I’ve held a grudge against Asians in general, and Chinese women in particular [except Cambodians and Filipinos, the "non-Asian" South-East Asians, who I have friends from and marriages with] ever since a Chinese home-owner refused to rent me a room in his government-subsidized apartment because his young wife had told him he can’t rent it to people who weren’t “Chinese peepo”. I didn’t stay long enough to look into his religious convictions. Infact, I have only made it as far as observing that the wife of his buying didn’t speak English and there wasn’t a toddler eating dirt out of the carpet no one was allowed to step on without taking their shoes off that first time I visited their abode. But the powers that “cause the position of the planets, the music of the spheres, the flap of a tiger-moth’s diaphanous wings in Central Africa, and a whole bunch of other stuff that Makes Shit Happen” must have decided to play the Karma card on him then and there. Because a year after he sent me a-packing with my deposit intact and no lease, I came across him begging passers-by to help him push his broke-down car out of harm’s way. I was sitting in the bus, with the driver for company, three stops before the terminal. “I’m driving the bus, and there is only a young woman here”, said the Metro-guy to my would-have-been-Land-lord when the old faggot begged him to lend a hand, “So you gotta find somebody else to help you or push it yourself”.
After the bus was able to move out of the jam, and the old man was safely behind us, I cleared the throat. “I’m glad you didn’t ask me if I could help.” I said “Because I would have passed him by if he was dying in the street. That guy refused to rent me his apartment because I was black!”.
My story first out-raged, then pleased the driver who was, I might add, as white as a polar bear with a sun-burnt face liver-spotted here and there. After telling me I should have reported the Chinaman, or done things to him that only a chosen few need know about, he added now he was glad he didn’t go out to help him. “What goes around comes around, buddy!!” were his final words.
So when I came across the blog Stuff Eurasian Males Like, and the following post in particular, I couldn’t pass it up . Yes. I am a mean-spirited small person who hold one man’s ill-deeds against a whole race and enjoys laughing [creating posts on blogs she has no intention of maintaining, as well as sharing the joke with readers at the expense of] people she considers her “enemies” (I.e. Chinese women and East-Indian men – the latter for their distasteful accent)]! Not to mention how self-hatred has always been a strong aphrodisiac to me. I can’t resist a person with it, or their article.
Challenge: Leave A Message After The Beep
It’s Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction, the short story contest from weekends on All Things Considered. Here’s the premise: Write a piece of original fiction that can be read in about three minutes (no more than 600 words).Our judge for this round is author Mona Simpson, whose most recent book is My Hollywood. She most recently won a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among other prizes. Here’s her twist for Round 10:Write a story in the form of a voice-mail message.”It doesn’t have to be crazy, but it could be crazy. By nature, first person — basically, a soliloquy or a monologue,” she tells Guy Raz, contest curator and host of NPR’s TED Radio Hour.
“It could start out, ‘Hey, it’s me, I’m glad you didn’t pick up,’ or it could start out, ‘You don’t know me, but …” It could be any number of dramatic scenarios which will unwind in the three minutes,” she says.
My submission: (more…)
I may have mentioned how I am not a very musical person. Giving, or receiving. In my defense, these were the worst of times and the worst of times for my country. Our choice of entertainment lied in either “gidel teGadel” or “Eshet Qorto laake leAbiyotawiw meri”. Hibret Ti’ryit didn’t have much of a “ti’riyit” to it until “Hizb lehizb” materialized and we get to watch the rest of the world’s reaction to what was ours; over and over again. The rest remained the same. The news was bad. The movies were bad. Even the books, with rare short-story exceptions such as “Shilingen” and “YeEmet Taye Engurguro”, were Maxim Gorky ["Enat"] type.
The one thing we had; the one man that made our weekends bearable, was Hailu Tsegaye. Who, with Jemanesh Solomon, Kurabachew Deneke, Getahun Girmamo and a couple of other fabulous radio-actors brought to us dramas of the supreme category on “Qidamen Landafta” and “Ehudin Kegna Gar”. He wrote/co-wrote and acted in those dramas, and they were all good – indiscriminately.
