flight

December 31, 2007 at 10:02 pm (Uncategorized)

“And I know there has been a human being or a television show, no matter how great, that could measure up to a great book” (Alexie 12).  

I just finished reading Sherman Alexie’s most recent work, Flight. Yes, if you are wondering, I did read the edition that I had signed, yes signed! But, I tried not to bend the book even the smallest bit or write in it!! I used post-it’s instead (and wrote on those) and stuck them on the ends of pages that I wanted to remember or go back to. But I can’t tell you how difficult that was for me to read without something in my hand, only measly post-its. I hated to leave those pages blank, and empty…To me, books are meant to be written in, don’t you think? If the gift of knowledge is endowed to us, we should take advantage of it, and WRITE what we feel, even if it is the margins! immediately after we read something that strikes us as profound.  

This book was a little disturbing at first, I’ll admit, but I am used to it, and it was so wonderful. Dark, deep, heartfelt, sad, but yet so inspirational and hopeful. I haven’t enjoyed a book like this in awhile. It inspired to me to now reread The Lone Ranger… another collection of short stories by Alexie, that I read many months ago. 

 “I ran over to the plane, picked it up, and stared at the damage. One wing was broken; the rudder was bent the miniature pilot was missing his head. I was scared and sad. But I couldn’t show it. I’d always been punished for showing emotion. It’s best to stay as remote as those airplanes” (10). I realized as I was reading that my sister and I write a great deal like Alexie. I am not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing, but still, I would read something and mumble wow, that sounds like C, and then I would run over to her, and have her read it and say C doesn’t that sound like you!!, and she would nod apologetically and I would jump up and down in utter excitement. I just can’t get over how simplistic the language is, yet how powerful the prose is. It seems to carry us to a place that none of us want to enter, that place of truth and reality. It touches that wounded place that exists in all of us – where does hatred, betrayal, and love come from?

Amy Tan once said in The Joy Luck Club, “Isn’t hate merely the result of wounded love?”

I have always remembered that quote, and I think it connects directly to Flight. What do you think?  The nameless narrator travels through a world that has done nothing but hurt him detrimentally. The world is like a living hell, with only faceless creatures who can’t feel, because if they do, they too won’t live.

From the onset of childhood, he has been physically, sexually, emotionally, and mentally abused by all those who surround him. He is a restless, lonely, abandoned orphan who wakes up in strange room, with people and homes that smell bad, with people who break their three-hundred dollar model airplanes in a spiteful rage, and who swear harshly at the breakfast table. He doesn’t own many books, but the ones that he does own, he reads over a hundred times. He has been in a jail too many times to count, and meets a young radical-minded boy named Justice who gives him to atrocious thoughts, those of killing. Killing is supposed to be a means of power, but the narrator learns by the denouement that is only self-destructive to himself and to the human race.    

But as he finds himself entering the bank with a heavy revolver in his jacket, he finds himself transported into the bodies of many different people – a FBI agent, a pilot named Gus, an renown American solider, and lastly his homeless father …In each case he forced to confront death and experience heartbreak.  “The wounded always recognize the wounded. We can smell each other” (18). He sees the world through the eyes of all these different people and sees that everyone – not just him – deals with the same conflicts of life and death, and freedom and oppression.  

A novel is profound for many reasons. But for me this reason is rather simple, I loved a book because I connected to it in an inexplicable yet wonderful way – I am neither a orphan nor am I half Indian, but I feel with him. I can empathize with the nameless narrator who is only revealed at the end as M-I-C-H-A-E-L.

Words conjure so much emotion in our bosoms, and as I was reading I found myself kind of squealing and saying “AWWWW,” and my family even began to throw things at me from across the room. SHUT UP ANGELA! Leave me alone! I’d say. I just read the most heartbreaking part!!

