Willing, to Walk Down the Aisle, for You

Finding her one true love, someone who’d, stayed by her side, through sickness, injury, who’d still, cherished her very much, translated…

My Tears Felt Heated, as They’d, Rolled Down My Cheeks, and I Couldn’t Find Any Words of Extravagance to Say…

Not Made a Scene, But, Very Memorable

One evening, my boyfriend and I stayed in the hospital wards. Because of the day that followed he’s scheduled his day off, he’d asked my parents to head home to sleep. Then, he’d, slowly, taken out a set of household casual wear from his black sports backpack, with his toothbrush, towel, then, laid them out, neatly and flattened, on the limited surfaces available to him.

That sense of security I received from my boyfriend, was like a serene, but strong kind of an atmosphere. In the six years, we’d, talked about any and everything. I’d once told him, that “in our relationship, I hoped there would be, no secrets”. So, even as we had a fight, we’d, made up on the day of the fight, I can’t feel right, sleeping with the secrets and my own tears.

But, perhaps, it’s due to his family background and his personality traits, that he’d often needed to, have some quiet time for himself first, then, sorted through what he’d needed to say to me. But, I wouldn’t allow it, and, perhaps, I’m, a bit, stubborn. But, slowly, he’d, grown, accustomed to my rules, and learned, how to express his anger towards me.

“Play a song for me!”, I’d, leaned on the bed, and made a suggestion.

“Okay!”, he’d, squinted his eyes, and, was in full smile.

A familiar tune started slow, it was, the “Wedding March”. After a few measures, pop music started playing, then, Andy Lau’s voice, “I will, for you, put on that white gown; I will, for you, walk down that red aisle; I will, build a roof from love for you, to block out the wind and the rain, to carry on in conversations, to make some teas, to play that game of chess, so long, as, you’ll, have me in your life.”

My boyfriend loved Andy Lau, and, as he’d gone to the karaoke, he’d always played and sung the songs by Andy Lau. I got to the point, of having had enough of Andy Lau, and joked, that he was, so full of, cliché, “You should be, the youngest fan of Andy in the whole universe, but, same years as my dad!” But, he always replied with full confidence, “He’s handsome, inside AND out, an idol to me, forever!”

The Most Important Part of My Life

“Walking Down the Aisle, with a white wedding gown, you’re the most beautiful promise of my entire life, I’d, made a pact with you, to count up the stars, and, all your tomorrows too. Walking in the bliss, that bell started, ringing, you are, the most beautiful decision in my whole life, I’d promised to give you all the happiness in the world, in the days in the future, I shall, love you, even more.”

This song, I’d heard, more than hundreds of times, but, being put under anesthesia, and, entered into the bottommost layer of my own dreams, and, drifted along, in the depth of that ocean repeatedly, after I was awakened, being called back out atop, at this moment, I’d, looked at that man, who’s, dark-skinned, with that light in his eyes, smiling like a fool, I’d, had that impulse of, “I do”.

It’s him, he’s, it! I’d wanted, I am willing! And that never-before sense of belonging, that, was what that felt like.

A lot of people say, “marriage is impulsive”, I’d, felt that amazing feeling, of having love rushed, into my head, it’s, so amazing, truly.

illustration from the papers online…圖/江長芳

My tears came down hot, my heart pitter-pattered, I couldn’t say a single word of extravagance. The two of us, stared at one another, and, neither one of us can see each other clearly now.

The past six years, played like that picture show, how we’d met, dated, fallen in love, had our fights, communicated, traveling all over Taiwan, introducing one another to our families, graduating, start to work, enlisting, getting involved in long-distance relationship, fight, traveling abroad, giving one another encouragements, getting injured recently, so many times, we’d, said the most awful of all things to each other, and, several times, we could’ve, broken up. But, six years, we are still, the most important part of one another’s life. This long road we’d, traveled to where we currently are, it wasn’t, the least bit, easy that’s for certain!

“Distance is not a problem. Love wouldn’t become fragile, because of the distance, people would.” the line of one of my favorite movie, “Café on Sixth Alley” stated.

Because our hearts had been true, and, we’d both, cherished what’s happened to one another these past few years, and, even IF we’re displeased with each other, we’d, just put the distances between us, cooled down a bit, then, talk it all out, then, we were, able to, get closer again. Through these fights we’d had, we’d, understood one another even more.

Turns out, the moment that I let love go to my head, wasn’t at the very moment our eyes first met, but, what we’d, weathered through, after all this time. People often, needed to, get to a certain point in their lives, to figure out the meaning of it all.

“Babe……I love you so.”, after the silence of a little over a minute, as the music was, about to stop, I’d, opened up. I’d, opened my arms, wanted him to hug me, he also, got up, walked, toward me. In the end, we’d found our ways, into each other’s arms, and, we’d, cried together.

“If I’m covered with scars all over my body, and no longer pretty, will you still, love me?” I’d sounded, flat, like pretending to be cute, then, I wouldn’t, receive the answer I was, fearing the most.

“Just let us get use to it together.”, he’d replied, in a calm and collected manner, so natural, like, he’d, contemplated on it before.

