Family Matters: Errands

For the first year after my grandma passed away, my grandpa went to her grave at least once a week, sometimes twice. Now he no longer goes that often, but every two weeks or so, my uncle Jin will drive grandpa fifteen miles from Cerritos to the sprawling Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California, neither man speaking much in the car.  Continue reading “Family Matters: Errands”

Meeting His Parents: First Impressions

Two weeks before my arrival, friends – both POI’s and mine – asked, “You ready to meet the parents? You nervous?”
“Yes and no.”
I don’t let myself get nervous because when I do, I freeze. But I’ll get to that. Instead, I was excited to do what came easily because my mother had made me perfect it through years of practice: make a good impression.
That Friday, I left work early and walked to Penn Station, carrying a backpack heavy with a bottle of Chianti for POI’s mother and two books he’d brought back from England for his parents but had forgotten to bring.
I hauled these items along with a mixed bag of Murray’s Bagels and at 4PM, boarded the train behind a podiatrist who held the skeleton of a human foot and a slew of young professionals who seemed younger and more professional than I. They typed away on laptops, describing marketing plans on fancy power points until it got old and they realized they were on a train and their boss was probably not watching. As though in unison, a handful of them began to watch “Orange Is the New Black,” except for the anemic-looking woman who sat in front of me. She watched “You’ve Got Mail” while chewing at a bland sandwich that didn’t seem to have much iron.
I slept for an hour and spent the rest of the ride looking between the magazine on my lap and the view out the window.
“The east coast is very lush,” I noted.
“People in Delaware seem very poor. At least by the train tracks.”
“People who get off in Baltimore look rather dejected.”
The train was an hour delayed but I was communicating with POI, who instructed me to text by the time I got to Baltimore. He’d leave his place around then.
Baltimore slid by. I texted. Before long the train stopped in a drab terminal and I found myself standing in Union Station, setting foot in our nation’s capital for the first time.
“What have I been doing that it’s taken me twenty-eight years to get here?” I wondered. Visiting other capitals, duh.
POI collected me from the large roundabout in front of the station in a little blue station wagon, his father’s old car. We said hello with a tinge of strangeness – he was not home but he was “home,” just as I, writing this from my Upper West Side studio am home but not “home.” His family – parents, brother, brother’s wife, sister, sister’s husband and their baby – were all waiting at home for my arrival so we could eat dinner together. I felt bad that my train had been late, but they couldn’t hold that against me. I wasn’t nervous at all. Not yet.
—-
So, when do I get nervous? And what happens? Like many people, I get nervous when I’m put on the spot. When, say, I’m at dinner with a group of friends and someone asks me to do the math on the bill. (Once my calculation came out to be $100 more than we needed to pay). I got nervous when taking the GRE, when the writing portion came first instead of Verbal or Math, like in the five practice tests I took beforehand. I had not practiced taking the test in this order. I also get nervous when people ask me questions I’m not expecting and, like most people who ask you questions, they expect answers right away. This makes me especially nervous when there are other people around, watching or listening and they too, expect an answer.
I am not one of those hardy individuals whose brain adapts quickly to these situations. I would like to be able to take the restaurant bill home and figure it out at with my dad’s giant accountant’s calculator. I would have loved for the GRE essay portion to come at the end, where I expected it to be. I might have gotten a less embarrassing score of two (out of six), considering I was taking the GRE to apply to writing school. And I would have given anything for POI’s mother to have said, “I’ll give you some time to think about it,” after she asked me, “Why did you say that?” Actually, I would have preferred if she didn’t ask me at all, and understood that it’s just the sort of thing I say from time to time.
——
The family dinner went well. POI’s father ordered Indian takeout and I assumed they all ate with more gusto considering I had made them wait an hour. After, the family migrated from the dining table to the living room, while I stayed behind in the kitchen chatting with POI’s mother. She asked me the usual things: what I was studying (writing), if I liked my program (sometimes), what was I going to do after the program (Not sure, but probably babysitting and tutoring the SAT’s. Just kidding. Of course I meant writing…), my version of how POI and I met (I patted myself on the back for leaving out the racist bits), our recent travels and plans for the summer. I asked her the usual questions too: how did she meet POI’s father if she was from Australia? While she was studying English Literature in England, he was there too, a young American man in the foreign service. They married, moved to a suburb just outside DC, and had three children. A few years later, when POI was eight, his father’s job took them to Tokyo where they lived for ten years.
“It was a wonderful time,” she said, her eyes sparkling, and I could imagine it. I felt an immediate kinship with this petite skinny woman with countless laugh lines, bright eyes and short, curly red hair. We both loved to read, though judging by the well thumbed books I found all over the house, in every single room, she more than me. She was, from the way she talked about her meeting POI’s father, a bit of a romantic, though with practical leanings, especially now having been married for so many decades to POI’s father who seemed like a very practical man. We moved from the kitchen to the back patio, each holding a glass of wine, and continued talking for another hour or so until we decided that it was probably time to go in and join the rest of the family. Confidences had been exchanged. She liked me, I could tell.
