alter ego: dream 34

I’m sure we have all dreamt about having superpowers at one point in our childhood. If not superpowers, then being a superhero in general. Come on, I can’t be the only one, right? I still remember wanting to be like Sheik from The Legend of Zelda, mostly because she was super elegant, androgynous, and sleek. I got into long distance running because her build reminded me of a long distance runner – slender and slim. Granted, I probably should have done acrobatics and gymnastics if I really wanted to pursue that sort of flexibility that Sheik has, but that’s another story. Bottom line is, I wanted to be a ninja/assassin-eqsue superhero when I was a little kid. Ironically, I did NOT watch Naruto, even though you would think that somebody with some interest in that kind of character would be. Nope, never really got into that, unfortunately. But my lack of interest in mainstream ninja-themed anime aside, I always wanted to be superhuman, just because it would be so cool to have those powers or that sense of mystique in having an alter ego.

A lot of the reason why I thought having an alter ego would be cool is that I felt my every day life was just not interesting. At that time, I was like a middle schooler, so I had very little going for me. But imagining if I had another identity, fighting crime, being this stealthy vigilante who would would help others, it sounded so cool to me at the time. Granted, it was also very dangerous, because I would be limited in my equipment and actual capabilities. So naturally, that dream remained a dream and nothing else. I eventually stumbled upon cooking, and in a lot of ways, that became my alter-ego so to speak. On one hand, I would be a hard working student. On another, I would also be a very capable pastry cook. It was really cool to have those two sides to me, but upon enrolling in a hospitality college, those two identities became inseparable; I was a student and known for my knowledge in Food and Beverage. That was both good and bad. I gained recognition and people knew who I was before actually meeting them, but at the same time, I could not pull out my surprise cooking skills as often now, because people would know that I have them. The secret, the thrill of it being my double-life, it was gone.

I guess in a lot of ways, that is why I kept my identity for Featherlight a secret. Having this little secret, it makes me feel like I have an edge to me. Nobody knows that I am this anonymous blogger. They can know me all they want for being a pastry cook, a student, a runner, whatever, but they will almost never know how I am in here, or that the person here writing right now is me. As much as it would simplify the world to have no secrets, for me anyways, I think a couple harmless secrets, like writing an anonymous blog where everything is kept anonymous anyways, is fine. Privacy deserves to exist, for the sake of us not feeling entirely exposed. There is a such extreme as having too much privacy, where you close yourself off to the world. But having too little, you feel vulnerable and scared. I still remember when everyone in my college knew who I was. It was terrifying. I could not introduce myself without somebody knowing who I was already, and it made me paranoid, thinking that they were stalking me on social media. I actually had to delete my social media accounts for like a month because of this incident.

I think we all deserve to have an alter ego in our lives, so long as they are not committing anything illegal here. Having an alter ego means that we can appeal to the thoughts and concepts we normally do not get to explore in our everyday lives. That’s how I was able to learn so much about food at first, because I could escape to the world of cooking and ingredients when I hated dealing with history or science. That’s how I was able to start actively writing in this blog, because I love being able to change gears and do something else, just so that my mind can be challenged in new ways and my perspective and experience can continue to broaden. In a world of my feather-light dreams, we can all pursue and explore anything we want to and not worry about our privacy being violated.

