Category Archives: Family and/or Relationships

New Year’s Resol–

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I have enough opportunities to flagellate myself year-round without the added pressure of being aware I haven’t lost twenty pounds in two weeks, am more likely to be killed by a terrorist shooting lightning bolts out of his fingers than I am to get married,* and my chances for winning an Edgar Award are slim to none. In addition, in our gotta-have-it-now society, it’s easy to think if you don’t succeed in the first month, you might as well give up for the whole year. A few years back, I decided it was better to set goals than to make resolutions, and ‘they’ say it’s actually better to set concrete goals with discrete steps than to just say, “I want to lose a hundred pounds”, but it still didn’t spur me to actually meet the goals on my list. The last week or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about missed opportunities this year, and I’ve decided to revisit the idea of setting goals for next year. Some of them are concrete, such as losing weight (or inches in my case) and publishing a novel, but others are more nebulous like setting better boundaries and not being so hard on myself.

I’ve been reading some of my unfinished (and finished but not completely edited) novels, and they’re pretty good. They’re unique just by the dint of the protagonists being Taiwanese American bisexual women** like me. Toni Morrison said:

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.

This is why I started writing prose in the first place, and I resent anyone who tells me that my writing is too niche or that I shouldn’t always write about Taiwanese American bisexual women.

But I digress. My point is that my novels have some value just because my protagonists are not ones you see every day or at all, really. Beyond that, my writing is solid. I write mostly mysteries, and I have a good sense of pacing and characterization. My dialogue is pretty spot on, and I’m really good at planting false, but believable clues. I’m weak on description–I hate scenery with a passion, and I sometimes bog down my writing with too much minutia. Still. I find I can breeze through one of my mysteries and still be engrossed in it. I’ve also notice that I’ve been writing different versions of essentially the same story for several novels. I’m currently working on two different trilogies–I like trilogies for some reason–and I’m trying to decide which one is better. Also, more palatable for a wider audience.

When I write a trilogy, I usually have some idea of the second and maybe the third as I near the end of the first, which is good because I can then go back through the first novel and plant seeds for the second and third. When I write a novel, I have the general outline in my head before I even start writing. Mostly. Usually. I don’t outline on paper because I find it to be a waste of my time. If I’m going to write something down, it’s going to be the actual novel. I usually know who the killer is from the very start, though I have changed the villain in a novel once or twice while writing it. Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of having a different protagonist for each novel in the trilogy, and in an earlier trilogy, I was going to kill off the protagonist of the second novel.

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The Two Faces of Depression

It’s the day before Christmas, which means the end of the year, which means I’m starting to think of all I haven’t accomplished in the past year. Again. There are two times I do this in a concentrated way, one is my birthday, and one is at the end of the year. Both are grim times, and even though they’ve gotten better over the years, some years they hit harder than others. This, apparently, is one of those times. It’s sad, too, because I really wasn’t expecting it. I used to hate and dread Christmas, but this year? I was cruising along, not giving a damn. Then, about a week ago, I started noticing that I was becoming testier and that my thoughts were turning darker. I say testier and darker because I’m always testy and my thoughts are usually dark, but there was a marked downward turn. If you’ve never experienced depression, it can be difficult to understand. “Hey, Minna, if you notice that you’re starting to feel depressed, why not just do something to prevent it from happening?”

Believe me, if I could, I would. Nothing is more frustrating than realizing that I’m slipping in a depression and feeling helpless to stop it. Correction–it was worse when I’d start feeling depressed, but didn’t realize that I was tumbling into the abyss. The world would turn gray, and all the colors drained from my life*. I’d start thinking about everything I hate about myself, and before I knew it, I’d be inert on the couch. Back then, I had voices in my head all the time, one in particular. I called him The Dictator because he was so rigid and unyielding. He was absolutely ruthless in crushing any whit of self-esteem that I had. There were lesser voices in my head as well that I thought of as his minions, and they did his bidding 24/7. The Dictator was so real to me that I could almost see him. He fed me a steady stream of negativity until it was all I could think. “You’re worthless.” “You’re fat.” “You’re ugly.” “You’re gross.” “You should die.” “Nobody loves you.” “Nobody should love you.” The worst part was that he knew my weaknesses so well, he would sprinkle enough truth in his statements to make me believe him. “You’re so needy and clingy” would preface “no one will ever love you”, and because the former is true, it was hard for me to deny the latter.

