I hate the world because I hate myself
Seattle – April 2013
Photos by MingZhi C.
I hate the world because I hate myself
And what do you do when your foundation falls apart
When you have so much to say
But no words to start
So I was watching Ocean’s Eleven with my parents the other night, and in the beginning when Matt Damon gets offered the plane ticket, he bit his lip in consideration as he held and looked at the ticket. I squealed and spazzed and convulsed everywhere as my step dad gave me a weird look from across the couch and I practically half scream, half gasped, “HE BIT HIS LIP.”
I cannot believe I did that in front of my parents.
Dad lifted my piano lid and pressed on random clusters of keys going up and said to the phone, “Me? No, I don’t play. Maybe it’ll wait for you to come play it.” It was sweet of him to tell that to the girl he loves that’s a world away, it was a little promise, that they’d be together someday.
Then darkness clustered and I felt a twinge of sadness, almost, that I would be replaced. That it would no longer be my piano then, and when dad sees the piano, he would no longer think of me. Instead, he would see his new wife smiling and playing random clusters of notes, on a piano that I use to call mine.
Things were easier as a kid, you didn’t have to worry about anything. Then you learned to think because you got hurt once, or someone tricked you into trouble so you learned be careful. Life got harder and harder, people became harder to read and more difficult to deal with. But you’ve always had your friends and family to make it all okay, to give you encouragement. So you swing through your years of cramming for exams and finishing up last minute assignment, and you don’t realize until the very night of graduation that you’ll be on your own soon. Even though friends may come and go, family was always there for you. You learn to live by yourself, take care of yourself, and make new friends along the way. You become even more careful of your choices because you know that your parents won’t be there to catch you when you fall, not anymore. So you tough it through with bruises and scraped up knees, and it was all worth it when you met the one. Everything clicked, things made sense, and nothing seemed that hard anymore. Not when you have someone that loves you close. You guys held on to each other as life lashed out its storms at times; in the comfort of each other’s arms, you learned to fall in love. Things calmed down, life became stable, you got a job and feel like you’re finally getting a hang of life. So you propose to your love and you guys get married. Oh families, everyone was there and you’ve never felt anything better. Until you hold your beautiful and delicate first born in your arms and wonder how anything could be more important in your life than this precious soul in your arms. You watch your life in reflection as your babies grow up, and you run to catch them whenever they fell. You watch them learn to become people of society and lose their carefree spirits because life has forced them to, you try so hard to protect them and sometimes they don’t understand. But you made a vow that you’ll guide them through whatever their trouble is and make everything okay when it’s not. And that seems to be okay when you have the one you love helping you through all of it. Next thing you know, you see yourself amongst the crowd of graduates’ parents. You catch the brightest smile on your treasure’s face as they walk across the stage to receive their diploma, and you’ve never felt prouder. It was so hard for you to let them go take a shot at life alone, you’re scared that they get hurt and you would be rendered helpless because they’re so far away. But you do anyway, you know that they have more to offer to the world and it’d be selfish to hold them back. Oh, you just wish and you could turn back time and hold your babies in your arms again… They come home now and then and you are so grateful every time to see them sound and healthy, you’ve missed them so much. Oh but they’ve also brought someone else with them… You’d get nervous every time your precious daughter walks through the door with a boy. She’s so pure and perfect, no man is worthy of her grace, and certainly no one is worthy of her broken heart. But you like this young man that she’s brought home a few times, he could be worthy… Then came the shock at the dinning table at a family dinner, a ring! A ring on her hand. Your protective instincts take over for a second and you refuse to let it be true, and then you see the smile on her face. Her radiant smile and her eyes just shows how happy she is, and you have to let her go, again. In a frenzy, you find yourself tugging at your suit and feeling quite nervous, and then you catch a glimpse of your daughter as she’s ready to be given away. You catch your breath. You’ve never seen anyone more beautiful and precious than her. Her hand in yours, you walk her down the isle. She’s holding your hands so tightly, so you give her a reassuring squeeze to let her know that everything will be okay and you’d always be there for her. In a moment, it feels like time did turn back, you’re holding your grandkids in your arms and you see the same pureness that you’ve found in your babies years ago. You see them grow up and you see your kids growing to understand your feelings that they couldn’t understand years before. You treasure every moment you have with you family as things start to feel like they’re happening too fast, time’s slipping through your fingers… Everything quiets down and you’re sitting on the rocking chair with a book, reading with the love of your life still in your arms like the first time you’ve spent the night together. You kiss her on the head and hold her hand and fall silent. Looking back now, life hasn’t been easy, but you certainly have tried your best and never took a single moment for granted.