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Sky Bird: Chapter 6

“Alright, I hope you’re all ready for your skit projects!” Kawaguchi-sensei eyed his Japanese 2 class deviously. It was the Friday two weeks after the Malibu hike, and the class was wrapping up another chapter. “Oh crap.” Fanny crossed his arms and shook his head. Even though he had a theatre background, these skits were brutal: they needed to be entirely in Japanese, contain all of the grammar taught in the most recent chapter, and each person had to incorporate at least 10 vocabulary words taught in that chapter into their lines. Basically, a lot of things needed to be accounted for in this assignment. So it was horrible for everyone. And to make manners even less pleasant, Kawaguchi-sensei would choose the pairs randomly. Or in his own definition of that adverb, by choosing whoever he wants to pair together. “I’d like to see Puckchareon-san and Gomez-san together.” Sophia saw that her partner was Grant Gomez, a stout half Filipino, half Caucasian boy. “Well, could be a lot worse. I mean, Gomez-san tries really hard.” She sighed in relief. “Chiang-san, you will have Gong-san.” “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!” Fanny slammed the desk as he glared at Kawaguchi-sensei in disagreement. He was paired with Yubin Gong, a heavier Korean girl who had a fascination with her own reflection, cosplaying as anime characters half her girth, and making her hair shinier by not washing it, and not paying attention in class to the point where she would hardly ever get above a D average in most assignments. “Shut up, Chiang-san and make it work. What was that saying? In the theatre, the show must go on!” The bald teacher was having too much fun for his own good. “Ahn-san, you can work with…” Please pick me. Please pick me. I want to work with Carly! Kendall crossed his fingers. “Nelson-san.” Carly was partnered with Sharquiqui Nelson, a very sassy Afro-English girl who was somehow the sophomore class’s valedictorian, despite her vulgar vocabulary. “Mmmhmm! I know you just said my name!” Sharquiqui pursed her lips and shook her head in agreement. “And Skye-baka, you can work with your little sister. Maybe she could pick up for your slack.” Kawaguchi laughed, oblivious to Kendall and Megan’s earlier conflict. Wow, just my luck. I get to be with the unappreciative little sister. I’d rather have Gong-san to be honest. Kendall frowned to himself, frustrated at his bad luck. The one time he’d prefer to work with Yubin and he had to work with her instead.

“Hey, partner!” Yubin tried to talk to Fanny, who was visibly uncomfortable; Yubin was suspended for allegations of sexual harassment and blackmail; she threatened to leak nude photos of herself, claiming that they were photos of other girls, in an attempt to sleep with their boyfriends or just to take money from them. Despite that, the school board let her stay, because the superintendent felt that Yubin’s personality, being so different, could make her a unique individual in the school. As awkward as Fanny’s experience was, Megan’s was only worse. She was completely silent, while Kendall was writing the entire script on his own, his little sister just watching uncomfortably. “So what’s your script about?” Kawaguchi-sensei walked by the siblings. “It’s about a dumb little sister who needed to keep her mouth shut about the dumb things she said. And the older brother who decided to put her up for adoption.” Kendall began. “Oh, well that could be funny, but you’re not allowed to use dumb in your script. Sensei-privileges only to call somebody dumb.” He finished, walking off, still oblivious to their conflict. “Kendall, I know what I said must have hurt you, but what you’re doing with this project, I’m sorry, but it’s really immature and just as hurtful. Saying that I’m dumb and being disowned-” “Who said you’re allowed to talk?” He cut her off coldly. “Okay, that’s it. I’m sorry, but Kawaguchi-sensei, my brother is being a grade-A asshole to me.” Megan looked up. “Okay, younger Skye-san, normally I have to give a detention for that sort of language, but you do better than your grade-D dumbass brother in this class, so I’ll let this one slide. That being said, Skye-baka, why are you treating her that way? She’s your sister, not your slave. Respect her.” Kawaguchi scolded the male. The entire class went silent at that retort. “I’m sorry, Megan.” Kendall muttered begrudgingly, before looking back down at the script.

“And what I hope to accomplish by being the first Black female molecular biologist is to properly clone human beings. I would love to meet my great grandma Theodoralina, you nasty-ass bitch!” Sharquiqui snapped her fingers and bobbed her head. “Uh, I don’t quite get the reason why you needed to call me that, but I’m rooting for you, Sharquiqui. Your great grandmother Theodoralina must have been a pleasant person.” Carly laughed off the unusual title Sharquiqui had bestowed upon her, trying to not take it as an insult, but perhaps as a sign of affection? “Nah, she got shot like 50 times for trying to rob the National Mint. I just want to meet her so I can understand her crazy better. But whatever you say, yellow Cracker jack. But I managed to already write the script for this stupid shieeet. I knew he was going to do that, because he did that last year, and that fool is a predictable motherfucker.” Sharquiqui insisted, handing over the script to Carly. “Wait, what’s this about…” The Korean-Japanese girl looked at the paper, analyzing the text. “Wow… this is actually really deep. Honestly, this could be the premise of an Oscar-winning movie.” She was at a loss of words. Sharquiqui’s script was beyond reproach. It was a well-written epic with deep meanings, symbolism, and used all of the requirements. Inspired, Carly wholeheartedly agreed to use Sharquiqui’s script. It was the right thing to do.

