Clover

5th post


It was a hot Summer day, in the middle of July. It had been a month since school had gotten out, perhaps even longer. The customary schedule for my routine in those carefree middle school days was to get up, and promptly make some sort of plans to hang out with my friends. That day was no different. I got up, showered blindly, and proceeded to text my two best friends. In short, we decided to all go watch a movie together. Hurriedly, I dashed out of my door and like a squirrel looking for scraps of food on the street I scurried my way into the city boulevards and searched for a bus to take me on an adventure.
     I got on one, Metro Rapid as it were, and payed the man. I found a seat and sat down trying not to draw attention to myself. I looked around the interior of the bus, earphones securely placed in my auditory canals, and examined meticulously, yet in a nonchalant manner, the people sitting in all directions of me. There were, to my surprise, only a few riding the bus that day; a homeless man, beard and all, and two Hispanic women, both 40 years of age, lips pursed, chins up, makeup on, and grocery bags in hand. They were so expected, so cliche, that my memory may have produced the extra lady out of bored necessity. We simultaneously rocked back and forth, as one with the movements of the locomotive, the homeless man looking out towards the streets. We passed by a million parks, a million corner liquor stores, a million people walking along on their afternoon commute. The Metro air conditioning felt so splendid on my cheeks, as I had just gotten in from scorching close-to-100 weather. That was California for you. Hot as a cast iron skillet, yet not hot enough for you to stay indoors. I love it. I tilted my head back and rested it on the chair, quietly looking at the moving images of life racing along in the window.
     About fifteen minutes later, I found myself to be the singular entity inside the lonely bus. Thankfully, my stop was the one I was currently at so I promptly got up and exited the vehicle, leaving the mindless drone of a bus driver all to himself. They probably like being by themselves. The pavement let out cries of agony as I jumped off the bus steps to the cement. I didn’t say thank you to the bus driver, and in retrospect I probably still wouldn’t have. He probably looked at me in discontent as he pushed the button to close the bus doors. I felt the last of the cool air waft through the pores in my clothing, and in a swift jumping motion I fixed my backpack neatly on my shoulder. The theatre was two minutes away from the stop, and I saw the bus heading off in the opposite direction. Having no business or interest at the beat up park I was dropped off at, I promptly started the short trek to the rendezvous.
     I don’t remember the initial point where my friends and I met exactly, although little snippets still stay with me. For some reason the theatre was extremely full that day, and that certain analogy of sardines in a can quite perfectly fit our situation. For this reason we had to stand very close to each other on the escalator, as everyone else had to. I felt cramped but it wasn’t really weird or anything. As we were riding along to the theatre, I vividly remember my friend’s thickly brown hair flowing back at my face, softly riding the winds produced by the slow speeds of the escalator. It flicked my face like a feather falling from the sky. There’s no perfect way to describe what someone else’s hair feels like on your nose, but it felt like I would imagine that aforementioned feather falling from the sky would. I smelled her shampoo radiating towards me, a sure sign she had only recently gotten out of the shower. What an intimate thing to know. She was wearing a blue shirt; well, rather a turquoise. I could clearly see the contours of her bra line cutting through it. I could only imagine how I looked, speculating upon these things, to an onlooker. Someone on the opposite escalator of ours probably thought to themselves critical things of me. Who knows. Who cares.
     I remember sitting in the middle of my two friends during the movie. I was scared of the previews for the horror films, so I promptly turned to my left and started squeaking to my friend about how stupid those kinds of movies were. We both laughed the entire length of the previews and a few men in front of us sneeringly told us to “please shut up.” We dismissed them as we dismissed every negative thing that happened to us in those days. The movie started and I nestled into my chair. To my right, my other friend was munching on popcorn. He offered it to me throughout the entire movie and like gluttonous, ravenous cows we satiated our hunger as if there were no tomorrow.
     The feeling you get when watching a movie in general is such a good one. You feel as though you have full ownership of the viewing experience, and the movie on the gigantic screen is playing exclusively for you. You don’t wonder how the guy two rows in front of you thinks of the movie. You don’t wonder what the interesting, somewhat smelly food the family adjacent to you is eating tastes like. You are your own persona. You feel the soft theatre chair on your arms and neck, and you feel the lights from the movie almost beating your face to a pulp. Your legs or hands are crossed, eyes are glued to the screen, and that is all that matters. Sharing this experience with people you know, though, amplifies this almost religious experience to a more euphoric state. I felt safe, warm, comforted, sitting in between my two closest comrades. We were doing the most passive of all activities and yet the enthusiasm and fervor we put in to the experience almost makes it hard to believe.
     One feeling that makes everything awkward is the feeling you get when the beautiful film that was displayed on screen for two hours is suddenly gone, only to be replaced with tiny text and names of people you will never meet in your life. You look around to make it less awkward, because you don’t want to be that last person who stays to watch the credits. At least that’s how my friends and I felt. Awkwardly, we laughed at each other and with a hasty hand gesture my friend signaled us to get up. We hurriedly tiptoed across the aisle of chairs and popcorn, and exited the theatre. What makes the end of a movie even more awkward is how different real life seems from what you just experienced. From dark rooms resplendent with exploding colors, you must migrate to the outer word, enveloped in a chaotic frenzy of people darting past you to get where they need to go.

