Monday Morning

Castle Road - July 30, 2018

Castle Road – July 30, 2018

I saw a reflection of myself in the MTR door this morning and I thought damn, I sure look like my dad. Growing up, I never thought of my dad as particularly cool, wearing his button-down shirts with khakis, jeans, or slacks, and tennis shoes. I associate the tucked-in, button-down look with him, and now I’m sporting the same look for work.

My dad was not someone I tried to emulate. If anything, there were things he did that I told myself I would never do. The sad thing is, I’ve actually gone on to do pretty much everything I said I wouldn’t do.

The MTR takes me to an office less than a mile away from my birthplace. The hospital is no longer there. Actually, I don’t know what’s there now. Maybe one of these days I’ll stop by during lunch to have a look.

The first place I ever lived is even closer, only half a mile away. My aunt’s house is close as well, in the same neighborhood it’s been for the past 40 years. This is where I come from.

In my angst over rejoining the rat race, it hadn’t occurred to me that I’m now working so near the “home” in my original “hometown”. I wasn’t trying to do it, but it happened. I didn’t want to be like my dad, yet somehow I am. I try not to do the narcissistic things my mom does, but sometimes I do. No matter how hard I’ve tried to be my own person, I am still a product of my upbringing and socioeconomic background.

I’d like to think that I’m in control of my life but it’s kind of crazy how close I am to the beginning. Is it possible that all this happened subconsciously? Maybe I’m not much in control after all.

First Date

I originally posted this here on February 11, 2018 @ 02:56 but later un-posted it because I thought that maybe I was airing too much of my “dirty laundry”. But then I remembered how I wrote about fearing making a caricature of myself, being afraid to post my real thoughts and feelings, so now the post is back. Hopefully, it stays that way.

There doesn’t seem to be anything great about aging at all. My eyes are going. My memory is going. The main purpose of this post is to preserve a memory from adolescence, the first date that I ever went on. Sprinkled in is some parental resentment that has bubbled up during these past couple of years. As you can see, there was a flurry of activity on this site in the first half of 2017, with a dramatic slowdown and a few inconsequential posts in the latter half, followed by no activity at all these past few months. We finally moved back to Hong Kong, because we couldn’t take living with our parents anymore. I’ve been mourning the end of the first half of my life. Perhaps I’ll explain further at a later date, but for now here is the first post in a long while, my first ever date.

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To a person from a normal, loving family, it would never occur to them that another family could be so broken that it would produce a person who did not know how to express his own feelings. I was taught to never approach a love interest because that would make me “less valuable. Let them come to you, that’s how you know you’re a catch.” Sadly, as a result of this type of thinking, my sister, who is only a couple of years younger than I am has never regularly dated a person and has probably never known love. My mother continues to infantilize her today, advocating a policy of “there’s no rush, whatever will be will be”, which means she probably never will.

My first date was with a girl named Julia from my class. It was probably around ’92 or ’93, because I remember my dad taking care of us at that time. Those were the years when my mother had to return to Hong Kong to sort out her legal status. Anyhow, I remember at the time that it was just two classmates hanging out, but maybe I was just dense.

So Julia came to meet me at my old house, that little tiny apartment that I’ve mentioned before. My dad was super (and unusually) happy to meet her, maybe because his son was going on a date, or maybe because Julia was white. My dad and his side of the family have always had white-worship, something not uncommon amongst wannabe upper-class Chinese people. I remember the gray metal gate at that place when I recall this memory. Also, introducing Julia to my dad inside the kitchen which was also the entryway and first room when entering the apartment.

Julia may have been coming from a play rehearsal. She was into the arts and in later years when I looked her up I was glad to see that she continued on the thespian path. I remember her giving me a flyer to go see her performance.

First place I remember going to is Mission Dolores. Despite having lived in the Mission for years, I’d never actually been to the place it was named after. In the years since, I haven’t gone either. I was amazed to see a graveyard and to learn that cemeteries aren’t allowed in San Francisco, with the church being one of the few exceptions.

