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The Fuel

With no consolation, I step forward

There were some payoff to the writing, but no consolation for the worries.  Submittable offered no pep talks, no receipt with an uplifting email or letter. I kept going as if nothing happened and told no one because it was so shameful to have been rejected multiple times for reasons I didn't know. I wish I had the money for expedited responses, and constructive feedback on each short story, but there was no money and I was not about to go on more debt. I relented, surrendered and hoped for the best. I cried afterwards, knowing there was a 50% chance of acceptance, but upon writing my story, it felt a hundred. I was hopeful, at least for a short time.

 

I didn't compare myself, because it was tasteless to my conscience. It would hurt me for the most part and I didn't want to criticize other writers when I was not born a Stephen King, or an Amy Tan, or a J.K. Rowling. I was just one writer, trying with all I got and praying upon each entry for a place for publication, to be given the acceptance to be a part of their world, and to be a contributor, not a desperado.

 

Maybe, I am over thinking it, but when I submit, it just felt fearful and I couldn't help but worry. The PTSD spiraled sometimes and I close my eyes and raise my arms to God, Love me, bless me, make me a greatest work of art.

 

Keep writing. Just write.

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With fears and trembling

Professing doubt was not the problem, it was the moving through that took me more than I was ready to digest. I sinned the greatest of all writer's sins, the doubting of the craft and the fears of skills unpracticed. I stopped writing for a week.

 

Every day should at least possess inside itself (at least) 500 words of prose that spun unnoticed in my own mind. Without trying, it should be there, whether I liked it or not. I was the sinner for enjoying the separation of my ode to God to write, and took a break from using my craft and talents for worship. Writing was life, and I had to get on with it to keep breathing.

 

What was conceived inside me was supposed to be greater, but yesterday and for a week, it was dark sin that rotted into death. The consummation of evil need not be great, it could be a simple laziness, or just a smidge of pride. It then turned greater as it spun its web into the crevices of our being, as it ate my esteem, and became a wounded and spiraled ebb of death becoming. It took a week and it almost cost me the tenderness of my creative heart.

 

It started to harden with crystalized protein of dark materials that was caustic, because as the days went on, I became separated from my craft, the talent gifted in me by my maker in Heaven. I took myself to meditation, and had to chisel off the crystalized materials that was attacking my heart with verses mantra, as the veins of my blood vessels were clotted and blocked, ready to heart attack itself, to cause me to stop beating, stop writing, and I would die...instantly. 

 

Not so fast, came these words of Neil Gaiman, "finish thy failures, and it is a greater learning experience, greater than a finished masterpiece," as he said reworded, while I listened and he changed the word, 'failures' into "practice with fear and trembling" towards the finish line. I took myself to this blog, as I was compelled to write my fears and doubts because I didn't know why I felt it. It was there and I trembled, shivered, worried, cried, pained and struggled to get the words out. It crept into me and often I wouldn't understand why. I was so afraid of failure that I ceased to practice because of the never could happen, never would be possible, the odds of against me became the devil inside my gut and that was conceived into death. My head was down and I was defeated.....but not yet, O satan!

 

Get thee behind me, Lucifer, you were never worthy of my life. Never did God say I failed, he told me to get on, move on, move through, cycle through, keep it on! I won't listen to the laziness and the thoughts of how I was not good enough according to the world's standard. Who made it? I was good to write, and I kept on, and won't stop.

 

Just write.

 

 

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I finished a failure

September 29, 2022 - 9:07 pm.

 

For several days, I waited for emails from magazines only to find some rejection letters for my short story. I recorded a mini-therapy-video on Instagram, only to delete it later on in the evening out of sheer embarrassment and fear about haters laughing at me (again). The shame was overwhelming because of the Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder and Depression; but I am okay now, that I am writing this journal entry late in the evening.

 

Neil Gaiman told his students, "You learn more from finishing a failure, than starting something great and stopping it." I understood what that meant, but this evening, I felt what that meant. I felt the sense of accomplishment of finishing a failure and realizing that "I can start again," and this time, it might be the next greatest thing! (or it might not, but the point was...finish it. Honor myself). It might not be Van Gogh, and it might still be Blake, 7, drawing Batman, but to someone out there, it will be an artistic work of creative art.

 

The truth was, I was being a shitty narcissist by applying for a position to be a contributor to all these magazines, when deep down, I knew it wasn't my best work. I was confident with my novel and it was rejected, and I was confident with my short stories, and it was rejected. I wanted to boast and show off my skills, and I was rejected. I had the wrong motive. I needed to focus on my voice, the message and the truth. I also needed more practice. I needed more development of my craft, as I held on to my incontinence (being 47 and feeling late and old), and holding on to all the -ence, that came with biology. I needed to toughen up and practice, until I have rejection emails as my shell that nothing but Hurricane Ian would compete.