I’d started, smiling from the inside now.

Although I don’t believe in forever, but, I have the courage, to believe, that every moment of bliss we’d come to share, is true.

And so, you’d, found this man who loved you, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, for better, or for worse, and it’s really hard, and, through the trials of your life, he’d, stuck by your side, and, you’d, found a gem, someone who will, love you, unconditionally, regardless, of anything, because he loves you!





The Tree to Remember Nan-Nan with

Interactions, or rather, something that’s, routine, that this family shared, with their neighbor’s dog, translated…

My neighbor’s dog wasn’t kept locked up inside, and enjoyed wandering about. Every time he sees that we’re about to head out, and he’d not had anything planned, he’d, walked along with us for a bit.

It’s not a big deal, if we’re, headed into the fields or the skating rink, but, it’d become, troubling, if we’re, headed to restaurants or libraries. Because this pet looked like a dirtied dish rag constantly—he’d rarely, been bathed or groomed, and constantly, wandering. As we are about to go someplace public, we’d, had to tell him, to not “see us off” all the way there. And, although Nan-Nan’s sight is no longer as what it used to be, he’d still pretended that he’d not understood us, and, so, we’d, had to put on the skit of, “let’s ditch the dog”.

One evening as we’d gone out to dine, Nan-Nan started, trekking along behind us. The four of us decided to split up separately, too see who Nan-Nan would follow, and, he’d, ended up, following me, who’s, with the least clue of how to ditch him.

My family waited several kilometers away, to see, how I will, ditch him. After I’d, turned at the old Indian laurel fig, I’d, held my breath in, waited for Nan-Nan, to check to see where I was—and, I had, won that game of hide-and-seek!

文‧圖╱朱靜容artwork from the papers online…

And, after Nan-Nan had passed away, every time I’d passed by that old tree, I’d, remembered how I’d, played hide-and-seek with him. Typhoon Maggie once brought this large tree down, and, the local residents worked their hardest to save it, and, months later, this old tree became, brand new again.

And now, the old India laurel fig got moved, to an empty place, and, if I’d, played that game of hide-and-go-seek again with Nan-Nan, he would’ve, surely, found me, quickly and easily.

That game of hide-and-go-seek must’ve been real interesting to play, and, perhaps, the dog just, wanted some company, or he’d, enjoyed, accompanying the family to and fro, and, they’d made a game out of this dog’s tendencies, and, now, as the dog died, the memories of this game that they played, are still, very much alive in those who’d, interacted with him.

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!


Our In-Laws from Germany

the union like this one, maybe???  Photo from online…查看來源圖片

Seeing the newlyweds, and the parents of the groom, expressing their love to one another, translated…

With her head of blonde hair, smiling so radiantly, with that sky-blue, red collar dress, she’d looked, very much like a cartoon character out of a Northern Europe animation—and that was, the first impression, our in-law, Emma gave to us. As she saw us, rushing up from Taipei to pick her up, she’d, immediately, gave us hugs, and kisses on our cheeks, and, it’d, lowered that unsettlement of not knowing how to interact with an elder, it’d, made us connected. Hugging is truly, the way, to break the ice between the various cultures that’s for certain! As for the father-in-law, Emma’s dad, he’d, acted, more reserved, I suppose, it’s something to do with his profession, being an attorney and all, he’d worn a light smile, and nodded, to acknowledge us, in a white suit, he’d, resembled Gandalf in Lord of the Rings!

That was the very first time my wife and I’d, gone to a wedding in Europe, and it was, a German-style wedding too, my youngest sister-in-law, Ping, and Abbey Bear is about to walk down the aisle. The loved ones flew in, from all over, my wife’s second eldest sister and we were, “representatives from Taiwan”, we’d taken over ten hours’ flight, from the Netherlands, to Hamburg, then, drove to gather at Copenhagen, six hours away; Abby’s mom and dad took Abby Bear’s classmate’s ride, came from the Sylt on the west of Germany.

with the bride and the groom togehter, pouring itno the same glass!  Photo from online…

The very next morn, the huge group of relatives gathered, to head to the location of the wedding, city hall, and, it truly was, like in the movies, all the way there, we’d, received blessings from strangers. And of course, the happiest was, no other than Abby Bear, for he’d, waited, more than three autumns, to make this forever promise.

Since we’d arrived from Denmark, we saw Abby’s mom leaning close to Abby’s dad. Abby Bear told us, because his mother wanted to cherish every single moment she has with him—Abby’s father was diagnosed with an illness similar to Lou Gehrig’s Disease, couldn’t sit a long time, and, his neck became, weakened too, and so, as they’d heard that Abby Bear was getting married, they were, too excited. As the wedding ceremony draws to an end, hearing the father announcing that Abby and Ping were then, husband-and-wife, Abby’s parents were, grinning ear to ear, like they don’t have, any regrets anymore.