I know it’s weird for me to talk about him as if he’s an entity outside of myself, but it’s how I felt at the time. I had this intruder in my brain, and he ruled my brain with an iron fist. I believed everything he said and allowed him free reign of my mind until my last therapist finally got me to talk about him. I’m making it seem cut-and-dried, but it was anything but. I didn’t know this person lived in my brain, much less that he had absolute control over my thinking until after many years of working with my last** therapist. With patience, she was able to tease out that I had this complex system of shoulds and shouldn’t, what I had to do and what I couldn’t. There were stupid things such as if I looked at a clock and it was on the quarter hour, I had to count to twenty-five. When my therapist heard about that one, she asked what would happen if I didn’t. I started to answer, but i couldn’t because I had never thought of refusing. I just automatically did it. I don’t know how it even started, but it soon became a hard and fast rule that I had to do it. After my therapist asked me that question, I consciously stopped myself from counting in that situation. At first, it was uncomfortable and I counted more often than not, but I was able to break the habit. Now, I only start counting if I’m really stressed, and I rarely finish.

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Fake It Until You Make It

Stop pulling my strings!
Not someone’s puppet

I was taught that my emotions didn’t matter when I was a little girl. My father was the only one allowed to show anger, and one of our ongoing feuds back then–decades long–was him telling me that he felt cold so I should put on a sweater. Got that? He was cold so I should put on a sweater. I would protest because I didn’t feel cold*, and he would get mad because I didn’t listen to him. In addition, my mother went through a severe depression, and I was her emotional caretaker. Decades later, she admitted that she thought she had some autistic qualities which included not always recognizing other people’s emotions, which may seem strange considering she’s a therapist, but I have a similar problem, and I was psych major in college. I’ll get into that later.My brother definitely displays autistic traits, and I thought one of my nephews might have had Asperger’s when he was younger and when it actually existed.** My mom also thought her father might have been autistic as well. What I’m trying to say is that I have some history of it in my family, albeit mildly.

Many people would be shocked to know that I have difficulty identifying my emotions because I seem so empathetic. I have strangers telling me their life stories at the drop of a hat, and I know things about people I have no right knowing. In part, it’s because I know the questions to ask to keep people talking–or rather, I know that asking questions will keep people talking, but that can’t be all of it. I’ve had cashiers at the grocery store sharing personal information with little input from me, which leads me to believe I have some kind of aura around me that says, “Talk to her; she’ll listen.” I think it’s similar to people who always draw strays to them, except with me, it’s lonely and/or broken people who just need a friendly ear.

I’m also a great receptor for all the negative emotions that people feel. Negative meaning sadness, pain, rage, loneliness, etc., not that they are necessarily bad emotions. One of the reasons I didn’t go out in the general public much was because any time I went to a highly-populated area, I was overwhelmed with the collective negative emotions of the place. I could tell who was getting beat at home, who was suicidal, who was bristling with rage, etc, and it drained my energy by the time i got home. I never felt the positive emotions–only the negative ones. I learned how to erect a defensive barrier to block out the onslaught, but it was tiring to always have to keep that up as well.

It may sound like it was a nightmare to be numb most of the time except for experiencing the negative emotions of others, and it was. Additionally, I also learned how to block out pain in my body, so I wasn’t feeling anything authentically. In taiji, Julie is teaching us chin na techniques (joint locks) that work by this simple adage: If you see a hole, poke it. If you see a bump, pull it. There’s more to it than that, obviously, but you get the gist. When she started teaching us these techniques, I couldn’t feel anything, even when it was done correctly. Julie was the only one who could work with me because she knew enough to do it without hurting me, and because she wouldn’t get discouraged if I didn’t manifest the outer result she desired. Over time, I started feeling twinges in my body when the techniques were applied correctly. I learned to tap out when I felt that twinge, even if it didn’t hurt. I asked Sifu to do some of the techniques on me, and after he did a few, he made what he said was a strange request. He asked me to go on my tiptoes. I did, and I immediately flinched when he did the next chin na. He explained that when I was tense, I couldn’t control my reaction, which made perfect sense.
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Truly, Madly, Deeply, Part V: Taking a Chance on Love

‘Lo.  I’m back with the fifth and final (I think) installment of Truly, Madly, Deeply:  JAZZ HANDS–er, a tale of a grrl and her ape.  Before I start, though, I have to regale you with a funny/cringe-worthy anecdote about my mother.  She’s here visiting for a month and a half.  She called two days before she came (right as I was about to clean for her visit!) and asked me many questions about the ape.  I was cautiously optimistic at the tone she took, but I knew the real test would be when she arrived.  Of course, one of the first things she wanted to talk about was the ape.  After I answered her questions for roughly half an hour, she said, “Dad told me I shouldn’t tell you this, but–”  Pro tip:  If you want to tell someone something, do not start out with, “So-and-so told me not to tell you.”  She then proceeded to tell me how, you know, she’s been praying for me (I know).  Well, she usually prays that my relationship with God would be healed (shudder), but in the past few months, she’s been asking Him to bring me a good man.

