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.

Keeping a Cask of the Himalayan Air

The metamorphosis of the mind, relating to one’s journey to the Himalayas, translated…

Finally, I’d, hauled that cask of the Himalayan air, back to Taipei.

I’d emptied out a fish tank, to give to the air to live in, and, sealed it up, I’d, fed it rocks, the pines, the snows, the sunlight, as well as the thrashing storms regularly.

At night, I’d, quietly, looked upon it with that scent of enjoyment, the air floating to and fro, I’d pointed to the air, said, “I think you’re ghostly, but, not in such resemblance, why do you always, carry that scent of hard-to-describe, blue, cold kind of pride……”

As I lay in bed, I’d heard the heavy breathes of the hikers, the drips of dew from the twigs and branches, the conversations of the animals, and there was even once, when I’d, heard an avalanche, that, shook up my house.

There was once more, that I saw, the snow lady in the Himalayan air, this daughter of the mountain deity, as she’d appeared, the fish tank started filling up with snow.  She’d appeared in India, then, moved to Nepal, or, Bhutan—all of these nations, were the primary countries of the Himalaya, and, as the snow lady appeared, there would be echoes of the Sanskrit chant echoing throughout the fish tank.

Early one morn, I’d found frosts all around the fish tank, that the glass of the tank had the cracks on it, I’d followed the three cracks, and found, “is this NOT the origin, the Indian River, the Ganges, along with the Yarlung Tsangpo River of Tibet?”, I’d asked the air, “You missed home, don’t you?”…………there was, nothing but silence in my living room, to the point, that the air turned, dead, I’d paced over to the window, opened it up, the window pushed outward, wow, snow came falling down in Taipei, no, no, at this time, Bhutan was, outside of my window, because, there was, that sacred blue wildebeest, staring at me, in Bhutan, the wildebeest was considered, the animal of the country, called, “Tajing”, the head like the horse, with the antler of the deer, hooves like the ox, tail like a donkey, like me, unrepresentative, of anything.

The air of the Himalayas inside the fish tank, made three cracks, came out, and kissed my cheeks goodbye, with the lips on me, instantly, I’d become, this, round snowman.

So, this, IS the metamorphosis of the mind, or that the individual missed the travels to that sacred place of Himalayas, that is why, s/he is, taken aback to that place where s/he felt most comfortable, most satisfied in.

As the Thoughts of Goodbye Left My Mind…

I’m still, hung up, on our goodbyes, but, as I took that drive, down to the coastlines, the wind in my hair, it’d, taken away the thoughts…

As the thoughts of goodbye left my mind, I felt them, sticking to my mind, as I’d, pried them out one by one, they’d all, refused, to go!  As the thoughts of goodbye left my mind, I don’t know what I’ll do without them.  I’d, always lived, with the thoughts of goodbye on my mind, and, it’s, NOTHING easy, for something that’s so, stubbornly STUCK, to get wiped from my mind.

not my photo…

As the thoughts of goodbye left my mind, I can’t help, but wonder, why were they were in the first place?  As the thoughts of goodbye left my mind, there would be, NO more of that goodbye left, inside that shot glass, after THIS round…………

As the thought of goodbye left my mind, well, they’re, gone now!  And, they ain’t, NEVER comin’ back, just like I’m, NEVER comin’ back, from leaving you behind!

 

 

 

 

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

Garlic

On a man, who gave his life, to save three young children’s lives, the encounters on his funeral, translated…

Uncle Kwan squatted down as he was eating his noodles.

No need for a bowl, just the pot that he’d, cooked the noodles in, half pot of water, broiled it on the electric stoves, the water started bubbling, he’d thrown three batches of noodles in.  As he’d broiled the noodles, he’d worked to crack the garlic, cucumber.  The noodles are cooked, he’d dumped the water, tossed the garlic, cucumber into the pot, added the black vinegars, a scoop of lard, mixed it well!