Next, I think we went to the Randall Museum. For all these years, I would drive by and see the green sign, and have a feeling that this was where I went with Julia, but I never confirmed it until today, when I looked up some photos after reading of its remodeling. There’s no doubt now that we went there.

It’s foggy but I think there were animal displays. That’s all I remember of the interior. But it would seem I remembered the exterior all these years and just never knew it was Randall. When I googled it tonight, I saw the little hilltop where Julia and I sat on some rocks to appreciate the view of the city from up there. It was cold, and she put her arms around me. Thinking about it now at this moment, I remember that she was wearing a gray sweater. The sky was gray as well.

When she put her arms around me, I remember being confused. Did she like me? I tried looking at her face for a clue, but she had this cool look, like she was just taking in the moment, a look of contentment. She inhaled the crisp air through her nose.

Looking back at it now, I think she did like me, but I was completely clueless. I didn’t know how to enjoy that moment at that time, filling my head instead with inconsequential thoughts. Typing this out now, I remember my heart beating fast. I wish someone had told me about love back then, even the puppy variety, and that there was nothing wrong with it. My family treated it as a mutually-exclusive enemy of education.

After this, I remember being in Chinatown, specifically next to the Pagoda Theater in a Chinese restaurant. I’d eaten there with my family before and after watching HK movies next door. I recall introducing and explaining wonton noodles to Julia, and she seemed to like the dish. I don’t remember how we got there, but it seems logical that we might have taken the N or the J downtown before transferring to a 30 Stockton or a 45.

The next thing I remember is dinner. I think I was supposed to go home, but we were having such a good time that we wanted to keep going. I called my dad from a payphone outside the restaurant, and I think I also called my college-age cousin to ask for a ride later on. The restaurant was at a corner, an Italian place in North Beach where we had pizza. One of the streets might have been Grant, with the other being the one that goes up to Coit Tower.

I think it was my first time having pizza in an actual restaurant. Since then, I’ve tried to find a pizza restaurant like that, without success. The closest with a similar vibe would be the pizza place Admiral Kirk went to with the whale biologist in Star Trek IV, but apparently that’s not really in SF. Maybe I was just trying to chase a feeling that can never be duplicated.

The last place we went to before my cousin picked us up was Pier 39. I don’t remember how we got there or even what we did there. It was definitely wet and cold. We sat on a bench near the vehicle waiting area, on the left side (vs. the right where the arcade used to be). This time, Julia took my hand. It was an incredible feeling. We held hands until my cousin arrived.

When Julia got out of my cousin’s two-door car, she hit her head. It was on Army Street, and my cousin’s car was a silver Acura Integra. I can still see that image inside my head. Later, my cousin and his girlfriend took me to McDonald’s in Serramonte and I shared the day’s activities with them over a sundae. They were excited for me just from talking to Julia in the car, asking me if I liked her and all that. I think on my end I still wasn’t sure if it was a date.

The next school day I remember sitting in reg and our mutual friend Emily telling me she’d heard about the date, and asking whether I’d go out with Julia again. I recall being a bit wishy-washy about it, giving off an impression that I wasn’t interested. In the coming weeks, I didn’t really talk to Julia much, and although I didn’t realize it at the time, there was one interaction where the disappointment was clearly visible on her face. When I finally saw it, it was years later, in hindsight.

In my mind, I thought that if she liked me, she would ask me out again. I had no way of knowing that what my mother taught me was so fucking ridiculous.

Over the years, I’d see Julia around the neighborhood every so often. Things were always cool between us and we’d ask each other how things were and all, but we would never go further. I mean, not in a continuing-from-Pier-39 type of further, but more like an extended conversation. We would say bye and then not see each other for years again. At one point, I said that the next time I ran into her, I’d tell her how I really felt back then. But sadly, the last time I thought I saw her last year, I chickened out and didn’t even go up to her.