There is so much self-loathing, loneliness, abandonment in this novel, yet it ends with the light of redemption and happiness. It made me happy and left me reassured. For the last sentence couldn’t have been written any better:  

“Michael…My real name is Michael. Please, call me Michael.”  He has a name! He has identity and hope once again. He is afraid, he is so afraid but this warm, caring family who takes him in, is an emblem of human connection, something that has been denied to him for so long, yet he now what it finally feels like to be connected and partially whole. This feeling of comfort, is one that is beyond corporeal existence, for it is something that makes Michael fully and emotionally, human. Makes him whole. *** 

 I was cleaning my room, dusting, vacuuming, stowing my books and clothes away and my little sister offered to count all the novels in my room. I thought it was a marvelous idea! And she came to the consensus that I had precisely 319 books in my room! And that’s not including the 50 that I have in my apartment at school…So I have almost 400 books!  

What kind of life can you have in a house without books?” (Alexie 13)

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NY city and the strand

December 31, 2007 at 1:06 am (Uncategorized)

I went to the city yesterday with one of my close friends from high school. She spent the semester traveling abroad in Europe and she came back in high spirits. Her determination is infectious and she always makes me happy.

We made it into the city at around 11ish and got a quick breakfast. And then we went shopping at a department store with about 8 or more floors. I bought a really cute and colorful sweater (not wool!) and she made me buy this black dress, because she thought it was so classy and practical and she continually claimed that the price was well worth it. Yes, of course, I have 100 spare dollars hanging around to spend on something that I will most likely wear once, or if I’m lucky twice a year. But wait she said, if you wear the dress for 5 years, that’s only 25 dollars a year and that is a miniscule price to pay for a dress like that. I told her again and again that I didn’t have the money. I didn’t have the money!

But still- she insisted I buy it and of course my mother, my poor broke mother, could chip in some, oh yes she would understand completely! Alright, I decided, I’ll charge it on my mother’s credit card, and this finally got her to shut up. I called my mother at the register and asked her for the credit card number, I told my mother to ask no questions! Just give me the measly, stupid number! As the lady rung up my things, my heart twinged with unease that comes with spending money you don’t have. I didn’t have any need for that dress! I didn’t go out, much less go to occasional cocktail parties! If she wanted the damn thing so bad, why didn’t she just buy it…but I walked out of the store with that dress, which she insisted it be placed in a gift box so as to not be damaged.  

Then we walked around The Farmer’s Market where they have fresh bread, fruit, desserts, cider, specialty cheese, wine…etc…I felt at home in this place, as though it was October, just around Halloween again. The air was cool as a forest and it smelt of pumpkin pie and cider. There was a certain warmness to all that surrounded me and I loved that. I didn’t buy anything for once! but still it was nice to see, smell, and take in all that surrounded me. There was a different array of people, wrapped in gloves and mittens, most with sad, nostalgic eyes that I felt for. Some people came with their dogs who were poorly dressed in little suits or work-out outfits. This old gentleman with a tweed jacket was selling a carrot peeler on the side of street, he was making star-shaped carrot pieces! We gathered around to watch, this man had a sack of potatoes and carrots by his side and a cutting board set up in front of him. He looked so out of place. Why on earth would anyone be inspired to buy a carrot/potato peeler from this strange guy with hair coming out of his ears? We walked away with smiles on our faces, surprised that he had a large of crowd as he did.  

From a small Italian man on the side of the road, I bartered for these wonderful postcards from the early 1900s. One portrays Martha’s Washington’s stately living room, another was a Valentines Day postcard, another was one of a mother cradling a child, and the last one was a glowing portrait of mother Mary and Jesus.  I was very proud of these purchases. I was exited to have a few more to add to my small collection. But what intrigued me most was the stamps and the postage date – that was then and this was now, and who could make any distinction between the two? How differently was our world today? How much more free were we? Also, some of the postcards were addressed and written to loved ones, and most the time their handwriting seemed harsh and pointed – leaving no room for the prose to breathe. It reminded me of how Edith Wharton would write. 

Let’s see, what else did we do? How can I forget to tell you this!! I took my friend to The STRAND!!! I have been twice in the past month and each time I have returned with more than 5 books. What in the world are going to do with all of these books, my mother tells me again and then sadly again, open up a book shop? I laugh. Oh MA!!!!

Someday maybe I will, I reassure her and she can’t help but smile. I think Ma finally understands. She doesn’t ask as many questions these days, she stares at the bags and her eyes light up as though someone has just brought in a live turkey and has set it loose.  This time I explored the outside, there were all of these 1 dollar charts and I found some really great finds! 

