I keeeel myself with comparisons all the fucking time. From sisters to friends to coworkers, I'm always seeing all these degrees of success that I can't imagine accomplishing... and that's my issue. I shouldn't be making these comparisons and prematurely ruling out the things I've yet to even attempt. My work is about me, and that is in no way to be determined by anyone else. So comparisons shouldn't mean shit, but I'm still weak enough to let em corrode my determination... I know that some of my work is good, based off of how I eventually feel about it and off of public opinion (I know, bad source of confidence...). Forreal though, to hear honest praise from people i respect to heaven n back is humbling as hell, even if I myself don't see what they do. It gives me faith in what I do, knowing that it has some effect on somebody, whether that be emotion triggering or awe inspiring, cos that's a big part of what I aim for through my art n writing.
So talking to you for hours about where we wanna be some day and sharing our writing was... nice. :) I forreal got scared when you called me out n told me to show you what I'd wrote, since everything you send me is always maaaaad tight. It's funny though... your writing's always deeeeep, powerful shit, but our chats are bout the stupidest things! I'm forreal so surprised with every essay you send me, cos the contrast is just tooooo ridiculous. You're a fucking softie ashamed of your truth. Still, I respect you more than you know, so to have you rave the way you did bout some of the things I sent you, was def support I needed to hear. Trust, I'm on my way to valuing myself more, but it's no over night thing.
I sent 2 vignettes from freshman year, n a gallery statement I did recently. I'm more confident in my older stuff cos next to the things I write now, they look better than they did when I first wrote them.
made me cum in my pants
Yeah, I kinda like it too. :)
The house phone rings, its tune a perky, mechanical melody. In four strides, my father is up and across the kitchen, there at the phone, as if he’d been waiting for this one call his whole life. But this waiting is different. This waiting isn’t an option that makes the happy ending sweeter, but a moment of time stretched endlessly that forces my father into submission, into sitting in the present to hear the knowledge of the future.
My grandfather has passed away. Vietnamese and static travels the ocean and enters my father’s ears, the words lacerating his hope. Sitting at the table, I decipher what escapes the phone receiver, catching weeping, squealing. There are silences on the other line for intakes of evasive breaths, and I bend over to finger the sponge-like holes in my socks. In my head, comprehension has yet to catch up to shock, so I chew over a single word: phổi, Vietnamese for lungs. My father puts down the phone.
My father turns to sit in a wooden chair two seats away from me. He looks up at me, seeing me again, and I am shocked that his face has aged. Gray strands seemed to spring out of their dark hiding places. The gentle folds stemming from the corners of his eyes droop severely. He knows I was listening, I can see it, and I feel guilty for not having waited to be told.
“Ông nôi, your grandfather, has been sick for a long time. He said without cigarettes, he couldn’t breathe, and he passed in his sleep,” he tells me quietly, sighing shakily. In his voice, I can hear his internal struggle to maintain his slipping composure. Then, suddenly and with silent speed, my father stands, turning away from me, and emotionlessly says, “I’m sorry, con,” before swiftly leaving the kitchen, his heavy footsteps tired.
Minutes later, I rise to look for my father. I’m lost. I need him to guide me, to show me the exit of this unreal daydream. In my mind, however, flutter doubts. How can he find me when trapped within a haze of his own, a nightmare?
Upstairs on the second floor, I walk past a slanted window on the attic ceiling, searching. Something catches my attention, something on the roof, so I step back to peer through the cloudy panes. Fearing what I will discover, relief comes with the sight of my father. He’s staring at the sun, its dimmed vibrancy barely visible above the darkening skyline, and an alarm clock on a stand reads 8:23. One minute until sundown, the end of another day. It would be the end of the final day of my grandfather’s legendary life. Like a stone turned over, I recover an old memory, the words of my father: “Time cannot be categorized or frozen. When something happens on the other side of the world, it will not affect us 12 hours later because of time zones. It affects us in present time, and nature decides where the sun will be at that moment.”
The restless sun eased into the foliage to rise another day in another place. I saw the flowing tears then, my father’s face wet and shining in the twilight, and only then did I cry for myself.
My God, it was dusk.