As we walked into the living room POI gave me a wary look – what had I been telling his mother out there on the patio? Or worse, what has she told you? The smug smile I returned said, “None of your business.” I took a seat next to his mother opposite POI and listened as they told me stories about their neighbors. There was the young family next door, who had two ill-behaved little girls who often scared Smoot and screamed and shrieked. POI’s mother did not like them. She was a bigger fan of the friendly, quiet guy who lived upstairs and who had been a bachelor for many years – he was in his early forties – but was getting married tomorrow.
            “Congratulations to him!” I said.
            She nodded and smiled, “His fiancée’s name is Turquoise.”
            Nicky and POI both snorted, “What kind of name is that?”
            Nicky pulled out his phone and started scrolling – he lived close to POI’s parents and was apparently friends with the neighbor on Facebook. He found a photo of Turquoise and showed it to POI.
            “Is she a bus driver?” POI joked.
            “Oh,” I said, arriving at what I thought was an obvious conclusion, “Is she black?”
I remember a sudden outburst of laughter, which then died down almost immediately into an awkward silence. From the corner of my eye I saw POI’s eyes widen as his mother turned to me.
“Why did you say that?”
Defense mechanism one. Pretend you didn’t say it and even if you did say it, convince yourself no one heard.
“Hm?”
POI’s mother looked at me with wide eyes sparkling with earnest curiosity. She repeated the question.
“Why did you say that?”
This is when adrenaline is supposed to kick in, when your fight or flight instinct is meant to help you either a.) smoothly redirect the conversation to something more PC (“So why do you guys call him Mr. Chicken?” But I’d already asked this. Or b.) Come up with an elaborate lie beginning with, “Oh what I meant was _(insert the exact opposite of what you meant couched it flowery language and said with a sweet “mean no harm, absolutely no harm” expression)__.”
But my glands don’t work like that. I’m witty, but not quick-witted. I’ll come back at you with a witty comeback or a “quick” save…tomorrow. Or maybe the day after. I am also not- nor have I ever been-a good liar. An on-the-spot liar? Forget it. I’m better at math. And that’s saying something.
In the past, when I’ve been caught red-handed doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing or carelessly let mean (but often true) things roll off a blunt tongue, I have never been able to successfully backtrack and assuage the situation. Instead, I run through the options (listed above) and my ability to execute those options, which is very low. The inner dialogue goes something like this:
Dammit. I can’t believe I just said it. Dear God, may I please rewind this moment? No? Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.
The entire thought process takes less then two seconds (in some ways I am fast) but in the end the only options are either to apologize for a mistake or own it. In this case, I had to own it. To apologize would lead to too much explaining, which, given the blankness of my present state of mind, would color myself a deeper shade of prejudiced. I was at a crossroads too – back down now and set an expectation of apologizing for all the potentially racist/politically incorrect/and general unkind things that were bound to come out of my mouth. I am just that level of inappropriate. POI knew this. My friends know this. My family, minus my parents who are actually racist in the way most older Chinese people are, know this. And they still love me. Better be up front.
Don’t worry, I’m a little racist. You’ll get used to it.
I turned to POI’s mother, my face wide open with an “I thought it was obvious” expression.
            “Well,” I said as matter-of-factly as I could, “POI asked if she was black. A lot of bus drivers are black.” (I wanted to add that naming your daughter Turquoise was also a total black thing to do, but remembered my college roommate named Teal who was one of the whitest people I ever met). 
            POI’s mother blinked. Her smile seemed a bit strained then, and I sensed her beginning to register some doubt, which she didn’t feel during dinner or in the kitchen or on the patio. Is this girl…right…for my son… but I looked away and didn’t see her finish the thought.
—-
A week after I’d come home, I remembered my old school manners and sent her a letter-press thank you card I’d bought some months ago while wandering through the West Village. It had four trolls on it – the kind we played with as kids, with tall, pointy hair, wide googly eyes that stare blankly at you over frozen smiles (so…just me?). They reminded me of my childhood and I bought them, not sure if anyone would get the train of thought that went through my head. Well, I had to thank his mother for a good time and I had a card with four trolls and the right two words on it.
            Two weeks after that a postcard with a frog, painted by Matsumoto Hoji arrived in the mail. It was from POI’s mother – she’s gotten it from the British Museum gift shop and had saved it, I imagine, to send to the rare creature her middle child would final decide to bring home.
            “Dear Betty…” She thanked me for my warm words, agreed that my next trip should be longer and that Smoot aka Mr. Chicken sends a “woof.” I smiled when I saw the postscript squeezed in under her signature: “P.S. I see your trolls and raise you a frog.”