“Away, foul beast!” Fanny hissed, crossing his fingers at Yubin, trying to form a cross at her. “Oh, I knew you wanted to finger me. Come here, you big boy.” The Korean girl tried to climb onto Fanny, who immediately raised his hand while pushing Yubin away with his other. “Kawaguchi-sensei, Gong-san is trying to touch me inappropriately!” “Chiang-san, try reporting that to the superintendent. It’s not going to do you any good.” The older Japanese man snorted, watching in amusement. “I am so taking krav-maga classes after this!” Fanny growled, trying to kick Yubin. Meanwhile, Sophia and Grant were quietly working on their script together. “So, Puckchareon-san, are the rumors true?” He looked at her. “Wait, what rumors?” She eyed him, curious but also nervous. “That you have a crush on Skye-san?” “Wait, so they think I’m a lesbian and cougar?” Her mouth went agape in disbelief. “Oh, no, wrong Skye-san. I mean Skye-baka.” Grant chuckled. “Hey, Gomez-san, you’re not allowed to use that word! Only sensei can!” Kawaguchi-sensei frowned. “But yeah, do you?” He looked at Sophia curiously. “Wait, why does this matter?” “Well, you’re like close to Ahn-san, and he’s obviously into her, so I was wondering if there was a love triangle, mayhaps-” “Just shut up, Gomez-san. That’s none of your business.” Sophia frowned. She was offended just by the fact that he being essentially a stronger would interrogate her on who she liked. That was just a violation of her privacy.

One by one, the pairs would recite their skits. Sophia and Grant’s skit was awkward, especially due to Sophia’s earlier scolding at Grant, but not nearly as bad as Fanny’s. Predictably, Fanny and Yubin’s was a cringe-filled act, where Yubin attempted to grope Fanny, who screamed for help in desperation. Megan and Kendall’s skit went over decently, after Kendall changed the entire script, making it a heartfelt apology, to which Megan accepted tearfully; the majority of the class was confused about why she was crying, but thought it was a touching sibling moment. And lastly, Sharquiqui and Carly’s skit left the entire class speechless. Even Kawaguchi-sensei, who was normally angry, critical, and sarcastic, was brought to tears of awe and amazement at how well-written and thought out the entire plot of their skit was, even dubbing it s new age Shakespearean tale. They received a standing ovation, to which Sharquiqui would scream obscenities over. Overall, Kawaguchi’s pairings wound up being for the best. Kendall was able to make up with his little sister, while Fanny failed his first assignment in Japanese 2, due to not finishing his skit while trying to fend off a lusting Yubin.

“So I take it you had a good day in Japanese?” Jared and Kendall were doing stretches on the track during soccer practice. The blonde normally had to cheer up Kendall because of how bad his experiences in Japanese are due to Fanny, so he was relishing this rare moment. “Yeah. Megan and I finally made up, and Fanny failed his first assignment.” Kendall snickered triumphantly. “Well, that fag deserved it. He’s been really rude to you, and that’s what he gets for messing up for your family!” Jared snorted. “Hey, wait, what did we say about calling gay people ‘fag’?” Kendall looked at Jared, frustrated. His homosexuality was not what made Fanny unbearable to him, so Kendall didn’t understand Jared’s continuous need to use that word. “It’s like using the n-word around black people. It’s rude.” The brunette finished. “Jeez, okay, I get it. Surprised that you’d be so against the usage of that word, but-” “It’s because I’m pretty sure that you are. And I want to be supportive of you.” Kendall assured.

“Huh? Me, gay?” Jared sputtered in disbelief. “Don’t worry, I knew for a while. The reason why you keep saying fag is because you want to not be associated with being gay. But I don’t care if you are or aren’t. You’re my friend either way.” Kendall smiled at the blonde. “What? I swear, dude, I’m not-” “I guess you’re not ready to come out yet. But I’ll be supportive of it whenever it happens.” The brunette insisted. “Okay, fine, I was hiding it. But for good reason.” Jared whispered to Kendall. “Wait, why? Just because you’re an athlete?” Kendall was curious about Jared’s rationale. “It’s because I am in a relationship… with Fanny.” He confessed, knowing full well how his best friend would react. “On… Fanny? Wait, why Fanny?! Are you fucking dumb?! You can’t be serious! This is a joke!” Kendall growled angrily. Terrified, Jared shook his head timidly. “What about Fanny is so appealing to you? He’s a rich, snobby, arrogant-” “You don’t see anything about Fanny other than his rude remarks and his money. But deep down, Fanny is a kind-hearted person!” Jared insisted. “He always offers to proof-read my papers for English 2, and he gives me help in Chem whenever I struggle-” “Wait, since when has Fanny been your tutor?” Kendall was angry. “I just went to him for help because Mrs. Johnson and Ms. Ling recommended him.” Jared admitted. “For how long?” The brunette glared at him. “Maybe for the past six weeks?” The blonde’s voice squeaked, him feeling increasingly more uncomfortable.