Here’s what I bought: A Collection of Critical Essays of Wharton, A Collection of Virginia Wolf’s diary entries up until her death, A Norton Edition of How to Read Poetry, and another collection of poems – remind you, all for 1 dollar!!  

Then we milled about inside for awhile and my legs ached and screamed like never before. I felt so weak, so weak that I didn’t even feel like looking at books even! But our last stop was the rare book room in which I found (Dorothy and Hobgoblin I know that you will appreciate this!) a signed – yes signed!! – edition of FLIGHT by Sherman Alexie! I was so excited. I scooped the volume from the shelf and sat in the corner and began to read it and admire the messy yet sophisticated signature. The book was 25 dollars but I figured it was well worth it. Sherman Alexie touched this copy, he signed it! Can you believe it! For the rest of the night I was ecstatic. I was jumping and skipping and laughing.

A signed edition!

Lastly, as I was walking around, I realized that I wanted nothing more in my life than to teach. If I could begin teaching tomorrow, I would take the very first offer. I have this compulsion within me that can’t really stay there for too much longer, without bursting. There is something inside of me, I am not sure what it is or what to call it besides it being an unspeakable passion of mine that will make me free.  

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what am i reading?

December 31, 2007 at 12:56 am (Uncategorized)

“He worked early and late at the University Library, often got his supper in town and went back to read until closing hour. For the first time he was studying a subject which seemed to him vital, which had to do with events and ideas, instead of with lexicons and grammars….Claude usually came out from these lectures with the feelings that the world was full of stimulating things, and that one was fortunate to be alive and to be able to find out about them. His reading that autumn actually made the future look brighter to him; seemed to promise him something. One of his chief difficulties had always been that he could not make himself believe in the importance of making money or spending it. If that were all, then life was not worth the trouble.” 

Isn’t this quote so lovely!

I am reading, though slowly, Willa Cather’s One of Ours, which I have had on my bookshelf for quite a while now. As you know, Cather, alongside Wharton is one of my favorite authors. I just love the simplistic and yet warming style of her prose, which speaks to the reader on many levels and at the same time she evokes social change in many ways. However, Cather’s works are much lighter, and less restrained than Wharton which is why I decided on this novel for right now. 

I am also reading Flight, by Sherman Alexie which I am learning to love, though it is kind of disturbing and depressing.  

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a christmas to remember

December 27, 2007 at 11:02 pm (Uncategorized)

          This Christmas has been very wonderful, one of the best that I can remember in a long time. We didn’t do anything different than we have done from the past twenty-one years of my life, but still, I think I have changed and this is perhaps why this Christmas seemed different, more eventful, and more meaningful to me.  

On Christmas Eve my brother and sisters and I dropped off gifts to my family. We went to Mema’s and stayed for a sour lunch of fish and pizza and Mema’s Italian specialities including an Italian dish called bacalla, which I have never tried or went near, our family doesn’t eat meat on Christmas Eve and so Mema stews up this fish soup and fried dough rolled with the fish every year.  

As we sat around the table, we listened and engaged in a conversation about how my cousin was doing in college. She was talking about she was penalized severely for having a comma splice in her first paper. I laughed. I remembered that too. I didn’t even know what that was until not too long ago….Oh, no!! A horrible, heartless comma splice!! How horrible and unfair!!  We joked around about this and that and it was nice.  

Then we stopped at P’s house, which is always warm and inviting. P is my godmother and also my favorite zizi. She was an English major in the same college I am in now, and I love to admire her bookshelves. The other day I discovered that she had this wonderful, older and beautiful edition of Ethan Frome, and I really wanted to snatch it and reclaim it as my own. But I put this silly thought to rest as I place it back where it belonged, alongside Willa Cather’s The Death Comes Before an Archbishop, and Austen’s Jane Eyre.  As we all flocked around her granite island, we watched P stuff empty mushroom shells with this strange clam, butter, and cracker concoction. I hate fish of any kind and it looked and smelled horribly. I wanted to hold my nose closed, but I refrained from this urge as I listened to speak of memories of the past that always leave me a bit weepy eyed. I laughed but most of the time, but inside I wanted to cry. She was sad too.