On Relationships: Golf n’ (other) Stuff

Thus far, everything has gone as planned.

I woke up, chatted with POI on the phone, went to the kitchen to have a bowl of Frosted Miniwheats then went to the driving range with my mother. We discovered that the golf club in the neighboring city is quite nice, and not too expensive. We each hit one hundred balls, mine going much further than my mothers’ which prompted her to ask me for tips.

I have had exactly one “lesson” from my brother, who used to play semi-regularly when he lived in California. Bend your knees. Stick your butt out. Keep the left arm straight and your eye on the ball. Swing.

I swung a good twenty, twenty-five times before I ever made contact with the ball.

For golf, I had not beginner’s luck but second timer’s luck.

Two weeks ago I revisited the driving range in New York with POI, who likes the game, preferring to have a beer or two to loosen up. We biked to the waterfront driving range and I watched him play before hitting a few on my own.

“You’re pretty good,” POI noted.

“Hm,” I said. I agreed. But as with most things I do (or eventually give up on) consistency was an issue.

My mother, I observed this afternoon, would like to be able to drive the ball out much further than she currently does. Her range hovers around 100 yards, usually just below.

“I’m terrible,” she kept saying, but her shots were consistently straight. The sound her driver head made upon contacting the ball quite appealing.

I recorded a few of her swings on my iphone, saying things like, “Keep your arm straight,” and “Lift the club higher when you pull back,” in Chinese, but was aware that the entire situation was very blind leading the blind. I wondered if the more experienced people to our left and right were chuckling to themselves.

My first thirty or so shots with the driver were consistent too, until I discovered I was terrible on the irons and much better on the woods. I used the driver to hit the last twenty balls, none of which went as far or straight and flat as the first thirty. Consistency, where’d you go, I muttered to no one. Still, my mother was impressed and said it was a shame I didn’t start earlier.

“I wasn’t interested back then,” I said, shrugging.

She thought my tips were good. I’m pretty sure we both imagined it, but she seemed to be hitting just a few yards further by the end of the bucket.

“Take lessons when you get back to New York,” she said, when we were finished. I nodded. That might not be a bad idea.

We came home and had lunch. My mother fried a fish – scallions, soy sauce, sugar, rice wine – and my father suggested we finish off the coffee ice cream.

“Time to buy more,” he said, “though no one eats it with me when you’re not home.”

Everything as planned, this Saturday afternoon. Then I went to my room, called POI. He picked up and I started to cry.

——

The vestiges of our morning conversation. In POI’s words, I had tried to start a fight because I felt he hadn’t called enough over the past two weeks.

“But we talk every day,” he had said in the morning, though by “talk” he meant “text.”

“It’s not the same,” I said, because it’s not, “And remember. It’s a privilege to talk to me on the phone.”

Eventually we were laughing. We had hung up shortly before I left for the driving range, he feeling as though everything was resolved because there had been nothing wrong to begin with, and I feeling a hairsbreadth better, but mostly needy and uneven.

I spent the last two weeks telling my entire family that I was happy in New York, in my relationship, in school (which hasn’t started).

“This time around it’s very different huh?” my cousins asked, “So different from your first time.”

“Yeah,” I said, “So different and so good.”

