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Well the weather that has been ravaging the midlands has now made its way to the east coast. I left my window open for some fresh air last night and awoke to the pit pat of the rain on the cherry blossom tree outside my window. The sloshing sound of cars whizzing by the house resonated in my head as I rose to shut of my alarm clock. Rubbing the exhaustion from the weekend away from my eyes I could hear our newly adopted cat outside my door screaming for attention. I think she is in heat right now and thus has become quite the nuisance.

I slowly shuffled my way towards the bathroom and readied the shower, hoping that the flowing water would wash away the petulance that had hung over me this weekend. But it will be another kind of falling water that I pray will wash over me. Normally the weekend is when I catch up on my sleep and go out with friends, but this weekend rest came at a premium. As I said I was feeling rather petulant and instead of sleeping and enjoying the company of friends I fancied stewing on my negative attitude and staying up until the we hours of the morning.

It all started Friday afternoon, when a co-worker of mine decided to tell me repeatedly one of three choice sayings. a) Fuck off. b) Fuck myself. c) Your an immature asshole, go fuck yourself. Now I can not claim that there was no provocation for this at all, however in the workplace I find that my co-workers choice of words was rather unprofessional and bordering on harassment. After some coaxing and inquiry I came to surmise that the cause of all this hostile confrontation came form earlier in the day when I had offered said co-worker a cigarette. Now I know he is a die hard Libertarian (or blithering, ignorant, know it all cunt as I like to refer it) who despises smoking,  he is also always the first to dispense the interoffice banter. Thus I figured this was kind of cheeky and that there was no harm in a small innocent joke. Boy was I wrong. Obviously, he can dish it out but can’t take it.  But what really gets on my tits is that what I did was in no way malicious or hurtful or particularly bent towards him, unlike his normal intention. Maybe I’m wrong but I just don’t see it. He on the other hand is always making wise cracks about my nationality, my sexuality, or my youth. Constantly he remarks about my ability to know Chinese(which I know a bit but I am fucking Korean) or that my love for football makes me gay, or that because I am young I must be ignorant. Most of the time I let these things slide, airing on the side that he is a miserable twat and why get into it with him, it’s normally just not worth it. But this indiscretion was the last straw. To see the anger and the hate in his eyes. The contempt and disrespect in his voice. The violence in his actions. All of this really just got to me. I am normally a rather calm person, but this got to me. I could feel the red mist rising up from the depths of my soul, the weight off all the things said to me over time bubbling up to a head, ready to burst. I could have killed him at that moment, and in my thoughts I did. Over and over, in the sleepless hours this weekend, I imagined a way in which I could get across to a man who can not be reasoned with, a child who is inconsolable. The only thing I came up with was to beat the ever living piss out of him. In…………..and then out………a deep breath is taken and this cool rain that is sweeping over the east coast will so cool my soul and wash away the anger induced from my co-worker. Today is a new day and this wonderfully cool rain brings new a blossoming.

Terrible co-worker man was not the only one keeping me up this weekend, and that incident was not the only reason I love this bone chilling weather. It’s her again. I received a few more emails this weekend, updates on her condition. The prognosis it seems is not good. In fact it is bad to the point where hospice was mentioned. She would not want me to worry, to lose sleep over this, but it can not be helped. I am glad though that he is there, she needs him. I wish it was me that meant so much or that could provide that bit of respite form the pain that has stricken her. But I am glad he is there. Even if he wont return my emails, and despite the fact that I stopped writing because I know my words will not reach her, I am glad she has him. I don’t dare imagine what it would be like to be in her skin, for I know that even in my wildest dream I could not comprehend what would ease the pain of a soul having to endure what she is going through. But I reason that I would want him too. And for that I am happy he is there. I probably won’t get that phone call she had promised to try and make, but like I have wrote before all was said that needs to be said. And I spend many sleepless nights praying for her. This rain feels really good.

I am looking out my widow and I swear that I can actually see the grass grow as it drinks up this cool drink form the heavens. I imagine that if I lie down in it and drink up this cool rain, that I too could grow. Or maybe the grass would consume me and take me back to this earth. And then one day I would sprout and grow back reaching towards the heavens. Ascending to a place where I know a bit more clam and things aren’t so tempestuous. Or maybe this cool rain is just enough to refresh my world so far.