In conversations with JC about the crazy that I come from, I’d tell her that I regretted my inaction because I probably hurt Julia unintentionally. Perhaps it’s just a projection on my part: my first date, the impression it made on me that 25 years later I still remember it, perhaps it was only a big deal to me, and not so much for Julia. I mean, I’m married now. What does it matter to tell all this to a person I haven’t kept in touch with whom I’m not even certain liked me 25 years ago? I don’t know the answer, but I do know that if I don’t it will be another regret. When I look back on that day with a proper lens, I’d like to think that there was something there. And I would want Julia to know that she was totally awesome and I would’ve totally asked her out if I hadn’t been fucked in the head as a kid. We’re not getting any younger, and some of us have even departed. Who knows who will be next?

Introduction to Hong Kong Museum of History (1982)

Introduction to Hong Kong Museum of History (1982)

For this Friday afternoon museum post I’m delighted to bring you this 1982 introductory booklet to the Hong Kong Museum of History.

I first visited the museum in 2007, when I went to Hong Kong by myself. In later years, I took JC there as well. It’s really a fascinating glimpse into Hong Kong’s past and gives a nice outline of Hong Kong’s story (pun somewhat intended as the permanent exhibit at the museum is called “Hong Kong Story”). Who knew that I had a booklet from there all this time?

The details are murky now, but I am 100% certain that my father gave me this booklet. He either brought it over to me here in the United States, or I saw it at his house or office and picked it up with interest, and he gave it to me. There was a boarding pass stub tucked between the back cover and last page from one of the summers when I returned to Hong Kong as a teenager, so it’s probably the latter.

Being a PhD of history, my father liked to keep these types of old things (and being the son of a history buff, I suppose I do, too). At the time he gave me the booklet, it was already over a decade old. Now, it is 35 years old, and has spent at least the past 20 years inside that blue shoulder bag that was also given to me by my father. Amazingly, both the booklet and bag still smell like him, even though he himself has been gone for over 20 years.

In my current state of mid-life crisis, I am embracing minimalism to “lighten my load”, so to speak. For most people, it’s probably normal to own a lot of stuff, and after a few decades on this Earth it’s not uncommon to have roomfuls of things collected throughout the years. When my father died and we had to go back and claim his things at the university, there was an entire storeroom of books and papers. But I wonder if he, like me, ever looked at all those things that he saved and kept in his closet and on his bookshelves. What do we hope to gain by saving all this stuff? Will we take it with us when we leave, or will everything just get shoved into a broom closet/storeroom? It doesn’t make sense to keep things we will never use or even look at, but we still do it.

So that’s probably why I’m scanning all this stuff and putting it out here. At least here, someone from the internet might stumble upon it and look at it with fascination like I did that one day in my dad’s room. Life keeps moving forward in many different directions, and one little spark of interest could change the course of someone’s life, even if that spark comes from the past. No, we shouldn’t live there, but sometimes it’s nice to pay a visit.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Introduction to Hong Kong Museum of History (PDF, 18.8 MB)

Rain

Friday morning’s torrential rain reminded me of staying at my father’s house back in the summer of ’96. Relative to most other homes in Hong Kong, my father’s was remote and close to the woods. It was like a rainforest, and hearing the rush of the rain that morning I pictured the hot and steamy mountainside behind his house.

Recently I saw my father’s home on TV. It appeared on one of the nightly dramas. In its current form, the place is now a senior home, and I was reminded that if my father were alive today, he’d already be well into his 60s. It’s kind of hard to fathom. The picture I’ve had in my mind of my father for the past 18 years is how he appeared before he died, how he appeared when we spent those summer nights at his place.

