The Noises Beyond These Walls…

I don’t think it’s, the neighbors…or maybe, it’s, just my AUDITORY HALLUCINATION again???

The noises beyond these walls, I’d, been hearin’ ‘em, ever since, long, long, long, long ago (funny thing is, I just, moved in this past spring!!!). The noises beyond these walls, been hearin’ ‘em, since I was, growin’ up, thought I’d, left them all behind, but apparently, not!noises in my head 的圖片結果chaotic, just like this, perhaps???  Sketch from online…

The noises beyond these walls, when will I, finally, STOP hearing them? It’d gotten, so god DAMN loud I can’t sleep soundly through the nights of my adulthood years.

So, guess, I’ll, probably, need to trace back, to the origins of when those noises beyond these walls got started, huh? But, I can’t remember ever being little at all, it’s like, I’m suddenly, here, and, all my yesterdays, were, erased from my mind for some unknown reasons!

The noises beyond these walls, how can I, make them all stop? By, putting those, extra paddings on my own walls, to sound-proof everything? But what if, my house caught on fire, and, I can’t, break through those, walls, I’d, sound-proofed, or worse, what if, I needed help, and nobody hears me scream, through these, four walls???



A Dusty Reminder, of His Shiny Moments…

That championship trophy he’d won for his team became nothing more than a dusty reminder, of his shiny moments, and, now??? He’d gotten, that fat belly, from drinkin’ too much, and as a COUCH potato.

It’s hard to imagine, from the way he’d looked right now, that he was once, so hot, so handsome, so fit, but hey, we ALL had our moments, don’t we? A dusty reminder, of his shiny moments, that, is what his whole life’s been about, he’d, gone by his parents’ wishes, gone to state on a full sports scholarship, he would’ve gone pro too, had he not, sustained a serious injury, that took him OUT of the sports ring!

查看來源圖片like these, somewhere, stashed, in an unknown attic, tarnished…not my photo…

And, after that STAR had, lost its, shine, he’d become, less than mediocre, he only found work in that factory, slaving his life away, for less than minimum pay, with NO sure retirement pension either!

And yet, whenever he’d started at the trophy that was placed, at the mantle, it’s like, he’d gotten, turned back, into the KING of the world, and yup, in a sense, he is, a king, a king of his, double-wide!!!

A dusty reminder, of his shiny moments, that, is all that he has now, as he sat on that couch with the BUTT imprint, scratching himself, in unsightly places, with the T.V. blasting loud, to drown out the memories of all of those, could’ve been, should’ve been, and would’ve’s………

The Smiley Curve

A lesson her middle school home ec instructor taught her, that’s not a part of the curriculum, which she’d found useful, and grateful over, in her elderly years, translated…

As winter started last year, I was overcome, with a sudden illness, hospitalized twice, and after the trials of the surgeries for a few months afterwards, finally, I’d, gotten better now. Thanks to the Goddess of Mercy, the doctors, the nurses, as well as, my families.

查看來源圖片training to smile…photo from online…

Recalling how I was, playing with my grandchild as I usually would, then suddenly, I’d felt my stomach turned, vomited then had diarrhea, and, as my loved ones rushed me to the E.R., they told me that it was a gall bladder stone that blocked up the ducts, causing the inflammatory response. This shock had, made me come face to face, with the uncertainties of life for the very first time in my life.

As I was bedridden, I saw my own reflection in the mirror, my cheeks slid in, that look of worry crawled all over my face, plus the effects of gravity, deepened those lines that the years left on me. I’d felt, that I looked, old, and, I’d, curled up the corners of my lips, started, smiling in the mirror; suddenly, my face looked, up, this fifteen-degree angle rise, made my eyes and brows looked happier too.

