Losing my romanticism

17 12 2011

My ex once told me, “Life isn’t like a movie where the gay character comes out and everything is good.”  And even though I didn’t tell him, I thought, “Why not?”  After all, although movies feature fictional stories and characters, there must be some sort of reality or truth on which they’re based, right?

My other ex told me the other day, “Glee and Twilight are fictional.  They’re made for people to enjoy, to believe.”  And then I thought the same thought as before. Sure, the invisible Rachel eventually getting the crush of her dreams– the quarterback of the football team, nonetheless– might be created for teenage girls to watch and swoon over, but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen.

Maybe I’m the only one out there who believes that airport-chase scenes and interrupted-wedding scenes are possible, are a sure way to get back the person you love or at the very least, make them see that you love them, so that later, they would do the same for you and you’d end up together.  Yes, I would be the one to do these things.  Maybe it isn’t realistic to believe that it happens when I’m the only one to believe they do.  Maybe I’m the only one who would do them.

And I have done them.  Not as dramatic as a running after someone in an airport before their flight leaves, but on a smaller scale.

But things went differently for me.  There was no, “I see things differently now.  Let’s get back together” or “I’ve been really sad without you too.  Would you like to try us again?”  Maybe I did things wrong.  Maybe my exes just really didn’t want to get back together with me.  However, the more I think about it, the more I’m begining to see that nothing is guaranteed.

I said to my ex that day, “Maybe stories are just unhappy realities with happy fantasies tacked on as endings.”  The more I think about it, the more I realize maybe my first ex was right.  Maybe life is not like a movie.  Maybe it’s time for the romantic who finally put away these scenes are only fantasies and not realities.

I have been watching this scene over and over again from The Broken Hearts Club for the past few days.  It kills me every time Howie starts to say, “I hope that you’re happy together.  I hope that this works out and he’s everything that you need.”

I think I need to accept that sometimes, once things are over, they are over.  I can try to hypothesize solutions or analyze what went wrong in order to figure out possible suggestions.  That isn’t a bad thing.  But a relationship is two-way; I can’t always be the one with suggestions when the other person doesn’t want to listen or help come up with things.  I think I need to take a step back from these movies, shows, and books and see that you don’t always get what you want, and some people don’t want to get back together or work things out.  There aren’t always happy endings no matter what I think or do.

Not all the Howies get their Marshalls back.

[scene starts around 4:25]


The World Behind Closed Doors (part 4)

28 11 2011

This is probably the point where I should mention my relationship with my mother.  She was born in Hong Kong and despite having lived in Vancouver for more than 20 years, her English is very limited. Furthermore, Western views, society, and culture don’t seem to be as important to her as the traditional Chinese way of living.  It’s as if her mind was a room and she had closed the door to everything else, shutting out anything that would mutate or alter what she knew.  When I came out to my mother, she seemed to take it fairly well, aside from suggesting I go visit a doctor to get examined for my “sickness”.  Even after that, we didn’t mention anything gay-related.  Taboo: an important part of the Chinese way. It’s always better to ignore things.


Because Kem was in the closet, I respected his wish not to tell people he was gay.  We had difficultly determining whether or not I should tell my mom, since I didn’t really care but at the same time, was unsure if she would allow him to come over anymore.  Eventually, we decided it was probably better she didn’t know.  I don’t remember him having any fear of meeting my mom but if I ever did, it was squashed when it happened.

Kem scored immediate points when he first met my mom while she was actually still awake.  It was in the afternoon when he climbed the carpeted stairs up in our house.  My mom was either sitting on the couch, watching melodramatic (ie. absolutely terrible) Chinese soap operas on TV or was in the kitchen cooking.

“This is Kemuel,” I said as he charmingly gave her a smile.

“Kem-yu-al,” she repeated slowly, trying to get his name right.

“He goes to school at UBC,” I continued.  Her face immediately lit up, like hearing one of her kids had taken her advice and was going off to medical school – a look I had never been able to get from her.

“Ah, really?  What are you studying?” she asked in Cantonese, eyes gleaming.

“I’m in the music program,” he replied back in Cantonese.

“Oh!  You know Cantonese!” My mother’s voice rose an octave with excitement.

As the two continued talking, I went to the kitchen, hearing my mother’s animated voice, telling him how useless I was for not going to university while at the same time praising him; I would also heard my boyfriend’s voice, who was trying to convince her that film school was good too.  I felt proud that she liked him so quickly, that she had approved of him – except, of course that she didn’t know we were together.  When asked about how we met, I told my mom he was helping me with my application to UBC, which only made her like him even more.  This wonderful guy was helping her son go to university!  What a godsend!