     It’s an awkwardness that we don’t pay attention to, in order to extinguish it as soon as possible. Whether it be extinguished with the aforementioned cacophony of adults and children alike screaming and laughing to each other about how great the movie was, or with your own laughter and screams about how great the movie was, the awkwardness soon dies out, and it dies out quickly.

     Departing from the theatre we all decided to get some food for ourselves and we stopped by a Mexican restaurant in the same shopping center. It was very blue inside for some peculiar reason. The walls, the chairs, the tables; they were all one shade of blue of another, just slight enough to differentiate the furniture from the very floor. We made our way to the counter to order and I can’t help but think we looked so cool doing it. My friend hopped on a chair and spun his way around to the cash register. My other friend skipped her way over to the yellow counter, and I, in a (what I like to think of as) cool fashion, walked up to the counter and rested my elbows on it to order. My friend got cheese sticks and I ordered nachos. My other friend shared with both of us. Sitting down on the sickly-colored decor, we discussed the movie and chomped on our food like the 14-year-olds we were. A short while passed and, for some reason, I wanted to play on the Pacman game they had in the back of the store. We adjourned the meal and headed over to the machine. It had graffiti splattered across the back of it, and the screen itself was emblazoned with words we couldn’t decipher. My friend went to the bathroom. Only a duo now, my other friend and I continued to play on the almost defective machine.
     The memory of that day is a fuzzy one, as they all are, but I feel as though it shouldn’t be. I feel as though I should remember it like it was yesterday, because I spent it with two of my best friends of the time. But alas it’s not. I don’t remember what we did after we ate. Not a single vague clue. I just remember it was one of the best days of our lives. And now four years later, I find that I no longer talk to the girl I hung out with on that July afternoon. We stopped talking to each other for some stupid reason. I barely even remember it anyway. My other friend oftentimes still talks to me about those days. This particular story finds itself in our discussions beginning with “Hey man, remember when…”
     I wish I could go back to those times. I honestly wish I could. But what’s the good in wishing for something that could never come true? The realities of today remind me of that.
     As I lay here reminiscing of my naive years, I wonder where my future will take me. But then I remind myself that I’ll only find out in the future, so I stop thinking about it. What a cycle.
     It’s 12:47 in the morning as I’m writing this. My room is pitch black, and I’m laying listlessly across my futon. The crickets outside of my window are at their prime. My neighbor’s dog is barking incessantly, probably in response to the firecracker that just went off a few blocks away. A dozen or so exclamation-point-filled shouts just filled the air in response to the firecracker as well. What a firecracker. Some lone guy riding a skateboard just zipped by my house; the sounds of his transportation device hitting the cracks in the cement are slowly, slowly fading away. Doppler. I wonder where he’s off to at this hour. Probably heading home after a Monday spent with friends like I did those many years ago. Probably.
     The quiet city around me is sleeping, memories are floating aloft houses like balloons. The calm summer night envelops me and my memories, my wishful youth. It’s telling us to go to sleep. Like a baby, I heed its order.

