The city begins to melt as the sun warms soil and pavement alike. Trickles of water run everywhere while the ice dissolves, a prescient sign of the streams soon to be come from lawn sprinklers and car wash hoses, as excess finds its way to sewer grates. By night, the temperature drops below freezing again and the small urban currents turn solid. Pedestrians practice their waddles in the morning as they maneuver across the slippery patches. The only remains of ice are the paths left compressed by the trampling of feet through the winter.
Every day I wake up it’s a little brighter, in my room, and in my mind.
Aaron and Karen are notorious for their inability to end a phone call within the first fifteen minutes of picking up. This isn’t always their fault, of course, because most of the time it’s the people at the other end who persist in staying on the line. Sometimes I’ll pretend that it’s a wrong number when we’re hanging out so that they won’t be disturbed. Unfortunately, this time, the person was persistent. It ended up being a rude charity worker.
My Chinese has a terrible Western accent, bad enough for me to be able to recognize it and cringe. Normally, I’m not so bad, but I was definitely rusty and caught off-guard.
It feels like my glasses are dirty, but it’s really the surfaces of my eyes.
There’s this indescribable desire to be amongst others, after spending time with myself for so long. I’d like to sit in the middle of a café right now, I think to myself, so I could listen the layers of people talking. I’d like to be slumped down in a soft library chair, deciding which book to take home, with the hushed shuffling of pages all around me. I’d like to be walking on the streets of New York, dodging the taxis on 42nd and tenth, walking across the streets with the other pedestrians.
I choose to live and to
Grow, take and give and to
Move, learn and love and to
Cry, kill and die and to
Be paranoid and to
Lie, hate and fear and to
Do what it takes to move through.
—Tool, Forty Six & 2
Unfortunately, I’m not myself when I’m around my friends.
With them, I’m happier, more confident, extroverted. It’s usually only with them that I can test the boundaries of social conduct, because I know that they understand me, accept me, and are willing to back me all the way. Sometimes, I end up saying some pretty embarrassing things off-the-cuff, things made more embarrassing by the fact that even my friends aren’t laughing. But to find the boundary, one has to cross it at some point. And it’s such a fucking power trip to know that I’m testing myself as well, testing how far I’m willing to go, something that I can only do with the right people.
Without my friends, I recede into my shell. I require them at parties, events, social functions just so I can interact with people normally. When I do find myself in absence of their presence, I force myself to be social. I consider how I would behave if I was with them, and proceed with caution. It’s slowly getting easier for me when I’m by myself. Perhaps I’m gaining my own self-confidence when I’m not around them.
Something I that can only gain when I’m with them.