Then, I’d, recalled my home ec instructor from middle school, she’d always worn a grin on her face, she was, loved by all her students. Once she’d taught us to make a traditional Chinese snack, and, other than teaching us the techniques, she always wanted to instill that positivity in our lives. The students were all very motivated, and, as the dough floated in the fryer, with the fire, slowly, turned golden, then, pop, so aromatic. She’d told us, “Does it not look like a smiley face?”, we were shy and students, we’d circled around the pot, and, sucked in our saliva, smiled and nodded toward her.

or, like this, perhaps???  Not my photo…smiling into a mirror 的圖片結果

The attractiveness of smiles is unimaginable, to this very day, I’d still remembered how my instructor showed her canine teeth, smiling so sweetly at us. This smile had, awakened me, that life is everchanging, happy, that’s one day, regret, that’s also, one day, why not, just grin, making ourselves feel at ease, and, it’s, equally, pleasing for the outside world to see us too. In my elderly years, I’d, hoped, to open my heart up, and, face my beautiful future, with this, “smiling curve”.

And so, this important lesson that your home ec teacher from middle school had taught you all, you’d, finally understood what it meant, in your elderly years, but, it’s still, NOT too late, because now, you’ll, have that optimism to face whatever comes your way, as you remember, how easy it is, to turn that frown upside down into a beautiful smile!

Trips Alone

How the love the two of you once knew had, slowly, dimmed out, translated…

You’d Found a Café in the Snow that’s Growing, Sat Down. You Saw, Out of the Corner of Your Eyes, a Woman in a Red Jacket, She Sat, Leisurely, Sipping on Her Coffee, Looking Confident, But Not Too Proud, Seems to Tell the Rest, that She Knew that the Man She was, Waiting for, is Hers, Although He’d, Not Yet Professed His Love to Her………

I’d gone to Berlin for a lecture in the spring, there’s, still that coldness in the air there. The first evening in Berlin, you were, working on the PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow, then, suddenly, shouts broke through the silence of the night, someone was, shouting out racial slurs, you’d tilted your head out the window, saw some stumbling figures. You’d wanted to turn back to R, tell him, “It’s no big deal, just some teenagers”. But you’d, forgotten, that you’re, on this trip, alone.

You’d turned on the radio, the DJ said something in German you couldn’t catch fast enough, then, the song started, quietly. But, in this night that’s, disturbed, music seemed to serve the purpose of repair, but, although the music had, grasp onto a nerve of yours, but, you’d, worked along, and, failed to pay enough attention to what he was singing, until the final few lines, the trumpet started, sounding off in the background, and the singer, “it’s all so quiet”, and, the trumpet’s tune rose with the notes climbing up higher, then, as the highest note that the trumpet played came to a halt, the singer, “in Berlin”, and ended the song. You’d, immediately, gone online to search for the song, and, listened to it more than twenty times. It’s all so quiet, It’s all so quiet, It’s all so quiet…in Berlin. This section of the lyric, sounded like, they were, made for you.

illustration from…圖/李孟翰

Although this was the second time you’re here, Berlin was still a strange place to you, last time, there weren’t that many Muslim vendors or Turkish restaurants, and, it was, impossible, for you, to NOT feel discriminated here. But, why did you, gain that sense of unprotected vulnerability for the silent nights in Berlin now?

In Ginsberg’s poem “Returning Back to Time Square, Dreams in Time Square”, nobody saw that invisible trumpeter, only that poet who’d, stumbled down the streets, after the world changed, chasing that lost dream, accidentally, found the trumpeter again. You’d heard that trumpeter’s sorrowful music playing—or perhaps, it was, your hallucination too?

Or maybe, because it was, spring back then?

The repeated once chorus had:

I’d get lost anywhere

As long as I’m found

I could be anyone

in any town

Yes, so long as we got found, who would be afraid, of getting lost? Naturally, we’d not needed to worry of the various roles we’d played, so long as we get to, return to that very first, original role, assigned to us.