As I watch my mother, grandmother, aunts, and uncles age, a selfish side of me thinks that it was fortunate that my father died before his 50s. Because he did, I don’t have to watch him grow old, watch him deteroriate, or watch him lose his marbles. Although it is a part of life, it is difficult to watch loved ones getting old, knowing that one day they’ll probably leave this earth before you do.

That’s one way to look at it, of course. Another way to look at it is that I’ve missed out on having my father be a part of my life for the past 18 years. Graduating college, getting a job, buying a car, getting married – these are all things my dad would probably have been happy to see. I probably could have used his guidance over the years, and my life probably would be different today if he had been alive.

As humans, our destiny is to be born, to live some duration of time, and then to die. Everybody gets one turn. I wonder if the world would be a happier place if this fact was continually hammered into each and every person. Knowing that I could die tomorrow, maybe I won’t waste my time finding fault with others. Knowing that I could die tomorrow, maybe I’ll skip typing that last email and go home to JC.

Since I can’t control how others behave, I’ll live my own life in this manner. We each get one turn, and what we do with it today will determine what we think at the end. I’ll continue to do what I want to do without infringing on others, and hopefully at the end, regardless of when it happens, whether it’s inside the flash of a split-second or a long, drawn-out departure, what I think will be that I’m glad I lived my life the way I wanted to.

When it’s gone…

Enjoy these times, Geordi.
You’re the chief engineer of a starship.
And it’s a time of your life that’ll never come again.
When it’s gone, it’s gone.

Continuing from the last HK update, I wanted to write a little bit more about my cousins and aunt. When I think of them, I see Scotty giving the bit of advice above to Geordi in the Star Trek the Next Generation episode, Relics. The context is different, but the way Scotty said “When it’s gone, it’s gone.” really resonates with me. My cousins and my aunt are gone, and I will never see them again. An entire family is gone. The permanence is difficult to accept.

My father died pretty early on in my life, but even so I have a lot of fond memories of him and I can talk about these memories with my family, and they understand. I can ask my sister if she remembers the time we did this or that, and she can nod in agreement and reminisce with me. With my cousins, I can no longer do that.

Space Megaforce

Space Megaforce

I was watching some game videos when I saw one of Space Megaforce for the Super Nintendo. My cousin NVG first introduced me to this game; it was one of the earlier SNES games we played together, and every time I play it I am reminded of him. Now, there is no longer a single person that I can mention Space Megaforce to who can understand and acknowledge that time of my life that will never come again.

In the show, Scotty boarded a shuttle at the end and flew off into space, never appearing in canonical Star Trek’s 24th century again, appearing only in non-canonical novels and the reboot. I suppose I can think of it that way for my family: my cousins, my aunt, my father, and my grandpa are all together in a shuttle somewhere, and although I’ll never see them in my “canonical” life again, I’ll be able to see them in my dreams and memories.

Sega Master System Nostalgia

Sega Master System Game Collection

Sega Master System Game Collection

For today’s museum post, I have a collection of games for the Sega Master System (SMS), collected over a period of nearly 30 years. The SMS was the first gaming console I ever had. I remember coming home from primary school one day and our parents taking us to New Town Plaza in Sha Tin. On one of the higher floors, there was a stationery shop where the SMS was sold. I have no idea why my father picked the SMS over the more popular Nintendo Famicom, but that’s what he did and the rest is history, and now I’m a Sega fanboy for life.

A funny thing that happened was that after we brought the new SMS home, we set it up and started playing, and then my father said “Hey, this isn’t motorcycle racing”. I guess he was sold on the motorcycle racing game Hang On and somehow we ended up with Bank Panic, a completely different game. We took it back to the store to exchange it. So, although I’ve thought of Hang On as my first SMS game for the past 30+ years, technically Bank Panic is the first SMS game we ever had.

