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instagram won’t solve your problems.

stop looking through your phone.
you’ll be looking for him anyway.
just think,
and face your thoughts.
acknowledge every one,
soak them in, be familiar
they will disappear
along with his face.

Short Story #10 – Lives Melt onto Paper (Pt. 2)

a79855a257d310482b38376ad5106390
 강내화; 김현우; not mine.

I thought nothing beats personal control. But I failed to recognize it’s not me that holds control over my life, it’s these Tracers. They were the ones that lured away all meaning that life – and self-initiative – had held for me.

Though I wouldn’t recognize its power until, from the other side of life, I’d watched my daughter suffer through the same thing I did. We would both become lonelier, rather than fulfilled, following the use of these pencils.

I’m so sorry, Eden. The least I can do for you, if nothing else, is to draw for you an eternal guardian.

But first – let me at least write for you all the events that led me to drawing a set of Tracers for you, too. If anything else, I hope to at least settle with you some sort of understanding. Because I get it, too. They’re promising, elating, and especially alluring. They were the prettiest anti-depressants I’d ever set my eyes on.

You didn’t deserve to carry my dark load, especially on your own. At least I had him. But you were left utterly alone.

Continue reading “Short Story #10 – Lives Melt onto Paper (Pt. 2)”

Short Story #9 – A Game of Color Roulette (Pt. 1)

지수; 인스타일; not mine.

The key was that you could never evade loneliness. You either swallow it up, with all its thorny sides pricking at your throat, making your tongue bleed with the tears that cannot speak – or you impart it onto others.

Sadly, I’d done the latter first.

I should’ve learned from when my previous drawings – my brother Ethan and my best friend Joy – both requested to be erased after only a year and a half, because they didn’t feel quite human and therefore adept to live in this world. They’d had no history, no realistic grasp on how to survive in a world that they were just brought into at ages 25 and 23. It had been a lesson. I should’ve remembered how hard I broke and how their hugs didn’t matter as I erased their sketches on paper, reducing them to a pile of shedding as before me, their bodies and smiling faces disappeared. How having people leave was much harder than having no one there at all. I should’ve remembered how I thought these Tracers – color pencils that can make anyone and anything alive upon completion – was an utter curse than a gift.

I could’ve reflected more on how and why the company I drew for myself would always leave, rendering me even lonelier than before. As well as the warning I’d been taught early on regarding personality – that I could never be sure everyone would be “nice.”

But no. I wanted to try just one more time. I craved another turning point.

Continue reading “Short Story #9 – A Game of Color Roulette (Pt. 1)”

SKINCARE – 92% Aloe Vera Soothing Gel Mist [Nature Republic]

2018-08-01-13-16-23[1]
You can purchase this here!
Harro! Back again with a second review, this time for an item from (arguably) one of Nature Republic’s best series – their 92% aloe vera line! I’ll be reviewing the soothing gel mist this time around, and their moisturizer next time.

Continue reading “SKINCARE – 92% Aloe Vera Soothing Gel Mist [Nature Republic]”

3 years.

the moon floats
quietly, afar
glows without sound
noticed in the midst
of empty space
all around.
too many lights
render it small
and faded
from a pair of eyes –
though, from afar
its light glows on and on
nightly.

its soft demeanor
and eternal gaze
continues
without care for
whether you choose
to see
or not.

Short Story #8 – Altogether lonely. But together.

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[not mine; Tumblr]
[This is an excerpt of a longer story in the works.]

Everyone had one question they could ask God. But no one thought of trying it out except her.

So Chrissa asked Him, through an angel hovering over her, if she can have one more chance. Thinking of James and the one thing he’d quietly begged her to do, this was what she did, instead of willfully dying like she’d planned to just a month ago.

“So you want a trial?” He asked (through the angel).

“Sure,” said Chrissa. She couldn’t exactly pinpoint where the voice was coming from, considering the whole world around her was a pure, undisturbed white. Though not exactly solid – it was a slight see-through, like a sheer curtain. She briefly wondered what lay beyond this waiting place.

Continue reading “Short Story #8 – Altogether lonely. But together.”

SKINCARE – Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 [DECIEM: The Ordinary.]

2018-07-31-16-17-35[1]
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Harro! This will be my first skincare review on WP 🙂 Thanks to a recent trip to San Francisco, I was able to purchase my first “acid serum” to hydrate and tame my oil-factory skin, heh.

In-store, the cost was around $7 USD; however, on the site that’s hyperlinked, it’s around $12. I apologize for not being able to showcase the box that came with it, but the packaging is overall clean, white and minimalistic. The dropper is a great way to apply the serum on your skin without worrying about germs, too!

This acid has a serum-like consistency that sinks deep into the skin to hydrate it. It is not runny and sinks into the skin quite fast, making it efficient for a busy morning. There’s also no scent! Which is great for those with sensitive senses or skin.

