Love, Decided, in a Split Second

Realizing, that she, was the one for him, translated…

That evening at supper, my seven-year-old son asked me, “Dad, why did you marry mommy?”, I’d, replied, “because your mom’s a great cook”, and, I’d, hurried my son to finish up his final specks of foods in his bowl.  My son didn’t prod any further, I’d wondered, where did his curiosity came from?  And, as I’d, brushed him off like that, could it, have an effect, on his view of family and love later on in life?  I’d silently, looked over at my wife, she was, focused on the foods on her plate, not seemingly, to care about our conversations, but, she’d, caught my gaze, she’d complained, “Didn’t you just call me a great cook?  Then, finish up your food, you’d always left a lot of food, and made me finish it all!”

Although, some people have certain degrees of requirement toward their spouses’ cooking, but, being a great cook had never been, one of the characteristics I’d looked for in mate-selection; but, the question from my son made me bashful, so, I could only, give him a politically correct answer.  Actually, before we wed, I’d not had a meal cooked by my wife, I’d only seen her buy her foods.  Anyway, what made me made up my mind to marry her, was in that particular instant.

committed to one another, not my photograph…

There would be the developmentally delayed children with the cookies they’d made, selling them by the intersections, and, based on my observations, most adults would shake their heads at them, then, moved swiftly across the pedestrian cross. Back then, she was still my girlfriend, she’d, stopped, and took money out of her purse.  I’d made fun, “You kept complaining about your weight, and yet, here you are, buying more cookies”.  She’d replied, “they looked delicious.”, I’d not paid it any heed, until Mid-Autumn Festival of the following month, I saw the mooncakes from the hotels, and asked if she’d wanted to buy them?  She’d shaken her head no, with the reasons of she feared getting fat.

I couldn’t understand her logic, like she’d done everything, based on her whims, this sort of a woman is too emotional, and I, am somewhat, macho, I’d, not, needed to, comply to her on everything.  I’d wondered about what to do?  And, we’d, past that intersection where the developmentally delayed children were selling their cookies, she’d gone, and bought two more packs.

I’m slow, sure, but now, I’d understood, where she was, coming from then.  As we crossed the roads, I’d asked her, “You didn’t really want the cookies, did you?  You’d pitied them.”  She’d returned immediately, “What’s so pitiful about them?  Everybody is making a living, using her/his own ways, they’re, JUST like any of us.”

like this???  Not my photo still…

At the moment, I’d thought I’d, angered her, but couldn’t help, but start laughing, because it’d dawned on me, how stubborn, how persistent this woman was.  Her beliefs shamed me, and, it’d, awed me at the same time—she knew, that the greatest weapon was, taking pity on someone, and, she’s, with a lot of empathy, a good woman.  The reason why I’d, laughed in secrecy was because I’d, found me a gem, and, felt compelled, to hold her close to me for life.

Naturally, as we married, when I switched tracks, she’d, listened to me talk about my troubles, and, not judged me with the money I’d brought into the household, we’d saved up all we could, in the end, we were, finally able to, buy our own little nest together.  I never saw her waste any food, nor see her buy anything she didn’t need, just saw, how she was able to, make those, amazing dishes, with her tight budgets.

And so, it’d seemed, correct, that to say, that I loved my wife’s cooking too, it’s just, that this simplistic answer, perhaps had, demeaned just how precious she truly is to me.

So, this is on how closely the man had, observed his wife when they were dating, and, it’s her kindness that made him fall for her, and this love that started with this sort of a mutual respect for each other, is bound, to last.

The Forgotten Backpack

Thoughts on the choices she made in her own life, translated…

Drew back the curtains, the full golden sunlight illuminated the entire room, the moistures in the air evaporated, the dusts all, vanished too.  This is a day, fitting for cleaning, I’d, found a nylon blue backpack that’s been forgotten for a long time from the forgotten corner of my closet, like, I’d, discovered, an old friend.  This was a most-often-used backpack from ten years ago, for someone who’d cleaned often, its existence may have been due to not willing to let it get thrown out, and, slowly, become, forgotten.

