1. 1 blueberry bagel with cream cheese. i can master cream cheese spreading as long as i split the bagel perfectly in half. a lot of c.c. in the middle (hole). it’s a c.c. storage hole. fruits with vanilla yogurt: 5 cubes of watermelon, 4 grapes, 2 cubes of pineapple, 6 cubes of cantaloupe, 7 cubes of honeydew (2 not separated completely).
2. small cold brew with 2% milk
3. 2 pieces of white bread with chocolate spread
4. stuffed potato soup (small). 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate (bad; too artificially sweet). C caught a cold yesterday and when she calls me her voice is hoarse. it takes me quite a while to believe she really wants to. she says she misses my hips. i am lying prone. sometimes i feel sad because our body is the only thing we have to ourselves and in a split second it could be gone like it is here no more, otherwise it will always be gone after a few decades in the sense of wrinkles and plaques. last month when i went back home my father lay his hand out under my eyes and said, “you are so young. see, my hand has plaques.” that is a sadness i can’t bear. one day it will be my hand too, fingers clenched, the back of my hand up, presenting, waiting to be acknowledged. why tell me what i already know? i’ve noticed not only his hands but also cheeks and neck, which have fewer plaques but have them anyway. maybe it is because we talk of getting married so often, i find myself imagining our saggy bodies entangled on a bed surrounded by piles of clothes and one huge pillow and two comforters. i shall go ahead and assume she won’t miss my hips anymore at that time.
i start off lying prone but as i proceed i feel the urge to turn around. i turn around and hide under my comforter. my comforter is dark blue with a colorful dinosaur pattern. someone is talking in the hallway. i wish they could turn off all the lights at night, but the girl in the room next to mine says she would be too scared to sleep. they talk and talk. C is saying how much she wants to touch me and how sweet my voice is. i have been cautious. i try to be as quiet as possible. when we finish whoever has been in the hallway is gone. the whole apartment is silent. did they hear anything? i’ve barely made any sound; my voice could have been anything but sweet. i am surprised she even hears it.
also in the past summer, i learned there are people who never need to control their voice while making love so when the situation comes up they don’t know how. how? how do you remain silent in the face of the most intense sensation that will ever pass through your body with your eyes shut and your teeth clenched like it’s just another suffering you have to endure? yet for some, silence is part of sex because it’s always not happening in the right time, at the right place, with the right person. or sometimes it is with no person, or a virtual person, someone on the phone.
1. 2 pieces of white bread with chocolate spread
2. oranges, pasta, broccoli coleslaw, 5 cubes of tofu. half red bean mooncake, 1/4 nuts&egg yolk mooncake (so bad, worst mooncake i’ve ever had).
3. medium matcha (iced). today i’ve figured what a dirty chai is.
4. pasta, spinach, chicken breast with cream sauce. C has a nightmare: she sleeps with a boy from her high school; he tells her she’s pregnant, so she asks her teacher for a pregnancy test stick and pees on it in the classroom; she realizes she is indeed pregnant, slaps the boy in the face twice, and starts to panic. how is she to reveal this to me? to her parents? she doesn’t want the baby. how painful is it to give birth? to get an abortion? she wakes up and calls me. she thinks she could be pregnant because she has not got her period yet. should she go and buy one of those test sticks? but her hometown is too small and her aunt works at the pharmacy. i tell her you cannot be pregnant. how can you be? from whom? again and again i tell her not to worry, not to fear. i say it’s actually normal to get irregular periods. once, i say, i dreamed that i was pregnant too. i was lying supine on a wood board, very much pregnant, being transferred through a valley into an abortion factory. ahead of and behind me, more pregnant women were being carried forward in the same way. the line must have been miles. i try my best to reassure her. i keep saying, how can you be pregnant? but then i grow suspicious and think, how can i be so sure? i know i have to, and yet. i don’t tell her once i missed my period for so long that i truly believed i was pregnant and bought a pregnancy test stick, even though i was not sleeping with a man. if you know your body is capable of being pregnant, how can you say for sure it is not pregnant at this moment? but i can’t tell her, otherwise she might get more worried. she says she is not sleeping with someone else and i say yes, i know. she says, i want to bear your child, but i’m afraid of the pain. i tell her i don’t want her to. i tell her i would be willing to bear our child if it could come from only her and myself; i would like to have a child that does not include the gene of a stranger. she laughs and says you’re silly and cute and i love you. we would not have a baby until technology advances enough to make it possible. later she falls back into sleep.
