written october 17, 2019
Note: The “▶” indicates a song title, namely ones I listened to for inspiration.
Tomorrow is my 18th birthday.
Today is my last day being 17.
I. <one-way train>
▶ Go back 집에 - Se So Neon 새소년
< If I go back where should I go back /
I don’t know I don’t know I can’t go home >
Trains embody a sense of nostalgia that hugs every passenger. The bumps on the tracks; the sound of the engine. A warm, golden light cascades through every window, making everyone look like statues. Frozen in time. Under this golden blanket of hues, everyone looks like a painting. Picturesque. Dust floats through the air, eventually landing in someone’s lungs. A loud coughing fit ensues. The moment is over.
Now the sun is too bright; it’s getting in my eyes. I don’t have any sunglasses. Shifting in my seat, I switch my focus to the opposite side of the car, bathed in shade.
It’s probably cooler over there.
I check my ticket once more.
One-way. Guess I’ll have to walk back.
If every moment was golden, maybe it wouldn’t feel as warm or special as it is. Because when the light holds your hand and paints your face with its soft brush, it feels like our hearts are being coated in gold too. In today’s society, everyone is a photographer. So, when the sun sheds light on what we see in front of us, to me, it embalms time like a photograph does. It preserves its essence by highlighting the soft glow hidden in everyday life. Every dust particle that gets caught in this ray of light is dancing.
But then, an old man may cough. A dog will bark. Someone’s phone rings.
These moments are short-lived. I thought it’d be nice if they were infinite.
This ticket is an imaginary one and the journey is entirely mental. The moments I’m talking about are real though. I’m going to go back in time. The problem is I don’t know where I came from. I don’t think that matters.
▶ listen before i go - Billie Eilish
< Call my friends and tell them that I love them /
And I’ll miss them >
Thu, Oct 17, 1:32 PM
hey, how r u!
-i’m good! hbu? :)
im good too!
-how is it in <location>? tell me about your <club>!!
<club> is good! everyone is super nice :))
-yay that’s good to hear!
Must be nice.
oh how’s berkeley?
-it’s fun! classes are kinda ass tho
I wish I could say more.
ikr college is so busyyyy
-ikkkk i just want to sleep :((
For longer than you might think.
LOL i sleep way more than i should
-yeah lmao me too
I bet I sleep more than you. And I still want to sleep more.
You wouldn’t know that, though.
And I know you won’t ask me either. Maybe that’s better anyway.
하기야 나도 날 모르는데
네가 날 알아주길 바라는 것 그 자체가 오해지1
▶ Nights 밤밤밤 - OKDAL 옥상달빛
< 한쪽 구석에 놓여있는 /
버려지기만 기다리는 /
날짜 지난 반찬이 나 같아서 /
바라보다 한참 울었어>
I’ve had cold brew before, which has a lot of caffeine. So I thought that a latte would be a better choice. Turns out, the drink of choice is irrelevant because I get the same effect, more or less. The world becomes a little blurrier, my hands become more shaky, my heart pounds faster. My feet are urged off the ground through this energy and I’m only able to contain it through art. My emotions, usually stifled by chore, are forcibly wrangled by caffeine into the spotlight. So I draw my emotions to appease the caffeine.
on caffeine to escape to an illusion when the sun isn’t there to paint the world gold.
I know I do.
I used to think that my name determined an inescapable irony about my life. I’ve tried to run away from my name multiple times. For example, my first name: follower of Christ, but I don’t go to church anymore. My middle name, I can’t recall the last time I’ve experienced pure, unadulterated joy, uninhibited by circumstance. My last name, no matter where I go, I’m either too Korean or too American. My confirmation name, my eyesight is horrible and I prefer night anyway. Maybe we’re not meant to live up to our names.
18. The first time I’ll eat my birthday cake alone.
Sometimes I feel like my world is on a precarious foundation of thin ice. Everyone else is walking with their shoes on. I feel like I’m always barefoot. I get cold easily. Sometimes, I feel like I have hot skates on thin, thin ice. I wonder if it’ll break. I scream a silent scream. A louder one when I’m in the elevator alone.
One. It doesn’t matter where you came from, it only matters where you’re going, so forget the past and move on.
Two. Know that your friends would miss you if you were gone, especially if you never came back. Try not to forget that. I know it’s hard. Cry if you need to. It doesn’t make you weaker, I promise.
Three. Try not to drink caffeine late at night, but always pursue your passion. You’re an artist; you have a paintbrush to paint your world whatever color you want. Embrace it.
Four. Your name is an inherent part of you, embedded in the formation of your identity. If your name is a heart, its stories are capillaries rich with life. Appreciate it. Also, your name could be worse. Like… I won’t say it because it could be someone’s actual name, but I bet we’re thinking of the same one.
Five. You’re all you have in this world. Love yourself. You deserve it. Really. Ignore the people who talk shit about you. You’re way better than them anyway.
Six. If you feel like you’re walking on thin ice, take a break. Sit down. It’s better to be held than holding on.2 You don’t have to hold on to what makes you unhappy. Let go. Breathe.
Seven. Always celebrate your birthday because it’s important. I mean it.
On that note, happy birthday to me. Guess my dancing queen days are over.
1: ▶ BLACK - GD
2: ▶ She’s In The Rain - The Rose