Hang On - Sega Master System

Our “first” SMS game, Hang On

Pretty soon after, we added the second and third games to our collection. It would appear that we were big fans of driving games:

SMS Games Hang On, World Grand Prix, and Action Fighter

SMS Games Hang On, World Grand Prix, and Action Fighter

Game Descriptions on the Back

Game Descriptions on the Back

Our move to America was, in my memory, quick and sudden. Somehow, either I or my parents was able to pack the SMS and all its games and accessories into a suitcase and bring everything over. Looking back, it’s amusing to me that at this life-changing crossroads, the most important thing to my childhood self was my Sega Master System and its games.

Relics from Childhood - Sega Game Lists

Relics from Childhood – Sega Game Lists

Over the years, I continually added games to my library. One of my favorite places to buy games was Kay Bee Toys, but they mostly sold their games at retail prices. Later, when most retail stores no longer sold SMS games, I hit the mother lode in a place called Toy Liquidators, on Howard Street in San Francisco where the Burlington Coat Factory is now. I bought many games there on the cheap, brand new and still shrink-wrapped. I loved that place. Even later, when I was in college, I chanced upon a comic book store that had a bunch of games that were, though used, titles I had always wanted, but could never afford. I remember running to the ATM to get the cash to buy them, worried that someone else might discover and snatch them away from me.

I have mentioned before that there are some items in my life that I will never part with. My Sega Master System and games are some of those items. I hope you will enjoy the rest of the gallery below.

The (Almost) Original Sony Playstation

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As part of preparing to move, I spent some time during the summer to clean out the garage and throw out things that I no longer needed. One of these things was my first Sony PlayStation.

It was the summer of 1995 and I had just graduated high school. It was my first time returning to Hong Kong since moving to the United States. As a graduation present, my father bought me a PlayStation. We had been through so much in those few years; I think I’ve mentioned on here before that my father and I didn’t always get along. For my frugal father, spending HKD$3,000.00 for a toy was a big deal.

The reason this was almost the original Sony PlayStation is that this was the second iteration of the system, the SCPH-3000. The first version was SCPH-1000. I bought one of these for my cousin. It had a black-shaded cardboard box, whereas my SCPH-3000 box was blue-shaded. The SCPH-1000 had a built in S-Video jack. Otherwise, the two systems were mostly identical. This was also back when electronics were actually made in Japan.

Serial Label

Original Box

I think around 2001, I poked around inside my SCPH-3000 and accidentally cut the ribbon cable that connected the CD-drive mechanism to the circuit board. Oops. Since that time, the inoperative PlayStation has been in storage, replaced in active service by the newly designed PSOne.

Being the sentimental person that I am, I took pictures of everything that I threw away. My logic is that if these items are sitting in boxes, they’re not really doing me any good, and it won’t hurt too much to toss them out. Better to take a picture and have it show up randomly in my desktop photo gadget so that I actually see and remember it, rather than out of sight, out of mind. Actually, I’m posting this now because I saw my old PlayStation in the slideshow.

I hope everyone enjoys this trip down memory lane.

Necrology of My Father

I recently rediscovered a necrology (obituary) of my father written by Dr. D. E. Mungello of Baylor University and originally published in the Sino-Western Cultural Relations Journal, XIX (1997).

Reading it again, this time as an adult nearly twice as old as the teenager who read it before, I find that I gain deeper insight into the person who was my father. I feel like I can learn more about myself if I learn more about him. I was barely 18 when my father died, with many of those eighteen years being spent in conflict with him, as can be typical with teenagers and their fathers. I never really got to know my father as a man. Reading the necrology and other articles by and about him gives me a chance to get to know my father a little better. I never would have admit this back then, but I am very much like him, and today I am proud to say so.

Below is the necrology, posted with permission from Dr. Mungello.


NECROLOGY

Dr. John Dragon Young (楊意龍博士)
(1949-1996)

John Dragon Young was born on November 5th 1949 in Beijing. He came from a notable academic family whose members have included the English translators, Gladys Yang and Xianyi Yang. In the aftermath of the Communist Liberation, his family fled mainland China to Hong Kong where he received his primary and secondary schooling. He came to the United States for his post-secondary education and graduated magna cum laude from California State University at Hayward. His graduate work in History was done at the University of California at Davis and completed in 1976. His dissertation was directed by Professor Kwang-ching Liu (劉廣京教授) and was later revised and published as Confucianism and Christianity: the First Encounter (1983).

