Adding from One to a Hundred, a Treasure Map of Memories

Hated himself, for being too ignorant, and, he respected his own mother even more than before, translated…

That evening, I was riding on the MRT on my way home, the mom sitting opposite was teaching her young math using the math textbooks, and, the memories slowly, came back to me.

Key in the Numbers One by One Slowly

I grew up in the army retirement villages, my father was a former serviceman, a retired veteran, my mother was native Amis, they’d married through matchmaking, without the basis of love, they were, twenty-one-years apart. Because of how they didn’t share anything in common, the differences of their backgrounds, their value systems, they’d, fought a lot.

In my elementary years, my mother worked the graveyard shift at the electronics factory, in order to get a raise, she’d, signed up for the head of her crew’s examinations. One morning, I saw a graded math test, one of the problem was 1+2+3+4+5+6…+97+98+99+100=?, without thinking, I’d known, that the answer was 5,050. This was a famous question, that’s been tested and tested repeatedly on the students. But, my mother got it wrong.

“How did you get this?”, I’d inquired her.

“I’d used a calculator, and keyed in the numbers one by one slowly.” Don’t know how long it took her, to get the answer, and perhaps, she’d, keyed in the wrong numbers on a few, she’d, gotten the answer wrong.

圖/倩illustration from the papers online…

I’d looked at that exam more closely, she’d not answered the problems on close to half of her exam, and, it seemed, that adding one to one hundred took her too much time.

“Did you get the promotion?”

She shook her head.

“Why did it take you this long, and you’d still, gotten it wrong?”, I’d, blurted it out, can’t believe that the problem was so easy, and she’d, still gotten it wrong. Besides, this problem doesn’t need any calculating.

As my mother heard, she’d, fallen silent, only smiled bitterly toward me, then, marched back to the kitchen.

I Seemed, to Have, Understood Something

Later, my father learned about this, and he’d, called me, and, beaten the CRAP out of me. He was so angered he was, shaking all over, pointed to my nose, screamed aloud at me, “The reason why you’re going to school, is because your mother worked all night, to make the money, don’t you know that? What right have you, to MAKE fun of her? Everything you have right now, your mother gave to you!”

So, that day after I left for school, my mother cried silently.

And I’d become, dumbfounded, with all the bruises and bleeding over my skin, stared at my father, then, I’d gotten that wake up call, of how an ingrate I had been, I’d only viewed things, from my own perspectives.

I’d cried and hugged mom to show her how sorry I was, she’d cried, and smiled, patted my head, said it was okay. From then, it seemed, that I’d, understood some things.

And, it’d been, almost thirty years since, and, I’d recalled the incident from time to time, and, felt compelled, to go back in time, to KILL my own ignorant self.

And now, my dad’s gone to heaven two years ago, and my mom, hair all white, played with her granddaughters, and, waited until I’d visited her back home, she’d, cooked a TON of dishes I loved, and, nagged me on what I needed to be more careful over by the day.

“Mom, do you know how old I am already? Stop worrying, besides, I’m, too fat already, I need to be on a diet already!”, and, although as I’d turned her down kindly, I’d felt that surge of warmth inside of me.

I sat on the MRT, looked at the mom and her cute son sitting opposite to me, I’d called my mom.

“Mom, is it okay, that I come home for supper tonight?”

And so, it took this man until his midlife years, to finally understood why his father punished him so severely when he was a kid, and, he’d known how much his own mother had, given to his family and him, and appreciated how much love he had growing up.


Forgotten How Sweet Your Lie Tasted

I had, forgotten, just how sweet your lies tasted, until, I’d had, another bite of it again, and, one bite, it was, never, quite enough for me, for I’d, become, so, totally, addicted to what you’re, telling me, those poisons you’d, poured, deep, into my ears.

Forgotten how sweet your lies tasted, and, I know I shouldn’t, but, I can’t help it, I’d, craved, those sweetened lies of yours, even if they weren’t, the least bit true, it’s okay, just, let me, get fooled, a little bit, longer…

Love Poison 的圖片結果and yet, we still, can’t help ourselves, can we???  Nope!  Not my picture…

Forgotten how sweet your lies tasted, and, I just, can’t get enough, and yet, my heart knows, deep down, that you don’t, really love me, that you were just, keeping me, on that leash, see if, I’ll, keep on, comin’ back to your side.

And, the effects of your bad love finally, wore off, completely, and now, I’d, completely, forgotten, just how sweet your lies tasted, and I have, NO more cravings of that sort anymore. Guess your lies finally, became, so, totally, FUCKING worn out for me. Well, it’s taken, LONG enough all right!