It’s true, but I worry about my internal consistency, none of which is documented via the usual channels. What makes me feel happy and steady and at peace one minute and another, say, when I’m packing to leave one home for another, off-kilter and confused? I didn’t want to pull POI into this monologue – the “home” question. The what are we how are we who am I what is the future question. What comes tomorrow and the day after and the month and years and incredible vortex after? I didn’t want to pull him into the one-woman fray, but I had to, because it’s sort of what you sign up for when you date someone with a lot of words.

“I feel strange,” I said to him now.

“How so.”

“I don’t know,” because at that point I didn’t. But we talked and just a few minutes later I knew.

The fact that there were two sets of keys on my dresser, one with a Prius key and another with cards to the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Fare. The fact that I was packing again, taking a few more items of my room with me – things I had thought, when I set them down on whichever particular surface, would stay for many years if not forever. The fact that I spent several days mulling over whether to bring said items – because do they belong at this home or the other? The fact that I’d come back this time, filled with the comforting confidence one has when one returns to a familiar city with familiar, loving faces, only to arrive and feel as though I’d forgotten to bring something important.

I told POI so, though not in those exact words. When I cry the words seem to drip down my face and I often can’t say anything for interminable minutes.

“I think I get it,” he said.

And maybe he does. But more importantly, I got it.

The Importance of Patience When Getting a Digital Perm

Last Saturday, I permed my hair. A digital perm which is supposed to be not only better for your hair but also produce more relaxed, natural results. I had a regular perm back in elementary school. The same time I had braces and short hair. I went to school the next day and a jackass with poetic leanings called me Medusa. By lunch he had revised it to “Metal Mouth Medusa.”

Alliteration. Gotta love it.

I avoided perms for a while until I was twenty-five, when I discovered digital perms. So that’s why Korean and Japanese girls have those glossy, glorious looking body waves. I signed up for one and it was a big hit. A friend said, “Whoa, you actually look feminine for once.” My mother said I looked very romantic, like Kate Winslet from “Titanic.” “…Thanks mom.” A guy I met online and went on two dates with said my personality was like my hair, “Bouncy.” It was a nice thing to say. Unfortunately his personality was like his hair, flat.

I’ve had other perms since then, but spaced out to let my hair recover. Also, in New York these perms are crazy expensive. Instead, I’ve been patient, growing my hair out, trimming it every few months to keep it healthy so that I could damage it all in one go for a digital perm, all in the name of femininity.

I sat in a Korean-owned Irvine salon for five hours getting it cut and permed.  My stylist was pregnant and very pretty. She complimented the strength of my hair and told me about her husband who taught Tae Kwon Do. She was going to have another daughter and my goodness your hair is really strong I need to apply the relaxer twice. Set the temperature higher than normal. My neck got close to burning quite a few times and when it was finally done, I was running late for my cousin Angela’s housewarming dinner.

I walked in, aware of how curly my right-after-perm hair was. I prayed that it would not stay this way.

“Be honest,” I said, plunking myself down and feeling my hair swing up and down, “Do I look like Mozart?”

My mom paused a moment too long before saying no, but her eyes said, “A little bit.”

“It’s fine,” my cousin Angela said, her eyes saying the same thing, “It’ll relax.”

I knew this. But my other perms had not taken five hours.

Later, we moved from the restaurant to Angela’s new house. Grandpa, who’d sat at the other end of the table at dinner, came up to me now.

“It’s time you got a haircut,” he said.

I laughed (“Oh Grandpa, so acerbic and witty and sarcastic and funny”), and wandered off to see Angela’s house, a cozy duplex in Irvine with a gleaming kitchen and hardwood floors.

An hour later, I readied to leave.

“Bye grandpa,” I said, but he waved me over.

“Really,” he said again, a shade of urgency in his voice, “It’s time you got your hair cut.”

“Oh you were being serious?”

“Of course!” he looked surprised, “Why would I joke about these things?”

I had assumed someone told him why I was late to dinner.

“I was just at the salon,” I told grandpa, “I just got my hair cut and permed.” For nearly two hundred dollars! I wanted to add, but decided not to. Didn’t want to give a frugal man an extravagant nosebleed.

He leaned back with a bewildered look, “Then why does it look like that?”

Relationships: Going Home For the Holidays Without An Significant Other

The toughest part about coming home is also the most wonderful part. Mostly, making time for everyone I want to see.

Except this time, people were expecting more than just me.

“Where’s POI?” Aunt Angelina exclaimed when I showed up for dim-sum.