The joyous atmosphere of the wedding extended all the way to the outside of the plaza outside city hall, Abby Bear’s classmate poured the champagne, and, at this time, Abby’s dad, who’s actually, very uptight suddenly, led his friends and families, to sing that folk song in German, to bless the union, they were very moved, and, it’d, moved all the tourists who’d trekked across the plaza. This wedding was like that strong shot of morphine for the two elders, Abby’s dad who’d been sick a long time looked very alive, and, Abby’s mom, looked deep, into his eyes, like they’d, just, fallen in love together.

The westerners’ show of their love for each other, was totally, different from the Asians’. Seeing how Abby’s dad danced around with Abby’s mom, looking deeply, and lovingly into one another’s eyes, it was, such a sight of joy. But, as I’d, looked back toward my wife, she too, was, gazing at me, using that same way too; the way her curled eyebrows looked when she smiled, it was, comparable, to Abby’s mom, and, thinking of how I still have this, teenage girl who’d, loved me, and looked upon me with that sort of admiration, what else, can I ask for in life?

And so, from this experience of a wedding abroad, you’d realized, how the westerners’ show of love is quite different from the easterners’ show of love, but, love is felt, no matter which way you chose to express it.


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?


What Flower Taught Me

Lesson learned, from an animal, translated…

About a month ago, the poodle that was owned by Aunty Chang downstairs, had “unknowingly” given birth to a puppy who’s coat color was darker, “Flower”. Reason why it was weird, was that Aunty Chang stated that Flower had been spayed, so how can she have an offspring? Could it be that she was, mistaken, that Flower never, got spayed?

And, because flower junior was born, they’d needed to look after her well, but, her mother-in-law was hospitalized, and her husband, ill, she couldn’t have the energy to care for Flower Jr., so she’d asked me to help, that she will come and pick up Flower Jr. after her mother-in-law was discharged from the hospital. I’d never owned a dog before, and, my impressions of dogs stayed at the cute puppies printed on the calendars. But, think on it, I’d only needed to feed it, take it outside, it shouldn’t, take up too much of my time, and, I can help my neighbor, and have the company of Flower Jr., so, why not?

from this…not my photo…查看來源圖片

As Aunty Chang wrapped up Flower Jr. in a towel to hand her over to me, I was stunned, by that small puppy, the size of a banana, with her eyes still closed. She wasn’t anything like those puppies I’d imagined, the ones that run and played, seeing the young Flower, I’d started regretting agreeing to care for the puppy, without getting the handle on the situation first.

Flower was very light, and yet, as I’d held my hands open to take her in, she’d felt, so heavy to me. And, Aunty Chang started telling me what I’d needed to watch out for feeding her, cleaning up her poop, and to keep her warm, along with the likes, I’d nodded my head, and told myself, that I will NOT, let Mrs. Chang down, entrusting me with Flower Jr.

The first few days, she’d stayed put inside that small quilt that covered her, and other than feeding, it’s, sleeping, there wasn’t, that much trouble. About two weeks later, her eyes became, twice their original sizes, and, every time I’d called out her name lightly, she’d, extended her neck, to see where my voice was coming from, and started, showing signs of wanting to move, moving her front legs, attempted, to, lift up her body. By the third week, she could already, stand up on her own, but still, wobbled as she walked around and about.

And, although the way she looked was very foolish and cute, every time I took her diapers off, she’d, peed and pooped all over, again, and again, and again, I’d just wiped my hands, and needed to, go wash up again, I’d felt, very annoyed by this. There were, a couple of times, that I was, impulsive, in wanting, to bring her back to Aunty Chang, but I’d, put that thought out of my mind.

to this…not my photo…letting the owner know that s/he needs to go outside to potty!

In order to train her to pee and poop in the bathrooms, I’d layered the newspapers in, then, closed the doors, thought, that it would go my way. But, I’d waited for her, and waited, and waited, nothing happened. But, as I’d, let her out, she’d, immediately, peed in the living room floors.

Once, she’d pooped at the entry of the kitchen, I’d let out a loud yelp. She’d, immediately, run and duck for cover underneath the couch. Seeing how fearful Flower became, I’d, blamed myself for being too hard on her, and thought, that I’d, hurried her too much, a dog that’s not yet a month old, how can she know what was expected of her? I’d needed to, hold my horses, and teach the ways slowly.

With this new mindset, I’d, trained her more times during the day, and, in the process of waiting for her to go use the toilet, I’d read or listen to music. And, maybe it was that I’d felt, more relaxed, or maybe, Flower had, grown, one day, she’d, peed on the newspapers. And, seeing how she’d, rubbed up against my heel with her muzzle after she’d peed, I was so happy, and so moved too.

With my careful taking care, Flower grew by the day, her curly brown coat was, soft and shiny, her eyes, bright and shiny, very cute. In a couple of days, Flower will go home with Mrs. Chang, I’m truly grateful, that during this period of time, she’d shown me the joys of watching something mature, along with, training me to be more patient as well.

So, this is what keeping a pet does for us, it trains our patience, makes us, more understanding, of the needs of others, because a puppy that young, needs a ton of care, and love, and attentive, and, if you don’t watch it closely, it will do things that will make you mad, and, when you do get mad over the things that happen when the animal was in your care, you’re actually, ANGRY at yourselves, because it’s YOUR fault, for NOT noticing what the animal needs.


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.