The Bond of Siblings, on Filial Relations

How close they’d become, after they’re, older, and they’d still, fought hard as children, translated…

My younger brother called me, to get me to visit my mother’s home, to pick up the month-old celebratory pastries for his granddaughter’s birth, I’d gladly agreed. Thinking of how from before, after he’d gladly, married his daughter off, the very next week, he was diagnosed with cancer, and after the chemotherapy and operations, he’s now, a happy grandfather, his life was like taking a bath in the sauna, hot and cold, all, mixed in together.

Come to think of it, I wasn’t, a fitting eldest sister to him. I’d taken him to act up when we were young children. As I’m already, going to elderly, every time around Mid-Autumn Festival, my mother still repeatedly, mentioned my most embarrassing moments t—every year, my house would make a keg of grape wine, to share it with everybody in the neighborhood around Mid-Autumn Festival the following year. It was the year I was in the fifth grade, my younger brother, the third, on the day when my mother went shopping at the marketplaces, seeing how there are, no adults around, I’d told him to open up the closet, to get the wine kegs out, with the name of “wine-tasting”, but it was, because I was, gluttonous and didn’t care of the consequences. The two of us only thought, that this drink was so aromatic, and so sweet, we’d, drunk it all up, as my mother finished making lunch, she’d found, that we weren’t, quite right, that there was, half a keg of her brewed wine missing. And, the two of us had a serious hangover the entire afternoon, after my father got off work and learned about this, he’d gotten, so furious with us, and, we’d, gotten punished, and, sent to the doorways, to kneel, so the whole neighborhood could see what we’d done. And on the Mid-Autumn Festival, my parents’ dreams of drinking the good wines, all went bust, because of us.

illustration from the papers…圖/蔡侑玲

There was one more time, after the return to the school after the summers, the two of us rode on our bicycles, not wanted to head home yet, we’d ridden past the Tainan Park, and decided to go fishing in the pond. But, what do we have to use as a net? My brother was witty enough, he’d taken out the assignment books and the texts from his back, used his backpack as a net, we’d, had a good day of “fishing together”, and, at the end, we’d still, wanted to take a few fish home with us. As the two of us, fools returned home, the water already, dripped out of the backpack, the fish, almost dead, what was worse, was we’d, forgotten all our assignment books in the park, as my mother went back to the park to search, it was, already gone. Such an awful thing, we’d not had any lunch that day, and, gotten ourselves, a real hard beat down again.

Don’t think that my brother and I are best friends because we never spent time apart, as we got into an argument, we’d, thrown the punches and kicked one another real hard, neither one of us wanted to lose. I’m not as strong as he, couldn’t win in our fights, so, I’d, come up with, alternative ways, to screw him over. Once, it was January, I’d lost the fight, and I got, so angry, I’d gotten a bucket of ice, and while he wasn’t watching, I’d, pour it all into his shirt, he’d hollered out in pain because of the coldness, that taught him, to TRY and mess with me again!

After he married, he’d started in business, but was, never good at it. After he’d, declared bankruptcy in business, he’d started working odds and ends, and, spent all the money he’d earned on the betel nuts and the cigarettes and the wines, making my parents worry over him. In recent years, his children are all grown and started their families and work, his household economics got better, and, time flew by, he’d gotten to the age of being a grandfather now.

Seeing how he’d, shaved his head because of chemo, and how round his body became, with that smile on his face, looking more and more like a cute version of the smiling Buddha, I’d felt glad, that the cancer he had, was gone, and I’d, started, cherishing the times we shared, and, the past when we’d, made trouble for each other and our mother will be saved in my memory forever.

Those were, your, wilder days, and, the two of you, although fought like siblings had, still loved one another deeply, and it didn’t matter how hard you two had fought as young children, the important thing is that you two are, supportive of one another, and very close as aging adults.


If You Don’t Love Me…

If you don’t love me, then, don’t hold me, set me free, it wouldn’t be fair, to me, or you, to keep me, hangin’ ‘round! If you don’t love me, just say it already!!!

If you don’t love me, why you still, lettin’ me hang ‘round you, huh? And, shouldn’t we, just break it off, for once, and for all, instead, of, getting comfortable with each other’s bodies? If you don’t love me, just say the word, and I’ll see, where I go from here. But you can’t, you’re, too addicted, to this feeling of ecstasy that you feel when you get into my body, aren’t you???

