On Regressing in Lockdown

Every time someone I’m talking to brings up the coronavirus or the administration’s response to it, my throat tightens. I’m not sure why this happens— I think it’s because I have so many frustrating feelings about the whole thing, and yet it feels absolutely pointless to me to lay them all out, because rehashing the…

Chapter Twenty-Two

My parents always said that I was “mature” for my age, which now, looking back, may have been their way of expressing relief that I was fairly easy to manage as a child. Over the summer, I asked my mother to bring me some knitting things from my old stash, and she was very amused…

bags of beans

Red Bean Soup

Mother found a lump on the side of her head today, above her ear. She showed Anita in the car, as they waited for Susie to finish her piano lesson, pulling her hand to it like she had eight years before, but now it was to her head instead of to a breast long gone.…

Photo by June Intharoek from Pexels

On Commitment & the Cool Girl

It’s Valentine’s Day, which, for an occasion that barely constitutes as a holiday, seems to receive more polarizing press than it deserves. I guess it’s because, with its flow of reminders that you either are or are not in a fulfilling relationship, people find themselves lumped into some box or other and naturally become intensely…

Counter-Revolutionary

Interstate 880 runs right along the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. Its posted speed limit is 65 mph, but drivers are indifferent, rarely meeting radar guns or speeding tickets. My grandfather was the same— I, ten years old and vaguely interested in staying alive, would shout from the backseat for him to slow down, alarmed as the speedometer continued pulling clockwise.

A Little Chinglish, Please

In the past I’ve always spoken to my parents in both English and Chinese, often at the same time, and whenever they spoke to me in Chinese, I would reply likewise. I swore to myself with childish disdain that I would never become one of the people who only reply in English. I am now…