When the Crack Heads Come Out to Play: Danger Lurking in My Neighborhood

Part Two
A continuation from Part One

A couple days after that incident, I saw the guy again at the Subway in my neighborhood which is about three miles away from Downtown. Part of me had difficulty fathoming how he managed to get all the way to my neck of the woods, but to be honest, three miles is not a long journey to trek especially when you live in such an urban city.

Anyway, I didn't realize he was there until I heard a woman's voice yell,
"You've been sitting there staring at me this whole time. Stop fucking staring at me or I'll call the fucking police."

I look over and there was that guy again in the same olive green t-shirt and filthy pajama pants. His face was unmistakable. Sandy brown hair, unkempt mustache, and large, transfixed blue eyes. There was not denying the fact that he was staring this woman down, and just watching the situation made me uncomfortable. Part of me wondered if he was going to recognize me, but then I decided to not waste my sanity trying to decipher the mind of a mad man.

He said to the woman,
"You work for the state hospital. Why did you let your brother molest that nine-year-old?"

The woman's reaction was a combination of being infuriated and downright flabbergasted. She tried to get the manager, a middle-aged, frail-looking Korean lady, to kick him out. Of course the manager was not going to know how to handle the situation. So she tried to give him some cookies so that he would leave. When the manager's cookie plan didn't work, I was utterly shocked.

It seemed fool proof to me. I mean, when he was trying to mug me in Downtown, the one thought that ran through my mind was, "Damnit, I forgot to bring my cookies so I could ward off this crackhead! Gotta remember for next time."

I was getting annoyed above all else of the situation in Subway. So, I paid for my food and left. As was leaving, I noticed that the scumbag had shifted his attention and was now staring at me. Apparently he recognized me from the incident in Downtown.

I knew it was only a matter of time before I was going to see him again.

Now he not only knows where I work; he also knows where I live. 

When the Crack Heads Come Out to Play

Part One

I got mugged the other night.

Almost. But it was still pretty terrifying. It was around six thirty at night, and I was walking toward my work building in Downtown, when some guy in an olive green t-shirt and matching flannel pajama pants got up and asked me if I had any change.

I responded, "No, I don't have cash. Sorry."

He looked me up and down and said, "Really? Are you serious?" As he was saying that, he continued to follow me and look me over as I was walking away so I put my hand up and told him that no, I didn't have money, and he needed to get out of my face.

I thought I had shaken him off, because he was no longer walking next to me and talking into my face. When I looked into the reflection of one of the buildings, however, I saw that he was right behind me following me with his eyes on my wallet in my hand.

So I turned around and stormed at him yelling, "GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!!"

Like the true mad woman that I really am. The guy seemed pretty startled and took a couple steps back. That was when I heard a man's voice in the distance yelling, "Ey! What's going on over there??" I think that, combined with my bat shit crazy confrontation, compelled the guy to take off running.

I continued to walk off. I couldn't be phased by a mere mugger. I had a party to get to. Plus, I didn't think I was ever going to see him again.

I was wrong.

Happy Thanksgiving! A List of Just a Few Things I'm Always Thankful For:


My good health.

My amazing parents.

My wonderful boyfriend.

My sweet little dog whom I miss.

My expensive two-bedroom apartment.

My fulfilling education at UH.

My amazing life in Hawai'i.

My awesome friends.

My great job.


An Unpleasant Reflection

"A picture is worth more than a blank page. Take out those dusty photo albums. Pick out photo #14. Count however way you like, but make sure you stop at photo #14. Look at the photo for 2-3 minutes, write all the feelings that photograph made you feel. Don't censor yourself. Just write."