(continued in part 5…)

The Why of Donating to Covenant House

3 01 2011

Perhaps naively, I thought that my decision to donate my $200 gift card from Oakridge Centre would’ve made a few more waves than with the feeble tiny ripple I sent out.

Facebook event page: 65 invitations sent out.

5 attending.

3 actually attended, including me (from the list of people on the event page).

Perhaps this has something to do with my unpopular theory (why do I feel like if Ryan Clayton created the same event and sent out invitations to his friends that at least a hundred people would respond?).  In any case, it turned out to be a small operation of super fantastic people who were willing to lend their hands to help out for a good cause.

Perhaps naively again, I imagined myself in front of TV cameras, explaining to reporters about how I came to the decision to donate my money to a non-profit organization than buying some new clothes at the Bay.  Since that didn’t actually happen, I’ll put up my responses here instead, to make me feel like what I imagined wasn’t a waste of time, and that what I think does in fact matter.  🙂

Though I’ve had the gift card for several months now, I didn’t know what to do with it for the longest time.  I thought of buying myself clothes or even buying a cable to connect my computer to my television at The Source and if a cable had indeed existed that could do that, I would’ve bought it.  But instead, I found myself strangely disturbed at the fact that I wanted shiny new things when other people didn’t even have the basics — food, shelter, support.  What kind of person would I be if I went out and knowing that there were less fortunate people out there, proceed to splurge it on myself?  I just couldn’t do it.

I attribute the strange feeling to English Literature class.  At the time, we had been learning about Gulliver’s Travels — not the probably lame Jack Black version, but the real, satirical one — and talking about Swift’s many jabs at humanity.  In fact, I even wrote an entire essay about how I thought humanity was not worth saving (which I got an A on).  Most if not all people during Swift’s time weren’t aware of the problems in society; homelessness, corruption in government, exploitation.  But with the publication of Gulliver’s Travels, and then later with Romantic poets like William Blake, people knew.  Only now, they still didn’t do anything.  True ignorance.

And that’s the hardest part.  Making people care.

Do I still believe humanity is beyond saving?  Proabably.

But there are the few of us who aim to prove otherwise.  I try to be one of those people.

Even if it is a mere $200 at a time.  At an overpriced shopping mall nonetheless.

Ballade No. 1 – Frederic Chopin

10 06 2010

One of the juggernauts of not only Chopin’s works but of the Romantic/Baroque era.  Also, it’s hard to play.  I’m learning to play it and I’m stuck on the fifth or sixth page (out of 9?  I don’t even know!). It’s also the featured in the brilliant film The Pianist, where Adrian Brody’s character plays the piece in the abandoned house to the German solider at night.  Super awesome stuff.


Allegro Con Fuoco

18 01 2010

Something I very quickly formed in a day for my Creative Writing Poetry class.  There’s a screencap of the original scrap of paper I scribbled on since I don’t even have a camera to take a picture of it.  (Seriously.)  This is only the first draft so if you don’t understand it all, don’t worry — it’s not that you’re stupid.  At least not this time.


First draft of Allegro con Fuoco poem

Allegro Con Fuoco

Fast with fire,
his hands are matches,
striking the wooden keys, trying to set them ablaze.
Though his father speaks of final preaching,
there always suddenly, subito, seems to be a repeat sign and it begins all over again,
a leitmotif no one wants to listen to.
Smooth slurred words, striking the hammers in his son.
The young man wishes his own speech tumbled out as he played,
as legato and articulated as the sixteenth notes,
that if only his father’s words were as flat as the key signature and as quiet as pianississimo.

His father, a permanent face over his shoulder,
Shaking his head in disappointment with every mistake.
Always pushing, never listening.
Sforzando! Marcato, marcato!
His fingers stretch to meet the octaves, banging on the delicate keys,
like a strongman game–
except the prize is his dignity and pride.

Every one of his words has been sotto voce,
mumblings underneath his breath while his father spews on like a cadenza, uninterrupted.
But with his music, his fingers agitated,
the notes are no longer just staccato, guillotined.
Purposely and furiously jabbing each note tenuto;
his music and words played to their merited length at last.

Back hunched and hands pressed firmly on keys,
the last enraged chord shouts out,
while his father only plays indefinite bars of rest.