A Dollar for a Good Heart.

Sunday morning.  Lim family Benevolent Association Luncheon.  My mother’s side of the family.  I woke up and started writing.  I slept from 7pm ish till morning.  Today.  Sunday is Today.  Night.  Sunday Night.  So much Writing.  Here Goes.

I downloaded some Dashboard Confessional, who knows if I found the song Ashley thinks is the best, but i’ll eventually find the rest.  I love what I hear so far at least.  Anyway, I got ready for everything.  Then my sister backed out, said she didn’t want to stay so long, it then became my job to try to convince her to go, needless to say I failed at that.  My father took me and my mother to sf, i took a quick nap, it was a quick ride which left me surprised.  I barely got through 3 songs and we were there.  We went to my Grandmother on my mother’s side of the family first.  She is not nearly as congenial, though she is good-humored, though she does scream, as does my mother.  Anyway, then came the first of many attempts of my mother to guilt me into getting to go to my graduation.  I shrugged it off, or rather, fought it off with a stick, the stick being my nimble and versatile brain, twisting and turning and smiling until a new subject I can bring.

Money.  My mother said outright that we were here so that my grandmother will give me money for my graduation, and that because my sister wasn’t here she doesn’t get any.  I did what I always do to distance myself away from money, I said what If I gave my sister the money?  and blah blah, it’s rebellion at its finest, and i’m so damn good at it.  Then my mother decided to drop in to my Cousin’s new house, we met Rollin the husband and my cousin Julie, and the baby daughters of my cousin who love me, quite dearly.  Immediately as I saw them, I dropped down and laid down onto the floor, down to their level, as a kid once did, as a kid I once was, as a kid I can still be.  They giggled and smiled uncontrollably.  I read, and again, to my honest dread, my mother tried to convince them to get me to let her come to my graduation.

I again, fended it off with my cunning and wit, providing no whole answers but all questions.  I told them that I still aspire to be an English Teacher, and then I proceeded to block out the talk and become enthralled in reading with Angel and Amberly.  Then we watched a bit of Barney.  Then more reading.  Then more laughing.  Then dressing and getting ready.  We walked, slow and steady, Angel held my hand tightly, the grip of the mighty that is only seen in babies.  Then we were separated as new people we knew, Michelle the sister of the cousin aforementioned, my cousin as well, took the reigns and held her hand while I could fall behind and rest my hand and my head.  Then we ran into Gordon, yet another cousin, and Alex, the cousin of my cousin.  Family.  Then we were at the table.  I sat next to Alex, Gordon, the Lawrence who showed up, and Their two parents.

The subject wasn’t quite brought up, because there was no mother to bother me, all that was known was that I was graduating, and I felt safe enough to tell them that I plan to move out, though I haven’t told my parents yet.  These men, I trust them completely, they’re just old and just young enough to understand me, if only just barely.  I drank tea.  Lots of tea, lots of food, it really perked up my mood.  I remembered two days ago when I had Tea with Ashley, gotta love a girl who loves her tea.  Honestly, it’s like drug in my veins.  I drank.  Heavy Drinker.  Heavy Thinker.  Right, then came the end, I said goodbye to the ones I met, and me and my mother walked back to my grandmother’s.

We exchanged money for the bus, dollars here and there, wondering how much it was for youth’s bus fare.  Then I grabbed the stuff that we were to bring home, and walked with my mother as I could finally talk to her alone.  I explained.  The reasons I’ve outlined in my head, even without graduating it is her I dread.  That it is her that leaves me wishing I was dead.  Or at least her not wishing good will to myself, her that leaves me wishing other’s well.  I told her, she harms me, in Chinese.  She is not good for me.  I am special, she called me crazy.  I am crazy as a result of the people around me.  She has made crazy a part of me.  I told her.  She is not coming to my graduation because it is something she desires.  Why should I give her something she desires if she does not care enough about me to give me what I desire?  I wish for her to be quiet and desire peace.  That is what I mean, “she loves me, in that she wants the best things in life for me, but she does not care about me, in that she does not wish to change herself to make my life more easy.”

Regardless, whenever I find something that my mother wants, I withhold it from her, this power, this ability to not need, and control those who have many needs indeed, it has made me strong.  My sister.  When she didn’t open her door this morning, my father and my mother immediately said, “OKAY NO CAR FOR YOU EVER.”  Power.  To Give, to Taketh Away.  That is why I do not want anything from them, from anyone who would treat people in this manner, blackmail.  Although, what I do I absolutely would call it blackmail.  Or Incentive.  The difference with me, is that I can play the game while knowing I play it, and know it is wrong, they see it as right and as Alright to do.  I hate it.  Though, it is my belief that, “those who are pure of heart can walk through fire and not get burned.”  This is me walking through fire, walking the line between the blackmail and evil that their personalities may bring, and be clear and honest enough about when I do it so as to not become a part of them and it.  Makes all the difference.

My mother cried.  She tried to hide it, but I knew.  I got to her.  In some way, what I said got through.  I dearly wished it didn’t have to be so extreme a situation through which to confront her, but it did.  I never called her out on it in front of the rest of the family, the family simply sees me as the one who is weird and crazy.  I am the stoic soldier, I can take the pain that assumptions can bring.  Let them assume that it is me who is evil and wrong, instead of the truth which is that I am kind and strong, not strong of arm but strong of heart, strong of mind, as they’ll soon find.  We got onto the Transbay bus towards Home.