I see articles and photos like the one below and I wonder what the world would be like if we all followed our dreams as children. What if we all ended up being what we thought we would when we were only knee height. Would there be more cowboys and firefighters? Maybe there would be more explorers and scientists. Or maybe, just maybe instead of working 9-5 and wearing suites everyday, more of us would wear buckets on our head, disregard footwear, and eat mud pies all day long.

Well sometimes our childhood dreams will never be more than that. But part of them will always remain with us.

Happy Anny Hubble

A good friend of mine and fellow blogger SS over at “Land of the not so calm” recently wrote a post in memory of the Virginia Tech shootings, found here. The post itself and link to Jason Lim’s article made me think of what is has been like and what is it like to be an Asian American man.

Being a Korean American or in more general terms an Asian American is to toil alone, contributing silently to this land of “freedom”. From my most humble of opinions and my observations of what is is like to be part of arguably such a large component of this society, we are subjected to some of the sharpest of thorns when it comes to racism.

Racism towards Asian’s is everywhere, even in my beloved game of Baseball. Just look at what they are doing to in Chi-Town to “celebrate” the arrival of Japanese super star Fukodome. It’s bloody disgraceful the slings and arrows we endure in the country. Yet we toil on in relative silence. Because hey thats what we do.

We are the slant eyed, nerdy, not so well endowed, math geeks. We are agreeable, humble, and eager to please. We don’t speak up, we are assumed to speak all Asian languages, and can read all sort of Asian characters. We are not good enough to date white women, love video games, and well all read Manga. We are bad at sports and prefer studying over partying, and can’t for the life of us dance. We can’t hold out booze and we all know some sort of martial arts.

This is what it means to be a man of Asian decent living in America. However the worst part of all of this is that white America has no clue the difficulty we endure with having to live with these stereotypes. Its not acceptable to assume that all black people like chicken and waffles and deal crack. Yet its easy enough to say that Asian men will happily help you with your math homework, fix your computer, and interpret what the women at the nail salon are really saying about you. It is acceptable to assume that I of Korean decent am the same as my co-worker who is Laotian because hey we all look alike.

I look at the young man who decided he was too alone and too out casted to go on living in this brutal society and I weep. I shed tears because I know how hard it is to listen to wise cracks about how small it is or how we manage to see from those tiny slits. Well it’s not small and I see just fine thank you. Lest we forget the kama sutra was invented over there, so take that all you jokesters who think we can please women. I myself do no condone what he did. Taking life is never acceptable, but I can see where his head was at. To feel so isolated and so rejected by the rest of this great society. This is to be on an island that many have tread upon, yet so few have come back from and documented. So little is known in our society about the strife and tribulations we endure.

Well I am right well fed up with this. Having to sit idly silent and absorb the cuts and bruises. No longer will I just laugh off your jokes and comments or hang my head and walk away. This is my home and this is my culture you are pissing on and I wont have it anymore.

So next time we are ordering take out and you ask me whats good, my only reply will be……. Try the sesame chicken you fat ignorant cunt.

I know this post is very mercurial. However i find it increasingly difficult to map and understand these feeling regarding Asian American identity. this post has been in the wings for a few weeks now and I figured I should just throw whatever I had together and get it out there. So there may feel a lack of fluency, but like I said I am still working it out.


I am absolutely in love with Maia Hirasawa. She sings the words I only wish I could.

Day by day I tell myself how malcontent I am here and how much I hate this city. The crime, the recessive economy, the lack of diversity. I wake to the sun and the fresh air that is now engulfing this scenic suburb of Rochester, and I rue this town. With the warm weather comes painful memories and lingering thoughts of regret. Attempts to keep my stare away from the rear view mirror are fouled by  the familiar streets and acquainted hangouts.

The beat of my heart implores me to make a move, to stop stoking the embers that persist to smolder. Always threating to reignite the flames that have left my landscape charred and unusable. And how difficult it has become to scrape away the ash and breath in something fresh. The stale remnants of the past poke and jab and lash out in a bid to bind me.

The lilies push forth year after year despite the dirts attempt to withhold their bloom. They can sense the warmth of the suns radiant love for them and its desire for the diminutive flowers to unveil the beauty upon the world. And I know you conspire in the same way, wishing for me to grow and step forth into this world. Yet unlike the spring flowers I have not yet broken the surface and sprang forth like you hoped. Like a child on his first day of school I look back to mother knowing the security that resides behind me. Take that step forward and go into the unknown or fester in the path. The choice is quite clear cut but…………there is always a but holding me back. Fear this is. And all to well are we intertwined.

