equivocality — Jeff Ngan's collection of thoughts, experiences, and projects, inspired by pretty much everything
09 Nov 11

frame of mine

I’ve made peace with this body. It hasn’t been an easy peace to come by, as I seem to get con­stant reminders about the diminu­tive size of my stature. Most recently, I met an older Chinese woman who admit­ted that she thought I looked sick and weak only after she dis­cov­ered I had col­i­tis. It was as if she thought col­i­tis caused some kind of mal­nu­tri­tion that stunted my growth, and she didn’t want to bring up the fact that I was this size because it would have been too embar­rass­ing unless it was caused by a med­ical condition.

Asian male self portrait


I’ve been deal­ing with all kinds of sim­i­lar com­ments since I was a kid, so when a girl­friend would say that she liked a par­tic­u­lar part or por­tion of my body, I always thought they were just blinded by love. Eventually I real­ized that if they could come to love this body, then I could too. It will never look right in any­thing but slim-fit extra smalls from Mexx. It will never be good enough for my par­ents. But it will always be who I am, and I’ve learned to accept that.

24 Nov 09

Protected: I Have Nice Hands But Could Fit In Your Breast Pocket

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26 Sep 09

I made too much about you now to lie

Sometimes, I write these entries in my head over sev­eral days, but when it comes to get­ting them on the screen, I can’t. Not because I don’t feel like it, but because the words come out with such difficulty.

So I sit in my room with the lights off, hop­ing for some­thing to give me courage, some­thing to move my mute fingers.

Instead, I pro­cras­ti­nate. I buy myself time by play­ing a game on my iPhone, or surf­ing the net. It’s like I’m stalling, I’m build­ing up for a moment that’s no more impor­tant than any other, like a ner­vous school­boy try­ing to ask his crush to the prom; pick­ing up the phone, dial­ing a num­ber, and hang­ing up again.

Maybe if I bury it after a bunch of incon­se­quen­tial thoughts — like how it’s hard for me to write about some­thing — then peo­ple will get bored and won’t bother read­ing the rest. I try to con­vince myself that every­thing will be for­got­ten much quicker than it took for me to write this. Nothing works, when all I’m try­ing to say is that every time I lis­ten to Letter Read by Rachael Yamagata, I imag­ine she’s lis­ten­ing to the same thing at the same time.

So some­times, you just have to say fuck it and write it any­way, even if you’re afraid and you can’t breathe, and put it out of your head that you’re left vul­ner­a­ble, that any­one could read it, that peo­ple know some­thing that you prob­a­bly shouldn’t share, that you’re still think­ing about her when every­one is telling you not to, because none of it mat­ters when it’s the truth, and telling the truth is what makes you you.

04 Dec 07

The Weight Issue

With a tone of gen­uine con­cern, as if I was being con­sumed by some dis­ease, Abdallah told me he noticed I was get­ting thin­ner. Perhaps this is true. I was recov­er­ing from an episode of IBS, and con­trol­ling my food intake. Maybe its my sets of nar­row, flared pants I’ve been wear­ing lately on Julie’s sug­ges­tion1.

Louise tells peo­ple I don’t eat a lot, which is true only when we’re out 2, and is also the only time she’s seen me eat. It makes me even more ill at ease when I’m already feel­ing unat­trac­tive, as if it was my fault and I wasn’t doing enough about it. Others will com­ment about the size of my waist, or make a pass­ing remark about how they wish they had my metabolism.

I try to take it all in stride, but it’s not easy when the sub­ject is con­stantly brought up.

According to my doc­tor, I’m aver­age weight — the aver­age being a range, with me being near the bot­tom. I know this, but it doesn’t make it eas­ier. Bronwen once told me that I have a weight issue, and after think­ing about it for a while, I real­ized that it was true. Even though it’s some­thing I can joke about, it’s still a source of self-consciousness, lead­ing back to mem­o­ries of my par­ents telling me that no one will love me if I’m this size forever.

Sometimes I won­der if I’ll ever get over it.

  1. Her the­ory is that baggy pants do noth­ing to hide thin limbs and make skinny peo­ple look even skin­nier. []
  2. Usually because I don’t like to be too full when I’m out. []