how truly crazy I am.
I had a flight to Kansas City to see my lovely friend, in order to maintain our long distance friendship. I bought a plane ticket for $200, even though it is only a 5 hour drive away from where I live, even though my stay was only two nights. I am aware that choosing the illogic inefficient route reveals me as a weakling.
We were all seated on the plane and I was about to fall asleep because it was 4am. I was dreaming about having brunch with my friend upon arrival. But after a while I realized we had not moved, and they announced the flight was delayed.
People clomped with irritation back into the airport. Some sat in the waiting area, and some formed a line at the front desk. But I didn’t want to wait because I’m tech savvy and know how to expedite things using the internet, and not a weakling. I called American Airlines to change my flight to a different airline leaving from the airport. The person on the phone and I were both calm and softspoken, in a way that acknowledged that her job was probably not ever chill.
And yet, I also do not trust airlines and their convoluted systems. If you know how to fight then you should be ready to fight.
She began to switch me to a United flight, but then the call dropped. I called again. My new collaborator declared switching me was not possible. I don’t like to correct people so I concurred, said goodbye, and hung up. I called again, still calm. New voice put me on hold to ask her supervisor. I observed that some people had moved through the front desk. They did not tell others their results, whether waiting in line was worthy or not. It wasn’t a secret, but to find out you would have to have to inquire, and likely that would have to be a whole conversation, since they are not faceless bots that answer when you push a button, and these types of struggles are individual anyways, any advice would require listening to unnecessary context. Dunno, they would say, my situation is different from yours. I joined in line for the front desk, curious what secret remedy it provided but not willing to ask.
There are always a million solutions for every problem, and I wanted to test them all at once. While in line, the voice on the phone said I could get a flight arriving by 5pm. I told her I might be able to get an earlier flight via the front desk. I told her I would call her back. All around me people checking their phones began complaining that the flight was delayed to 6pm!!!! This they were willing to share.
The line was not moving. Next option, walk up to another desk for the next flight to Kansas City. I asked the woman at the desk if there was room, and she told me the flight had just filled up. A flight had been cancelled, had I heard people were transferring over? Apparently not quickly enough.
I got an email that said my flight was changed to 5pm. But now I am thinking, I do not want another cancelled flight, and if I start driving now I will get there at 12pm in time for brunch. Because I was fueled by anger, I thought I had the courage to drive. I went out to the departure desk to cancel and refund my ticket!!!!!!! And they did thank god bless them!!!!!! Best solution achieved!!!!
Then it started SNOWING.
I went back in line and asked them if it was possible to undo my cancellation.
People working at the desks were very annoyed. Justifiably. I was directed to another person, who put an end to my shenanigans. He said, we can do it but it will take a while to sort out. He said, that’s what happens with your messing around with the system.
He clicked around and asked me if I had a boyfriend. I said, why? He said, take me with you, because I’m cleaning up all your problems and know how to and that’s what a good boyfriend does. I said, oh trust me my boyfriend KNOWS I’m MESSy
as if that was a winning retort.
He printed my new tickets and said it arrives in Kansas City at 11pm. I winced and he said please understand these are the only spots left. I said, yes yes thank you I for sure understand thank you it’s GREAT. You’ve been so kind and informative and I know the people here have been impatient and each one endlessly frustrating in their own ways, everyone knew how to help themselves but no one knew how to help each other, so thank you. He said, “I assigned you first class as well.”
In conclusion I am not better than anyone. In fact I am worse.
My seat, 1A. Packaged green olives, white cheddar chips, chocolate covered pretzels, small slices of cheese, a healthy dose of quiet reflection time wherein I thought about whether or not I had made a single good decision today. I fought them all. I accepted them all.
Even if you go out of your way to recycle soft plastics, they will still end up in the bin, just not yours. Recycling is just a coping mechanism for people who stare down the abyss that is climate change and act like they haven’t been part of the problem.
When you see a bug on the wall, you should escort it outside. You might think, they live around me anyways, and they’re all over the house. The only difference is I usually don’t see them. But you should ask someone to evacuate it regardless.