This trial between old and new is wearing me thin. Every day as I navigate these same streets I announce my coming out. With earnest I pledge myself to stop looking back and pronounce my prominence on this life. If not now then when.

    It was 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night and I had been sleeping since I got home from the pub. Arsenal had played to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates in the first leg of the most crucial of ties in their search for silverware this season. The result wasn’t the worst in the world but it could have been much better. My body was screaming out from the aches and pains that come as a direct result from soccer the night before, a night that included a grand total of 3 hours of sleep (damn 10:30 kick offs). On top of that I had a couple of pints in me, which combined with the stress of life, the aches of soccer, and the disappointment in the Arsenal match, made for the perfect formula to crawl into bed at the ripe old hour of 6:30 p.m. (Pathetic I know for someone of 22 years of age to be going to bed at such an early hour) Well I only intended to take a short nap to re-charge the batteries a bit, but when the body is as worn down as mine was I guess I needed a bit more than a nap.

Anyway like I said it was 9:30 and my phone was buzzing. “Private Number” illuminated the screen, and as I wiped away the sleep from my eyes and struggled to read what my phone was telling me through my contact glazed stare, I decided I could not be bothered, especially from someone who was trying to keep their identity from me a secret.  Fast forward to 12:30 a.m. Thursday night and I have just won the F.A. cup and the league (not to mention the Carling cup earlier in the season) with my beloved Arsenal on the new Fifa ’08. Yes I know I know, how glorious it must have felt to bring such glory to my beloved Gunners, and all in my first full season as a young unknown manager, it was tops as you might imagine. Right, well as I am assembling new transfers for the up coming season and deciding what my squad will need to keep up this glorious run, my phone is yet again set a blaze by……you guessed it “Private number”.

So normally I slag off these calls and fall back on the reasoning that if someone wants to get a hold of me but wants to withhold their identity, well then surely they are going to have to leave me a message and I will get back to them. But at half past midnight on a Thursday I figure I’ll give it a go, see who this mystery caller is.

“Hello?” there is a pause, “Who’s this?”

The voice on the other end gives a familiar “Hey”, and despite the low, raspy, strained tone I know exactly who it is. My heart shatters into a million pieces. This voice, the one that can set my spirit a blaze, and at the same time calm my heart to a pace that I only dare dream of, is now the most welcomed sound in my universe. Most of what she says is inaudible. The way in which she has to hold her head while she speaks, combined with the stained manner in which she has to breath in order to even force the simplest of words out of her lungs is of no bother to me at all. The fact that the conversation is mostly one sided suites me just fine. There are so many things I never thought I would be able to say, so many feeling I was not sure I would ever be able to convey. But everything is alright now. Even if her news is uncertain, and despite the fact that another conversation may not come. I am at peace knowing that I could tell her those things. I revel in the fact that through all of the pain and all of the suffering, her courage and her strength dialed my number.

The periods of silence are not shuned, but rather welcome. I am pleased just to know that she is on the other end, and that is all that matters. I say the most important things in my heart, that have been mulling around for weeks. With the calm and collected matter of fact way that has become her hallmark, she implores me to not be sad over her. She says this as the tears are steaming down my face, as the silence is only interrupted by sniffles and whimpers. I tell her that I won’t be sad, but I suspect that she knows me well enough to know that I can not be true to that.

She describes to me the two types of people she believes there are in situations like this. The ones who are always saying goodbye and the ones that are in denial. I ask her which type am I? I am the first. I don’t like this at all and I tell her that I have said all I wanted to in terms of what was in my heart and that from now on our conversations will be only like they used to be. Casual, fun, care free. She likes that idea and within seconds we are taken back to the time when our conversations were just that. She laughs at some of the things I say and I can’t help but cry a little bit. Her laugh is so cute and infectious and I can’t help but to be drawn back to the time when its sound was not so airy and strained. I can’t help the tears and the feelings that are rushing through me. Knowing that I would take every cancerous cell and every infected organ and all of the pain that accompanies her state and put it within me. If it would allow her to laugh the way she used to, so uninhibited and free, I would take it all. When I tell her this, she says I am silly and laughs at me. That laugh will always stay with me. She will always stay with me.

She doesn’t want me to go but it is very late, we have been talking for over an hour and I know it must be very taxing for her to keep up such a pace. We say our goodbyes and I ask if I will hear from her again, there are no promises, but she says she will try.  I trade my phone for the rosery on my nightstand and pray that that was not goodbye. From now on I will always answer the Private Number.

—I Love you