I shrugged, “He had plans.”

“Is POI here too?” a friend texted.

“Plans,” I texted back, “He had some.”

“Your friend is welcome to come too,” Aunt Jin-Feng said, inviting me to my cousin’s fancy birthday party at Souplantation tomorrow night.

“My friend?” I was confused, then realized I was Chinese and my aunt was Chinese and I shouldn’t have been confused because while the term “boyfriend” exists in Chinese, its application is like that of a pistol: just because you have one doesn’t mean you should use it.

“Ah my ‘friend’ is not here,” I said, “He had some family plans. But perhaps next time.”

——-

The men were less fussed. POI included.

I texted him this morning, “My entire family is like, ‘Where’s POI?’

“Next time,” he wrote.

“Yeah, otherwise they will think I made the whole thing up.”

“You’d be a fiction writer then.”

-__-

——–

My uncle Louis swung by and gave me a big hug.

“You’re back!” he said, then nodding almost gravely, asked, “And school. How’s that going?”

“I’m on summer break,” I said, “I start school in two weeks.”

“Great,” he said, then looked around with an expression that said, ‘Something’s missing.’

I braced myself.

“Where’s your mom? I’m supposed to take her to the car dealership.”

Later that afternoon Uncle Jin picked me up for dimsum and asked how my boyfriend was doing in San Francisco.

“SF? He lives in New York.”

He scratched his head, “That’s odd. Why did I think San Francisco?”

I opened my mouth, ready to explain that E, the girl who’d set us up lives in San Francisco and perhaps facts had gotten scrambled while the details of my relationship were being passed from mom to aunt to aunt to uncle, but my grandpa came out of the house just then.

Grandpa waved to me, “Welcome back.”

He gave no indication that he expected anyone else. Asked no questions. I smiled.

“Let’s go,” he said, “Lunch.”

——

At dimsum, my aunt bemoaned the fact that two years ago my cousin had brought her then boyfriend to meet the grandparents. They broke up less than three months later.

“Had I known they wouldn’t be together three months later I would never have arranged that dinner!” She put her hands to her forehead, “And at this very restaurant!”

I assured her, sitting atop the pile of wisdom I’d accrued in the last year, that she couldn’t have known. No one does, really, until it happens.

“Still,” my aunt said, putting her hand on her forehead, “Grandpa must think she has a new boyfriend every few months.”

I looked at Grandpa, who didn’t appear to be listening. He had eaten more than usual and was probably looking forward to his afternoon nap.

“Do you want to meet POI?” I asked him.

“Who?”

“My…uh, friend.”

He sighed and shook his head, leaned back.

“You young people. It doesn’t matter if I want to meet him. If you like the person and want to be with him, then I’ll meet him.”

“Good point Grandpa.” I reached for another cream bun, a dessert we both loved, and asked if he wanted half.

“I’m good.”

“No no,” my aunt said, “just put it on his plate.”

“I’m good,” Grandpa said.

“Put it on his plate.”

I put it on his plate. He smiled, and shaking his head, ate it.

Grandma Learns Gmail, Writes Back Months Later

When I’d lived in New York for three months I did something I rarely do. I wrote an email in Chinese to my grandmother in Taiwan. This was November 2013. I kept it short, giving a brief overview of my studies, life in New York and POI. I paused a moment before clicking “send,” mostly because things were going well for me, a young woman who (at least on her Instagram) seemed to be having too much fun while dipping her toes into her first romance (here, POI rolls his eyes and shudders violently). By then, my grandmother, a breast cancer survivor, had been widowed four years and was living alone.