During the time when I’d used this backpack most often, it was when my son, Hong was about one or two.  I’d often taken him to the park close by our home, or to dine out at restaurants.  The backpack’s contents, were mostly, his.  Hong has a pale complexion, and big eyes, very bright looking, and, as we went out, there would be younger girls who’d asked me excitedly, “He’s so very cute, can I hold him?”, and, at that moment, or seeing the moment his face lit up, it was, the most beautiful moments during that period of our lives together.

 

But, most of the times, I’d always felt, there was that light, invisible drape that’s slowly, suffocating me.  Or maybe, I’d, felt, lonely?  During that period when there’s NO internet, the life of a full-time mother, without FB, to share my proudest moments with others of my son, when I felt pent up, I couldn’t reach out to my girlfriends on LINE.  Plus, the first few years of living with a huge family, of constantly getting negated, suppressing my own emotions too long, setting up my own nuclear family, the joys didn’t last long enough, I’d become, aloof, and cold, didn’t want to enlarge my social circles either.

I’d spent my days like this for about six months, once, I’d taken Hong to the shopping mall where I had worked before, I’d bumped into my former colleague, Huei-Ru, the two of us started up like old friends, and, as we were, going to classes for advertising, on the special occasions, we’d both, worked our overtimes together, and, as a small manager, I’d had endless meetings, endless proposals to write; and after work, I’d often, taken the info packets home, to continue working on them, and, as I recalled that, I can feel my shoulders growing heavier and heavier.

拉開窗簾,飽滿的金色陽光照亮整個房間,感覺空氣裡的溼氣被蒸發,塵埃灰溜溜地散去。...illustration from the papers online…

“I envy you, not working right now, just staying at home and take care of your son, I’d needed to pick up my child at the nanny’s”, she’d felt bad, and I, silent.  As mothers, in my mind, Huei-Ru, who still works hard in the workforce, looked so radiant, and I can’t help, but miss my self back then, such a contradictory feeling.  From before when I had to work, I’d, envied those who didn’t, how they were able to, just stroll with leisure at the malls, with their young children, they looked happy, and confident.  At that precise moment, I’d become, confused, and asked myself, “Isn’t this the kind of life you’d always wanted to live?  What, are you missing out on?”, I’d become, lost, in my thoughts.

Whether it be the working class with the fashionable accessories, or the practical bags that moms have for the children’s sakes; getting too busy that I wanted to scream, or too lonely that I can’t breathe, aren’t all of it, our own, choices?  In a few more years, when my son’s older, I may choose, to return to the workforce, what sort of trials, will I be, faced with then?  I don’t know yet, and, it didn’t matter, I will keep on going, with all the choices I’ll be making for myself.  But before then, why don’t I, just, relax, and live!  At least, give my son, a smiling mom.  Over a dozen years ago, that, was what that blue backpack had, told me.

Through the windows of memories, I’d looked backwards, that day, the sun is bright and shiny, just like today, the leaves, with the golden rays, swaying, in the wind, danced, with full confidence, underneath the blue skies.

So, this, is looking back at the choices in life you’d made, you’d, quit your job, to start a family, leaving behind the success, the achievements at work, and you’d felt, a bit, awful, about leaving all that glory behind, but, you’d, thought harder, and realized, that what you have right now, is not so bad, and, it’s your choice, and so, you felt, you needed to, take responsibilities for what you’d selected in your life, being a mom, to your young son, at least, for now!

Slowly, Understanding What it Meant, to Be, D-E-A-D…

to have arrived is to die I have since surrounded myself with cut-out cardboard reconfigured with no particular preference staples and tape to ward off the hatred a color completely devoid of vindictiveness the windowless model is quite suitable for I have not the time to look up and ahead I am far too caught-up […]

via Preoccupation — Max Meunier

A Worn-Out Welcome…

I have, nothing to offer you now, but a worn-out welcome, so, scoot already, huh!