Inside, I’m laughing, but also rolling my eyes.  I said, “Why did Dad tell you not to tell me that?”, thinking, “He knows I do the opposite of what you say”, or, “‘Coz you sound a leeeetle bit crazy right now!”  She said, “He knows that you’ve been hurt in your past affairs, well, you know what I mean–“. I interjected, “Relationships.”  She went on as if she hadn’t heard me, “And he doesn’t want you to get hurt again.  He’s very protective of you in that way.”  That was the cringe-worthy part.  I shrugged it off, but I also felt a flash of pure anger.  Protective of me?  What the fuck is that shit?  Still, I said in my head, “A good man is better than God, apparently!” and moved the conversation to another topic.  This is huge because even a year ago, I would have gotten into it with her over her words.  Now, I can just say, “Whatever, Mom,” and go about my merry way.  And, as friends pointed out, if she thinks she had a hand in me meeting the ape, she’ll be more for the relationship.  And as another friend said, “Let her nag God.  At least she’s leaving you alone!”

All right.  Back to my narrative.  When we last left the titular couple, they were climbing Mount Everest, swimming in the Amazon, and–oh, all right.  They were at taiji and meeting with the grrl’s best friend for dinner.  Which went swimmingly.   We closed down the Thai restaurant, causing the manager to push a vacuum noisily past us as a hint to get the fuck out.

Then, Friday.  Idle’s last full day here.  We planned on getting Indian food (his favorite) and visiting the Snoopy statues around St. Paul.  We didn’t manage the latter, but we did do the former.  My absolute favorite Indian restaurant got raided and closed years ago.  Three others have come and gone, but couldn’t hold a candle.  The one to which I took Idle was very good, though–except for one thing.  It was ninety degrees out that day, and the restaurant didn’t have air, for whatever reason.  It was brutal, especially since both of us do not like the heat at all.  Sometime in the evening, I started saying, “It’s not so hot.  It’s not bad at all!”  Idle looked at me and kindly said, “You’re hallucinating, honey.”  Apparently, part of being dehydrated is entertaining delusions.  I didn’t care ‘coz at least I didn’t feel as if my brains were being scrambled in preparation for the zombie apocalypse.

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Truly, Madly, Deeply, Part IV: An Ode to Joy

Hello! You know the drill by now. Go read the previous posts of this stories, especially part III in order to be caught up with this thrilling tale of love, danger, espionage and–oh wait, it’s mostly about love.

Where was I?  Oh yes, musing about having Idle in my life.  More on that later.  For now, more on the rest of his visit.  We’re up to Wednesday, and I have to share with you an odd detail about me:  I hate the end of things with a passion.  If I’m watching a TV series on DVD, I will delay watching the last episode because then I have no more left to watch!  It’s so bad, I start the countdown when I am halfway through the series (if there are not a large number of episodes).  Take, for example, Miracles.  There were only 13 episodes made of the show.  When I hit 7, I became increasingly morose with each episode viewed because it meant I had less to watch than I had already watched, if that makes sense.

I’m the same way with trips (at least, ones I want to take).  When the midpoint arrives, I start becoming depressed thinking about the end of the trip and how soon it’s approaching.  It’s funny because my friends were shocked I’d let Idle stay in my house for eight days (so long!), and all I could think of was, “I wish he were staying longer.”

Wednesday was the halfway point of his trip.  I pushed it to the back of my mind because I wanted to enjoy his company to the fullest, but it was lurking like an evil, lurky thing.  We went to my therapy session–or rather, I went to my session and he wandered around St. Paul, the lesser-known of the Twin Cities, in the ninety-plus weather we were having at the time.  After my session, I joined Idle in the wandering, and we checked out some of the local shops.  Oh, he also got excited about the Snoopy statue we saw in front of a nearby vet’s office ‘coz he’s a big Peanuts fan.  Charles Schultz is from MN, and they did a series of Snoopy statutes to commemorate something or the other in relation to him.  We saw another one further down the street that had been vandalized.  Poor Snoopy.  Idle didn’t have his camera with him, so I said we’d do a tour of the statues.  We didn’t get to that, but hey, it gives him added incentive to visit me again, amirite?