My grandfather had passed away the summer before I graduated from Berkeley in 2010. Immediately following the funeral, my mother, anticipating a period of vast loneliness and depression for my grandmother, invited my grandmother to spend winter with us in California. Grandma said yes and traveled happily up and down the California coast and to Las Vegas as well, snapping close to a thousand photos with a shiny pink Canon my mother won at a casino. She celebrated Christmas and New Years with us before heading back to Taipei to start life in anew in her own apartment some twenty minutes away from the house she lived in for twenty years, at my grandfather’s side. 
When she returned, it seemed as though the good times – all good times – had come to an end. She felt an odd lump in her breast. The doctors confirmed it was cancer. A few months later, her best friend passed away from a ten-year battle with the same disease. And closely after that, a few of my grandfather’s friends, with whom she’d grown quite close, passed away as well. 
We worried about her, but she has always been resourceful, resilient. She married an eighty-year old man when she was thirty, after all. They were married for twenty years. Anyone who knows my grandpa will understand that it’s the woman who made it work. 
She ended up having one breast removed and through it all, made new friends both at the hospital and through a Tai Chi class she had taken up just a few weeks before she came to California. When she was recovering, the Tai Chi class began to consume much of her time. She worked up her strength and flexibility so that by the time I saw her next, she was transformed. She cut her hair short and stopped dying it. She adopted a primarily vegetarian diet and as a result, lost the weight she’d gained while being married to my grandfather, who could eat foie gras, butter and sugar by the kilo and not gain an ounce. She stopped wearing makeup but there was more color in her face. Her eyes and skin were brighter. She turned once again into a spritely woman, not young, but with a young spirit. 
She also got a Gmail account. 
I helped her set it up some time ago – I forget which year, which visit – but it was time to upgrade her from the cooling Hotmail. 
I showed her around the easy interface, feeling smugly “techie,” and told her to start telling her friends to email her there. She nodded, always thirsty for cutting edge technology but never quite mastering it. She took pages of notes from my “Gmail lecture” despite my counseling her to just play around with it. This was how she learned, or so she thought, but some people can study and study and not absorb a thing. 
Grandma was smart in other, more important ways. How to appease a hundred-year old man on a hourly basis for twenty years, for one. How to make a huge, disparate family love and rely on you, for another. How to make friends with old and young, Chinese-speaking or not. How to love and love, give and give, and expect very little if nothing in return. The list goes on. I know how to use Gmail but comparatively, my skills pale.  
In the end, I would wander into the kitchen and see her poring over her hotmail account, which she would leave unattended for months at a time. It was a treasure trove of spam. 
“I need to get through all these before I start using my gmail,” she would say. 
I wondered, “By when?”  
When I moved to New York, the promises I’d made to call my grandma fell away – it was hard enough to remember to call my own mother. But I thought about her from time to time, and wondered how she was getting on. I talked more regularly with my cousin Karen, who despite living in the same city, did not see grandma as often as I assumed. 
“She’s pretty busy,” my cousin said, “She’s got like a whole other life outside of us.” 
I’m not sure what compelled me to write to her that day in November – I guess it had been a while. I guess too, that I was continuing a faint tradition of sorts. My grandfather, her husband, had been a steady corresponder – until he was ninety-eight, he wrote letters on a daily basis. Sometimes with a fountain pen, sometimes with a Chinese calligraphy brush. Always in a shaky, but elegant hand. My brother and I wrote to him from time to time, more often when we were children and three weeks later, almost to the date of our last letter to him, there would be a reply in the mail, written on thin, nearly translucent paper. 
The date. 
Dear Howard and/or Betty
A brief message responding to our polite inquiries of how is your health? We accomplished such and such. We are looking forward to our next trip to Taipei… 
Love, Grand Pa. 
Always two words. Grand Pa. 
In any case, I clicked “send,” and my words, the gushing toned down, traveled electronically to my grandmother’s gmail inbox. 
I didn’t hear back from her and did not think anything of it. Had it been anyone else, I would have been irked. Thought them rude. A callous penpal. But it was grandma and I wondered if she was taking the time to digest my email or didn’t know what to say in reply. 
I should have known. 
A few days ago I opened my inbox and saw a message from her. The subject line said simply, “Reply,” in Chinese. 
Zhen (my Chinese name): 
I’m very sorry I’m replying to your message now. Half the year has gone by. 
My inbox has two to three thousand messages. Recently, I have started to go through them one by one, which is how I came across your message. 
I’m very happy you have a boyfriend now. Take the time to understand one another. Your cousin Larry is getting married next year. If you have time, come back for the wedding. 
I will go to America at the end of the year. When the time comes, I will see you. 
Grandma   

Noodle Soup

7dac6-img_6632I scrolled all the way down my Instagram today to some thirty-five weeks ago, when I still lived at home. I stopped at this photograph I took of my grandfather, probably on a Monday or Wednesday afternoon, since those were the days I went and had lunch with him. He’s reading a newspaper clipping with a magnifying glass and though I’m taking a photo of him, I was probably reading something too.

Continue reading “Noodle Soup”