I was eighteen in this picture. It was the summer before college started, and I was suffering from what I thought was a broken heart. Later on in my freshman year of college, I came to realize what a broken heart really felt like, and all of that pain made this moment seem like child's play. But I wasn't there yet. At this moment, I had just graduated high school, and the boy I was dating snubbed me for a girl whose pants came off a lot more easily than mine did. I thought it was me. Maybe I was supposed to dumb myself down and slut myself up in order to fit in with this society. It was important that I proved myself to this guy that I could be fun too. I went to all of the coolest nightclubs (as cool as any 18+ club could have been anyway), and danced with as many random guys as I could to prove to this one guy that I was desirable. Simultaneously, I was using these nights out to prove to myself that I was good enough. For what? I didn't know. I still don't know. It wasn't long before I started to take a step back and ask myself, "What the heck am I doing with myself? Why am I doing this? Am I really lowering myself to fit the obviously low standards of a sleazy guy who couldn't care less about me?" This picture was the morning after one of my nights out, and I remember thinking to myself, "This is not who I am. None of this makes me happy. This is getting ridiculous, and it needs to stop before I become any more ridiculous." I have always had a hard time respecting those who failed to respect themselves, and in that moment, I definitely had a very hard time finding a way to respect myself. My image was all wrong. I didn't know who I was at the time, but I knew that I didn't want to be the girl who futilely chased a boy around just to prove that she was worth it. I knew I was worth it to someone who was worthy of me. I knew that I was better than the person I was trying to paint myself to be. I left the club scene after this. Don't get me wrong, I still like to go out from time to time to have a good time with my friends. I am not, in any way, against the bar or club scene. The difference today, however, is that I go out for my own fulfillment of being in the company of great friends. I dress appropriately and drink accordingly. I have tossed out the trashy tactics of minimal clothing and maximum makeup, and adopted a level of class that involves indulging in moderation, and enjoying life to its fullest extent. This picture is a reminder of the day that I pulled myself out of a mess before it became a disaster. What I felt in this picture was shame. What I feel now looking back, is pride. I'm proud of myself for realizing that I am better than what my insecurities fooled me into thinking I was. This was one of the lower points in my life, but I am thankful for those low points, because they motivate me to constantly strive to become a better person today than I was yesterday.

Always on Top

I remember when I used to lie on top of you, concentrating on the steady sound of my breath. The sight of my sweat dripping onto your skin gave me satisfaction. You were mine. At the end of the day, it was just you and me. You never complained when I was too rough on you. To be honest, I think you liked it. The way I dug my fingernails into your skin to keep from losing control. You liked it that I was taking advantage of you. It made you feel important. Needed. Useful. I think we needed each other.

I often wondered what you thought of me as you were lying there watching me stretch my body into whichever position was demanded of me. Was I doing it right? Did I put too much pressure on you? Did you even care? Or did you just want me there? Quiet and submissive, always letting me be on top. You supported me for so long, but now it’s time for me to leave you. I can tell that I have worn you out. 

You no longer give me the same satisfaction that I received when we first met. Although it was often brief, our time together always left me feeling beautiful, sexy,   strong, and invincible. An hour a day was never enough, but we both knew that I had to get back to my life outside of that room in which we met every afternoon.You are starting to look frail, and the color of your skin is not as vibrant as it was before. There is only so much imperfection that a girl can take before it’s time to buy a new yoga mat.

Introduction 2.0: A New Direction

"Never stop imagining. You're not mad. Don't ever believe anyone who tells you a thing so unjust and spiteful. Write."
From the Land of the Moon

This past year has been a very long journey of soul searching that consisted of: accepting my past, acknowledging the good and bad of myself, identifying my strengths and weaknesses, and refining my morals to build a strong foundation on which I can stand firmly for the rest of my life. I know more today of myself than I knew yesterday, and I know less today than I will tomorrow, but that is the blessing of life that compels me to move forward.

When it comes to planning for my career, I have often cowered away from the aspect of doing just one thing for the rest of my life. It reminds me of when I was in middle school and I was using AOL Instant Messaging for the first time. I spent over an hour trying to find the right screen name to express myself. It had to be the right one, because it was meant to be an expression and the true definition of myself for an indefinite amount of time. It had to be just right. Now I realize that I was beyond silly to invest so much time into an AIM screen name. Maybe because I ended up having about sixteen different screen names throughout the years. Or the fact that the name I go by in my everyday life isn't even my legal name on paper so who am I put so much value in a virtual name? Or maybe it was the fact that I was the one making the decision for myself.

I grew up having my entire life planned out for me. Being the youngest of three and the only girl, I had a lot riding on me as what my dad called "The Diamond of the Family" and their last hope for success. It was very easy to live the routine life that almost collapsed under the pressure of school, violin lessons, homework, tennis practice, SAT prep classes, and piano lessons. I spent every summer either out of the state or out of the country. Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining about being brought up as the golden child by a set of parents who loved me more than anything in the world and wanted nothing but the best for me. However, raising what they hoped to be the perfect child meant cutting all distractions.

No boys, no television, and friends were only seen in moderate. My life may have been easy, but it was far from exciting. One might ask, "How would you have known what 'exciting' really was, when you lived such a mundane life?" The answer, lied in the hundreds of books that I read throughout the years.