 

Probably, all writers were born crazy, but I loved this bold crazy and I started to love my own guts and failures. It wasn't a failure at killing an animal or a man, instead, it was a failure on a long prose of fiction. It was a nice beginning, and I needed to continue the crazies to get on. Not crazy in reality, but go crazy in a literary term. Do show, not show off. Do start a magnificent story, but don't get upset if it's a failure. I realized I needed to keep going and to never cease writing, and to stop being lazy when I came home from work and hungry. I needed to stop drinking coffee too late, because I needed to wake up early and start the engine to the turbine that was my creative neurosis. I needed the wake up call and I needed to start now.

 

May I have thicker skin, tougher soul, brilliant mind, and peaceful spirit. I finished a failure, and the rejection made me realize something. This was just the beginning and I MUST KEEP GOING.

 

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To the Forever Gorgeous Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live

May 10, 2010

 

To the Forever Gorgeous Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live,

 

I wished no one would judge me. Ever since I was little since my Mom left me, I felt like the whole world has been judging me. It felt that way because I think no one cared about my behavior, and I had to be the good girl to help raise my Dad. He was just a kid too, I think.

 

My Dad looked lost most of the time and I felt lost all the time with him. We talked about rent, making ends meet since I was young. We weren't always at the house. We moved several times from one apartment to another. We've never really owned any townhome or a house. We just called every place our "house." We liked to pretend we owned it, although I saw my Dad sold his guitar, his leather jacket, his watch, his radio and his bicycle to pay the bills. Ever since I saw my Dad did that, I didn't want to feel like his ball and chain, or his debt to God. I wanted to pull my own weight, so I worked as soon as I could.

 

Seth, the judging thing....I wondered why I felt this way. Joey said he didn't care if people judged him for his weight. He said, "Judgements are comfort for the judge, not the victim. We have to stop caring." I'm not made like him. I cared too much about what other people think because I've been so self conscious since I'm not made normal, with a normal house, normal family, normal upbringing, normal mental health. I felt like judgements fueled me to keep working, and when I spoke with Joy, she said, "So you always wanted to impress everyone to feel like one of the 'normal' people or the accepted person?"

Seth, you know what my answer was. If you were in my shoes, what would you do, Sethy? Even in writing, I wanted to impress you, even when you're not even here. That's how bad it got.

 

Joy told me that we were going to start on Crisis Intake Plan, and to walk down my goal plans, and my journeys, my hopes, my fears, my therapies and my desires to heal. I never thought that far. I just always wanted to please Jack, or actually, whoever paid attention to me at the time.

 

The rest of the time with Joy, during therapy, she told me a story.

 

The story was about a man with an old couch. Joy said this man always stopped by 7-11 and bought himself a soda with his dollars, and he'd put his change insde his pockets. He never took care of himself and just kept drinking sodas, eating junk from 7-11. He'd pass out on his couch while watching television every night, and often his coins would fall out, but he didn't care. He left all of his coins that fell out of his pockets inside the couch. 

 

One day, a kid next door came by wanting to sell some chocolates for his middle school fundraiser. The man said, "Sorry, kid. I need the money for myself." And the kid almost cried because it was his middle school fundraiser and he wanted to win a prize.

 

"Please, sir. Have you checked your couch. Maybe you have some loose change somewhere in the couch?"  The man had on a dirty shirt, untucked, with soda stains and Cheetos in his hair. He replied to the kid, "Sure, I'll go search for some change. Be right back," and so he searched for change, and of course, he found A LOT of change. 

 

He found Quarters, Silver Dollars, Dimes, Nickels, that some parts of the couch were hard because the coins were many and the couch was old. He said, "Oh my Lord, I'm actually rich!" 

 

The kid smiled, and said, "You are, you're just putting your money in the wrong places." The man looked to the kid, and said, "You know what, kid. I'm going to change, no pun intended, but I'm gonna."

 

"But, I hope you haven't forgotten about the chocolates that I'm selling," said the kid. 

 

"No, I won't forget because you made me look for change, that I realized I've wasted all of my monies and time on this couch when I could have saved up, cleaned up, changed up, shape up, and become rich," said the man. He gave the kid, $10 dollars but didn't take any chocolates, instead, he closed the door, showered, changed his clothes, and tried to find a job. 

 

Joy said that the point of the story was, that the man realized his potential, although he lost all those coins inside his own couch, it could have been worse, he could've lost his life from heart attacks, or getting shot at 7-11 when he was getting some Coca-Cola. But, because of the eye of the innocent, he saw the truth, and he was rich. Rich with potential, rich with the future, and rich with his possibilities. He had what a lot of people didn't have. 

 

I supposed, I was that way too. I supposed, even with the abortion, the assault, the low income, and the bipolar depression, I had something of worth inside of me that I didn't see before. 

 

I'm going to find out,

WishesOoohWishes.

 

May 12, 2010.

 

To the Forever Gorgeous Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live,

 

Yesterday, Joy and I took a walk with Joey and Jenna. Jenna was raped when she was little. Seth, is 17 considered young to be a rape victim? How old can a rape victim be, Sethy? How young is young to be raped, and how old is old to be raped? 