1. 2 dark chocolate mini wafers
2. medium chai latte (hot). 2 pieces of white bread, 4 slices of honey smoked turkey breast, salad dressing. yesterday G called and told me she had got drunk and slept with a boy from her school. she was still drunk when she called me. she sounded so much like her father, the way she would drag the first syllable of the first word of every sentence and make like she was stuttering. i can’t handle drunk people, worst when it’s someone i know. i’ll be so terrified and stiffened it feels like part of me has gone hollow. but i talked with G, laughed even, while she was telling me the boy had bought her plan b one-step and she was hesitant to take it because, although they’d ended up without a condom, she knew for sure there had been one at the beginning and the only thing she didn’t knew was when it had fallen off and her father had tempted to sleep with a female colleague and failed and she had so much homework could i proofread this paper of hers and correct all the grammatical errors. yes, i said. the paper was six-page and had to do with a Vietnamese girl running naked after bombing. i started proofreading it and C called me. then she got angry and cried because i was saying uh and oh to everything she said and told me she didn’t love me anymore and we should break up. and i believed her as i would every time. i cried so much more it was embarrassing. i have the habit of circling out and talking about our relationship in general whenever she gets irritated by a specific way i behave.
last summer i told G i’d been with C for some time. the first thing she wanted to know was if we had had sex. did you? really? but how? is there pleasure also? yes, yes, tongues and fingers, and yes. i’m not questioning you, but... so it had occurred to me, right there at the dinner table, that she had never been exposed to any other forms of love-making except a man inserting his erect penis into a woman’s vagina, nor had she faced the situation where she had no choice but to do it by herself, in the dark, quietly. tongues and fingers were just as unimaginable as silence. she was almost twenty. to be fair, it was also the first question that sprang into my mother’s mind when i told her C had been my girlfriend. how do you have sex? really? you did that and you are no longer a virgin? i’m a gemini born fifteen days too early because my mother didn’t feel like waiting anymore. she’s thirty years older than me. her mother is thirty years older than her. before i turned seven i’d always thought women could only bear children after they were thirty. G will be twenty in twenty days and she’s just taken her second plan b one-step in three months.
3. 1 slice of veggie pizza. medium lemonade. now G doesn’t remember calling me yesterday and tells me everything one more time. but she remembers having me proofread her paper. she calls me again and tells me she’s never had an orgasm and yesterday was the closest she’s ever got. then she recites all the drunk talk she remembers and says it is definitely not something she should be doing very often.
4. 1 bottle of pear cider. 1 bite of cheese bread. first time ever: score 1 in a pool game. i can’t get darts onto the board. I’m a dart killer. call C in the bar and she says good night and i say love you and she chuckles and says love you too. lately i’ve felt that she enjoys waiting for me to say it first. it is so much more difficult to say i love you instead of omitting the i and say love you, and i’ve developed a regular omission of my. when it comes up in our dialogue, instead of my mother, i say mother; my cousin becomes cousin, and my home, home.
1. C says someone from her school asks her which of us plays the male and which plays the female. she tells him there is no such distinction. he doesn’t believe it. he says, “how is this possible? but you have to be bisexual, right? one of you must be man and the other must be woman.” there is no way to explain that to slide your fingers into your partner’s vagina is not “playing the male,” and there are plenty ways that don’t even include this action. what does it mean to “play the male” anyway? aren’t straight males in a straight relationship playing the male as well and sometimes feel too tired and play the female instead or maybe play neither? aren’t we all playing human? sometimes we get bored and start playing dogs. we bark and bite and lick and crawl. we knot our tails together. of course we can play the male and we will opt for it only because we know it can be easily shaken off, so that we are both in the play and out, observing, laughing at ourselves from a distance. we play because we know we don’t have to. small salad: lettuce, rice with peas and corns, 5 tofu cubes, mushrooms, sesame dressing. fries with barbecue sauce.
2. small mocha (iced). pretty sure the person gives me a medium. by accident?
3. self-made sandwich: 2 pieces of white bread, 1 slice of cheese, 4 slice of honey roast turkey breast. 1 cup of milk.