Reading was my outlet, and it trained my mind to remain patient and at peace with the knowledge that excitement was in my horizon ready to be seized whenever I came up with enough courage to stand up against the plan my parents had laid out for my life. The plan was for me to attend UC Irvine right out of high school, study some sort of science during my undergrad, and attend medical school to follow my dad's footsteps and become a successful surgeon. Since the day I graduated high school, I feel like I was a constant disappointment with every step I took that strayed from the plan my parents worked so hard to create for me. I didn't know what I wanted my life to be like, but I knew I couldn't continue on floating through the predestined haze that my parents had laid out. 

As much as I love my parents with all my heart, breaking away from them has been the best decision I've ever made. In my past posts, I have written about the struggles that I have overcome over these past years, and how I am actually very grateful for all of the adversity I have faced, because it has truly refined my character throughout the years. I have been in the pursuit of my Bachelor's Degree for over five years now. During those five years, it was as if I was constantly trying to grasp on to a dream that I couldn't truly identify. It's like that morning after you have a really impacting dream, and the more you try to recall it, the more it slips away from you. I knew I had aspirations apart from what my parents had intended for me, but it took me a long time to recall what it was. After a great deal of inward reflections, I realized that I cannot be successful if I am not doing what I truly love.

So that, my friends, is why I wrote this long and daunting post. To introduce you to the new direction in which my blog will be taken as a place where I can come to practice my writing skills. Hopefully, it will be a a chronicle of my growth not just as a woman, but as a writer as well.

Overcoming Sexism at Work

Today at work, I asked a man if he needed help.

He looked at me and replied, "No thank you, I'm actually waiting for someone who would be a little bit more knowledgeable. I have a lot of questions, and I would like to get the right information."

Then, as if to ease the load of rudeness he just threw at me, he added, "But you're very beautiful though, so that makes it ok."

Makes WHAT ok???

I just looked at him with this expression and thought running through my mind:

When he asked me if I minded, I responded curtly, "Nope, it's fine. You can wait as long as you want for someone who is more knowledgeable than I am."

He responded, "Thank you; love your hair by the way."

You see, because I'm a woman, I shouldn't care about being well-informed in my area of work. No. Instead, my primary concern should be about how my hair looks to people I could not care less about. I should tell my boss to give me a raise for the aesthetic quality of my hair.

And yes, the man was bald.

Sick at Sea

In all honesty, I have questioned the purpose of this blog in the past few weeks. I've been living in Hawai'i for over a year now, and I have become pretty acclimated to my new lifestyle. I've often wondered, since I'm not moving to Portland, is there anything to even talk about anymore?

Turns out, yes. There is.

I woke up at around four or five this morning. I don't know what time it was, all I know was that it was dark, windy, and humid. The palm trees outside my apartment were making an absurd amount of noise as the leaves slapped against my window. I woke up drenched in my own sweat and tears. My thoughts lately have been geared toward the peace and quite of my parents' suburban home in Orange County, California. It's weird calling it that, "my parents' home", because it really isn't my place anymore. My expensive apartment in the heart of this noisy tropical city is my humble abode now. It has been my home for this entire year. Wow. Weird.

Anyway, I don't know how long I stayed up crying, but I went back to sleep when the trucks came down my street to repave the roads. It was the sound of clashing metal and churning cement that was able to lull me to sleep.

This was not the first time I woke up in a nearly depressed state of homesickness. My dilemma is the fact that I won't even be able to take time off to go home for Christmas due to my company's holiday blackout policy. By the time employees are able to request time off again, Spring semester will be in full swing.

I don't know if I can go another year without seeing my family and friends.

A Decade of an Identity Crisis

One time, when I was twelve, I called my friend's house and her brother answered. When he told her a friend was on the phone for her, she asked him, "Who is it?" He responded, "I don't know, some white girl."

And so began my identity crisis.

Flash forward ten years, and I find myself sitting in my 18th Century Literature class. The girl next to me asked me where I am from, and I told her, "I'm from Southern California." She responded, "Oh, I thought so, because very few asians can achieve the 'local look', and you have really achieved that look. Now I know it's because you're from Southern California, and that's like the only place where I could see that happening."

I got a B+ in that class. 

My perfect GPA may have been ruined, but hey, I've achieved the "local look". What have you done with your life?

Speaking of school, fall semester starts tomorrow. I'm really going to give UH a full chance this time around. I hope I can come to love the school as much as I love living in Hawaii. As of Thursday, August 16th, I have officially made it one full year of living in Hawaii. I think it's definitely time for me to make a trip back home. 

I miss my dog way too much.
And my friends and family of course...but they have opposable thumbs which allow them to dial my number or Skype with me whenever we wish. My dog, on the other hand, does not have that blessing. I miss that guy.