And, he’d needed to, squat down to eat it.  Said that he didn’t feel full when he sat and at his meals, and could keep on eating until he finally felt full, and it’d be, too much food then, and couldn’t stand up again.  And he couldn’t stand and eat, it would cause him to eat even more than when he’d sat, when he felt full eating standing up, he couldn’t even manage to move his feet anymore, he’d become, stuffed.  And, only eating squatting down fitted him best, a small bowl of noodle, completely gone, and it’d felt, like he was full to the back of his throat then!  And, he’d stand back up in a little bit, the noodles sank down into the pit of his stomach, just right, and not consumed too much.

ways to eat garlic, photo from online…

The single railroad extended outward from the army base, it was an important part of the military unit that helped made the transfers of items, of people easier, there’s, NO set schedule for the trains though.  That day, as Uncle Kwan was passing by, he saw three elementary students, playing on the tracks, they were horse playing, one of them fell, the trains were coming!  The other two children ran off, and, the one that fell was DEAD in the train’s way!  Uncle Kwan went over, and carried the child out, threw the elementary school student off the tracks, but he was sucked into the wheels of the trains.

Uncle Kwan not only added garlic into his noodles, he’d had it with everything else, vegetables, meats, soup, and for the sides of his dumplings, he’d definitely needed a few cloves of raw garlic.  Which was why, when he talked, when he exhaled, when he sweated, there’s, that scent of garlic coming from his body.  People would tell him, “Uncle Kwan, eat less garlic, you’d smelled awful!”, he’d replied, “That’s easy, I’ll just carry an extra clove of garlic when I go out, wherever I sat, I’ll, pull one out, crush it with my feet, and then, nobody would doubt, that it isn’t, me!”

Uncle Kwan actually was married, so, he was given the married couples suite by the armies.  But the woman couldn’t stand the smell of garlic?  Or maybe, she was, too unsettled?  She’d not come home, first, at two, three days at a time, then, a whole month went missing, the most recent, she’d been gone, for six months.  And this time she’d come back, in the name, of attending his funeral as his widow, but, we all knew, it was to see if the army retirement foundations would offer the money for the deceased.  Seeing how fashionably she’d dressed herself up, and was forced to put the raw linen covers on, it truly must have been, difficult for her.

The three elementary school students whom Uncle Kwan had saved, had arrived, to his shrine in the company of their homeroom instructor.  The three young men, clearly, were reformed and disciplined by the teacher already, with the black clothes wrapped around their arms, the six eyes that were, already, puffy from crying before, started, overflowing again!  They’d cried really hard.  The instructor said, painstakingly, and scolded the three, “Uncle Kwan gave his life, in exchange for the three of yours, you must live up to what he’d given you, a chance to live again, work hard, study hard, cherish your lives, and give back to the country in the future!”  The three kids cried so hard you’d think that it was their fathers who’d died, they’d gotten down on their knees, gave the man who’d saved their lives the respects.  That woman’s ambiguous gaze was, caught by the teacher who’d taken the boys to pay their final respects.

helping to save someone’s life…photo from online…

The local office manager was a close friend of Uncle Kwan’s, and recalled about how his old friend ate the noodles with the garlic.  As he’d spoken on, everybody who was there at the funeral smelled it all at the same time, it’s just, that none of us was certain, did the smell come from out back?

An aromatic garlic scent came in, and it’d, masked up the incense burning.

So, this, is how you remember someone, and maybe, it’s because of how much this man was respected, that everybody who’d attended the funeral started smelling the scent of garlic that he’d loved having with his noodles???  Or maybe, it’s the man’s soul, coming to see who had come to pay their final respects to him, who knows???

Photos in that Camera…

There were, so many photos in the camera, but, none of them meant anything, because they’re all, about the past, and I’m now, living in the PRESENT, and looking toward the FUTURE!

Photos in that camera, wouldn’t it be better, if you just, take that memory card out of the slot, then, reformat it on your computer, to start yourselves on a clean slate?  You know that is what you needed to do, so, why don’t you, just go ahead, click that “okay” button?

like these???  Photo from online…

Photos in that camera, I will never be able to delete, they’re, the only memories of you that I have left.  You’d, gone away (died???), and, I am still, desperately, holding on, to what we’d once known to be an amazing connection between us…

Photos in that camera, I’d lost, I’d, tossed that camera out already, along with the SD disk, and now, I’d, erased ALL the traces of you, from my life too.  Photos in that camera, I’d deleted already, I’m done, with this strong sense of loss, of how you’d, made me feel.

like these…not my photo…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.