If you don’t love me, and love’s been, dead, AND gone, buried, TEN-FEET under (‘cuz six feet ain’t deep enough???) many, many, many years ago. If you don’t love me, then, why you still come back ‘round, whenever life beats you down? Because I’m that safe place for you, that you feel, warm and taken care of in? And what makes you believe, that I am, always, going to be, the door that stays open, 24/7, just in case you needed to come and score some, huh???

If you don’t love me, just cut the ties already, oh wait, because you can’t, cut the ties, therefore, I MUST, because that, is how much respect I have, for me, and loving you, would not, be respecting ME enough, and I got, too much SELF-RESPECT, to love anybody like Y-O-U!!!







Filtering, Through the Static of Your Lies…

This was, what I’d, taught myself to do, as the static of your lies became, too much, too loud, for me to bear, and I’d needed to, find a way, to TUNE it all out somehow…

I thought it may be, easier, if I’d, just, ignored all those, white noises happening in the background, but, the white noises became, too, overtly, cacophonous, and, I just, hear it, ALL the time, no matter where I was!

what I used to hear…from…

Filtering, through the static of your lies, it wasn’t, easy, oh no, it was, extremely, difficult, especially because, I’d still, felt something (still waitin’ for that to finally WEAR off!!!) for you, and, it’s, this slow, gradual, process for me, which I’m, taking it, a day, at a time (kinda like the 12-Step programs for alcoholics or addicts???).

Filtering, through the static of your lies, I finally had, and now, I don’t even, HEAR a single sound (wow, finally became, DEAF after so many, god damn, FUCKING years of living with your lies…), and, I’m enjoying, this, newfound, silence, that I’m currently, surrounded by.

and now…查看來源圖片hear that??? Of course N-O-T!!!  Picture from online…

Filtering, through the static of your lies, it’d been, too long since, I was, hearing NOTHING, absolutely NOT a single sound, and I can, still hear that PIN drop, and, it’s, so totally, amazing, that I’d, sharpened, my own sense of hearing, after I’d, filtered through the STATIC of your L-I-E-S here!!!






Just an Ordinary Person

Being different, and finally, slowly, coming into acceptance, of one’s own physical conditions, translated…

I was, diagnosed with vitiligo, and been in treatment for over three years up to date.

Actually, having this condition really doesn’t affect my overall health status, but, there would be, patches of white, irregular-shaped chunks that showed up on my skin. And, if the chunks were so place apparent, then, it’d caused me to become, the center of attention. And, the curiosities, interests shown toward my condition, even making fun of the way I appeared, had always, caught me, off guard each and every time.

My white spots were located around my ears and neck, and when I was quite young, I’d not, minded it at all, but as I got older, the area grew larger, and became more, and more, noticeable, plus, the friends, relatives, and those I knew would show concerns from time to time, along with the strangers’ looking at me weird, I’d started, feeling more and more self-abased, worried, that I’d, looked like a monster in other people’s eyes.

At first, I was, naïve to believe, that I’d only needed a year’s worth of treatments, to get rid of it completely, for once and for all, but, it’d been, over three years to date, but, the patches only, shrunk in size by a little bit. And as my stresses from day to day grew, and I’d needed to, head to the hospitals to get treated, my patience became, spent, by all of my negative moods, and I’d, wanted to give up the treatment procedures, but, I couldn’t, walk out into the world, with my white spots, and face everyone else in the world, and so, I can only, grit down my teeth, and continue on in treatment.

Sometimes, I’d wondered, did I do something awful, so God felt compelled, to brand me, with these, white markings on my body? In the nights, I’d, bowed my head down to God, vowed, that I will, change my ways, to NOT be as aloof as I’d always been to the outside world, prayed, that he could, stop torturing me. But, as I’d realized, that praying to God doesn’t do SQUAT, I’d started crying in the nights, and, blamed the heavens for giving me this misfortune in life, and, blamed the world for being, so unfriendly.

But, after all these years, I’d slowly, walked out of the gloom, because, I’m not the only one who’s, suffering, my family needed to take me to the hospitals for treatment, and, after their hard days of work, they’d needed to, keep the energies up, to take me to the hospital, and, seeing how there are, little to no improvements to my conditions, they’re, stressed out too. And, how can I, keep on, living in self-pity, and affecting their moods endlessly too? Isn’t this the time, that I should, flash my radiant smiles at them?

I’d rarely, disclosed my condition actively to others, and I’d often, hidden myself, mask myself up, hoping, that nobody sees that I’m, different. But, now I’d, bravely, decided, to write it all out, so more can see, hoping, that it helps bring about more understanding between people in the world, then, the next time, you all come face to face, with those who are, biologically, or psychologically different than you, then, you can, show them more tolerance, and respect too.