She kept saying that when she was married and had little Anthony she was CRAZY and she and my mom did things that they now deemed insane, like packing five young children, two diaper bags, two strollers, two coolers, in the car and taking a ride to the Macy’s One Day Sale. By the time we got there, you all begged us for lunch

And then there was her favorite of tale of her small business Homemade Delights. She and my mother and Zizi wanted to begin their own baking-catering service. When they figured the numbers they amounted to nothing more than 30 cents an hour. I wanted to know what these woman were like then. I wanted to know who they were and what they wanted.  We listened to P speak of when things were different and when she was young and had so much more energy. I am 43 years old…was her sole excuse for things she did do and things she didn’t do… 

On Christmas, I got about five sweaters from Mema, Zizi D, A, and B. And I absolutely hate wool sweaters and turtlenecks! I can’t stand the way the look in them and the itchiness and the scratchiness.  I was really happy with all of my stocking gifts, which my mother fills every Christmas. I got The Age of Innocence DVD (my favorite gift), What is What, Life on the Mississippi, Selected Poems of Langston Hughes, A Word of the Day Calendar…a globe, a really really cute mug that reads “The Master of the Messy Desk…Those who are organized are just too lazy too look for things” and a few minor other things. I really thought this mug suited me and I thanked my mother profusely.  

I also received a poem from someone who has really helped me in the past week, yes it feels much longer that I have known him, but it really hasn’t. Sometimes two people are just meant to be together, as though fate has inextricably tied them as one and that’s how I feel. Your whole life has been lived to reach this certain, particular moment in which you would never ever be the same. God and all his angels gave me the greatest gift. Thank you oh Lord.

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inklings of change

December 23, 2007 at 5:42 am (Uncategorized)

It strange how suddenly your life can change within the span of a just few hours, minutes or days.  

Isn’t it? I feel so much better now. I can’t tell you how much better, as though God has finally done something to change my life. Oh, it’s taken so long, and for such a long time I thought that nothing – nothing would change and that things would always be as horrible as were. Days were long, always too long.  

But now I know someone who makes me so happy. When I talk to him, it’s like I am talking to angel, for there is no way that he can be from this realm. No, he must be from that place in the distance in which I was never allowed into. Madame Olenska’s place finally made sense to me. I knew what Edith Wharton was talking about. I knew what that felt like. 

I talked on the phone all night. Okay, not all night of course, but for a few hours. It was a sad thing to hang up. I was the one who said I had to go, it was always me who had to go someplace or be somewhere even though I had no where to go, and the strange part was that the conversation never came to an end. He always had something brilliant to say and then I would say “Awww” or “cool” or “how wonderful!” There was never an awkward moment. We were just two people, two human beings, who were talking freely to one another. 

 Here was a man who knew things about life. Things that I knew but that I hid. “Can one person change another?”

“I think so,” I said. There was a long silence on the other end. He told me that I would be a great teacher and that I had the personality to change people.  ***

Also, one of his clients is a in the book publishing industry and he gave me hope that one day, not now of course, but maybe my work would be published. And I would stand along the bookshelves with those people to whom I didn’t know, but deeply loved and understood.

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a nice visit to old friends

December 21, 2007 at 2:06 am (Uncategorized)

“What do we live for, if not to make the world a less difficult place for each other.”  

–George Eliot  

I just finished reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake and I loved it all over again. The first time I read it, I was in the middle of my senior year in high school, I think. The strange part was I remember loving the book, but I couldn’t recall anything about it other than Gogol, the main character had his name legally changed and that his mother, Ashima, worked at the public library. But upon this reading, I picked up much more. I think my sister writes a lot like Lahiri – I don’t really know why, it just reminded me of her prose.

But I don’t feel like writing about the book, so I won’t. I don’t feel like doing anything that requires too much thinking and connecting and inner-connecting, which is probably not a good sign, but forgive my idleness please.  

The other night I went back to see my library friends. I went just around closing time so that I could see Willie, one of my best friends who always makes me feel good, welcome, and special. Like I am the center of the world.  When I walked in and stopped at the circulation desk, I was greeted my other favorite librarian, Sue. Sue always looks like she just woke up.  Her hazel eyes are far too big for her spectacles. She dons no jewelry or make-up and her dress is always very simple, yet in a sad way.