“Oh, look! It’s Kendolt and his friend!” Fanny laughed, pointing at the pair as him and the rest of the varsity boy’s team was running back to the school campus. “Fanny, the jig’s up. He knows.” Jared covered his face in embarrassment. “Oh shit, really?” The Chinese boy stopped in his tracks, dumbfounded. “Yeah. I tried.” Jared shook his head, defeated. “Well, Kendall, you can’t stop love. Jared and I-” “You don’t love Jared! You’re only in a relationship with him to spite me! Jared, I swear to god, Fanny is not-” “Shut up, Kendall! You’re one of my closest friends, but you have no idea how hard it was for me to have to stay in the closet. I knew you wouldn’t be supportive of this relationship, and that you’d let your hatred of Fanny completely override our friendship! Seriously, it’s either you accept us together, or lose me as a friend. Your choice.” Jared glared at Kendall while Fanny stood there, stunned speechless.

“You.” Kendall turned to Fanny. “You keep trying to take away my family and loved ones. You might be able to woo them over to your side, but you’re never going to fool me with your money and cheap tricks.” He spat, beyond infuriated at this point. No matter how happy he makes his own life, Kendall’s happiness was always overshadowed by Fanny’s. He could never have anything for himself. He could never live his own life, without knowing that Fanny has it better. And that frustrating, it was exhausting to Kendall. He was sick of dealing with Fanny and the people who like him. “Jared, it’s either him or me.” “Okay, that’s it. We’re done as friends.” Jared got up, and walked away, dragging Fanny with him. Kendall was fuming. First his little sister, then his own best friend chose this guy over him? All Fanny had to offer was his money. From what Kendall had seen and knowing Fanny since they were in grade school, the Chinese boy was rude, not smart, and just not a good person. He was always plotting something against him. It was like a strategy to systematically take apart his life. It was incredibly frustrating.

“Hey, man. Are you okay? I heard from Jared that you guys got into a big fight.” Matt was messaging Kendall on Facebook. The brunette was slouched, alone, in the living room of his apartment, still letting it sink in that he had just fought with one of his best friends. “Yeah, I’m fine.” The brunette began. “I’m just frustrated. Jared kept that relationship a secret, and then obviously, Fanny is just not a good person. He knew that Fanny wasn’t good for him, but he didn’t want to tell me because he knew I would state the obvious.” This was getting frustrating. No matter what, Fanny always seemed to find a way to win over people. “Maybe Jared didn’t want to tell you because he knew how you’d react? He wanted to spare your feelings, because he knew it would hurt you to know that your best friend is dating somebody you really don’t like.” Matt reasoned. “Either way, I think you owe Jared an apology.” “Hey, Chloe just told me what you did!” Megan stormed into the apartment. “Look, I get that we had that whole argument about Fanny, but it’s because we just don’t get why you dislike him and his family so much! Why, Kendall? What about him pisses you off?” “It’s because the Chiangs screwed us over!” Kendall finally admitted.

Dear diary: dream 19

We all have secrets we would like to bury somewhere. As children, we had diaries and journals. As adults, well, it depends. Some people get psychiatrists, others, book clubs, some like me get anonymous blogs. Basically, we want to keep our secrets a secret, but we also need to appease the urge to blurt them out. When I think about all of the secrets I have kept over the years, it does get tough to keep them all hidden. But I have seen somebody else who had to swear a lot of conflicts to secrecy, and as a result, he internally broke down. I tried to do the same, but it got harder and harder as time progressed. I didn’t want to keep those aspects of me a secret any longer.

