Friend,

that makes two of us. We share passionate hatred-turned-lost-sense-of-hope for the world’s evildoers and oppressors who sporadically inject into our brain images of broken bloody limbs. and of the opposite; of glamour and physique clamped on those who never deserved their rise to power which we have unknowingly contributed to as silent stones in the masses in the darkness.

when you were 6 and I was 3 we were given a toy which is precisely a box with holes of different shapes on its surfaces. the star-shaped block goes in the star-shaped hole and as a boy you longed for the heart-shaped block to place in the heart-shaped hole. but you never got to. When they were children too, our parents have lost that pink block many years ago playing outside. evil among those who are evil can never spawn more fear and panic than evil among those who are supposedly good. you say the feigned smiles you saw among those people inspired as much never-to-return as it did never-to-become; and i say the foul odour you did smell from their breaths is as familiar as the words “family” and “childhood” to me and to you. You say to me, is that why I am one of them now? do you recognize that, my brother? I wish I could still call you that, instead of “bro”.

remember….the block and the hole did not match and it drove us into a synchronized tantrum, a wilderness of thrashing that only time can calm.

i confess in my years of solid-built depression and sickness I did not do things to you because I did not know you back then, and neither did I know whether we would meet again next year for your birthday. He Himself plants our Gardens. admittedly, you were given mine so I got yours for free. among all the trees, two stood side by side as is the tradition before the animals were cast into stone. your trees were Esteem and Emotional-Distance; mine, Rejection and real love. then that year your mother passed away, mine lived on through all of my days of oppression on this earth. so that is how it came to be; i kept close by my side your portion of love. you lost the esteem that was to belong to me. you took a bite and looked at mine with a smirk. I looked hesitant and never knew how ugly I looked with food dripping from the side of my mouth. our fruits never turned out the same, did they? i say this with a half-buried smile and tear on my face which you tell me is too two-sided.

could I ask you again, to rise above the evil-better? in the corners of the gardens we each left our real selves there, and grew up to become men that did not know what men were. could I ask you again, to fly with me for just one moment, so you can see the view from the skies above which can change your mind…. there are people down there needing your help, you say; even if it is hell you are determined to spend your eternity there like all the other noblemen. can this traitor here convince you that he has not lusted for heaven; but has chosen to step away from the Past, so its big-gun arms and muscular jaws, unbefitting of a baby, cannot get a hold of him when he is standing beside it to change it.

difficult decisions are more difficult for us because we never got to decide on anything when we were growing up. this is my last resort: Man, I am calling you by your real name. in front of my orphanage with only a handful of children because most of them died in the sandstorm last Tuesday, I meet you face to face. pointing to my head, a gun, an instrument in my hand to play you an ancient hymn revised as second-rate pop music never breaking through: knowing that a lot of our efforts will fail in this world, do you dare run on as an optimistic fool. knowing that there will always be times when we are actually the hypocrites, do you dare try to be good and risk hating yourself more. knowing that the people we help might become oppressors over our heads in the future, do you dare be the damn idiot who helped them when they were vulnerable. knowing that we will be the ones who screw up the process, do you dare try despite the risk of one more label as a failure. knowing that what we’re giving is not very good at all, do you dare give ourselves. I cannot stop sounding like I’m a whiner to you; because I’d much rather be less than you.

Man, do you dare be a child?

"The Young Sustainability Enthusiast Contemplating the Sustainability of the Young Self"

“Promotion of hand washing and breastfeeding, delivery of vaccinations, and distribution of condoms to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases are examples of common public health measures.”