You’d gone to Athens for a meeting, the sun had, shone down everywhere. After the meeting, I’d gone to Mykonos. The bright sunlight reflected into the alleyways that twisted and turned like the walls of a labyrinth, you’d wandered aimlessly, and was, drawn to a table with an empty chair in front of a café, and, you took that very first photo of an empty seat. It was, very rare, that in the afternoons, the seats were, still vacant, and, you looked upon those empty chairs, like they were, alive, and waiting, patiently, for a customer to come and sit. But, you’d had, another, delusion, that all the customers from before never, actually left, that there were, the ghosts of, customers past sitting in the seats.

like this???  not my photograph…

You’d recalled how you’d traveled to many islands with R from before, once, she’d complained that you’d only, taken her to the islands, and, you were, dumbfounded, every time you’d, planned out the trips thoroughly, you’d made sure, to include an island in the itinerary, and she didn’t like that, and that, was when it’d, dawned on you, that she’d, favored the city living lifestyle. And so, you’d, thought, had you not scheduled these trips to these, islands………then, you’d found, that your thoughts, never actually, got off the islands you’d, gone to—you’d, kept pondering how to make the amends, should you, try satisfying her more the next time? As you were, about to, leave those, empty chairs behind, you couldn’t help, but look at them again, felt, that you’d not, gotten everything that you need, to take with you.

Those windmills in the distant hills, from a certain angle on the island, you could, get a complete view of, but, you seemed, to have, never caught them turning. Until the last day when you’re about to leave, you’d, walked to the ferry, and, you seemed, to have seen, the windmill, turned. You’d instinctively turned, to tell R, but, that huge cruise ship docked, broke your illusions—at which time, there was, a large group of younger eastern girls getting off, you couldn’t help, but look at them, and, so long as the ladies were thin and tall, you’d, sought them out, as if, trying, to find something that’s, familiar and lost……until the tourists all got onboard the ship, and, you’d, carried that nostalgia of unwillingness, alighted too.

You went to Yangzhou to lecture, the autumn light reflected onto the lakes. After supper, you’d gone with a group of younger scholars, to continue the meet in the city, they’d found a pub, “For Youth”, with a live band. And, as everybody went in, they’d, received a red bandana, turned out, it was, a day of nostalgia at the pub, other than the pop music from Hong Kong and Taiwan, the young musicians also performed the tunes from long ago. And everybody, in their Red Army bandana all, sang along too; in the help of alcohol, the revolution, seemed to have, begun all over again, and no matter how many products were, produced by the outside world. As you all left, everybody looked, and, there’s, that feeling of, vacancy. After exiting For Youth, the streets became, vacant too, and, Michael Buble’s “Home” came from the distance, there’s, that feeling of surrealness. You’d told everybody to stop walking, and the song was at:

Another aeroplane

Another sunny place

I’m lucky, I know

But I wanna go home

I’ve got to go home

You shook your head, “Come on, too overly expressive.” But, actually, you were, trying, to mask up the feelings that were, awakened in you; you’d become, another flighter; kept boarding the next plane, arriving at the next sunny place. But, you’d always, traveled, alone.

all alone, without the company of someone he loves…photo from online…

You’d arrived at Lithuania in the winter, but, the chills of the winter already got there ahead of you. Before the meeting was over, you’d, gone to the capital of Latvia, Riga. Your friend told you from before, that this country, is very tiny, but had, amazing architectures, especially, when nobody else was there. And so, you’d, gone out in the snow early in the morn, and trekked the streets. The winter morning, you’d, walked across, and in-between, those ancient buildings, like you’d, entered, into a dream of solitude: all the tourists, gone, only those, shy ghosts, still, lingered on. As you walked, there came, a beautiful woman from the turn of the corner, you couldn’t tell if she was, Latvian or Russian, but, there’s, that hint of sorrow, from either the northern weather, or some other reasons. The moment she’d, passed you by, you’d found, that a button was missing from her shirt. You’d wanted to turn back and share this with R, but if this time, she’d called you “boring”, you would’ve, had a valid reason; because this reminded you of Rilke’s book, mentioning how the young maiden the man bumped into, and he’d found that a button was unbuttoned from the back of her shirt, and, guessed at how she must’ve, felt angered by something before she went out…………and, you’d, mentioned it to R: the time she’d, rushed out the door, and, you’d, chased after her, to button up that missed button on her back………