A worn-out welcome, that, is all that you will EVER get, from me, I’d done, suffering the assortments of loss from loving you already, and frankly, I just, am, UP to here of it!

something that looks liek this???  Photo from online…

A worn-out welcome, that, will be all there is, between us, you’d, worn out my welcome completely, there’s, NO way ‘round it.  A worn-out welcome, how’s that possible, huh?  How, can a welcome get so worn out, so easily, have you, ever wondered ‘bout that?

A worn-out welcome, that, is all that remained, between us, nothing more, and, there will be, nothing MORE, from here on out again.  A worn-out welcome, consider it, a “gift” I’d, given to you, and, DO take care, as we’re not at all likely, to bump into one another again, on this journey called L-I-F-E again………

A worn-out welcome, this, is what we’d become, to one another, yeah, we surely, had a great time before, but now, it’s, all over, there’s simply, NOTHING left between us, so, why not, why not just, SEVER ALL the ties, and be done with it, huh?  There’s, NO need, to keep holding on, to this, love that’s already been dead, AND gone, for god KNOWS how long!

nobody wants to be in this position, NOT my picture…

 

 

 

Regrets, Over Moments that Have, Come, to Pass…

I took the lessons you taught to heart, but only after you were gone did I turn it into action. You’re the least expensive habit I ever developed, and maybe that’s why I got addicted so quickly, and why, even after all the cigarettes and whiskey, I’m still trying to replicate the high. So long […]

via Holocene — Paper Plane Pilots

Steamed Eggs

Connected, by our favorite food item, translated…

After the stroke he’d had, after long-term in recovery, my father started, regaining his lost strengths back again.  But, his damaged brain was like the cracked eggshells, can no longer be repaired.

Thankfully, he’d still, remembered us, and had recited the name of everybody in the house over and over again, and at the end, he’d playfully added, everybody’s fine…

In order to make a perfect bowl of steamed egg, it takes more, than beating the egg, and adding some water to the egg mixtures, you’d still needed, to filter the egg out, in case there were air bubbles in the process of beating the egg, causing there to be holes as the steamed egg was cooked.  But, if you’d needed to get every single dish you make proper cookware, then, there wouldn’t be enough space in your kitchens, and you wouldn’t be using the items you’d bought but a handful of times per month, and so, as we’d made the steamed eggs, we’d, done away with the filtering process.

But, I’d still loved the smooth and soft steamed eggs, especially the kind that’s served with the Japanese meal boxes, inside a tea cup, scooping it up with the small spoon that’s provided, there were mushrooms, chicken, shrimp, clams, with a colorful tempura as décor on top.  This sort of a steamed egg has the stock of fish with every single bite, and, the foods would, slid down into the throats, making you want to keep on having more, and, in a very short time, you’d, finished up the entire cup of it, then, you’d started, on the rest of the delicacies on the plates.  I can only recall how my mother, my older sister, and I would head out to have these special meals.  A meal like this wouldn’t be costly, but, it’d cost over a hundred dollars more than the regular boxed meals, my father who’s known to save up every last penny wouldn’t eat it with us, but, he’d always, taken us out to have these Japanese meals, and, if we brought him along with us, then, we’d, needed to, put up with his soured face through the entire meal, like how we’re, eating our last suppers, or, we’d watched him, frowning, as he’d, selected the cheapest items on the menus, and it’d, made us all ashamed, and lost our appetites.

In order to fulfill my own desires of having steamed eggs, since the elementary school years, I’d started, making it for me.  The steamed eggs I’d made, had so many pores that it’d resembled the rocks being eroded by the oceans waves.

Back then, the supermarkets weren’t huge on foreign foods, and, there weren’t many international people who are working here like today, Thai, Vietnamese, as well as American style foods, we’d needed to go to certain restaurants to have it.  And, the sorts of condiments we have at home, is the black soy sauces, or the cooking oils, the salts we’d gotten, at the farmer’s markets with the food vouchers.  Even those eggbeater, it’d become, this new “toy” that surfaced into our home later on, but was, soon enough discarded, because it took too long to clean it after use.