“ANGELA!” She cried.

And within seconds we were talking about a hundred different things. We launched into a conversation about Ireland, and oh, how where my classes? How did I like living on campus? What was I doing with my life? What did I want to do tomorrow? Was I working over break? How was my mom? – And on and on the questions flowed like a river that I felt slightly disconnected to. I wanted to hang on. I wanted to catch one of those life jackets. I didn’t want to touch the bottom. But somehow I could never hang on for long.

“It’s so nice to see you.” She said again and again.

I wanted to go back to what I had. But all that had disappeared and there was nothing that I could do to change that. I would never be a librarian at this place again. I was replaced. Simple as that.

No one could possibly understand what this place meant to me. How it changed me. No one. But I figure its time to give someone else a chance to know that feeling. What do you think? 

Soon after Willie walked in.

“Willie!”

This is the Willie who has soft, black eyes, tiny threads of white hair, and speckled hands. This is the Willie who has a stoop and talks with a slight Southern accent, as though he works on a plantation. The Willie who makes everyone smile. The Willie who comes to close up every night, except on Sundays. The Willie who always looks happy even if he is sad.  

“Oh, Angela, Your Back!” I smiled and raced into his arms. “Are you comin’ back to work?” The smile suddenly disappeared from my face. That stinging feeling crept from my bones and poisoned my blood. I nodded sadly.

“Well we have to kick some of these folks out — to make room for YOU!” I laughed and then quickly agreed. I loved how he could make me forget my sadness, just like that, with a smile and his uncontrollable laughter. 

I explained to him how I couldn’t find a job anywhere and that I needed money and oh, why won’t anyone hire a poor little English major like me. What was wrong with me?

“You’re such a wonderful person.” He said in spite of my pleas that I was filling up empty space with. I let that phrase hang and lighten the air that hung between us. I smiled and didn’t say anything for awhile. I don’t really remember what else he said, but he said I was wonderful, I was that good. I really needed to hear that.

Thank you, Willie. Thank you. Thank you for making me realize that being me is OK.

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day III

December 19, 2007 at 2:36 am (Uncategorized)

My mother picked up my brother, R, at his college today. It was my first visit there, and I loved the grand expanse of land which was caked in snow. R showed us around and I admired the wonderful campus.

My mother and I found our way to his dorm, which smelt of deodorant and bad cologne, I still can’t get the horrible scent of my jacket! His roommate, J, and him were playing a guitar video game when we walked in. Both stood up to greet us with sleepy eyes.  

I thought his roommate, J, was adorable. He was so sweet. His golden eyes were so warm and nostalgic. His voice was very deep, and rustic with a light Southern accent which sang quiet beautifully. I wanted to hug him, but I keep my distance and averted my eyes as soon as his eyes met mine.

My brother looked the same, only thinner. He was wearing jeans and a white undershirt, and his room was a mess and a little startling to me. He had all these posters of rappers and smoke and Jimmy Hendrix, all these people who I didn’t know, but feared. The only one I approved of was the one of Malcolm X. Who was my brother? Did I really know him at all?

I didn’t like all these strange, doomed people surrounding his bedside. I wanted him to hang up something pretty and sweet. I wanted sunlight for him. If not for me than for him. But this was his space, not mine, and so I remained quiet though I ached to speak.  

I really missed him. I missed the comfort he gives me and the reassurance that everything is going to be OK even if it isn’t and it will never be. I missed his presence. The way he can walk into a room and make it shine. Make it glow with the glow that radiates from newly fallen snow. If he ever knew I said this, he would probably hit me over the head with something hard. For it is my brother who thinks I can really be an inspiring teacher. YOUR NICE– ANGELA, YOU CAN DO IT, is what he says whenever I bring up the subject. YOUR NICE …I smile and tell him that is one thing I can be NICE. That is one thing that I have always took pride in. I have always been good to other people. I trust them, and maybe too much, and this is why, when people hurt me, it hurts like hell. 

Anyway, we walked so more around the campus and we ate thick pizza and grill cheese caked in butter in his cafeteria and then we went to this place and that place.