In the storm that grew, you’d, found a café to sit. The snow fell harder outside, and, you’d, worried about the woman you’d, just encountered, that she might freeze from the cold, then, you saw, another woman, in a red jacket, sipping on her coffee in the corner, looking self-confident, but without the ego, like telling those around her, she knew that the man she was waiting for was hers already, although he’d, not professed his love to her yet……at this very moment, a memory of winter came clear to you. R too, once wore her read coat and waited for you in a café. That day, you were running, seriously late, and, as you’d arrived, you’d, apologized profusely, but she’d, spoken aloud, “I’m not, waiting, for you!”

It was, Christmas Eve, you’d recalled, in the U.S. everybody was, spending the evening with someone who’s closest and mattered most, same for the international students. But R arrived Maryland, and, passed through that final Christmas Eve you’d had in the States, but why? She’d, corrected herself: that she was there, for something else, but, there wasn’t anything planned on Christmas Eve, so, she’d, come find you. But, you’d not done anything special, just strolled around South Seaport, and, carried on, in disconnected conversations. It was, really cold that evening, and, the two of you, started, breathing out white air, but, neither one of you was, in a hurry, to find a warm place to sit. Did you feel, that it wasn’t, needed, to have other people around? Or, simply because, you can’t, find a place to sit down? You can no longer, recall. But, the only thing you’d recalled was, as the two of you, leaned in against the railing, and, gazed toward the distant lighthouse, blinking, she’d suddenly inquired, “Do you like, traveling alone?”, without a second of hesitation, you’d, replied, “I used to, from before.”

And so, that, was your experience of love, and, the two of you had, shared so many memories, but, for some reasons, you two didn’t, work out, and, you’re left, with these, memories of the love you’d owned and lost, feeling, nostalgic…

Parallel Conversations People are Having on My Comments Page…

Uh, did I MISS that memo or somethin’???

There are people having, parallel conversation on my comments page on here, and, it’s, odd! Why, are you having those, one-way parallel conversations on my comments page? Is it, that you simply, need to, pour your god DAMN hearts out to anybody who’ll lend you a helping ear? (go lie on that COUCH, and PAY your SHRINKS, people!!!).

查看來源圖片like the Chinese idiom???  Illustration from online…

Parallel conversations that people are having on my comments page, this always, amaze and amuse me. I mean, how O-D-D is that? And, are any of y’all having these sorts of encounters too?

Parallel conversations that people are having on my comments page, it’s, like you’re, fishing, just, casting that line into the river, without even LOOKING at where you’re, THROWIN’ it in, and, you really could care LESS, if that hook HITS that rock that’s, inside that river or not, like, there’s, this need, for you, to get whatever the HECK it is you wanna say out, like if you hold it in too long, it’ll, show up on your bodies as bruises or something!!!

查看來源圖片or this, maybe???  Image from online still…

Is that what that is, when people have parallel conversations on my comments page? Or, is it something else entirely, totally, different than what I’d, just described here?

Tai-Chi on My Tongue

What this mother learned about herself, from that tongue-twister her son gave to her to work with, translated…

As my son entered in to the house, he’d told me to say these words quickly, “Gundam on the monkey bars”, how hard can that be?

And yet, I got, tongue-tied, where did my bad pronunciation come from?