First World

4th post   

     I emerged from the dark confines of my room to make myself some food. I walked along the living room floor to the kitchen, accompanied by only the soft creaks of the old wooden plateau and realized I was alone. It was just me, solo. I was enveloped by the warmly dazed quietness of the June evening. The house smelled of my mother; an eau de toillete had permeated the air. Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana, an icy smell. Sharp, but not exactly piquant; it carried more of a glacial atmosphere. In the distance I could hear the birds singing their last songs of the day, the ice cream man’s faint, desperate bell; children across the street were chanting and laughing; one five year old enunciated so sweetly to the rest – “OK guys are you ready to play?” It was nice. I heard my neighbor watering her lawn, and the monotonous overtones of droll Los Angeles traffic were dancing in the background. 
     I got to the kitchen, listlessly feeling as if I had accomplished what seemed like a yearly migration. I heard the crisp *clink-clock* of my worn out slippers lambasting the tiles of the kitchen floor; the sounds reverberated throughout the empty chateau. As my bagel was toasting I looked outside the kitchen window, hands lazily rested on the porcelain counter, and saw the vivid light of 6:00 PM turn in on my lawn chairs as if it were tired from a long, relentless day. I saw the silhouettes of shadows along the cement walls; of plants, bugs, birds, all fluttering along in the air. Ting. My bagel was ready. I drenched it with peanut butter and proceeded to grab a cup from the pantry. I filled it with ice water and nestled into a chair adjacent to the kitchen. No lights were on so my food looked less – than – scrumptious due to the washed out colors. The water was exemplary, albeit just water. I sat there for fifteen minutes, looking at my reflection in the polish of the wooden table, listening to the sounds of the evening, chewing like a quasi-bovine mammal, and waiting for someone to get home.
     My mother arrived and she met me at the dining room table, just as I was taking the last bites of my bagel. In her hands were her belongings; a purse, leftovers from the day’s lunch wrapped in aluminum foil. “Hola, coca cola,” she said to me. “Hi,” I said back. “Your cousin got sent to jail.” “Oh.”
     This wasn’t news I was particularly happy to receive, but I was complacent just the same. She sat down next to me with a plate of food, tortillas and rice, and started talking to me about it. We talked about familial matters; the jail incident, college, our lack of wifi. I speculated upon her face, the blue-orange light of that summer night contouring her cheekbones as they shifted back and forth while she chewed her food ever so softly. Her age didn’t show, but the years radiated from her face as if to compensate for her lack of wrinkles.
     We retired to her room to continue the conversation. I lay on one side of the bed, her on the other. It was now 6:43 and the light from outside was still fairly strong. The shadows from the window shutters were resting on my mother’s leg, a pattern of black, and then orange, black and then orange. I heard cars outside zipping about. Trees were swaying back and forth in a lethargically lackadaisical manner as the evening winds asked them for a dance. A dog barked. The warm hues crushed us into a nostalgic pulp, and there we lay, content. My leg was dangling over the side of the bed, a pillow as soft as a lamb’s wool was resting underneath my head, my eyes were squinted, all as I looked on to the realities of the outer world, as the stories of a million people walking along on that that summer night, before me, unfurled.

Birthday

Third post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 awesome! Yeah this is all in the same night…
It’s now 12:42 and the fan in my room is pleading for all the remaining $5-worth-bought-at-Walmart-life it still has left. It’s staying on.

I kind of really despise poetry (which is ironic since I am infatuated with ambiguity… hm maybe it’s more of a visual infatuation and not a literary one…) In any case yeah I wrote this on the night before my 18th birthday because I felt something had to be done in commemoration of it ya know? I’m glad though that to my avail, turning 18 doesn’t really change a whole lot. Other than some stressful formalities (getting a debit card/ id card/ taking money more seriously/ & incessantly being reminded that you will get charged as an adult for any pety crime you may commit in thenear/far/most-likely-near-future), it’s basically the same as being a teenager. I don’t want to grow up. Ugh, this futon is making me sweat.
“Birthday”

The child made its home atop my couch.
It sprawled its tiny legs across the cushions,
And lay its porcelain head upon the pillow.
Dazed, and bewildered it laythere.
It knew it had to leave by tomorrow.
But for now all it wanted to do was lay on the couch,
Looking up at the pale blues of space
It heard a laugh across the sreet,
A dog’s startled bark.
Hurriedly, it got up and started to run.
“I’ll be back.”
It ran for miles, miles, miles, miles.
A woman, bare skin, topless;
Midnight dancing, Los Angeles.
Filthy streets ornamented with stale cigars and black gum;
The boulevard’s faint hum
It took these things with it to a mountaintop
And threw them towards the sunset out of boredom.
It laughed.
It giggled joyously.
It was ecstatic with numb stupidity.
The child retired on the sidewalk next to a strip bar.
The stars kissed its porcelain head;
The warm evening air tickled its frailty.
I wondered where it had gone,
Only to receive a response of emptiness.
I wondered if the child would be back before I woke up.
Before it left, it assured me it would be back soon.
But never did it come back.
Cheated, I tossed.
Cheated, I turned.
Our paths would never again cross.
Here’s what, for 17 years, I learned.
Not knowing of tomorrow, I lay my head atop 17 years of numb stupidity and fell asleep.
In my dreams I heard the child tell me it would never return.
And indeed, it never did.