I am so proud of him. *** 

On the way home we spoke of nothing important, but everything. We hit bouts of traffic and it took us too long to get home, but the best part was that I didn’t care. I didn’t have anywhere to go – no homework, no studying, no work, no paperwork!! — I had nothing to do! NOTHING at all!            

Is this what freedom feels like?  

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vacation day II

December 18, 2007 at 3:40 am (Uncategorized)

Today I took the day very slowly. I never looked at the clock. I took time to do nothing really. I cleaned. I took time being creative and began to frame my postcard collection. I went to the grocery store with my mom. I accompanied my sister to the gym and I got to see how out of shape I am. While she was on her 50th sit-up I

was dead upon the mat. I couldn’t move…She laughed and ran and did more sit-ups while I sat and felt too fat to move. What else? I read a little in the morning and then some more in the afternoon. I ate bread, baked zitti, and more bread – oh how good my mother’s food tastes! So warm, rich, salty…

Then, I read more, and then my sisters and I hung ornaments on our Christmas tree, which we didn’t cut down (I was really upset about this), but bought at a nearby store, it is quicker and cheaper. There is a tale behind each ornament and each year we tell the same stories. Oh, Christie remember when…Oh, yea, and when you…Yea, you were so weird…oh…yes! How could I forget that time we were…Laughter, shouts, music, and more laughter. Laughter.

The first day I got home, that snowy blistery December morning I remember, my little sister couldn’t stop laughing at everything I said. I would say OK and she would begin cackling in that silly, overly-annoying laugh of hers.

What’s so funny? I would ask feigning seriousness.

And then she would smile at me as though I knew, and was kidding around. Oh, Angela! And I still remember the fire that glowed from those eyes that are shaped just like mine – the same dark lashes and eyes that have flecks that look black in the light. The same russet hue in her brown hair.

Thank you, I could read in her eyes. Thank you…

If I live for one reason alone, that would be to make my sisters laugh. I act stupid at home. I am no longer known as the English scholar who sits in the library and reads all day. At home I am A-N-G-E-L-A. My family knows no other person. I have to hide, I always do, but I am so much more free here. I miss this feeling so much. It is the best feeling in the entire world.

My little sister made sure that I would live at home next year, since my brother and sister will both be at college. I don’t want to be alone…she pleaded. I’ll be here, K don’t worry. I said. I could not leave here like that. I couldn’t imagine growing up and having no one around. There was always someone home when I was younger, and to this day, I think this is why I hate being alone.

My sisters and I form an impenetrable bond of human love and connection, and it is for them, that I continue on my journey onward. They give my life meaning and shape and sparkles of hope.

For life without them, would be no life at all.  

Tomorrow my mother and I are going to pick up my brother at his college. I can’t wait to see him. He really wants me to see his school. 3 hours of highway. Something I really need.

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vacation day 1

December 17, 2007 at 3:37 am (Uncategorized)

“When you read and find something that you like, try to figure out why you like it, what they did, and that’s how you develop your draft. Not imitation, not emulation, but just a wide range of reading. And then have that combination of respect for the language and contempt, so you can break it.” 

In my research for a paper I wrote about The Scarlet Letter and Beloved, I came across this quote and it really struck me. Can you guess who said it? Take a guess. Hawthorne or Morrison….Think now! Ummmm…I’ll give you some more time to ponder about it…5,4,3,2,1…I heard you say something…what was that? Yes — If you said MORRISON, you’re correct. A +  

If I ever had the opportunity to teach Morrison I will be so honored. I absolutely love The Song of Solomon and Beloved. But I think I love The Song of Solomon more, and I think I will read it again over break.  

In the 11th grade my class actually had a phone conversation with her, yes Toni Morrison!! – one of my

English teachers had connections and my class had the chance to pose questions over speaker-phone, it was kind of like a phone-interview. I guess you can call this my claim to fame. What do you think? I mean I heard her voice! But at that time, I had no idea who Toni Morrison was; I had no idea that she was one of the greatest writers of the 21C. How could this be? 

