy said: Xie Xie!

Robin and I both like: where does that come from.

How can he tell I am (We are) Chinese. I am not offeneded, after all, since I am. Robin always feel bad when people assume she is Japanese or Korean or Chinese, for she is just an American girl, ok, fourth generation Japanese.

Our upbrining do stick. I like Robin only more because of that.

We walked up to my apartment. Robin loved my apartment, she once said, I won't want to leave if this is mine. You always have good book and good movies here, and it is very pleasing.

Red is pleasing and inviting.

I only smiled at this comment. But I am happy to hear that.

Black berry is put in plate, fruits washed and served.

So we will be going to the Soccer game tomorrow? But with a brunch at Brooklyn first.

I won't be going to DC. I told Robin about this guy who invited me to visit him over the long Memorial weekend. It maybe an excuse to escape the city at this holiday weekend, but I decided not to go. I am tired of taking superficial fun as remedy for a longing to the man I really miss. It make things emptier, not fuller.

Robin is happy that we are going to the Soccer game together. I am looking forward to meet the really hot Richard, juding from photo and soccer skill, whom she last kissed and her ex boyfriend who is a painter, an uptight guy.

All good for a night of girls, we settled down to watch The Conversations with the Other Woman.
Robin lying on the couch, I was sitting in front of the bed.

Laughters were loud from the street, begining of a long weekend, I am thinking, it is nice to be at home, with friends, no need to prove yourself, for by choosing each other's company, we have already proved ourselves, the ability to be funny and wise and empathetic and caring.

I don't need to prove a choice right, I just need to live, really live. And no one can judge me negatively if I am a real me, for I owe that expectation only to myself.

We learn, we do learn and better. Wisdom and caring is hard earned.

And it is OK to admit I am tired these days, working so hard, getting up so early, looking pretty good, feeling lonely for missing that man, for missing kissing someone with a meaning, with no purpose, with lot and lot of wanting.

That and above, is all so true, like my immense sleepiness and tiredness right now, at this moment.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Slacker is Happy on a Summer Day

I may or may not come in tomorrow. I told my boss. I extended my last day to this week, but I decided to slack for a day.

It is a summer day, I am getting coffee, doing laundry, wearing strip top and jeans, flat sandals of green color, getting my first two pairs of Army Green Jeans from tailtor shop, slacks' life is good.

Girl scream at me while crossing the street and we were on each other's way, I did not scream back, I was smiling, slacker's day has no room for anger or rushness.

I am doing laundry, trying on new jeans, writing a little blog, putting on some music.

Summer is here and I can get a zipcar and drive to beach or mountain, or staying at hood and read a new book, or else.

Need to fix my hair before next week.

Such existentialism with no higher purpose is good, is a gift, is when the heart can be filled without you knowing it and the soul gentelly smile without looking into your eyes.

Slacking on a summery day in New York, is such a peachy martini kind of refreshing.

Yes, four of us went out drink last night and have some wild girl's discussions.

And I maybe joining a soccer team too, playing with people who are fit but do not know the rules or people who are not fit thus ineffective either ways, my beloved friend so put it.
I am effective in a damaging way.

Tennis is on agenda, bike need to be tuned.

Don't ask me about the new job yet, but I will be fine. Slacking is a recharging for that, as all healing is a readiness exercise for the continued journey.

Forget about the French Existentialism now, forget about philosophical questioning and annoying coolness of high thinking, let me be a simple Chinese New Yorker existence for a day, with no attitude, no pretense, no pose, no worries of clients, no pain.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Soul Restored, Alcoholically