Achievement

Second post, dang we on a rolll!!!!! (And by we I mean no one else other than the singular entity that is my body, crouched over in a spider-esque/jack skellington manner overlooking his laptop in the dim, beige lighting of a meretricious lantern bought at Chinatown, listening to Mount Kimbie). This is the second part of the UC prompt, and asked us to describe achievements… I wrote about my achievement being the actual writing of the s-a because, well, I thought it would be creatively intuitive and non cliche… needless to say I didn’t get into UCLA. Big whoop,


 
   It’s funny that of all of the things I have accomplished in my life, nothing feels more genuinely monumental than writing this very essay.  Honestly, my life has come to a point in which everything I do feels as though it’s magnified to a power of ten; a seething boil that can be amplified to a bursting eruption by any simple event. On top of college planning, my family and personal troubles, my social life, and the humongous amount of time and energy I put into my rigorous high school classes, it feels as though the pressure being applied onto me is slightly overwhelming –  to say the least.
     I don’t mean to sound like some pretentious melodramatic, though. I don’t even want to sound like a whining melodramatic either. It’s just that my life has never demanded so much of me up until this point, and I can humbly say that I’m not entirely sure of how I should even react. I realize my “story” may very well sound as generic as any other teenager’s, but I can say with certainty that my disarray of a life is anything but generic. This intimidating part of life – growing up, is indeed different for everyone. For me however, solace is found through doing things like this; writing. It’s always been a prime outlet for me to completely let go of my externalities, and to lose myself in something that I truly love doing. So many emotions are being harbored within me at this point in my life, and I have no way of outwardly expressing them. That’s why I feel as though writing this essay – something so seemingly mundane – is somewhat of a relief, and an achievement, from the uncertainty of how to cope with things; the turmoil of my increasingly monotonous life of headaches, and from the harsh realities of simply being 17.    
      This very moment is an example of my love for writing. As I hear the birds outside of my window chattering their Sunday gossip, or as I take a drink of my water – simply living; every single facet of life just winds down to a more casual tone when I’m writing; to a thick, molasses – like consistency in which the unrelenting sound of time dispersing is suddenly ceased, and in which the moment of youth that I’m trying so desperately to hold on to is finally captured. As water rearranges itself when spilled out onto a dry, cracked cement floor, filling whichever gap it wishes to, I can spill my thoughts out onto a piece of paper and let them take whatever shape they please, knowing that whoever reads them, a person I will probably never meet in my life, can take them and cogitate upon them, and finally rearrange those same thoughts in the cortices of his/her mind to a point in which they are more than just thoughts; to a point in which those same mere thoughts have evolved into things of everlastingly profound meaning.

The World I Come From

My first post on here woot woot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feel dis is fitting huh?
This is a response to the UC application essay prompts; it asked us to “Describe the world you come from.”


      I held her hand as she died on that night in March. Sitting in the stifling hospital ICU room for a week after learning my great grandmother had a stroke, tears were no longer encrusted on the outside of my eyes. To learn that the person you were most close to will no longer be on this earth is something I had to take in through stages. In a way, I’m glad she didn’t pass away so suddenly, but rather in a week; exactly a week from the Saturday of the initial stroke to the Saturday when we, as a family, decided to take her off of a feeding tube and air pump due to the horrible condition she was in; the doctor had told us that due to the prolonged period in which her brain did not receive oxygen, her brainstem had suffered permanent and irreversible damage.
     So on that Saturday my entire family came to show their support; they knew my grandmother was so vastly important to me. We gathered around her hospital bed and acknowledged the inescapable. I sat on a chair beside her and held her hand. I didn’t care that she couldn’t feel me. I didn’t care about anything. But there my mom was, right next to me, stroking my back as if to say “It’ll be okay”. And my grandpa too, he was on the other side, talking to his unconscious mother. And all of my aunts and uncles and cousins and pastors and distant family friends whom I’d never met before; they were all there. All of us, showing how much we cared for this one person, and ultimately, how much we cared for each other.
     This is the world I come from; a family. I grow from nights on street with my sister, from casual banter with my dear mother, from innocent fun with my cousins, from car rides with my aunts; these experiences are the closest things I have, and they have indeed molded me into the independent individual that I am proud to be today.
     That March night in the ICU couldn’t be a better example of how amazing my family really is. I’m so unconditionally glad that I had my family supporting me in that rough time. And if my great grandmother had perhaps been silently awake at that moment, she would have seen all of our kind faces looking at her; all of the people in our family she once shared special moments with. That night the biggest influence on me, the greatest thing to ever happen to me, was going to die. I knew it, and I leaned over to her and said “don’t you worry, I’ll be fine, I promise.” To this day I remember those very words, and to this day they are a reminder that the one most important thing in your life – your family, is something so emotionally captivating ; something I wouldn’t trade for the world.