from a distance!


we were at arigato, my parents and me. there was a girl at the door with a jean jacket, and i let her in. she had short curly hair and sunglasses. i held the door for her because i've heard that's what guys are supposed to do. my parents ordered the howe and fair oaks, the golden gate, and i got the kamikaze. it was ok. it wasn't the greatest sushi in the world, but it was alright. when we finished, i said i was gonna wait outside so i could get some sun. i hadn't had any sun in what felt like forever. my mom asked about someone, and i said that we didn't talk anymore. i told her this, and then she changed the subject.

my dad had replaced the blinds in all the rooms. there are now white blinds instead of the dusty old yellow ones. the new blinds make the house feel new and clean. i got rid of some things again, some clothes and some chairs that i thought were ugly. i heard somewhere that we are completely different people every seven years or something like that, so i try to adjust accordingly. i put the chairs in the backseat of my mom's crv, and i drove to teen challenge thrift while listening to jay-z. i felt a little bit like marlo when i did that. all i was missing was the sweatband.

i was sitting on the couch, and my mom said, in tagalog, "are we really going home?" she was talking about the philippines. i said yes, of course, all the tickets have already been purchased. she asked why i liked it there, why i wanted to go back. i answered that i wanted to travel and feel like i was doing something with my life, or something to that effect. she said but we've already been there. i reminded her that we'd be going to hong kong and boracay, too, and that we've never been there. she said i had a point.

for thanksgiving, we went to my aunt's new house. she bought a house way out in sunrise, and it was a little bit of a drive to get there. all my cousins were there, and there was a lot of food. my goddaughter kept playing with a balloon and she'd run away whenever i tried to pick her up. my cousins and uncles watched football, and i pretended like i knew what they were talking about. we played mahjong, and i won once or twice. there were two turkeys, one baked and one deep-fried. i stuffed myself good, and then i leaned back on the couch.

i wished then that i didn't live so far away, even though two states away isn't that far. but what was i doing in seattle, anyway? i could work a boring job somewhere else. on the flight back, i didn't know what i was coming back to. it was like an explosions in the sky song, and it's called, "what do you come home to?" but i have no idea where home is. i can't live in my parents house, and my cold empty apartment might as well be some cabin in the woods. i didn't like being there, and i don't really like being here.

guess that's what your twenties is supposed to be about. you're supposed to feel restless and wandering even if you're just standing perfectly still. i don't know what i want, only that i don't want to look at my ripped ceiling, or have a place so empty and sad that all i hear is the refrigerator humming. i want to have a roommate who gets excited about modern warfare 2 and talks his crazy talk, saying things like, "headshot, mothafucka!" and "from a dis-tonce!" i want to feel like i have some sort of family, who knows who i am, even if we don't talk all that much.

one day, i'll get what i want, and then i'll wish i had something else instead.

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