Thursday, November 19, 2009

strangers alike.

I'm at home on a Saturday alone. Studying and ill.
Angrily wrapped in a fleece blanket thing and leg warmers because Hong Kong suddenly got super cold and there is no indoor heating. I've lit all these ikea candles but there's no warmth from them and for some reason they keep melting and within an hour the candles turn into a flat 2-d thing of wax.
so sad. are there no candles that can light for me?
I feel like the little matchstick girl.

I keep thinking. what if.
what if I fail my exams.
what if
I look at my test paper and realize the only thing I have to say about hong kong's basic law is that I have no basic idea of what it is basically. but it is basic.

somewhere my elementary school nerd self is looking at me and shaking her head in disapproval and disgust.
It's strange - I see the same woman every time I go to the gym. (Well maybe not so extraordinary because I don't go very often).. But anyways, she's a woman in her 60s, although from a distance she could pass for 20s. She's asian - but her skin is the same color as the Southern country club grandmas I grew up with - baked a bizarre brown-orange color from too much time in tanning beds (on wrinkly skin it makes the person resemble a walnut).

I've only ever seen her in the locker room, standing on the scale in her underwear or putting on makeup in front of the mirror. Each time I see her I want to feed her something. Like a bag of lard or maybe a gotta have it coldstone. Her legs are easily half the circumference of my arms, and she has a gap between her thighs that a 'little person' could walk through without worrying about bumping their head on anything(weird image). Her arms look like fingers, and her chest is the definition of concave. She always stands on the scale wearing only underwear, moving the silver lever back and forth back and forth, impassive but somehow also upset.
I looked over once out of curiousity, the lever hovered around 78 - 80 pounds. Although I couldn't really tell because she kept moving the lever so much.

I don't know, I've always hoped that with age, you earn the right to care less about what you look like, or at least not have body issues. Maybe next time I go I'll bring a bag of lard... It's hong kong, can't be that hard to find.

newly discovered -
cappuccinos. Who knew foamed milk could be so good. whenever I drink one it reminds me of three failed weeks I spent as a barista in london. I could never figure out how to foam milk and had to rely on the Polish bartender from the shop next door to come in and do it for me... mostly I remember because of what I can't remember. I can't remember the name of the cafe, the street it was on, the name of the polish bartender, or actually even how I came across that job.

portraits. Outside of our apartment building there's a man who paints portraits in oil paint. He hangs his canvases on the side of a brick building. It took me a few weeks to realize that the paintings were commissioned, because every few days, it is a different group of faces on the wall. He paints faces throughout the morning, working on several faces at once. One hand holds a photograph, the other hand paints the eyes of a woman and then the hair of a man - so that every face takes on some resemblance to each other.
Strangers who become alike - it's kind of a beautiful thing.

By the time I come home in the evening, the paintings and the man are gone. And the only hint of the faces from before are the colors of oil fallen on the sidewalk.

I know it is silly to be deeply affected by celebrity deaths. Why should the death of one person mean that much more than anyone else's? But I have to say I was really sad to hear about Daul Kim. She seemed very charming, and while not conventionally beautiful she had a beauty that seemed dangerous, sharp like a knife. the edges of a line.
I'd kept one of the things she wrote:

i never thought i was innocent
but i was pure

i believe that i am pure

now i just feel misunderstood.


When you're a teenager and in your early twenties [love] seems desperately eternal and excruciatingly painful. Whereas as you grow older you realise that most things are excruciatingly painful and that is the human condition. Most of us continue to survive because we're convinced that somewhere along the line, with grit and determination and perseverance, we will end up in some magical union with somebody. It's a fallacy, of course, but it's a form of religion. You have to believe. There is a light that never goes out and it's called hope.
— Morrissey