 

Jenna was 10. I thought that was pretty young, don't you think? She said her Dad sold her to his friends to get some drugs. She used to live with him, but she was always spending nights at other men's homes to pay for her Dad's debt. She told me that one time she had her period and a man still had sex with her, until she was pregnant, and later on, she had an abortion. 

 

I realized that some lives are worth saving, like Jenna's. Although she was hurt so bad, but like we talked about before, her potential was great, because she kept on living, and I gave her credit for that. I think that was the point that Joy, Joey and Jenna wanted me to understand, that I needed to keep going. 

 

If there was a time when I felt small, it was this time with Jenna. It's not that she made me feel worthless, but she made me realize that I was one form of assault victim, but a power of one amongst many to survive the trauma. I mean, there are so many victims that we're not alone, but because of that, I was suppposed to be powerful to survive the trauma with them. Do you get what I mean, Seth? It's truly not as complicated as Drunk Uncle. Sometimes, I don't understand him.

 

"What made you think that you've had the worst life, so far, Mary?" asked Jenna.

 

"I feel like I've killed a baby," I said.

 

"Was it your decision?" asked Jenna.

 

"Yes, it was to save myself," I said. I felt like the selfish loser, and an idiot who won't ever deserve to be a Mother again.

 

"I did the same," said Jenna.

 

I was flummoxed and my mouth gaped open. 

 

"You didn't think I was barren while I was being trafficked, did you?" said Jenna. "Do you know how many women get abortions each year?"

 

I was silent. If I had a choice, it was to NEVER have an abortion. If I had a choice, I NEVER wanted to be raped. 

 

Joy finally broke the silence, "It is always a case by case situation, Mary," she said. I didn't understand Joy. "I thought it was pro-life or pro-choice. I felt pro-wrong," I said.

 

Joey pointed to the building we were passing by, "Look at the windows in this building, they are so huge," he said. "Do you think rich people get abortions? What made them do it? And do they live in this building?"

 

Joy looked up, and said, "I don't judge a woman on abortion. Whether she choses to keep or abort the baby. I choose to love her, especially if it's a case of abuse or biological anomalies."

 

"I wished I didn't do it," I said. 

 

"It was the thing that saved me," said Jenna. 

 

"I choose to not blame the woman for it, so I choose to not blame you, Mary, for saving yourself," said Joey. "If there was a place who could save your baby, such as adoption, I would have brought that up to you too."

 

"I didn't want to make another orphan in this world," I said. "I didn't want a reminder of Jack's rape in my life."

 

"I choose to love you,, Mary," said Joy. "I would never blame a woman on that. I've never been pregnant and I've never been in your shoes."

 

"It was the thing that saved me," said Jenna, her eyes in tears. "I couldn't survive knowing I bore a child from the human trafficking."

 

"I still felt wrong," I said.

 

"One day, you will right the wrong," said Joey. "It's not penance, but transformation. Perhaps you will adopt or have your own child. And even if you don't, you can help women in these tough situations."

 

"It was the thing that saved me," said Jenna. "I wanted to end my life, although I was bearing a human life from the assault."

 

"If I was a teen pregnancy case, I might choose differently," I said. "Or, if I was rich, I might choose differently."

 

"If you were a teen pregnancy case, I choose to love you as a teen Mom, and if you decide to abort, I would love you as a woman," said Joy. "Some people say that it is a right or wrong choice, but that's too extreme. It has to be a case by case basis. If a woman can still have the child, she would realize her world will change drastically and will physically need to work on it. If a woman decides to abort, she has to realize her mental health and spirit will be changed drastically and she will have to heal from it. It's a matter of which of the two you're capable of, and it is a case by case basis."

 

"It was the thing that saved me," said Jenna, and by this time, her sobs needed tissues, and she added, "It was at the point of when the baby lives, I will die, and there was no one to take care of either of us."

 

 

Joey's eyes were in tears, as he said, "I've never realized the suffering all women carried in life, even as little girls, teens and later on, as women. And here I am, just sad because I'm fat and homeless."

 

"We can't always blame everything on Eve. Like rape for instance," said Jenna.

 

"I just wished more men were responsible and kind," I said. "So women didn't have to bear all of the suffering of childbirth. The world needs more compassionate men."

 

Joey wiped his tears, and said, "I'm gonna need some chocolate cake later. And then I'll send a prayer request to Sister McGeady for true love for everyone." 

 

Joy and I laughed, and Jenna hugged Joey around his stomach. We walked nearly six miles just talking about righting the wrongs we've done, and if we would ever get into heaven. But, I just knew that I won't make a good Jesus.

 

I wonder if God forgives me, Seth,

WishesOoohWishes.