Using a pair of chopsticks, beat the eggs, add some water, beat it a couple of times more.  The chopsticks making the clinking noises, as we’d, sped up the beating of the eggs, listening to that, we know, something is going on, it’d made us, proud, and, for the final touch, a pinch of salt for seasoning.

Because I’m the only one who’d wanted this dish, so, I can only use the produces I can get, the chicken and the mushrooms, I couldn’t get, the fish balls, I have NO clue where I can buy from.  The proportions of the egg, water, and salt, I go by feel, like the last time I’d made it, my family said it was, too salty, then this time, I’d, add a little less of salt, if the last time, they’d told me it wasn’t, savory enough, then I’d added a little extra salt this time.  Even the water used to steam the eggs up inside the electric rice cooker, I’d gone by my feel, thus, I’d always either added too much on the inside of the cooker, not enough, the eggs I’d steamed were usually always, scarred and holed, like the uneven roads, the colors didn’t spread evenly enough, and, there was, that white in the light yellow too, and, there was, that layer of bluish gray, like a bruise, it’d tasted, hard, and awful.  Although, I could never get it just right, my mother had, allowed me to try it again and again, and again, it’d saved her the energies, to come up with another dish, and besides, someone always finishes it at the end of the meals.

In my middle school years, I’d, stopped, going into the kitchens, and, even for my suppers, I’d needed to study late at the schools, so, I’d, bought the packed meals at school.  Until I’d gone away for college, and returned home only on the weekends and holidays, and I’d just, needed to, get served my meals, and every now and then, I’d, insisted on going out with friends to dine too.  I’d started, cooking less and less on my own.

蒸蛋 的圖片結果the kind that’s served in a Japanese restaurant…photo from online…

I’d gotten used to the heavy flavors from eating in the restaurants, and felt, that the foods cooked at home were, tasteless, and I’d, just, carelessly taken a few bites, then, put it down, I’d never considered, from my mother’s angles, how much she’d, put in, to make these meals.  My mother allowed us to be, she’d stopped cooking the foods we didn’t like, and in the end, she’d made the foods that I liked, and, bought the items ready-made, because I’d returned home, once every long while.  The Japanese shop we’d gone to when we were still younger had, closed for business, plus, we can now, get the tasty steamed eggs from the 24/7 marts.  And, that sense of cherishing became like the egg mixture, with too much water added, too diluted, to be cooked into stable form, and, that imagination I’d had toward growing up also, became like the air bubbles at the surface of the beaten egg mixtures, stiffened, as it’d gotten, cooked by reality, became porous.

Until two years ago, my father had a stroke suddenly.  That was during the New Year’s, and that New Year’s Eve became, the last time we’d spent together, JUST the two of us.

From the moment my father was rushed into the E.R., he’d fallen into a coma, and, I’d tossed and turned, on that temporary bed, put together with two plastic chairs, a way too small blanket that couldn’t cover up my toes which were growing cold, and my shoulders either, I’d slept uneasily throughout the nights.  Each and every time I’d awakened, I’d watched my father, deep in his sleep, I’d felt, comforted, glad, that he was finally, able to sleep quite well.  And, my father would always start laboring at the crack of dawn, if there’s no household chores, he’d gone for his long morning walks, and, in the noon hours, he’d used his arms as a pillow, and stayed by the side of the bed, wouldn’t allow himself to sleep too long.  At night, if there’s something we’d needed, we’d given him a holler and he’d, wake right away, with no looks of fatigue, like that soldier ready for duty, flipping over, waking up, to fight the battles of a war.  But, his enemies, are the hardships of life.

the less extravaagant kind we make at home, photo from online still…

That day, he’d slept for a very long time, sometimes, I’d felt that sudden scare from my imagined feelings of safety, gone up to his face, made sure he was still breathing, then, curled back into my plastic chair, kept waiting again.  Over a little more than ten hours, my father finally woke up.  I’d recalled that he hadn’t eaten for a long time, after I’d gotten the okay from the doctor, I’d grabbed my purse, rushed to the food court in the basement of the hospital, I’d, walked around the shops, kept worrying that my father may be weakened from not having enough food for a long time, and worked hard, to think of what kinds of foods are soft and easy to chew, as well as, nutritious too.