Dr. Young returned to Hong Kong in 1977 where over the next decade he held a number of academic positions. These included employment as a Research Officer of the Centre of Asian Studies at the University of Hong Kong and as a teacher in the Extra Mural Department of the University of Hong Kong. He cofounded the Modern Chinese History Society of Hong Kong and served as its first president. He wrote the foreword that appears in the first issue of the Modern Chinese History Society of Hong Kong Bulletin 香港中國近代史學會會刊. After serving as an active Head of the Department of History, Hong Kong Baptist College, he resigned over what he regarded as a matter of principle. This event was a watershed in his life and he would never again obtain a full time academic position in History.

For the next five years, Dr. Young was involved in the political life of Hong Kong. His academic involvement moved in this direction when he became a professor in the Graduate School of Journalism at Chu Hai College, although he also served as the Director of the Historical Research Centre of Chu Hai College. His commitment to Hong Kong was more than what one would expect toward a place that provided him merely refuge. He had a genuine concern for the people of Hong Kong and would increasingly come to believe that Hong Kong’s unique identity could play an important role in mediating between mainland China and the United States. As part of his effort to raise the people’s consciousness of legal institutions in Hong Kong, he successfully ran for a seat in the Shatin (New Territories) 新界沙田 District Council in 1988.

Excited by the implications for democracy by the Tiananmen student demonstrations, he travelled to Beijing in May 1989 to attend the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement. His intense disappointment over the outcome of events of June 4th would lead him to turn his energies toward Hong Kong. Increasingly, Dr. Young was involved in media debate over political events there. His public criticism of the forced repatriation of Vietnamese refugees led to an extended dialogue with Governor David Wilson over Hong Kong affairs. However, in 1991, his political life suffered a reverse when he was defeated in his independent candidacy in the first Legislative Council elections in 1991.

In 1992 Dr. Young returned to California. He became an advisor on Asian affairs to the San Francisco Mayor’s Office and obtained American Citizenship. He became an editorial consultant with the «大華間雜誌» (Chinese Journal) (San Francisco). After drifting away from his earlier interest in cross-cultural studies, he wrote a series of articles on Hong Kong’s impending absorption by the People’s Republic of China. He published these in such publications as «星島日報» (Sing Tao Daily) (San Francisco) and Asian Week. In addition, he wrote book reviews on China for the leading English-daily in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post.

Unlike many Chinese academics who established residency and citizenship in the United States, he moved back and forth between the cultures of the United States (mainly the Chinese subculture of San Francisco) and Hong Kong where he had a base at the Centre of Asian Studies of the University of Hong Kong as an Honorary Research Fellow. There was a price to be paid for moving back and forth between these two cultures without being anchored in either. His understanding of American culture was deep and sophisticated, but he appeared much more Americanized than he actually was. The academic job market in the United States continued to be tight and a position there eluded him. Dr. Young’s eventual move back to Hong Kong was probably decided by his securing employment as a member of the Department of Translation of the Chinese University of Hong Kong 香港中文大學翻譯系. In this final academic position, he was involved in teaching the translation of legal terminology from English to Chinese and from Chinese to English.