1. dream 1: a psychopathic nurse kills three patients with tampons. i tell C my dream and she says, with the all germs? no, i say, unused tampons. she drops them into water and when a patient drinks water it slides into their throat and swells up. dream 2: C and i are kissing on the second floor of a bar. i hold a can of spirit. underaged kids are drinking alcohol. cops rush up and confiscate everything, despite my protest that it is spirit and i’m not underaged. we leave the bar and she takes part in a dance contest. for a time i sit on a high shelf looking at her, but then she’s gone. i start to panic. when i call her, she says, i chose you because i thought you would never cast eyes on anyone else, but i was wrong. i wake up and call C and she says she doesn’t like the dream. she thinks it implies we are still on the cold side. 2 dark chocolate mini wafers. on the other hand, last night C dreamed she betrayed me again. this time it was a boy, she says. i tell her i don’t want to know but in fact i do. i was walking over a bridge with a classmate and she fell into the water, she says. two boys from a dance group next door came to drag her up. i started dating one of them. i think i had such a dream because lately we’ve been arguing a lot and i’ve been dancing. she brings up children again. she says she wants to raise a kid with me, but it’s really up to me. neither of us is willing to give birth anyway. but it may change in the next few years. i suggest we adopt. she says, what if we get an ugly and retarded baby? if we’ve given birth to it we won’t be able to complain. i say, we may complain about the other person. not you or me, the other person who’s contributed the other part of the baby. she says, we’ll pick someone good, someone not ugly or retarded.
2. santa fe crispy chicken sandwich
3. 1 osmanthus oolong tea with bubbles (iced)
4. coleslaw (side of the sandwich)
5. 1 banana
1. daylight saving time starts today. wake up feeling farther away from C, the room strangely more silent. now if i want to catch her before bed i need to get up before 8. dream: i am trying to paint our apartment walls white but have mixed too much water into the paint. i text her to ask for a suitable water paint ratio. i tell her about my dream. she says she won’t let me paint the wall. we’ll make the bed together, she says, and arrange flowers all over the place. 3 dark chocolate mini wafers. 1 banana.
2. so cal sandwich: chicken, lettuce, avocado. mixed greens.
3. medium peach lemonade
1. 3 dark chocolate mini wafers. we talk about buying an apartment and being unable to buy an apartment. C says before we got together she could imagine renting a place after finishing grad school, slowly saving money to get a place of her own, eventually. but now that she’s with me, she has lost the ability to imagine that. she says she feels very dependent on me. she feels that, as long as we’re together, she doesn’t need to worry much. but this is unrealistic because how can we afford a place of our own anyway? it’s so expensive. she says, straight men are just pitiful. they have so much straight man pressure. this is all what people say to them, buy an apartment buy a house buy a place for you and your wife and your potential children. how? do houses fall into their hands from the straight man sky? i say yes it is such a deeply rooted social pressure and then i realize what she’s just said and start laughing.
2. autumn salad: lettuce, roast pumpkin, dry figs, pomegranate seeds, white beans, chicken breast.
3. medium matcha (hot) watch the love witch again. the instructor (female) asks the director (female) about the scene where the protagonist (female) is stripping. the instructor says, when she is stripping i feel that it goes back into the conventional male fantasy a little bit. the director says, no. i wonder if the sound of me chewing on lettuce is too loud. i wonder if everyone else around me can hear me making this sound and know it is my teeth and lettuce. in fact i can’t hear them clearly, but the whole film is playing with conventional male fantasies of the feminine ideal. then i remember how my mother would ask me if i felt shy walking past boys on the street. we were on our way to buy some grapes and walked past three high school boys. it came out of nowhere. maybe she thought she could catch me off guard and see if i’d grown into puberty. i said, no. i’ve never felt shy walking past anyone. even several years later when i was in love for the first time, i didn’t feel shy walking past the girl i was in love with because i could only feel happy. then as i’m sitting there watching the film i remember G’s ex- boyfriend, how he’d got his body checked and sent G the report before they had sex, so that she knew he was healthy. a few months later he slept with another woman because G was so far away and he was lonely. after they broke up and got back together and broke up for the second and the last time, he started to pick up girls from the church he attended on a regular basis. most men have never seen a used tampon in his life, said the love witch while making a witch bottle with used tampons. i have almost forgotten this part. they have ritual gatherings inside a church-like space.
4. 21 green grapes. i don’t know when or where i’ve chafed the knuckle of my right thumb and i sit there eat green grapes and bleed. sometimes it hurts more sometimes it hurts less sometimes i don’t feel anything. C asks me if i miss her and i say yes, i miss you. she says i’m not excited enough and asks me again. i say yes, i miss you. she says i’m not excited enough and tells me to ask her instead. i say, do you miss me? she says (in an excited voice), yes, i miss you i miss you i miss you. then she asks me if i miss her. i say (in an excited voice (not as excited as hers because i’m bad at acting excited)), yes, i miss you i miss you i miss you.