I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –
Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –
Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –
Dwell… I like that “well” is in this word. A deep well of feeling well.. choose deliberately where you dwell.. may as well be possibility.
Then I saw this guy… I just thought I’d capture him, because he’s someone my mom
would look at and say, “Does his mom know his hair is like that?” I’ve always loved a good fro myself. I can’t help it, I’m pro hair.
And then I saw this guy:
Who I LOVE… I see this Chinese man several times a week. We tend to get on the same train, the same car. I think he gets on earlier than me? Later? I like seeing him, because he’s my unspoken train friend, and because his face is one that always has an extra happiness in it. I will try and get a better picture next time. Some faces have built in tragedy. My mom’s best friend from Korea is that way. Mrs. Ma. She’s a beautiful, beautiful woman. Always has been. She has this delicate, fragile femininity and pale, pale skin. And if you look at the photos, as far back as high school, her face had the tragedy behind it. Behind her eyes and the vulnerability of her chin, there is this sadness that is blooming. That sadness in her eyes speaks of big, epic doom, like in Russian novels. I’ve never actually read a Russian novel. I want to read The Brothers Karamazov this year though.
This Chinese man.. he is the opposite of Mrs. Ma. He has built in joy. Like his joy is so loud, there’s no question in it. It’s just the frequency his face emits, has always emitted. Will keep emitting… People say that Asian faces are not as expressive.. what is the word? Inscrutable. I don’t know how true this is. I mean, there is a thing about showing emotion and about formality. There are rules, but goodness knows, no one loves tragedy and drama more than Koreans. Except maybe the Chinese? I was speaking with a member of the Main Squeeze Orchestra who is Chinese, this awesome woman, Elaine Yau, and she’s learning to play the erhu. She said the Chinese love tragedy too. Her teacher wouldn’t teach erhu to her daughter because the instrument is too sad for children. You should have already given up on life and the possibility of happiness before you touch it. So Elaine’s learning it herself.
What was I talking about… faces. Right. I think that “inscrutable” business is something white people say because they didn’t grow up in an environment where all the faces were Asian. You have to go to Seoul, and see only Asian faces everywhere, in the advertisements and on TV.. every type of person will be Asian… there will be nothing that an Asian face can’t be or express or represent. Then we can see what you say. People just need to get out of the country more. That’s all. We need to have mandatory world traveling as U.S. citizens. Like some countries have mandatory military service for young people. We need to have mandatory study abroad. I’m telling you, it will cure some things. At the very least, it could improve conversation.
Speaking of Asian faces… what is it about big ear muffs that make it so that people think it’s okay to “ching-chong” me? I’m serious. I get consistently more ching-chong noises when I’m wearing these
than when I’m not. I must be asking for it. Is that right? Is there something in the audacity to wear loud head gear that says, “This girl wants you to yell nonsense at her. She’s begging for it.” Or does it say, “This girl has no boundaries! She is aching for contact that transcends language. Go ahead, just make unintelligible noises at her that poke fun at her race.” It’s a mystery. Is it because I look more like a hello kitty with these on? I become closer in appearance to a large-headed, mute cartoon cat, so of course, I’m a receptacle for all those pent up desires to make another person uncomfortable. I really don’t understand, but I will continue to study this phenomenon. Once, I was ching-chonged walking through downtown Brooklyn, and I stopped and asked the guy why he was making those noises at me. He said, “Oh… I’m sorry. I just thought you couldn’t speak English.” Right. So if I don’t speak English, I am obviously fluent in gibberish.
This is a true story.