 

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Thoughts with tiny bubbles

My head submerged underwater and my lungs breathed out the condense air as tiny bubbles floated over my face. The evening news showed deaths of Asian women in Atlanta a few days ago, but I refused to listen to the thought and immersed myself in the bath water relaxing my mind. 

Two days ago, an active shooter murdered 10 innocent people at the King Soopers Grocery Store, in Boulder, Colorado, nearby a cafe I frequently spent time in to write. There was a clearing force injecting my heart, to clean nonsense and only give space to those who loved me and no one else.

 

The rest of the world no longer mattered, and I felt forced to shelter in the comfort of stable friendships, critical people only, because those were my community. I didn't want to speak or process my grief to anyone around me. I wanted to close the door to the friends I have yet to meet or develop relationships with, and focus only on the current and immediate close circle of families and friends.

 

Those violence almost closed the door to a future filled with harmony, new friendships with beautiful lives and souls, and almost impeded my growth as a human being.

 

My drive and purpose in life came knocking on the gates of my brain, and asked it to open and relent compassion for my well being; through trauma processing and making connections with my fellow coworkers and customers I met on a daily basis.

 

I realized, my purpose was to send out beautiful energy and to help others in words, action, and love, more than I received. It was my calling to fulfill as a fateful destiny, for which I never chose but it chose me and happened accordingly. 

After witnessing those tragedies via social media and television, I almost lost my sparks. It stunted my creativity for a couple of days, from fearful thoughts that I might pose as a threat for a senseless and irrational human being. People who committed mass shooting, racism, rapes, violence, terrorisms at all levels, including stalking and gang banging, have no purpose in life, their souls full of egos. They felt the existence of good prevents them from their freedom to release the erratic behavior to oppress those who pose as revolutionary. They felt threatened in their subconscious by good lives, opportunities, diversity, tolerance, harmony, and peace. The crazies almost had their statements fulfilled, but that would only suppress growth of our future and ridicule our youth. 

Came back my thoughts to the knocking of my own heart beats pumping my subconscious. It asked me to write out my thoughts and gave me a newfound freedom of expression. It was my right to be Asian because I was born with it, and my right to want gun safety, and my right to grieve for my beloved Father, who died a month ago.

 

I had the right to process it, to not fear it, to be angered by it, but not to be negatively moved or provoked by it. I was the strong tower who had the right to sunshine, and it was an ordained future. Those vile acts and the death shan't lead me to captivity. I was free to express my emotion, because it was sane and creative, not vehemence of ghore. 

Submerged underwater, my brain cooled down, the door to my mind and heart opened for a life of adventurous journey, running with beating pulse pacing my life to enjoy it once again. The tiny bubbles kept floating over my face and I rose up exposing my shoulders over the bath water.

 

This was a thought processed, after a few dismal days.

 

Just write.

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Good People

~ Dedicated to all of the children and young adults I met in my life. You are my bright shining Sun. ~


I'm a good kid

Because I know how to love

I know I care

About me and my heart

 

I'm a good kid

Because I can smile

When the sun shines bright

Or when the moon hides behind the clouds

 

I'm a good kid

Because I know I can fly

Even through the storm

And when the sky turns grey up above

 

I'm a good kid

Because I have courage

To stand, run, and dance

Even when the world will not give me a chance

 

I'm a good kid

Because I am strong

Even when I am weak

Or when the Earth turns upside down

 

I'm a good kid

Because I care enough to make it

Although the valleys are deep and wide

 

I'm a good kid

And I am on my way

To become good people

 

Because good people laugh

through the cries of sorrow

 

Because good people hug

to embrace another

 

Because good people speak

of lovely words with uplifting voices

 

Because good people live

and keep on breathing, through and through

 

 

Because good people are honest

taking lies away further from the truth

 

Because good people shine

living with pure light inside their minds

 

I am on my way

To become good people

 

Taking each step

One at a time

 

I am on my way

To become good people

 

Loving my life

Living with love

 

I am on my way, to become …

 

Everything I am meant to be

 

Precious

 

Beautiful

 

Wonderful

 

Honorable

 

I am a good kid

 

I love me

 

I love all I will be

 

Good people, I am meant to be

 

Good people, that's me

 

 

The end. Just write.

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The Boy Who Knew Everything

~ Dedicated to Jonathan Brandis. I'm always going to be proud of you, kiddo. ~

 

I met a boy at school once, and he knew everything.

 

He thought everything was easy, and he made the hardest things become the simplest ideas.

 

One day he came to school with a picture of a tree.

 

The boy asked me, "Look at this picture, and tell me, what do you see?"

 

"I only see a tree," I told him. "But, what do you see?"

 

"I see a whole new life, and a whole new vision," said the boy.

 

"What do you mean? What else do you know?" I asked and wondered what it was that the boy saw in his visions.

 

 "I could see the future," said the boy.

 

"I believe you. I wish I could see the future too!" I told him, and he smiled at me.

 

He walked ahead of me and I never saw the boy again.

 

One day, I saw some people at school talking about him. I asked them, "Did you see the picture of the tree?"