I was crying and laughing watching this movie called The Holiday on DVD. It is a girl's flick, of course, but so well written and performed that it is funny and moving, and I am not ashamed to say that I was actually feel so thrilled and happy when I see Kate Winstlet got so much happier, and stronger and deservedly so, in the end; and Cameron actually made me cry when she cried. And Jude Law, oh, Jude Law.
With no expecations when putting this DVD on, I was so gladly surprised that I rushed to the refrigerator to get myself a drink, while putting the movie on pause. When I am stressed, I want a drink; when I am thrilled, I want a drink. I might jut become a true alcoholic.
What make me laugh out loud is that what I found is this little bottle of Sake, shyly standinging there, shorter than everything else, except maybe the Egg container, which is really not a good reference at all. This Sake is left over from a Korean restaurant and is maybe one third filled.
I hold the little bottle in my hand and began to drink from it, like you would drinking a beer with bottle, and rushed to my couch as well as the movie.
I am not exactly identifying with the two girls, well mabye some, I was weak like Jasper, but also deperately in love, insecure, some Kate Winslet's role, and some Amanda as well, if fitting is needed, I find myself rarely crying in front of other people, including D. My denfense was strong, for cyring too much too easy growing up, and for hiding the fear constantly.
But mostly, it reminds me how great it is to really connect with someone and enjoy someone, when a baggage is not longer a baggage because of the rebirth of belief that you can find a place for your heart again.
"I don't know how to do this mathematically, I am just telling you how I feel right now, and I am in love with you." When Jude Law deliver that, you better believe, you just believe.
We all make mistakes, screw up things when we didn't mean it, sensitve to rejection, hurt others when feeling hurt, or regret what we did, or wish we are better, wish for a second chance, or blame mixing up sex with love while in doubt. But love happens even to flawed people.
One can not really beg for redemption, as one can not really beg for love, or for more love than what can be given or taken. Let's just grow better. I am trying and I have seen it, and I think a little drink is in store to celebrate that little growth, every inch of it. (Now this sounds like a spam).
What can we really do except to make ourselves more true and happier and giving, and then love may happen again, and then that person may come back, cheer for him if he chooses to stay away and far.
It is that feeling that I know I am finally capable of being happy, truthful, and being able to love fully, even from a distance, is what has really restored my soul, that soul burdened with guilt and longing and secrets, is beginning to feel that it can fly finally, out of lies and fear, and you can only reach here by travelling alone, there is no way around it.
--I might just become a Saint had I have a bigger bottle of Sake, I am still trying to get more out of the Sake bottle, but it is done. I feel sorry for not using a proper container for Sake, well, but a girl can get away with this, I am sure, sepceialy now that I gets a soul and some guts.
Sleep well, all of us that were in love, are still in love and/or to be in love.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lost, Gentle Romeo

I made it on time to City Ballet building, leaving early from the double farewell drink half of which was for me, from Under the Volcano at Mid-town.

After three gin and tonics, I wish I won't fall into Sleep at the performance with the music that has always haunted me.

I did not. I was upbeat, awake, although my thought drifted often, from the side box seat, and I kept on losing track of Romeo. Is he on the stage or off. He ran around, blonde, strong, like a boy from California, not a sweet Montague. Be true, still.

His cape is a weird color of blue and greenish. His tight pants should have been red.

Where is Romeo, on one of the street fighting scene, I tabbed on the shoulder of my friend sitting a row infront of me. We giggled with no sound.

During the intermission, I said, well, this Romeo, he has a good ass, but he is not Romeo, and I kept losing him. I always do.

I am looking for a gentle man, a Romeo that is sad, whose soul sank with burden of love, whose charm, making him indeed the man, if being cut into stars, shall make all fall in love with the night of heaven.

I am looking for a Romeo that could die for love and for whom Juliet will die for.

My Romeo has to be a little vulnerable and less happier or certain of himself, but devilishly charming.

Pale, passionate, whose soul heavy with a lead, not with a sole for dancing, unless, of course, it is so powerful in his beauty but still breakable, as thus made immortal by Neruyev.

Man who are able to love so obessesively and bravely meet up to the doomed love, can only know that despair is the other face of love.

These violent delights have violent ends.

If we all can love moderately, I may not be seaching for my lost one right now. Love and being moderate with it are conflicing notions to me, or to Remo and Juliet.

"You eyes are shining." I told you once in Cherry, the little red lounge on the 39 street and Lexington.

"It is because of the company." You replied.

"You smelled like bricks on the wall of a garden after the rain of Spring." I saw that when I bury my face into your shoulder.

"Don't say you love me, although you maybe the best thing that has ever happened to me." You said that in Serena, the basement bar of the Hotel Chelsea. Unintentionally, we were part of a story of the city.