I, am not weird, just like you, I’m, an ordinary person too.

And so, this, is how long it’d taken, for this person, to see herself as is, because her physical conditions, she’d felt that she was, inferior to everybody else in the world, because of her conditions, she’d, felt troubles from before, because people who don’t know her kept inquiring, and it’d, caused her stress, but now, after seeing how much her family was, putting in, to take care of her, she’d, decided, to change her perceptions of her own condition, and, it’d, helped her, adapt better, because at least, she’s, slowly, coming to, accepting herself as is, and, that, is the MOST important thing of all, accepting yourselves, because if you don’t, how can you ask the rest of the world to, and this woman, had already, taken her very FIRST step toward becoming, a better version of herself!


From an “Outsider” to Being a Member of His Family

The brickworks, laid by the husband, to make his wife look good in front of his own parents, and the wife is learning the ways of her husband’s home too, and, because the foundation by the husband was lain well, that is why, she’s, getting perfectly along, with her in-laws now, translated…

Back then, as my husband took along his parents to my home to ask my father for my hand, my father who’d, spoiled me like a princess, kept bloating and bragging about how good I was, like I was, out of my husband’s league. During which time, I saw my in-laws who’s not the least bit articulate held their straight faces, but still, smiled courteously.

After I married, my father-in-law treated me, “the Princess” and “daddy’s girl” with great courtesy, never asked me to perform any actions. And, as my husband and I moved out of their house, my father-in-law came by to see our place, and, turned back to my mother-in-law, “Come by to clean up this place for them at another time!”, once I’d gone to my in-laws’ for supper, and, I was slicing up some radish, and accidentally, cut off my nail, and I’d let out a yelp, my father-in-law came, and, I’d gotten my mother-in-law nagged by him, “Just do it yourself, how could she know how to handle these sorts of household chores?”

My mother-in-law treated my father-in-law’s words like they’re, from God, and ever since, she’d treated me with a ton of kindness, never let me into the kitchens to help out with the chores, and had, come to our home from time to time, to clean up after us. And, although I’d felt, blessed by this “gift”, I felt, a bit upset too—I’d felt, that I was, treated like, an outsider, and not a member of my husband’s family.

My husband is the quiet type, rarely talked to his parents, he’d refused, to give them the money he saved up to serve them in person, and I was, the middleman of the deliveries. And, every month as my mother-in-law received the envelope, she’d kept pushing it back into my hands, and thanked us repeatedly, and, through time, this “pushing the envelope” became, a time we’d shared together, and, through our conversations, my mother-in-law learned, that I, who was cherished by my father like a princess, wasn’t locked up in an ivory tower at all, that I was someone with whom she could have great conversations with.

And slowly, anything that’s occurred in my in-laws, I was the very first one my parents-in-law called up, whether it be businesses at the banks, or, needing a replacement of the old appliances, they’d discussed it with me, their daughter-in-law, instead of their own son. And, naturally, I’d loved, being, a “window” for helping my in-laws with the nitty-gritties of their lives, and so, they’d not, seen me, as an outsider anymore!

Once, my husband’s aunt who lived alone, and was under economic duress came to my place to pour her heart out to my mother-in-law, I was using the internet inside the study, and suddenly, I’d heard my mother-in-law stated, “Take these……it’s okay! We have more than enough, my daughter-in-law had given me money to keep……yeah, she’s, truly, wonderful! We have more to talk about than the conversations I’d had with my son!” I’m more than certain, that my mother-in-law who’s a straight shooter, wasn’t saying it because I was in the next room and can hear her.

Perhaps, I have my husband to thank, he’d told my mother-in-law, that I was the one, putting in the money to give to them per month, that he wasn’t the one putting up the money, and, although I’d still not gotten a handle on how to do the household chores well, but I’m noted as a good daughter-in-law in the neighbors’ and the relatives’ minds. Perhaps, I should be grateful, that my husband is very strong and silent, because of his quiet, his cherishing every word that came out of him, I’d become, the family with whom my in-law felt comfortable, telling things to.

So you see, the reason why this mother and daughter-in-law got along quite well is because of the son’s doing. The man had, paved the way for his own wife, to work as a “public relations” between his own wife and his own parents, and, that is a good husband does, being kind to his parents, and at the same time, acting as a bridge between his parents, AND his own wife, after all, the household harmony is the most important thing, when you live in a sort of an extended family like this, isn’t it???