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Truly, Madly, Deeply, Part III: Love, Actually

Hello, my gentle readers.   Before we return to the enthralling saga of our heroine (moi) and her ape (Idle), I have a housekeeping note.  Astute readers will realize that I changed the title of this series.  Instead of attaching these new posts onto the old series, I decided they deserved a series of their own, especially as I feel this is not the last post on the subject. That out of the way, back to our romantic tale already in progress.

By the way, have you noticed that where I left off, with the hug at the airport, makes both a perfect ending and a perfect beginning?  Chew on that for awhile as I regale you with what happened during the actual visit.

Idle and I hugged for what seemed like forever, but was probably only minutes.  He felt solid, comfortable, warm, reassuring, and just so damn right in my arms; I didn’t want to let him go.   I did, reluctantly, and we were on our way.  I had to focus on the road, of course, so I didn’t get to stare at him as I wanted.  I did catch him staring at me when he thought I wasn’t looking, and it didn’t really fluster me as it normally would.  I pointed out things of interest on the way home, but I wasn’t really thinking about my city.  I was giddy with happiness and lust that the ape had finally landed.  It didn’t seem possible that we were actually in the same city, my city, in my car, driving back to my house.

I was nervous, yes, but I was also just overjoyed to have him with me.  We stopped at Subway because he hadn’t eaten all day, and then I drove him to my house.  I am uncomfortable having people in my house for many reasons, but I was so eager to be with Idle (and touch him), I managed to quash the small panic I had as he walked into my house.

How did the cats greet him?  In their usual way.  Raven sniffed and let Idle pet him right away, and Shadow stood aloof.  But, I am very proud of my shy guy because he didn’t leave the room.  And, he did let Idle pet him the first day.  By the middle of the visit, Shadow had accepted this stranger into our household–probably because Idle awoke before I did and would go to the kitchen to make coffee.  Those with animals know that any time you go into the kitchen, the animals think it’s feeding time.  By the end of the visit, Shadow was planting himself in front of Idle and arching his back–his way of demanding to be pet.  Raven accepted Idle as another piece of furniture and would flop all over Idle, sometimes at inconvenient moments.

Back to the narrative.  After we ate, Idle and I retired to the bedroom so we could get to know each other better.

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Truly, Madly, Deeply, Part II: The Strange, Sweet Story of a Grrl and Her Ape

So.  In my last post, I dropped the bombshell that I had met someone.  If you haven’t read it yet, take five ten fifteen how ever long you need and look it over. Go on. Do it. Otherwise, this post won’t be as full an experience. Done?  Good.

As we last checked in with the grrl, she was anxiously awaiting a visit from her ape.  When he told me (the grrl.  Try to keep up) he had bought the tickets, I was jubilant.  In the back of my mind, I was afraid that he would back out at the last minute.  I couldn’t quite believe he actually WANTED to see me, so much so that he would fly a thousand miles to meet me.  He hates flying as much as I do; he hates change as much as I do; I was floored that he was actually going through with it.  With my history, I have a hard time believing that I’m worth someone making that effort, especially someone as averse to traveling as he is.

Once we had establish that yes, he was coming for realz, I had to do something I hate:  Clean.  I absolutely loathe it.  Plus, I suck at it.  Not a good combination.  I’m not comfortable having people in my house, not even good friends, and here I was eagerly offering Idle Primate to share my bed.  My friends were floored by the fact that I was letting him stay in my house.  Frankly, so was I.

As I prepared for his visit, doubts started flooding my mind.  I am a dynamo online. I’m funny and witty and charming as hell.  I am MUCH better with the written word than I am with the spoken word, and I was worried that all my neuroses and quirks and idiosyncrasies would be annoying in person–not endearing.  The demons were whispering in my ear that once Idle Primate spent some time with me, he would realize that he had made a mistake.  I didn’t want to disappoint him.  One thing that made it marginally easier for me not to panic was that I knew he had similar worries about disappointing me.

We have some of the same life experiences, which means we have similar issues.  We also both think of ourselves as the caretaker in a relationship, which makes for a very interesting dynamic.  In the past, I’ve tended to be with people who, in the long run, didn’t want to be with me as much as I wanted to be with them, and then my concubine nature would take over and I would do whatever it took to make them happy.  Idle has a similar personality, which is actually refreshing.  We both wanted to make the other happy, which is much better than one person doing most of the work.