Anyway, I never end up writing about what I want to write about. I initially wanted to write about how I am

finally done with this semester and look where I ended up – about a class interview with Toni Morrison! My life is defined by digression… 

I turned in my final paper yesterday, and it felt like I had reached a new place. Finally, done, finis. Finally. This semester has been really horrible, honestly. I am so glad that it is over and now I can move on. It was really hard for me to focus and I found myself wanting to run away so many times. Except I was homeless. Too many times, I had no where to go. I was too lost to be found, and too lost to be free. Every time I was always upon the cusp of freedom, it would be taken away from me. Just like that. Taken away. Gone. Only left with shadows and broken pieces.  

Friends leave and call you names and never return. Irresponsible? Me? These same friends, who you trusted with your entire heart, talk behind your back and belittle you. Turn their backs on you and leave you out in the cold night, and leave you wondering why you ever where friends with them in the first place. And then there are the people who you thought loved you, but don’t. People who you think will call you back, but don’t….and then there’s the people who call you again and again and leave you stupid, half-high or half-drunken voicemails just calling to say hello even though you are done with them and their wasteland world. And creepy, overly-touchy security guards with that easy smile…and horrible, neurotic, obsessive compulsive roommates who need CLEAN, and will not tolerate even the slightest mess…and oh, take out the trash, and oh, my dishes have the slightest bit of brownie mix on it, can you clean it off?  Can not all this drive one to insanity and madness?  

But I will quote Whitman here, because in the midst of all this conflict “life and identity still exist” and the “play goes on” – and I am still here and writing and reading. So I guess you can call me OK. And I consider this my venting time. So please excuse me for this. But – I feel better! That was my semester in a nutshell.  

I am so tired. I could sleep for days. I am exhausted on so many levels, but mostly mentally. My brain needs so time to cool off, and I think I can handle this. I just began re-reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake (she also wrote Interpreter of Maladies– a collection of short stories), a novel about Indian immigrants and their struggle to live in America — that I completely LOVE!! I will post on it tomorrow, because it is one of my favorite books….there is an entire story waiting to be told…

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another day

December 16, 2007 at 4:28 am (Uncategorized)

My little sister thought she saw a white hair amid the tangles of my messy curly hair– yes a white hair!!  As she plucked it from my head and closely examined the strand under the dim glow of the dining room light, I told her that it must have been a burnt end. Yes – I must have burnt it with my hair straighter. But, she didn’t believe me, she’s the only one that can see directly through me. Mama, she raced to tell someone.

Angela has a white hair!!! AHHH!!!!

Oh, I’m getting old…I thought, but didn’t say. I felt like the Holden in The Catcher in the Rye, who had so many strands of white hair in his head, yet he was so young… Was that me too? How could this be me? 

I smiled uneasily. No, Mama, it wasn’t, I tried to declare…I didn’t want her to know. I didn’t want my mother to know anything about anything and I still don’t. We are so close and yet so faraway. I know nothing about her and she knows nothing about me. We fill in the gaps with what we perceive to be the case, but I wait for the day when she finally tells me things because she never tells me anything.   ***

Well, I got my grades for my classes this semester and strangely and surprisingly, I received all A’s so far. Again. It’s funny how things work out this way. I have slacked off so much this semester, unlike like other, and I still got good marks. But I was hoping to get a B. I just wanted a solid B. I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t need all A’s to be happy. What does an A mean anyway? How does it prove what you’ve learned? If there were no grades, I wonder how differently school and learning would be perceived. It is only then that we would learn for its own sake? 

My Favorite Christmas Song – if you haven’t heard it, you must listen to it, its by Newsong called The Christmas Shoes: 

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line
Tryin’ to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood
Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously
Pacing ’round like little boys do
And in his hands he held a pair of shoes

His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe
And when it came his time to pay
I couldn’t believe what I heard him say
Chorus:
Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight
He counted pennies for what seemed like years
Then the cashier said, “Son, there’s not enough here”
He searched his pockets frantically
Then he turned and he looked at me
He said Mama made Christmas good at our house
Though most years she just did without
Tell me Sir, what am I going to do,
Somehow I’ve got to buy her these Christmas shoes

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out
I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said
Mama’s gonna look so great

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

Bridge:
I knew I’d caught a glimpse of heaven’s love
As he thanked me and ran out
I knew that God had sent that little boy
To remind me just what Christmas is all about

Repeat Chorus

Isn’t it just wonderful?

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