 

A friend looked at me, and asked, "What do you mean? What tree? The boy was taken to a new school, with new friends. He said he could see the future."

 

The next few days, I saw his face on several newspapers, with the frontpage headline titled, BOY WONDER FOUND CURE TO THE FUTURE!

 

Everyone in the city spoke about him, and one man said, "He is a genius!"

 

THIS BOY IS A WONDER OF THE WORLD, printed the newspaper.

 

"But what did he see?? Could he fly? To the moon?" I asked some random people in the city.

 

"I think the boy could do anything, and see everything!" said a young man.

 

No one knew where he went, so I thought, "I hope he remembers me."

 

I minded my own life, but never met anyone like boy wonder since.

 

Years went by, and I often thought of him after the newspaper printed the story.  

 

My time at school was amazing, and wonderous things happened to me. 

 

I found the greatest things in my lunch box after school, and fresh apples on the seat of my bicycle, but there were no apple trees nearby.

 

I wondered, "Does someone know me? But, I am just a random kid at school."

 

One day, I found a little sparkling glass star, with a note that said, "You're famous!"

 

 There was also a picture of a tree on the seat of my bike, "Who left this here?"

 

My eyes moistened and I began to cry because I realized, someone loved me.

 

"I think, I know who this was from," I said to the clouds.

 

I rode my bike to the lake, and looked up to the sky with tears in my eyes.

 

I yelled at the top of my lungs, "I want Boy Wonder to fly to the moon! To the SKIES AND UP ABOVE!"

 

At that moment, I felt the future was the greatest thing, EVER!

 

I loved myself from then on, because I found out what the boy knew, and it was called, HOPE!

 

Not long after, I saw on the frontpage of a newspaper, a picture of him but a little taller.

 

The newspaper printed, BOY WONDER IS FLYING TO THE MOON.

 

I read the paper carefully and saw something wonderful on the picture.

 

Boy wonder had a button on his shirt of the same tree he drew at school, and underneath it was a message that said, "FOR MY FRIEND."

 

 

The end. Just write.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Know that I Love You

 ~ Inspired by Janet Nuss and Dr. Marian Mehegan, DDS.~

 

Broken cups, spilling milk,

Or plates tumbling

When you're hiding, running,

Jumping, or screaming

 

Know that I love you

 

When you cry and

Everyone sees

Even with bandages

On your knees

 

Know that I love you

 

After a fight, and

You've been pushed down

Even when everyone

Keeps poking fun

 

Know that I love you

 

When people are laughing

But you are embarrassed

Hiding behind your palms

Eyes red and heart calloused

 

Know that I love you

 

When you feel a bit

Tattered inside

And no one could place

Your sadness aside

 

Know that I love you

 

When the going

Gets rough

When you feel you're

Not strong enough

 

Know that I love you

 

When your heart is

Joyfully dancing

And you are

Jubilantly singing

 

Know that I love you

 

When you are

The winning team, and

You've reached everything

You can dream

 

Know that I love you

 

When you have to make

A perfect choice

Hoping and praying

To hear a voice

 

Know that I love you

 

When you're facing

So many choices

Trying to make

The right decision

 

Know that I love you

 

If thunder and lightning

causes some fear

And the darkness

Comes crawling near

 

Know that I love you

 

When nothing can

Give you despair

And every second is

A breath of fresh air

 

Know that I love you

 

But, before, after,

During, or while

And when everything

Gives you a smile

 

Know that I love you

 

When you've found

Your true love

Truly divine from

Up above

 

Know that I love you

 

In winter, spring,

Summer, or fall

Blooming flowers, and

The gentle breeze call

 

Know that I love you

 

I love you

 

I love you

 

I will always love you

 

 

The end. Just write.

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How To Make a Stamp

I am a little person from the island of No One.

It is an island, above Nonsense, and Everything.

 

I want to move from this island to become SOMEONE, because I feel everyone in No One, seems to know something, although they really know nothing.

 

So, I pack all of my things, to go to Anywhere, Everywhere, before somebody tells me to stop!

 

I gather all of my belongings, 44 years in the making, and I have a PLAN.

 

I will make SOMETHING, to make me SOMEONE, out of No One.

I will make a stamp! So people can see how I was nothing, and became SOMEBODY.

 

I say to my parents, "Mom, Dad, I am good to go. I even have a "plan!"

"Since you are over 40 years old, we can trust you and we think you can make it!" My parents says to me.

 

On my journey, I met a man, he says, "Look at me, I am half Nothing, partly Somebody, and I made SOMEONE out of myself."

 

The man is strange, with curly brown hair and a spiky-yellow goatee.

I shake his hand, and tell him, "I am a little person, from the island of No One."

 

He laughs, and tells me, "I was a No One too!"

I reply, "Really? Where from?"

 

"The big part of Nonsense, and our family, often goes to see Everything," he says.