PART I

Having a passion for needles, milk from breasts, condoms, and dirty hands…an aspiring public health professional I am. I am also a proud vegetarian (I have a t-shirt to prove it) who has learned to savor the likes of beans, broccoli, and lentils at the age of 21 – when it is absolutely too late to improve your employment status in any way through a healthier diet despite what the professionals tell you. But 36.7% of the time I am not vegetarian , so please don’t say it: I do not want to hear the words “unreliable narrator” ever again after looking up SparkNotes with the most disorienting episodes of confusion upon finnishing three novels on three different accounts. Was that grammatically correct or have I been confused by re-stating a solid strategy for stalking on social networking sites? I am telling you the truth. I am also not a pervert, unless you have already been convinced by Wikipedia’s quote above, which seems to be as politically correct and polite as one can get about favorite pastimes and personal preferences. For me, that has to be a good old-fashioned slap-fight. My 3rd grade teacher told me that fighting is not the solution to anything, but I grew up to learn that anything worth your time in life requires fighting against something or fighting for someone. There is a kid who goes around the streets walking backwards as an all-out anti-mainstream effort. His name is Scotty. He has a scalp that is a lot of fun to look at if you can see it. He also stole the fake love-of-my-life who remains convinced that she can look skinnier in her pants if she buys an i-phone for her and her sister. Her and Scotty say sorry every time he walks into a car parked on the streets but the car alarms on my neighbour’s cars are so loud you’d think they’re just lip-synching it. Nevertheless, I accept their apology every single time, especially when I am not at home. I’d like to think that a home is not a home anymore when I am not at home anymore.

PART II

Until you come home again and realize everyone has been fine without you, and you sigh. Then you feel the greatest sense of relief in the world. I certainly have a neckache: a crisis of our times, but not yet a proper word. Have you ever wondered, for all those times when people around you told you they had a “headache”, that a large percent of those debilitating and dehumanizing life-events are actually neckaches? Those neck support thingies people wear after a car accident shall become the single item of prestige in the coming century. Mark my words. Who can earn lots of legit money without staring at the legit computer screen for hours and who can stare at the computer screen for hours and not have a neckache? And, what better way to show off lots-of-money and a neckache by wearing a neck support thingie designed by rich Italians whose fathers knew all the other rich Italians? I’d like to clean my foresight one day, because I am growing sad now that I see the process will not work in reverse. No one will stand up for those who wear neck support thingies but never earn enough. Already, I hear vain voices on the hypothetical streets: “What are you trying to be? Rich?!” And yet, the neckaches of the poor are more real. The alliteration of the word reminds me of how I keep myself awake at night, half-crying, wondering why I never went to a cooler elementary school with girls named Nikika, NeKeyshka, and Ne-Kaylakya. I could’ve been a different self in high school. I should’ve been aware of that before I entered high school. I once ordered some sushi at a Japanese restaurant and there was a song about ping-pong in an Asiatic form of communication that is referred to as K-pop. In good English, the waitress came and made an extremely racial remark while pretending to talk about some sushi that they named inappropriately.

Part III

I refuse to regurgitate that name here, but you may choose to locate it on every Japanese menu. Celine Dion says Google with a "the" in the front. “I have put in a long, hard day at work, and I finally get to go home, to go to bed, where I close my eyes—and immediately I wake up and realize that my whole day at work has in fact been a dream, in which you sell all your waking life for minimum wage, while they get your dreams for free.” I love that one too. It is un-literally the existential reason for this thing I’m typing. Argh! Don’t you just hate it when your pinky misses the shift key and your “)” turns into a “0”, leaving your smiley face with less-than-intelligent eyes and a widegapingmouth? Academic journals are lots of fun. I know this place at Simon Fraser University where people throw a lot of paper aero planes, some of which land on the window sills 2 to 3 stories high. “Woot-woot” and high fives are common celebratory expressions for having one’s plane land anywhere that is not land. One evening we ripped off all the ads on the bulletin boards for LSAT courses, MCAT courses, and for medical school in the Carribeans and then we spent sweet time meticulously crafting paper aero planes. Little fingers moved nimbly. And we sat beside each other at a small white table, two grown men. And for the record, the song goes “da dada, da da dada DA, I wish I could fly away, on a paper airplane”. I cannot screw this one up, I’m telling you with a crisp snap of my fingers. That line is among the top three or four favorite lyrics from songs I have bookmarked from Youtube TM (pronounced “tee-em” , which stands for “TeleMubbies”) so I do not infringe upon any copyright laws nor lose family income by actually downloading the songs. In no particular order these most memorable lyrics are: 1) “forgive me, forgive me, forgive me-ology”; 2) “and some machines are dropped from great heights, lovingly”; and 3) “Farewell so long ‘cause. I was wrong I guess.”

When it ends, sometimes there is that moment of silence. It feels like you are awake for the very first time, when you did not know that you will miss it for the rest of your life.