As his visit neared, we started to post more on each other’s FB walls.  Mostly videos, and mostly ones that one of us found funny.  We have a rule that we had to listen to the entire song if the other person posted it on our wall. As we both have devious minds, it led to lots of mirth, especially as neither of sleeps very much and one of us has OCD (that would be me). For example, as I said in my last post, I loved the hair bands of the ’80s such as Cinderella and Warrant.  My poor Idle, well, let’s just say he was a punk back then and leave it at that.  In our serious moments, he posted the video Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.  I had heard the song before and hadn’t been immediately captured by it, but through my new lens of love, the song had a resonance that it lacked before.  I felt such a strong connection with Idle, being ‘with’ him was like being home.  I wrote a brilliant essay many years ago (as it’s not online, you’ll have to trust me.  It’s quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever written.  Pulitzer Prize worthy) about how I found ‘home’ in people, rather than places, and I felt it strongly with Idle.

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Truly, Madly, Deeply, Part I: Friday I’m in Love

Hello, all. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Three months. Damn. There are cobwebs all over the place, and I’ve never been a good housekeeper.  Hold on a second while I tidy up.  Yes, that lamp goes there and this table needs a good dusting.  There!  I’m ready to post now.  Last thing I wrote about was Minna 4.0 and all the changes she’s gone through. Well, it’s time for another update because Minna 4.0 has gotten a major upgrade–one that I never thought she’d get*.

Remember how I’ve written in the past that while I have started longing for a relationship, I never thought I’d find one?  Of course, that was back in the dark ages (MONTHS ago) when I wondered if I was dating material.  I wanted love, but I was deeply afraid that I wouldn’t find it in this lifetime.  I thought the best thing to do was to go to activities that I would enjoy anyway and see what happened.  I would test the water and see what was out there.  I would take it slow and not expect anything to happen for some time.

At least that was the plan.

Funny how things change in a heartbeat.

A few months ago, I got into an epic word battle with a guy on ABL’s Facebook wall.  He went by the name of Idle Primate, and he knew ABL through a cultural commentary site called Pajamas or something like that**.  I don’t know how the great ate debate started, but it evolved into the two of us exchanging ripostes involving words ending in -ate or derivations of.  We went on for hours.  It was a blast, and I included a song that he immediately claimed.  It’s the first video posted below.

He requested to be friends on the FB, and I accepted.  We started flirting almost immediately after, but I was determined to keep it light because he wasn’t in my city or state.  Hell, he wasn’t in the States at all.  He’s from Ottawa, Canada, and I was determined not to get into another long distance relationship.  Sure, he was intelligent, witty, funny as hell, thoughtful, goofy, creative, poetic, and we clicked right off the bat.  Yes, he was single and not afeeeeered of commitment as my past partners have been.  He was in fucking Canada, and not in Winnipeg or anywhere close-ish.  I was NOT going down that road–uh uh, no sirree.

The internet is a funny thing.  It allows for a connection that isn’t based on physical proximity; indeed, I didn’t even know what he looked like since he only had pictures of apes as his profile pic on FB.  Yes, we were both putting our best feet forward, but the real us still came out loud and strong.  We quickly moved to PM’ing each other, and then I suggested we take it off FB because I don’t trust them at all.  No, I don’t trust Google and gmail much more, but FB really is the nadir of privacy.

I soon grew to anticipate emails from him.  My heart would skip a beat if I had one, and it would thump in disappointment if my inbox was stubbornly empty.  Sure, we bantered on FB, but it wasn’t the same.  Still, I told myself that it was just for fun and that I was just practicing my dating chops since I haven’t used them in a long time.  Honestly, I’ve never really dated as I find the concept an anathema–I tend to plunge right into relationships or flings or whatnot.   I was determined to keep it on a fling-like level because he was so far away and the chances of us meeting were slim.   Months earlier, I had decided that I wasn’t going to be the first one to fly to meet, especially not for a booty call.  I’d done that in the past, and I didn’t want to do it again.

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I want it all.

After so many years of denying I want anything, that statement is a little frightening.  Scratch that.  That statement is a whole lotta frightening.  I was raised to believe that I shouldn’t want anything.  I am given what I’m given, and that is that.  It’s partly Asian culture.  It’s partly sexism found in both American culture and Asian culture.  It’s partly my family dynamics.