 

"Wow, I am happy for you!" I tell him, speaking as a No One.

 

"Well, I'm on a journey to become SOMEONE!" I tell him.

 

His eyes glistens as he tells me, "It's good thing you know! Look at me now, I'm a HUGE SOMETHING!"

 

I say, "Wonderful, I even have a "plan."

 

He pats me on my back, and he says, "Well, little No One, I'll go and bid you good luck. So, one day, you can be SOMEONE."

  

I am joyful, and my smile shines as HUGE SOMETHING rides off into the sunset.

 

I soar my arms as if I am flying, and I feel the wind while running to the nearest, "Air Mail Station."

 

It took hours to find EVERYWHERE, and finally, I see on the horizon, ANYWHERE is somewhere near.

 

I start running and got so excited that my arms flops up and down.

 

"I'm almost there, the place called ANYWHERE, EVERYWHERE! I am so proud of me!" I say to myself.

 

I walk inside the Airmail Station, and say to the man in front of me, "Hi, I'm a little person, and I have a plan."

 

"Yes, thrill me!" the man says. I believe his name is Airmail Worker as he looks at me with a gargantuan grin.

 

"I know how to make a stamp!" I say to him with a smile.

 

"Wow, you're one of those. The type with a plan," says Airmail Worker, as he strokes his chin.

 

"I told you, I told you, I know it!" I yell, showing Airmail Worker see, how capable I am to reach the sky.

 

"I'm hoping your plan will work," he says.

 

"I think it will. I even told my parents about this," I say to him, with excitement.

 

"Well, you have to be at least 21 years old," says Airmail Worker as he pulls out a form.

 

"I'm 44 years old! YES! I made it!" I cry out, because I am happy.

 

"Definitely, you are old enough," he says, as Airmail Worker shakes my hand.

 

"Fill this out. It's a form.  And you must sign the back of this piece of paper," Airmail Worker says.

 

As I fill out the form, I pull out a small, old, photograph of me, when I was a baby with black hair.

 

"This is it. This is my photo!!" I show Airmail Worker.

 

Airmail Worker looks at my photo, and say, "Ha Ha Ha Ha! This is hilarious! You really are a little person!"

 

"I am actually from the island of No One," I immediately say to Airmail Worker.

 

"I am very touched, and since you look hilarious. I don't see why this photo won't work as a stamp," says Airmail Worker.

 

"That's exactly my point! I am a very hard worker, that's the talent of a little person," I say to him, showing Airmail Worker my excitement.

 

"I will process this form, and take this photo to see if my Supervisor will love it," he says. "Just stay around, little one, and don't go around EVERYWHERE," says Airmail Worker, as he walks to the back of the store and disappears.

 

I stand near the counter at the Airmail Station for a while.

Still, not even after the ghost of Thanksgiving stuffing came, Airmail Worker is a no-show.

 

I cover my face, and say to myself, "Maybe my photo is too funny?"

Then a school-boy, riding on his bicycle strides by and yells, "WOW! Are you the little person?"

 

"Yes, is there something wrong with that?" I say to him, feeling a little worried.

 

"Oh, my goodness, IT IS THE LITTLE PERSON!" School-boy suddenly shouts.

 

"WHY?" I stand up taller, and try to face him, head-on.

 

"I want your autograph, because I see your picture around EVERYWHERE," shouts School-boy some more. "EVERYBODY! RUSH HERE! IT'S THE LITTLE PERSON!"

 

By the time I look around me, I can see everyone, from ANYWHERE, EVERYWHERE, crowding around me.

 

I am so surprised because they know who I am, and I feel like an important SOMEONE.

 

"How did you know I was the little person," I ask School-boy.

 

"My teacher, Mr. Strange told me about you!" School-boy says, as he claps his hands, and jumps up and down at the same time.

 

"Who is Mr. Strange?" I ask him in panic.

 

"He is our best teacher in our school, because he is so WEIRD! He tells us stories of important people," School-boy shouts again.

 

The rush of crowd subsides, and I ask School-boy another question, "Does he have brown hair and a spiky-yellow goatee?"

 

"Absolutely! I love my History teacher!" School-boy tells me while shouting again.

 

I can feel my hands shaking, "How did…?" I ask.

 

"Let us show you!" School boy and some people from ANYWHERE, EVERYWHERE lead me to a nearby store. My photo is on the window display!

 

"I had no idea!" I cry to myself with teary eyes.

 

"Go inside, and see the store owner," School-boy takes my hand, and leads me inside the store.

 

Near the back of the store, Airmail worker is talking to a lot of people about a stamp.

 

"It's you!! How did you own a store?" I ask Airmail Worker.

 

"I'm sorry for taking so long to process the form, my life turned upside down," he apologizes.

 

"What about all this? And my stamp? I thought you had gone to process my form?" I ask.