The idea of secrets, I just wonder why we need to have them. Why can’t we be open about our lives? Granted, I should be able to answer that rhetorical easily, given that I am writing from behind an alias. A digital mask, keeping anyone from knowing who I really am…hopefully. We keep secrets for several reasons. We want to protect somebody else or spare their feelings, we don’t want to be judged or labeled for our actions or mistakes, generally it all comes down to us not wanting to hurt somebody, whether it be someone else or ourselves.

I wish this was a world where we did not have to keep those secrets bottled up. Yes, I have had an eating disorder, tried killing myself twice, and had sex with a stranger almost twice my age a week after turning 18, but if I said those things in real life, people would judge me. People would tell me that I am a psychotic whore. But those were my secrets. Those were the things I had to keep bottled up for years and years. But I will say them now. I have a digital mask on anyways, so there are hardly as many consequences. Granted, should you find out who I really am in real life, then I will embrace the fact that I did those things, because those secrets or mistakes, they have made me stronger and smarter. Plus, that 30 year old was a total 10, so you know, another notch under my belt.

My sadness from being betrayed by friends repeatedly, regrets for having so an anti-social adolescence, these are all things that I would have written about if I had a diary. My dreams of opening a bakery, of finding true love, starting a family, again, all things I would have written about. Dear diary, you have become this blog. I continue to write about a world that would be ideal for me. A world where secrets did not have to be buried in a journal and pages. Where secrets just don’t exist. It is a naïve wish, but I would love to live in this open world of my feather-light dreams.

Trust: realization 8

If there is no trust, then there is no true relationship or friendship. That’s what happened between me and my recent roommate. I thought I could trust them with my secrets, I thought I could trust them with my stories. I hoped that they could trust me with my thoughts, feelings, fears. I wanted to know that our apartment was a safe place for both of us. Unfortunately, that sort of trust, it’s too much to ask for from certain people.

The fact that my roommate could not feel comfortable enough to tell or show me the extent to which they were worried about me when I was going through my depression, or tell me they were afraid I was developing romantic feelings for them, that hurt the most. They hid these secrets, either because they were afraid of escalating the situation, or that they didn’t want me to get angry at them. Regardless of whichever one, it felt like at the end of the day, they only cared about their own safety.

If they really wanted to help me, they would’ve expressed the worry, expressed the fear. But instead, they bottled it up, because they were afraid of me yelling at them. I feel pretty hurt about the situation, just because as much as I trusted them with my secrets, feelings, they could not bring it upon themselves to do the same. Instead, they lied. They claimed to be tired, because they wanted to avoid me in my state of depression. They could not tell me the truth about how they felt.

They shafted me in a lot of ways. Isolated me, tried to push me away. Rather than trying to tell me how they really felt, they lied to me, pushing me away, and I misinterpreted it as them being better off without me. I just felt like if I disappeared, they would be better off without me. In the moment when I tried to kill myself, I only had a gut feeling that my presence made my roommate uncomfortable. I did not know the exact reasons, but I sensed contempt and discomfort from them.

What really hurt in that scenario was hearing my roommate confess all of their discomfort to my other friends, who showed me through video recordings. It just broke my heart, knowing that they couldn’t trust me enough to tell me these things in person. To tell me these things when I was going through my depression. Even though they probably did not want to worsen the situation, had I known I had this effect on them, it would have made me that much more aware that I needed help. Granted, retrospect is a complete bitch. It could have made me angry, even for a second, but at least I could have appreciated the truth coming from them directly.

The lack of trust is what can really harm a friendship. While my roommate has been emotionally scarred by the whole ordeal, the lack of confiding in me caused me to misinterpret the situation, and it led to me trying to kill myself. Trust is important. Being able to feel comfortable and safe enough to tell somebody what you’re thinking or how you’re feeling, it really does help a relationship. The lack of that, it unfortunately leaves the mind up to assumption. Doubts, fears, it all builds up, until something irreversible could happen. If you do not feel comfortable speaking from your mind and heart to somebody, maybe they shouldn’t be your friend. And if you cannot bring yourself to do that with anybody at all, then maybe you should start trusting people more. Either way, trust is needed, if you do not want to lead a lonely life. Being able to feel safe amongst the people you surround yourself in, that’s key to being feather-light.