Thursday, January 31, 2013

Travel Clinics

This morning was absolute bullshit.

It started with the fence taking out the right side-view mirror in the middle of the night, which led to the mother becoming my ride to BMC and school.

Trees and streets were shit.

Traffic was shit.

Understaffed service at the travel clinic was shit.

Two and a half hours long appointment was shit.

Insurance not covering my visit was shit.

Paying out of pocket was shit.

And then came the car ride where I sat and got bitched for spending the way I fucking wish to. Yes, it was a fucking ridiculously expensive appointment, and yes, I am steadily emptying my bank account, but what other options do I have? In her eyes, maybe, just maybe, the risk of catching crippling Japanese Encephalitis along with a list of other rural diseases was a risk worth taking to save a few hundred dollars.

I told her I gladly paid for it with my own money because this was an investment worth making (it's my fucking health, and I'm not trying to die in Cambodia). Then she responded threateningly with, don't ever say that to me again, and said that there was no difference between my money and hers, that my money is her money. Fucking bullshit...I worked like hellllllll this past summer and fall, holding down my positions at OTL and Itadaki, on top of running the shop when she couldn't. I made excuses and dropped all shifts and commitments every time she told me she felt weak and needed me to watch the shop. I worked for the mother voluntarily without ever once thinking of the pay that I could've instead been making. (When he realized I was working three jobs, he said, "Damn, Kim. Three jobs for parents is struggling.") 

I've worked and saved in the summers to pay my own way through the months that I'm not working. I don't ask for money to go out, to buy gifts, to pay for college apps, to pay for gas, to get school shit, to go on school trips, to pick up groceries, to make donations. When was that money ever hers in any sense other than legal?

Out of my own determination and love, I saved up to give $300--100 for Chi Trang to take care of herself on her Asia trip, and 200 for Cau to put towards supporting his temple and orphanage. She was proud of me then and didn't at all object, but when I try to worry about my own health for a change, I'm suddenly the fuck-up who's wasting "her" money.

It's damn similar to how she treats Chi fucked up. She gives her little respect and never the benefit of the doubt even after Chi Trang loaned Ma, Ba $xx,xxx. She still sees her as a child lacking all sense of responsibility despite the shittons she has saved up after years of precise planning. But the mother never ever goes off on Chi Hien for having close to nothing in her bank account. Such a double standard. Even more amazing is the fact that Chi Trang, no matter how pissed she gets under attack, never brings up that unpaid loan to humiliate the mother.

She told me that this is the last time I travel to Southeast Asia, which is fucking hilarious to me. There's less than a month before I'll never again need parental consent on life decisions. Does she not realize that she has absolutely no power over where I choose to go in the future? This legal hold on me of hers is pretty fucking finite because one day, I might join the Peace Corps, or return to India's Himalayas, or spend the entirety of my adult life in a developing country, serving a purpose greater than myself. And she'll have little to no say in whether I stay or go. And I will fucking pay for my damn vaccinations before I do go.

This morning and its fuckery reminded me 
of feeling 13 and the days I would leave without notice,
of years of feeling unsafe at home, 
of skateboarding till it was too dark to see, 
of why I love watching smoke swirl and sunrises,
of getting pierced, 
of getting tatted, 
of donating pieces of myself to feel whole, 
of lying. 

It's hard to feel this anger but remember that only weeks ago, I held her hands and pleaded for her blessings, to forgive me for leaving her and Ba for NYU. For months, I have felt only guilt and fear and gratitude, but for now I've misplaced those feelings.

I know it takes time for this hateful heaviness to subside, but it's disgusting that I'm even capable of this sinfulness.

Maybe more than anything, I'm mad at the fact that she could be right, that all my money really is hers because if I were to repay every dollar she's given to my name, I'd spend most of my life in literal debt to her, and figurative debt to her forever for creating my existence.

And I fucking hate that she still gambles with him. But that's a whole different issue...

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