I am not the best thing that has ever happened to you. I am not as nuturing and reliable and stable and happy.

Things we see and say when we are in love, in deperate and fragile love.

"I am not saying I love you yet. All I am saying is that I came to meet you. I was running. My heart beat faster. I am not saying this to make something into something it is not. That is just what it is." I replied.

You hold me up for the first photo of us taken together, in Serena.

I think people capable of great love are often torn, like dreamers often lie, like we lied too or chose to be silent or secretive, more to hide our weakenss and little rediculous scheming to make ourself look strong, than to deceive.

When I quote this line to my friend on IM, who is 9000 miles away, he said: dreamers often lie down. That makes me laugh.

Everytime, I rode a cab across 42 street to the East side, I passed AMC theatre, I remember you squat infront of the theater one January afternoon with that blueish/green jacket you were wearing, waiting for me to come to watch the film Dreamer.

The youth in the 60s in Paris, the youth who are slightly older than Remeo and Juliet, the youth who explore the world with tender curiosity and guilt.

You hands were touching my knee, so tenderly. We did not talk. We were looking at the riot of Paris on the screen. I love man who deliver moments like that.

I demand vulnerability and tenderness in the eye of Romeo.

Maybe, deep down, in my heart, or all of our hearts, we doubt burning love that can last. We feel it has to be doomed to be great and true, or deserving, the lusty, heartaching and suffocating, sometime burning sometime melting love I am talking about and feeling alive over.

To that extent, I can find Remeo only in a doom of love, rather than in the forever sweetness of a mature companionship and smooth cruise or a easy ballet production. For that, I better settle for a sunshine boy from California.

After the show, my friend and I walked along 10th avenue, the night is sweet and tender, and after the story, we crave for a cozy Italian place.

We passed the Modern and cold Whym, and went to Puccini, the small Italian place, across my building. I will go back to my apartment to grab that bottle of white wine that I just opened previous night, since they are too new to have a alcohol license. I love the idea of bringing your own wine especially when home is just across the street.

Crossing 9 Avenue, suddenly, I was teary, for I remembered our night of struggling at this exact spot that night of January and our numerous walks up this avenue, believing that we are heading somewhere sweet and safe, ultimately. Maybe we still are.

All those violent delights, maybe indeed too strong to find a calm destination to go to. But calm destination is not exactly what we were looking for as lovers. It had to burn.

And Romeo, gentle Romeo, you stay unseen and lost, your soul or sole, are they heavier or lighter?

I finally know that Romeo may only exists when you finally find him, and then lost him, only in this endless longing, which remain unfullfilled even when I am laughing and looks beautiful at this tender night of Spring.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Promise is A Promise

The counter offer came next day of my resignation, it is extra generous for the standards of this company, just a little shy of the one I am getting elsewhere, but again, term is not a key factor here. And again, as I was told, instant credibility here, should more than make up the difference.

I did not even try to negotiate up. I am leaving, period. I made a promise to the other company that I am excited to join them. I signed the letter and people are expecting to see me show up.

New territory is uncertain. Sure, yet, I long for changes. Liberation means a lot to me too and weights heavy on my scale.

Did I tell you I have not gottern my green card yet? I was still waiting for the card. Legally I am able to switch jobs, but it is usually not highly recommended.

Problem is--I have had it.

I took a week off, to think it through, as I told them, although the decision has been made. I took the time to begin the disengagement process, emotionally, and to give the team some more time for transition.

Disengagement is needed. I basically grew up here, and all those days and nights and waitings, fullfilled wantings and unfulfilled ones, walking via 3 different routes to this location on 40th and Madison, in the past 8 years. It hosted my longing and tasting of passion, the awakening to my true self, the unknow one, it takes some deep breathing to walk out on that past and familiarity.

It breaks my heart to embrace all these memories while D is gone from here, or my life, right now, not even as a friend.

