This Is Goodbye
When I was young, I thought that I would be able to breathe underwater. Water was, to me, just a thin film that covered an area of air, until I decided to fill my bathroom sink with water. In the end, I ended up inhaling water and figured out that water takes up space and is not just a thin film that sat above air. When I was a bit older living in California, I held on to the side of a swimming pool and took a lap around the pool until my hands slipped and I fell into the deep end and when I woke up, I was on the floor beside the pool coughing up water. I am scared of swimming. I joke sometimes about death.
I am not afraid of eating alone. I don’t like to drink alone. I prefer reading Hemingway to Stein. I pretend to speak French and Italian. My first language is Korean but I am a native English speaker. I’ve only loved in English. I’ve loved less than a handful of women in my life. Love is a painful process. Opening up is a difficult process to me. Friends have commented on my mysterious past. I’ve thought about moving to countries across the ocean where I can’t speak their language, from where I can’t come back home. The sound of trains reminds me of old times back in the city, by the 4-train station. I have read more books in Buffalo than I have in Westchester. I know more about Hemingway than I do about my brother. I have read more Bolaño than I have Poe. I am more American (North, Central, and South) than I am Asian. I feel more connected to the United States than I do with Korea. A body of water separates me from my past and my present.
I have been in fights. I have been mugged. Death is something that I accept and have accepted ever since my friend jumped off the library of NYU. I am afraid of dying with my glasses on. I am afraid of sleeping with my contacts on. I am afraid of drowning. The “S” on my keyboard is the most worn out on my laptop. Swimming is something I do not enjoy. I have never owned a swimming pool. I have never lived in a house. I have had sex in public. I have never had sex in front of other people. I have had sex while on drugs. I have smoked marijuana, opium, crack, snorted coke, popped ecstasy, and tabs of acid, but not all at once. I have never ridden a horse while high. I rode a horse, my first and last time, bareback in California and saw a snake inside of a rusty tractor. I was almost swallowed up by the Pacific Ocean during high tide. I have injured more people in my life than I have hurt myself. I have tried to make one thousand cranes for a wish but never got beyond folding twenty.
Writing is a way for me to forget that I exist even if I write about myself. I am not who I am. I am who you think I am. I tend to over-exaggerate things, for example, in my fourth grade class, I told my class I held a fish out of water for over a minute and my teacher asked me if the fish died and I changed my story multiple times until I settled on twenty seconds because I did not understand time until I got a watch in sixth grade. I worry about my parents, my mother especially. I worry about women, especially women who I’ve slept with. I have the tendency to develop feelings of intense jealousy and possessiveness. I never thought that my friend would be the one to be murdered by his mother’s boyfriend. I could smell the bodies from the apartment. I can’t go to fish markets to this day.
I know more about Chinese history than I do about Korean history. I am incensed by the atrocity committed by the Japanese in Nanking. I am disgusted by the atomic bomb. I am disgusted by genocide. Racism makes me feel sick to my stomach. I feel lost in this world. I have dreamt about flying to the moon. I have dreamt of watching the world from a distant planet. The world is killing me. Death is something that we can look forward to. It’s something that we all experience; it’s something that while sad is welcoming. It is a reminder that we are alive. Death and love go hand in hand. While I can say I love you a million times, the best time for me to say it is before I die.
I love you.
A | A | A
The first time I saw you, I was working in a coffee shop up in the mountains.
I want to heal people’s hurt. Make them realize it’s not a perfect world but there are still people out there, like me, who are broken but believe in love anyway. Who want to make other people happy.
Still, all of the above is still better than having a roommate, am I right #studiostrugglers?
Our 20s begin halfway to the end.