At which time, I saw that steamed egg at the cafeteria.  Opened up the steam basket, the steams came to me, suddenly, I was like that Japanese fairytale character, arrived to the shores that I’m on, without much time I can waste.

I’d taken the steamed egg back to the room, propped my father up on his bed, with a small spoon, fed him, bite by bite, watched him, like my deceased maternal grandmother had, grinded the steamed eggs down, then, swallowing the bites, and, he’d become, in a daze, after he finished just half of the servings, he’d told me he was full, and, I’d tried, to get him, to take a few more bites.

That was, another father.  Like the man whom I’d watched sleeping, but, he was, no longer the exact same man.  In his dreams, his troubling thoughts were, with the egg mixtures added in, originally very thick, and it’d now, become, diluted, with that lighter yellow, like it was, just formed.

I’d put down the steamed egg, pulled a tissue, to wipe his lips off, carefully asked him who I am.  He’d called the first two characters of my name, and, he could only, vaguely recall the vowels from my last, and, confused, spoken aloud a couple of words that sounded like it, and, I’d felt bad, having to keep on guessing it, I’d just, smiled toward him, then, helped him lower himself onto his pillow, to continue finishing his sleep.

After that stroke, after the long and arduous recovery, my father slowly, regained his physical strengths.  But, his damaged brain became like the broken eggshells, can no longer be repaired.  Thankfully, he’d remembered us all, would recite our names several times a day, and at the end, he’d always added, “everybody is fine” playfully.

After this long, I’d started making the steamed eggs again.  Still using my chopsticks, making the loud noises, with my father hooraying me on, then, we’d both laughed, that I was, just, showing off, that it wouldn’t affect the taste one bit.  Then, I’d added, some stock, or the fish soy sauce to the mixtures, and the rest of the sides depended on what I have, sometimes, it was the diced up chicken pieces I just bought home, and, I’d prepared some mushrooms too.  With the egg and the other food items mixed in proportionally, I’d placed it into the rice cooker, added half a cup of water on the outside, and, not long thereafter, the steam rose from the electric rice cooker, and although I still can’t make my steamed eggs silky smooth, but it’d tasted delicious just the same.  Because it had the holes, looked fluffy, some of the times got condensed into it, one attached close to the next.

We’d used our rice bowls to eat, without that atmosphere from the Japanese food shops, but, it’d tasted, about the same.

So, this, is the foods you shared growing up, and it’d become, this connective memory that you and your families have together.  This still showed, how we often connect with the foods we enjoy, making it for the ones we cared for and loved, because that, was how love was shown to us when we were growing up too.

Each & Every Time I Leave…

Each and every time I leave, I’d felt, as though, I was, betraying their trusts, they’re, a group of orphaned children that I work with for a very short period of time, it was, only a project I partook, back then, and I kept on, coming back, ‘cuz I felt, that these children needed me.

people saying hello…picture from online…

And yet, each and every time I leave, to go home, it’d felt, like I was, betraying their trust, I don’t want to feel like that, it pains me, to leave them, perhaps, I’d, grown, too attached to these children, whom nobody wanted?

Each and every time I leave, I couldn’t look back to the building, I just, kept my head, facing the front of the car, and, told the driver, to STEP on it, I couldn’t, wait to get as far away from that place as I possibly can!

Each and every time I leave, I look back, to coming back, until, I’d decided, that I had, had enough, of getting broken over, and over again, feeling my heart, shattering inside of my ribcage, just, watching these children begged me not to leave.

Saying goodbye, not my silhouette…

But how can I, leave, for good?  When these children, were already, abandoned by their loved ones, I’m the only ADULT (besides their regular caretakers at the home, that is), they have, to count on, so, I repeat this cycle of saying goodbye, saying hello, then goodbye, then hello again, and perhaps, one day, I will be able to, say goodbye, to these, orphaned children for good!