Very OT:  I had a talk with my bro about our childhood.  He couldn’t remember much of what I mentioned (because he’s not in tune with his surroundings), but the one thing I did get out of him was this.  I asked if he remember Dad being home very much.  He said, “Oh no.  Dad was always gone.  Working.  Supposedly.”  We glanced at each other.  I said, “You know about that, too?”  He said, “Oh sure.”  Another glance.  I said, “Supposedly?”  Pause.  My brother, “He had…meetings.”  Pause.  Me, “With women.”  Brother, “Yes.”

Funny how a family secret can be not so secret.  My mother and I have talked about it.  I had a cousin tell me that he knew about it from his parents.  Now, my brother has acknowledged it as well.  And yet, when I brought it up with my father, he…well, he didn’t deny it, but he put his own spin on it.  “It’s not fair to me for you to say that.  I had many female friends and male friends as well.  It’s not fair to me.”  My therapist pointed out that his response was instructive as to the general pattern of our family dynamics.  It’s the same thing that happened when I confronted my father about the abuse those many years ago.  He said, “I don’t remember it happening.  Wouldn’t I remember it if it happened?”  We are a family of deniers, we are.

Anyway, back to the original topic.

I have always been a bit too much.  I laugh too loudly (my brother told me years ago that I had a weird laugh.  I ended up laughing silently for about a decade after that because I was mortified by his comment); I eat with gusto; I fuck with even more gusto.  I adore the feeling of a hard rain pelting my skin, and I love how a biting cold wind sears open my nostrils, tightens my nipples, and makes every pore sing.  I am a sensualist to the core.  The feel of velvet on my skin makes me want to purr.  The taste of an exquisite chocolate dessert actually makes my pussy pulse and gives me an orgasm face.   Kiki laughed at me when she saw the look on my face one time this happened.  “That good, eh?”  She asked me as I nearly moaned out loud.

It was that fucking good.  Oh my god.  Silky-smooth chocolate ganache sliding down my throat….It’s making me wet to think about it now.

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The Ugly Truth

It’s my father’s birthday today.  Or rather, it’s the day recorded as his birth.  October 1st.  His parents didn’t really know when he was born, so that’s the date they picked to put on his records.  I had forgotten about it until approximately ten minutes ago, and then I thought about what to do.  Normally, I send an e-card and am done with it.  One year when I first started grappling with the molestation issues (over ten years ago), I didn’t send him anything.  I heard from my mom that he was ‘so hurt’ by that, even though my brother sends them nothing.  Ever.

This year, I was flummoxed as to what to do.  I decided to send a card, but what would it say?  I looked at different cards, and they were all too sappy for me.  I mean, I am not a sappy person anyway, and most certainly not when it comes to my father.  I found a simple one and wrote something like, “Happy Birthday, Dad.  May your year be filled with peace, happiness, and love.  Love, Minna.”

That’s all I could muster.  And, strangely enough, I meant most of it.

You see, in my last therapy session, I talked a bit more about my father’s lack of enjoyment for life.  As I’ve said, he’s traveled around the world, eats the finest food, and doesn’t care for any of it.  He can be excused for his lack of enthusiasm for the countries themselves because he’s mostly in conferences while he’s there, but he gets treated to the best food each country has to offer, and he appreciates none of it.

It got me thinking about what he does enjoy.  He likes watching war movies.  He liked playing tennis (though I think it was more the social aspect than anything else).  Other than that, nothing.  His life is pretty joyless.  Even his affairs were more about validation than for actual enjoyment.  As I have also documented, he doesn’t have much use for women.

The more I talked about him, the more I felt a…stirring of…sympathy for him.  But I will get to that in a minute.

On a wildly different track that isn’t different at all (bear with me), my aunt died a few months ago.  This is my father’s sister, a woman who had nothing but contempt and disdain for me for not speaking Chinese/Taiwanese (but, not for my brother.  Double standards runs in that family, I see).  When my mom emailed me to tell me the news, I felt nothing.  A few days ago, Kiki emailed me to tell me that someone with whom we had both worked many many years ago had died recently.    I had had a crush on him when we worked together, and he had been kind to and admiring of me as well.  I haven’t seen him in 16 years.  Kiki saw him a couple years ago, and she told me then that he had asked about me.  Just a few weeks ago, we were wondering what had happened to him.  I Googled him, but I found nothing, and believe me, that’s very unusual in this day and age.

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