 

Airmail worker answers, "I was stuck in my life, because it turned upside down. My wife passed away.  I could not process your form, because I realized you are not from ANYWHERE, EVERYWHERE, and I could not use your photo as a stamp," Airmail worker says.  "But, I told my Supervisor I am willing to take you, as my son, so I showed him your picture and he believed me. I am very sorry, but I hope you will help me and we can work together," he says, with some disappointment.

 

Mr. Strange walks in, and taps me on my shoulder, "Hey, Stranger," he says.

 

I smile, and say, "I thought you are a HUGE SOMETHING! I was right!" I shake his hands.

 

"I told my kids at school about you," he smiles.

 

"Why?" I ask Mr. Strange, "I am just a little person, from No One."

 

"That's why I told them about you. You are a big person, for pursuing what you love.  Also, for being original and honest," Mr. Strange says.

 

"Thank you, all this time, I thought my plan was wasted.  I was scared," I say to Mr. Strange.

 

Mr. Strange sees Airmail worker, and shakes his hands. "Looks like you've got yourself a friend," says Mr. Strange.

 

"I feel like a SOMEONE already," I say to Airmail Worker.

 

I turn my head to the man with the spiky-yellow goatee who is no longer a stranger, but strange still in his very own right.

 

"Thank you for being honest, and I am happy to have met a friend in life," I say to Mr. Strange.

 

Outside of the store, everyone is taking pictures of us, as I tell them about my adventure. But, all they all want is to take a picture of Mr. Strange. He strikes a pose stroking his goatee and then another one with one hand behind his back and the other on his waist.

 

"This store is mine and yours kid," says Airmail worker to me, and Mr. Strange.

 

From then on, everything I plan and dream of the stamp, made me SOMEBODY. I keep making more stamps of important people in life. There was a woman who sits on a bus to get to her job, and another man who was a President but really really fat, and another woman who sits on a chair but sleeps during a Presidential speech, but she rafts on Sundays and just died in 2019.

 

Meanwhile, in the island of No One…

 

My Father is watching television, and my Mother is eating bread with strawberry jam.

 

I feel lucky I had a plan.

 

Keep pursuing your dreams. The end. Just write. 

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The Week Before Christmas - A Teen Angst Moment

Kenzo looked into the mirror in his bathroom, staring at his small slanted black eyes and limp straight black hair. He wondered how his soul was ever chosen to have black, the color of darkness, to be a part of his features.

 

Kenzo was convinced that Caucasians, Latinos and African Americans didn't have to deal with being called "chink," although he was actually Japanese. But, he was pretty sure other races and ethnicities had their struggles. Why did they exist? Those labels? The subject was so deep that Kenzo felt a swirling headache for about five seconds just thinking about it.

 

His skin tone was pinkish pale, with some pimples on his face that looked like tiny volcanoes with pus inside, awaiting some pressure from his two fingertips to erupt. He was holding the temptation. He decided not to press them because there were already some scars from the previously throbbing pimples that he pressed, and they were now dark spots on his face.

 

"I wish I was handsome," he said. All he thought about today was Melody, the dreamy senior he dreamt about last night because she has the most alluring brown eyes and the cutest smile. "She'll never notice me."

 

Kenzo didn't mind being Japanese or even Asian, but he did mind being called "chink" or "gook" or "nip" or "chino" or "trash." The taunts felt like a knife to the core of his heart and soul because he couldn't help to look the way he looked.

 

Jim, his best mate, thought Kenzo had a "dozen" calculators, because Japanese people from Intel created it in the 70s. Kenzo was so afraid of saying, "Nah, that's not true." Kenzo remained quiet because he would rather have Jim thought he was smart and knew about the scientific calculator, instead of finding out he had the lowest grade in math.

 

Kenzo wasn't sure he could accomplish anything, but he sure knew he could possibly fail at everything.

 

"Kenzo, come out. Get some dinner and talk to me," said Maria, his Mom.

 

Maria knew high school was rough on Kenzo, but she won't let him stay silent about his hard days at school.

 

Kenzo came out and sat at the head of the nicely set up dinner table, with a small bowl of rice and a plate of pork cutlets and sautéed seaweed with garlic. "Dinner can't last more than fifteen minutes," Kenzo figured.

 

"So, I have to tell you a story, Kenzo," said Maria. "I never really told you how your Dad and I met."

 

"Yeah. I still love you," he said. His eyes slanted to the left to watch her face, because he understood his mother. As a son of a single Mom, he never expected her to tell him the truth about her past. "I believe everything you told me before."

 

"What did I tell you before?" asked Maria.

 

"That Dad had an affair with his co-worker and he left you in Japan. So, you moved to Hawaii illegally and started to work there and finally got your citizenship," said Kenzo.

 

"Well, I want to change the story a little bit," said Maria.

 

"What do you mean?" Kenzo asked.

 

"What if I tell you that I was pregnant before I got married? And that your Dad married me because I groveled?" asked Maria.

 

"Dad was rich, is that why you groveled?" asked Kenzo. He remembered growing up in a huge house with a Koi pond and his father always played with him in the garden. "You mean to tell me that Dad is not my father?"

