Trip, fall, stumble, I did them all. My legs moved in opposite directions, as though rebelling against my body. My family—myself included—all laughed at the incredible lack of coordination gifted to me.
The cold is a feature of national identity, and cold immunity is a point of national pride.
Sometimes, I’ll switch the order to “Korean and Lebanese” if I get an inkling of a certain fever. Or I’ll just say half-Korean, all depending on the read. This isn’t my first time at the ethnically ambiguous rodeo.
When was the last time you danced? Like, really danced—none of that timid head-bobbing or casual side-stepping that people do these days. That shit reeks of non-commitment. I know it can be hard to put yourself out there when everyone’s playing it cool, trying to look composed in front of the cute girl with the done-up hair. But there’s something electric about a humming dance floor packed just tightly enough with bodies, human limbs let fully loose, motions dictated purely by the pulsating vibrations of the music.
“You can write yourself out of anything,” I tell myself as a sort of mantra while I struggle to type up a simple, short lab report for my graduation-requirement science class, one that’s clearly designed for humanities majors but still manages to leave me with a backpack full of returned tests covered in inky red X’s.
“Yes, good. But what are you going to do with your life?” My grandfather, my Dada, leans forward and smiles at me from across the low coffee table that he bought almost 40 years ago.
The neon-laced skyline glowed through the tall win- dows on the 42nd floor. Papers were spread all over the black wooden table, next to a cup of roasted green tea and plate of warabimochi. I perused the reports of several companies in the portfolio, attempting to make sense of the data—market trends, products, divisions, projections, and other nuanced details. How could I possibly use all this data and start another Silicon Valley here in Japan?
There were times when I didn’t love The Crimson, but they are dispersed thinly among moments when 14 Plympton was great to me and so many others.
I was miserable, the thought wheezed, I should go home. And it never quite left. Two months later, when my dog’s cancer was close to consuming him, I called it quits and got on the next flight to Boston.
Like every morning since sometime in seventh grade, I woke up that morning five feet, one-and-three-quarters inches tall, and I will likely continue to do so for the rest of my life.