During the last years of his life, Dr. Young returned to his early interest in the early modern history of Chinese cross-cultural contacts. Sun Yat-sen held a particular fascination for him, perhaps because of the parallels in their lives divided between Hong Kong and Overseas Chinese areas. He wrote reviews for this journal and collaborated with this writer on translating a passage from Yang Guangxian’s 楊光先 Budeyi «不得已» (I cannot do otherwise) (1665) as part of a Sino-Western section for a new edition of Sources of Chinese Tradition edited by Wm. Theodore de Bary. He was one of the organizers of the conference “Christianity in China: Foundations for Dialogue” held at the University of Hong Kong in May of 1992 and he coedited the papers for publication. He was an enthusiastic participant in the International Symposium on the Significance of the Chinese Rites Controversy in Sino-Western History which took place in San Francisco in October of 1992 and in the International Symposium on the History of Christianity in China which took place in Hong Kong in early October of 1996. He looked forward to further involvement in cross-cultural studies.

Dr. Young was self-effacing and personable. On his visit to Texas in the spring of 1995 he enthralled Baylor students with his description of secret societies in contemporary Hong Kong. He experienced a great deal of frustration in his life which made him, at times, critical. He had strong feelings about the issues for which he cared most, including lingering imperialist attitudes toward the Chinese and the future of democracy in Hong Kong. In an article on the meaning of Chinese patriotism, he wrote that whereas in Western democracies, criticism of one’s government “is considered a right, or even a duty,” this is not the case in China where traditionally government officials have acted as “parents” of ordinary Chinese. He believed that the dilemma of Chinese patriotism would continue beyond 1997 “unless efforts were made to inform the average Chinese person that loyalty to China is not necessarily equal to total obedience of its government” (Asian Week, February 18th 1994, p. 2 & 19).

There is reason to believe that Dr. Young might have played a significant intellectual role in Hong Kong after its absorption by the mainland. Unfortunately, his life ended on a note of bizarre tragedy when he was struck by a lorry in the Central district of Hong Kong Island and in a spectacular fall, landed on his head, suffering a brain injury. After three weeks in the hospital, he died on November 5th 1996, which with sad irony, was his 47th birthday.

He is survived by his parents in Vancouver, by a sister in Hong Kong, by a son and daughter in San Francisco and by a daughter in Hong Kong.

In retrospect, Dr. John Dragon Young was a man whose life from birth until death was characterized by struggle. Many of these struggles were inflicted on him by the historic upheavals of 20th-century China. Others were merely personal. But some of his struggles were for the most noble of ends. He will be missed by those of us who valued him as a bridge between East and West, as a colleague and as a friend.

D. E. M.

Goodbye to Guitar

Guitar

Tonight I packed away my electric guitar in preparation for its sale tomorrow. I’ve had this guitar since ’99 or 2000, the time that I was really into learning how to play. 12 years later, I haven’t really made any progress, my life situation is uncertain, and I think it’s time that someone else benefits from it.

My father playing the guitar

My father playing the guitar

I first became interested in playing the guitar after I found my father’s old classical guitar in storage. I had seen him play it before and he seemed to enjoy it, being able to play a few licks here and there. I’ve also always been fascinated by guitarists, how it seems that they can effortlessly move their fingers across the fretboard. Who doesn’t think guitar players are cool?

Me and My Guitar

Me during my heyday as a guitar “player”

There are some things I’m really good at, but guitar playing is not one of them. I shall accept this fact and sell my electric guitar, but I will always keep my father’s guitar.

My Eyes, His Eyes

I wonder what it’s like, seeing through his eyes;
Is there a struggle, can he hear me.
I had a thought, I pryed open his eyes,
And even though he couldn’t see me, he saw me.

Then he struggled, and my heart jumped.
He tried to talk, but wait;
Why can’t I talk?
I keep trying but my lips do not respond.

What about my hands; I want to move my hands.
Why can’t I move my hands.
I have to;
I just have to.

A tear falls from his eyes, for he knows he is helpless.
Helplessness.
The word is a cacophony in his mind.
But that tear, a lifetime of words, in a second of time.

When it falls, it falls.

I feel such pain.
I have tried so hard.
He is leaving. He is leaving.

Come back.
There is something I need to tell you.

He lies there,
Thinking,
Wondering,
In my eyes, in his eyes.