And I’d, stated the characters, slowly, word-for-word this time, “Gun Dam on the Monkey Bars”, and, my son was already laughing too hard, that he’d, started, rolling around on the floors.

illustration from the papers online…文‧圖/朱靜容

Was it me? Normally, as I was, scolding him, my tongue was so sharpened it’d never get tied up like this, and how can I, be defeated by these, five stupid characters? As I’d cooked, I’d, practiced it in my mind, and, I’d felt, that my brain cells were, on fire, and, there was, that “SNAP” of the muscle that connected my tongue.

Slurred speech, was a sign of aging or degeneration of the brains! Take a deep breath, start slowly, and speed it up, plus, I’m no tongue-twister expert, so I’ll, use the slower, tai-chi method, to start training my tongue! “Gundam on a Monkey Bar”, hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, getting better, I’d, found my spoof back again.

And now, before I lecture, I’d, started practicing the tongue twisters, “the Gundams on a Monkey Bar”, “The Chemistry Dissolved”, “The Performers Swim Well”…………

tongue-tied here, illustration from online…查看來源圖片

And, this mother learned, that she shouldn’t, speak so fast, and that sometimes, her mind moved, a lot faster than her tongue can, and so, she’d, started, training her tongue’s speed, until it’d moved in syncopation with her mind too.

My Son’s Chasing His Dreams of Becoming a Professional Gamer

Despite how many obstructions there were, in the path that took him to see his own dreams come true, translated…

It’d been a year since my son’s last return home, and during this period of time, I’d met up with him several times, opened up my mind, and put down the prejudices I’d held of him in the past, and just, listened to him sharing his plans of competing in computer games. Seeing how he’d talked of how hard he’d worked, I’d felt that warmth from within me, and although he’d only seen the sprouts of his own labor, but, he’d kept going on strong, I’m more than certain that he will, achieve what he’d set out to.

I’d asked him when he’d started wanting to go in the directions of online gaming competitions? Turns out, the conflicts we’d engaged in when he turned fifteen, was when his dreams first started, sprouting. Back then, he’d, ignored his school work completely, and didn’t care if he was going to graduate or not, after school, he’d, hugged tightly, onto his laptop. I’d often received calls of concerns from his homeroom instructor, but my son in his teenage rebellion couldn’t hear a word I say, and we’d often, fought like crazy.

on the path, to become a professional gamer, photo from online…on the path to become a professional gamer 的圖片結果

Because of my divorce, my son lived with me in my parents’ house since he was three; my parents felt bad, and, started, loving their grandson too much, and I’d often wondered, if my parents were, spoiling him, so I’d often, acted as the disciplinarian. And so, we’d fought in the wars when he was a teen, and, as I was on the verge of breaking down, my son’s second eldest uncle from his father’s side took him to live in the countryside.

With that distance between us, we’d slowly, sorted, through our own emotions. And, I’d contemplated, that as we’d lived together under the same roof, I’d never, given him the time of day, to hear his dreams out. I’d not tried to understand him, just kept preventing him. He saw me with a frown all day, like a porcupine, he’d not, wanted to come home anymore. Everything in his behavior, was caused by my neglect of him, and I’d, felt awful and ashamed, for not being there for him emotionally.

After he was away from my field of vision, he’d received a ton of bad words about him in the countryside, but he’d persisted in his own dreams, and even as he’d had a job that everybody felt pleased about, to chase his dreams, he’d, quit, and, he’d become, the subject of everybody else’s gossips, and they’d called him, “up to no good”.

And now, my son loved sharing with us his work, and, although his grandparents still couldn’t quite understand what exactly is gaming competition, but, they’d felt their grandson shone of that confidence and light. And, this child, in the voices that spoke against his dreams, still walked out his own path, and I wish him the best.

to this…photo from online…competing in online games 的圖片結果

And so, despite ALL those voices that spoke against his dreams, this young man still pursued what made him happy endlessly, and that takes courage, because, not a lot of people can withstand the noises from outside, and most would normally just, give up on the dreams, and do something that’s, more accepted by the families, but NOT this particular young man, and because he had the courage to go after his dreams, he’s already, a success, no matter how he’d turned out.