So, yeah, I grew up preferring “Qededa” – wore, tewnet, tireka – to singing and dancing. I wasn’t a fan of music even after I started going to the Protestant Christian Church in “Shiro Meda”; a church that was accused by non-Protestants of drawing people from all walks of life through its magnificent use of gospel songs. I sang along. I “mashebsheb”ed along. I clapped the hand, worked the trouser muscle and did everything expected of a “Merry” and “[of a] cheerful mind” person – “des yalewu yizemir” yilalina metsihafu. Deep down, though, I was fidgeting with my internal watch, nudging them to get on with it and get to the “sibket” part. And if you, like me, were a student of the human behavior, there would be no such thing as a “bad” sibket! Even when you suspect “Wondim” or Pastor Ekele may have heard a neighbor the day he thought he “got” the “call”, you will get to learn something. It’s either good, or entertaining – nothing in between.
Then I came to America. (more…)
I am obsessed with sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches to be exact. I dream of them. I walk the length of the Salad bar for them. I surf Huffington post’s “food” section to see what kind of sandwiches the world outside is making nowadays. Sandwiches represent more than a food item type.. a cooking genre.. to me. More than the combination of eggs, bacon and cheese on a toasted wheat bread.
Sandwiches represent a life I no longer have. They represent Sunday mornings, when Chris would go to Farmer Boys® at the break of morn [in Sunny Escondido, where the world smiles and the green leaves smile back grateful for their opportunity to shine, at 10 in the morning] and buy us one each plus some fries and drive back before the food went cold; so we can have it infront of our computer – while watching pirated movies from those sites I always stumble upon [with their endless pop-ups and vulnerability to virus attacks]. He says he’ll be back soon when walking out the door, and he’s always back before I’ve finished making the bed or brewing my special brand of “international” tea [Chinese spices, Ethiopian ginger, American lemon and department store tea-bags]. After having the breakfast, him on the barstool his mom gave him when we moved out, and I on the 109 dollar leather swivel chair we bought from Wal-Mart, our faces illuminated by the artificial light from the screen; he’ll go visit his parents who live at the other end of town and I would either do the laundry while listening to “A Prairie Home Companion” or watch another movie.
Farmer Boys® makes a good breakfast sandwich. [As does "In-N-Out" a good burger. And Alberto's the best authentic Burritos north of the border]. But that’s not what makes it special. That’s not what makes no amount of sandwich gobbling outside California come close to the experience one has with Farmer Boys®’ Egg Sandwich W/Bacon. It’s not the mayonnaise. Or the black pepper. Or the special “animal fat” they use to grill their bacon, or the kind of toaster that browns their bread. The special ingredient that goes into Farmer Boys®’ sandwich, is/was the security and assurance that I had in the little “life” I built for myself. The knowledge [ill-placed though it turned out to be] that I had a future!, with a man!, in a place I can call my own!! Where I can be myself at. Be loved unconditionally underneath the roof of. And get missed were I to go out of it and failed to return at a certain time.
It is never about the sandwiches, stupid!
Now and again..
I find myself obsessing over sandwiches..
breakfast sandwiches to be exact…
Your accent: The luxurious way with which you pronounced every word.
Your knowledge: The fact that you knew a little bit about everything.
Your love for books!
Your willingness to tune into Wire Tap, to make me happy.
Your face. That of an angel.. floating above my head.
Your eyes. How they seem to absorb light, and reflect it; without having to give out any warmth themselves.
The declarative way you held my hand, through the countless parks you liked taking me to.
The way you couldn’t keep them off me.
Your fashion sense.
How you never tired to tell me what goes with what.
And never judged my ignorance when it comes to colors.
The stuff you taught me.
The stuff you cooked for me.
The movies you watched with me
The fact that i can count on your texting me all throughout the evening: whether I was walking through Belltown; shopping at Safeway; or sitting on the edge of my bed listening, half-heartedly, to NPR.
The fact that I knew you’d come, whatever day or time of night it maybe, if I told you u could.
The fact that I cound count on your always being interested.
The fact that you lived your life on your own terms.
Which used to be my anger, before it was replaced by fear.
Your dedication -
to your obsession.
Our first [official] date; a cold evening at Alki Beach. The wine, the hummus and [the] Russian mafia.
The evening we smoked a pipe: Sitted on a bench in an empty Japense park, with nature and darkness for company.
The day you told me you thought you were my boyfriend.
- And how having me in your life was good for you.
That night I made you feel better after a debilitating day of rage - something about an agressive co-worker who won’t be agressive for long.
You were other things too
And significant others you weren’t
But those things you were
No, No, they can’t take that away from me.
You can’t take that way from me.