 

Shocking life, shocking face, and all this in one day. How would I ever live through this? Kenzo placed his fork down and his eyes were tearing.

 

"No," said Maria. "I was so hurt so bad. I didn't have friends, too. But I made it Kenzo."

 

"Oh God, Mom!" said Kenzo, rolling his eyes. "Is this the truth or one of those hypothetical to make me feel better?"

 

"Both," said Maria. "So, pretend tonight that I groveled to your father and he married me out of fear because he was getting old and limp."

 

"Jesus!" said Kenzo. The phone rang.

 

Kenzo walked to the phone and tapped the 'talk' button. "Yeah, this is the Yashi residence."

 

"Kenzo?" said the darling voice on the phone. "May I speak to Kenzo Yashi for a moment? My name is Melody from his high school."

 

"Melody? Switzer? Is this real?" Kenzo said, accidently saying his thoughts out loud. The same swirling headache from earlier in the evening rushed through his whole head.  He was passing out.

 

"Oh, hi, My name is Melody and I'm the student representative from the Anti-Bullying group at school," said Melody. She sounded nervous.

 

"You're so brilliant," Kenzo uttered. Gasp.

 

"Oh, you're so sweet," said Melody.

 

"Kenzo who is it?" asked Maria, from the dinner table.

 

"Can I help you with anything?" asked Kenzo, walking to the dinner table, sitting back down in front of his mom with his cell phone on one ear.

 

Maria sliced her pork cutlet into small pieces and stared at her son who was smiling from ear to ear.

 

"Must be something good. You're smiling," said Maria. She forked a few strands of garlic seaweed and a pinch of rice.

 

"Jim told me that someone called you a derogatory name today. I want to apologize for that," said Melody. "Jim also wanted to say sorry about the 'calculator' thing. He just wants you to feel better about being who you are."

 

"Jim, he's a good man," said Kenzo. He couldn't believe 'dream brunette' was on his phone line.

 

"So, what are you doing for Christmas this year?" asked Melody.

 

"My Mom and I were just going to go to the nativity show at the Presby church around the corner then go home," said Kenzo.

 

"The Anti-bullying team is having a Christmas party at the Flaggstaff house. Up Baseline Avenue in Boulder," said Melody. "Would you come? It's free. The fundraising team made sure we can invite a date."

 

"A date?" Kenzo asked and tears were hovering in his eyes.

 

Maria choked on her pork cutlet, and asked "Is she cute? Kenzo?" Kenzo raised his index finger to his lips.

 

"Yeah. I know you might want to come if Jim will come too, so I made sure another girl is asking him to come. Care to join me?" she asked.

 

Melody's voice creacked because she understood that being different could cause a lot of heartache. "Just to let you know. I was bullied because a lot of girls are jealous sometimes and I get hurt. So I know how name calling can cause heartaches."

 

"You're the most beautiful girl I've ever met. Yes! I want to go. Don't change your mind," Kenzo said with a tinge of nerves. "What should I do now? I've never been asked out before."

 

"I never asked anyone out before, either" said Melody.

 

"She sounds like a warrior," said Maria, chewing the rest of the pork cutlet inside her mouth.

 

"You don't have to do anything. Let's talk tomorrow. Come to our meeting on the second floor library," said Melody.

 

"Okay. Let's do that then," said Kenzo.

 

"Okay. I will talk to you later, Kenzo. And...," she said, as she paused for a moment, "I really want to thank you, for not making me feel embarrassed for asking you out and for not rejecting me. I've been hurt before, too. So I think we'll have plenty to talk about."

 

"I know we'll be best friends," said Kenzo. His heart beats a little faster and tears rolled down his cheeks as if his eyes were two leaky faucets. I couldn't believe this just happened, Kenzo couldn't help but to think of this, and replied, "I'll see you tomorrow." They hung up.

 

"So, you have plans this year for Christmas," said Maria. "I will be free to go with my girlfriends and have a girls' nite out." Maria smiled, because finally she wasn't worried about her son feeling alone or horrible during the holidays.

 

"I think that was a Christmas miracle," said Kenzo. He stared at the wall, because he wasn't sure if the whole thing happened at all.

 

"So, a girl just asked you to go on a date, for Christmas," said Maria. "Yep, it happened."

 

"Mom. I love you. I know Dad is Dad and you're my Mom. You don't have to make up stories anymore. I'm going to make things happier. I'll work harder and I'll make better friends. But, Jim is a keeper," said Kenzo.

 

"I thought he was a pot-head. Not true, huh?" said Maria. She smiled.

 

"Christmas isn't going to be a bad day after all," said Kenzo. He took his mother's hand and kissed them. "I love how you make up stories to make me feel good. I love you forever, Mom."

 

"Merry early Christmas, Baby," said Maria.

 

"Merry Christmas, Mom," said Kenzo.

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