The Monday I came back to office, I wrote an email to say that I appreciate the counter offer, but I need a change of scene, and I am leaving to reevaluate my priorities in life. It is paritally a lie. I did began to do different things and try new aspiriations, but the catch is I still need to work in the same line of work to get my greencard, to not endeager the application, so I had no other choice but continue to play with the tool of markeing data. I could not take off to climb a mountain in Chile.

At least in the new company, they love me in a new way, there, it is a clean slate, where I can be aspiring to different challenges or serveing clients nasty in different ways, and what is not exiciting about that?

News spread, farewell lunch and drinks are scheduled. People began to show up and ask about my future plans. I worked hard to make sure everything is covered and transitioned properly. I have gone through hell on this account last summer while dealing with D's silence and working with his best friend who pretty much refused to talk to me about D. It was hell, even it is self inflicted. I thrived ultimately and I will leave it in best of shapes. They begin miss me already.

All is well until this morning, a call came from my company lawyer.

"INS" need more evidence for your case?

What evidence?

They need a waiver document for your old J visa.

I came to this country on a special type of student visa, J cateogry, which is subject to 2 years services back home once I finish my study. That is after my proper F visa application was rejected. My school came up with this walk-around solution. That was a promise I made when coming here, which I later got waivered, so I could stay after graduation.

Sometime, I think, the time I have had here in the US is purely accidental, or stolen, one event led to another, it is fate, but never planned out. None of these.

"But you have that document. Why was it not included in the first place?"

Silence. Company lawyer screwed me up again.

On the bright side, my case is being processed, but the timing is bad.

"So you can mail it for me right?"

"No, we can not represent you anymore. You need to represent yourself. You can mail it yourself. And you should be aware of legal ramifications of your departure depending on where you are going."

I know that, but it is a bit nerver wrecking to think that this came up at my last week at this current company. I have checked the legality of my departure, I am not being totally hot blooded and stupid, I have weighted my pros and cons and the incremental days of waiting out here and its direct impact on my likelihood of going crazy.

But why now?

It maybe just a formality of getting more documents, my future employer is aware of my situation and is paying for my financial liablities to this company due to past immigration cost and they have their own set of lawyers to ready to take me over. So all is set. I should not worry.

But why now?

It is so not easy, this process. My company lawyer simply sucks, there is no question about it. I was given the easier way before. I could have married D, when he offered the help as a friend as well as the man who loved me even if he does not say it well and I do not understand it well. Yet, my pride can not accept that. I wanted to marry him just becuase I wanted him and he wanted me. I did not want to go down history as marrying him for greencard, even it accounts for only .001% of the whole decision, because I love him. I thought we would have a life time together.

I was taken aback a little for this new information and its timing. I knew I was getting close to get it, but supplying additional information is not what I expected, espeically now. It could come after I left, it could come after all is done. Now it just addes on anxiety.

But I can not coward out at this time. Like 12 years ago when I came here alone with $700 dollars in my pocket, some money my parent borrowed from friends and which is more than their life savings in the bank, I did not back out. Then I shall fear nothing now. If I have been able to come here on a J visa and managed to stay for 12 years and built a good life here and have loved someone so completely, who is it to say that I shalled be rejected due to some technicality in application right on this soil, or that I should be cautious and safe and put a brake on what I am feeling excited about doing.

Point is I have done it and served my time. So I don't want to drag anymore. Drag is such a dreadful thing. I was a master of draging. No more.

And a promise is a promise. I wish I have honored everyone I have made before. But this one I am honoring, with a certain risk.

I am leaving and I am starting at my new company in 12 days. This is a risk I am willing to take and take it I shall.

"You can mail me everything. I will work it out myself. It might not be a bad thing after all." I hang up on the lawyer and went back to my work.

If indeed I was told the greencard application is not working out, I will pack by bags and leave, go travelling the world, time is simply up for my stay here. Even the truest love can not last forever, so I shall be a visitor to this city, or country.

What is really scary though, is the imminent change that I need to make to my life to honor this promise, I need to go to work at 9, instead of 11, which is what I did in the past 2 months at this current company. Damn it I forgot that in my evaluation of the pros and cons.

From now on, I need to go to bed at 10 pm instead of 2 am, and get up at 8, and now that, might just be the change that I could not adjust to.

Wish me luck.