We got a transfer ticket.  I decided to play a game.  A game of intention, and of questions and answers.  I put the transfer ticket on a ledge.  I told her, if this ticket does not fall, then it means that you are a Good person, worth saving.  If it does, than it means that you are not.  Not that you are evil, but just that you are not in my charge to attempt to help.  She immediately said that of course it would fall, it’s on a moving bus, and she thought that I made up this game because I wanted it to fall, because then I wouldn’t have to take the trouble to bring her back through her situation and mindset.  I smiled.  I waited.  I stared at the ticket.  I stared at her.  It looked like it was about to fall.  She tapped it before it did, not that it would.  She closed her eyes and napped.  I laughed on the inside.  That was all I wanted.  That she WANTED to be good, that there was a part of her still that wanted to still be Good.  That matters.

I continued to stare at the ticket.  It was holding up very well.  Even through all the bumps and turns, the people on the bus looked at me funny, but I didn’t care, I kept up the stare.  I reverberated my thoughts.  Echoes in my head.  Then it fell.  My eyes darted to my mother, she was fast asleep.  I immediately replaced the ticket back to where it was, she didn’t notice.  It didn’t fall at all after that, throughout the entire ride from SF to Alameda.  I was amazed.  She woke, and so was she.  I picked up the ticket, and told her, this was my guarantee.  She was worth saving.  She was worth my effort.  She will be Good.  We will be fine.  The Symbol of almost divine.  You may say, “but it fell!  How can you say that all is well?!”  =)  It fell, but think about this.  She was Asleep.  Eyes closed.  Divine that she would choose that time to close her eyes.  If she didn’t, she’d see it as a symbol to hate, a symbol to want to fight, she wishes to be on the side of the Good and the Right.  It was serendipitous that it fell when her eyes were closed.  Magical that she chose to go to sleep.

We got off the bus, talked some more, I explained, that this Transfer, was the symbol of Good.  Of her Good Heart.  The Good Heart that I materialized for her, in the form of paper.  Then we got to the next and final bus where we were supposed to use the transfer.  A thought crossed me head.  I secretly took a dollar instead and used that instead of the transfer to pay for my ride, then it was the transfer that I hide as I went and sat.  I laughed and asked my mother this question many times, waiting for her answer.

“Do you want Money, or a Good Heart?”  I said that in Chinese, a few people on the bus looked at me funny, my mother, being stubborn, never gave in till the very end, always giving me no answer, then finally at the end, where she said, “of course a good heart.”  I took out the transfer.  I told her that I traded a dollar for the symbol of her Good Heart.  =)  She immediately yelled at me for wasting good money, but the association was so unbelievably uncanny, and she stopped speaking with me, staring off into space angrily.  I laughed at this magic and serendipity, this stunning clarity and simplicity.

I traded a Dollar for a Good Heart.
Not that a good heart can be bought,
though you can buy the keeping of one,
one that’s just been won,
through good thought and intentions alone.

We got home.  I took a sharpie and wrote “A Dollar for a Good Heart” on the ticket.  I have it right now.  It’s on my desk.  It was a good day.  I’m exhausted.  So much writing.  =)  I hope you enjoyed reading.  And I do wonder who does do that, Read.  I’d like it if you could tell me, either at school or some other way, or maybe you won’t till some later day.  Either way, i’m curious.  To clarify, I do not believe that I am destined to be with Ariel or Ashley.  It is a choice, just like in 500 days of Summer with Summer and Autumn, he could’ve just walked on by to his interview without asking Autumn about coffee.  I can choose.  Not that I am entitled, not that they have to say yes.  Not that I want to ask.  Not that I have to ask.  Not that it has to be, it has to be chosen, see.  =) Or Actually, love isn’t chosen, or a choice, it’s an entity in itself, a voice that tells you and compels you to follow your heart, and not take the time to dissect it apart.   This is what life means to me, and all of its simple beauty.  GoodNight.  Raaawr.
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2 thoughts on “A Dollar for a Good Heart.

  1. whoa, all i can say after i read this was whoa. first the obvious, non-abstract and straightforward response. pure poetry and such a envoy of goodness, never have i imagined an intent so pure. now for the abstract, whether it is up to you to decide your parent’s lives is unimportant but you must not forget that to show respect to those who do not think twice of non-material possessions is very critical. a moment like this in life could leave scars. if you indeed live up to your philosophy then you should be pleasing all those around you and doing good to them. if you wish to suffer to the sake of goodness then listening to your parents or “pretending” would not all seem that bad. however, this only works if your parents either treasure obedience or the pursuit of one’s happiness. you cannot blame anyone for their thought process, especially if he or she is an older person. once that default setting for the thought process is set into place, changing it or trying to change it with one’s will is perhaps one of the most difficult things in life. since your true feelings have been revealed to your parents and hopefully theirs to you, this pain that you observe in them will soon disappear or it could grow. just be aware, not that you arent already, that words and actions are powerful in their own ways. these tools and abilities bestowed upon every organism shapes the past, the present and the future.

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