I went and waited a half hour in line at tofu shoten because my exact thinking was that other Asians love soft tofu dessert and I should get on board. And the shop ppl were so lovely we had a nice exchange about their relocation and I got three items. Then I sat in the market and ate the tofu and it had peanuts on it that I didn’t want so I kept them in my cheeks like a chipmunk with each bite until the end when I held my breath and chewed them all up and swallowed. I had to fucking snarf that expensive tofu there was so much of it and I wanted to walk. I also had to chug my red sugar soy milk because my hands were busy!!
I walked through the deli. I was here the other day and there was a lady hawking samples but no one wanted them. The guy working at the store told her to hang in there and the lady looked pissed, she said “I know” like she did not want an ounce of pity. I heard it too so I knew that was embarrassing, it’s humiliating being overheard for breaking the fourth wall.
Anyways. This time I came across a lady with samples of Brie but I didn’t stop because I fully wasn’t going to buy anything. But I was just so peckish for something savory so I came back and feigned disinterest in the Brie and allowed her to suggest it to me. As I chewed the Brie the lady tried to sell me a package and I said “hm not now it’s too heavy for me at the moment” and she lost interest in me FAST. I can’t remember if I heard a hmph or not but probably I did.
But actually when I tasted that fucking Brie, it was so GOOD I was like this just fucking hits that fucking spot. It was so like a bit stinky and creamy and the flavor was so strong and beautiful. I could easily sit on the couch w a triangle of that and a baguette and I would be so so happy. I still might go back to buy it and do that later. It just fucking was so good.
So I’m sorry to the tofu people and also to my culture as well but I fucking was so obsessed w this Brie even though I know my intestinal system will reject it. Is that a sign? My body doesn’t want it because it’s not for my Asian innards? But it does want it. I thought of my friend who is currently discovering new cheeses in Italy and I thought of the joy she gets from cheese…. she would get it.
Idk how to describe good tofu just like… soft? Texture held together? Not like raw tasting? But it didn’t do anything for me. The appeal of a place like “tofu shoten” just like, a lot of ppl get this thing wrong and we’ve got it right. But that Brie was like… showing off. Damn. Just different mediums I guess. And just exactly what I wanted to eat. I’m never really in the mood for a well-made slice of tofu… though it may happen someday I suppose.
One of the most tragic things about life is not being able to fully do the thing in the amount of time you’d prefer to do it. Like if I camp in a car with my friends and then wake up before them and it’s sunrise and I walk close enough to the ocean that the waves spray my knees, I want to maximize that experience, you know? I want to offer my absolute attention so that I can be transformed.
I take a picture. I say, “a picture cannot capture such a thing.” Someone says: “such a cliche” but we know I will still say it all the time because my statement is true and I can’t describe it any other way. I like that it’s a cliche because all cliches are true.
If I can’t bathe myself in this moment then what is it but yet another gorgeous setting and convergence all wasted on me? I, who was blessed enough to witness such a thing.
The excess beauty goes down the drain. We worry that it isn’t safe to have a vessel of experiences held by just one person.
I walked to work this morning behind a lady who was eating a chunk of baguette while headed towards the city. She dropped her bread in the middle of the street, cursed, then picked it up. It was just the final butt of the baguette, but she put it in her pocket. I watched her. She passed a trash can and didn’t chuck it in. Maybe she was saving it for a pet at home. Maybe she was going to eat it. I would’ve eaten it, it was only on the ground for a moment.
I followed her. I watched her cross the street. She had a long drapey black coat on with large pockets. She had thick glasses and terrible posture. She was listening to something through wired earbuds. Was it a podcast? Was she talking to someone on the phone, did she tell them about the bread? Did she even care about its fate or did she want to forget about it? She pushed her hand further into her pocket, leaving her hand in the pocket for the length of a block. Perhaps squeezing it. I bet it was soft.
We approached the library. By this point I was far off the path to my office. She didn’t stop to break bread with the seagulls surrounding the lawn. She exited the footpath and sat on a ledge.
She looked around. There was a high school group nearby but they were distracted.
She reached into her pocket.
She rustled around.
I stood behind the tree.
She took out the bread.
She took a bite.
I fucking knew it.