It's been too long since I updated this website. Here is a piece I wrote and read last August at a reading at BooksActually. :)


How do we recognize ourselves? It’s in the scabs we absentmindedly pick again and again, the direction that we intuitively cross our aching legs, the must of old clothes, forgotten; lost –and found again in the back of a childhood cupboard.

One day, you wake and nothing much changed. The world outside has remained exactly the same, but your own world, the world you carry within yourself has shifted. There is no loud proclamation, no big banner—not even a small din.

You stagger out of bed, your family asks you why you look so confused—and you say “it’s nothing-“- and this is a truth.

One truth, among many,that make up your reality.

But you have seen pain that you never knew before, and you have been refined by your pain. You half-expect the world to have changed, to acknowledge your struggle, but it never does.

Outside, the old couple bicker at the void deck, the child cries in protest of boarding the bus to pre-school, and we all continue avoiding eye contact with each other.

It is a film sequence etched in the crevices of your mind, unpleasant but routine- and lure of routine is comforting.

So your Outside [S]elf, the one for the Outside [W]orld—carries you to the bus stop, puts on the music you love—but not too loud, in case other passengers can hear it and waits.

Your inner self—the one that is lost and in pain, waits and endures. It looks at your old writings, and sees only traces of your old self. It hopes that one day, your two selves will meet somewhere in the middle and you will find peace again.

Photo taken by me near the Old French Quarters in Hanoi, Vietnam

#prose #prosepoetry #growingup

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