Continue reading “SKINCARE – Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 [DECIEM: The Ordinary.]”

off the page

Will my words ever
reach, touch, or simply resonate
to another person
1.2k miles away
or further –
will the letters
the truths written
help to reconcile and tie into
a knot the fragile strings of relatability
the familiar, distinct red of pain
and also love
that was once
limp
lonely
unsalvaged?

I wish I knew.
I should keep writing.

the earth is green, so money is too

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should a coffee cost 5 dollars?
how about a birthday card?
postcard? a clump of hair-ties
or cheap socks –
comfy, snug does the job.
one sheet of a green
Abraham Lincoln can get you
half a Subway foot-long or
a cute charm bracelet that
may rust if it joins you in the shower.
would one wooden plank upholding the balcony of a house
cost the same as a fancy coffee table leg,
air-brushed glossy mahogany
supporting another millennial haven?
can $5 get me into that startlet crowd or will I be stuck
with those who hang out at school
for nothing better to do?
Will it buy me time
with him, the bookworm
nestled in the corner of a rustic
vintage used bookstore?
(got to find the right one, then.)
three cans of cola or one (small)
cup of a macchiato to satiate
your tired soul?
where, or who can a
‘5’ lead you to? its value rises or falls
based on your aesthetic – indeed, money is
a system of compromise for your ideals,
wishes, insecurities
and more. only if you really need it
with your life
do you know.

it’s b/c you denied it to you.

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Loudness?
Too Western.
Culture, then? (Or wit. Bravery.)
The mistake of that one jacket
(or) her excitement that had
you conjure up the (sudden)
notion of boundaries (aka walls).
Or the mere fact of
waiting, versus her having
cut to the chase?

She was cute.
She liked me.
We clicked.
But then time ticked.

No.
She was the air.
You were a wind.
You thought you’d lose your breath
so you left
but now she’s short
of a scent
left craving
wondering if she committed a wrong
for simply
seeing the best of you
that you denied
kept denying.

Happy?

he thought it’d be easier.

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Who’s responsible for that little orange 1,
hovering on your phone screen
day or night –
a quiet, incessant alarm
that feels like a Christmas gift
you shouldn’t have asked for;
as if candles can whisk away
his cologne –
a surprise one class period
and since then; as if
you can imagine (too bad you can’t conquer)
his voice echoing in mid-air
but with no face to
accompany it, might as well
talk to a ghost before you cuddle up to sleep,
have him cuddled warm in your cranium
for another heart-to-air talk
someday, since this
is what you must do when you
(or he) fails to respond with enough
honest courtesy (or better yet,
“flirt”) via a
fitted glass screen.

Is it your phone to
blame for simply
functioning – you type in all sorts of
rage and the separate words
blink up at you and
you imagine mocking
(or) a quiet sigh
shuffling his phone back into
his pocket –
honesty can wait.
Can you blame your Android
(or KakaoTalk, Instagram
even WhatsApp) for being utterly
powerless and
only reflective?

Then who or what
in your mind
should be handcuffed
for this crime of triggering
what cost your naivety?
Who’s to blame for
the simplicity to type
but not to speak –
to be a faceless voice
mimicking vulnerability
for an audience of one to
be satiated
by him,
from him?

I guess the little orange 1
drew the line between him & I, the line
that I didn’t deserve to cross
one more time, in his stead.
Because it’s so easy to uphold, to talk
through a barrier
that doesn’t judge.

(Should that ever make you feel righteous, make sure to never smile, then play hide-and-seek with a ‘her,’ ever.)

Short Story #7 – Green is over that way

nw
[Fanfiction; the name ‘Midori’ means ‘green.’]
We were all fueled by disappointment in ourselves. That’s what led us here.

“If Kizuki was here,” Naoko asked me, in her usual soft, hesitating way, “what would you tell him?”

I inhaled. “You mean before or after you committed suicide?” I asked.

Her sparkling doe eyes stared down at her see-through feet. “It doesn’t matter.”

A storm of memories swept by inside my head – it was so hard to focus on one, to reflect on what went wrong, where Naoko and I may have gone wrong, when Kizuki’s head could’ve possibly leaned towards suicide after that one time we ditched school to play pool.

Though one thing did stand out from the wreck – when Naoko told me, back when she was alive, that Kizuki kept calling her to join him.

Continue reading “Short Story #7 – Green is over that way”

Blog – 052918

I wish I can move on
from just about everything.

And usually, I love chatting with other friends no matter how busy/bored/tired I may be. But for the first time ever, it was hard texting them back. Or to even talk to anyone at all.
I must be really, really tired.

Short Story #6 – The Moon had Smiled

15
공유; 화보; not mine.

Adam got visibly upset when he saw me laughing at something I was watching from my phone, despite incomplete homework still spread out before me. Apparently, it took me five minutes to notice he was there.

Which made sense, because I was always chasing after my assignments to get them done on time (sometimes unsuccessfully). Even his assignments. If anything, as a student, I should’ve known better. Following him out of the near empty library, I attempted to explain with, “It was only ten seconds. I was working the whole time in the library otherwise.”

He paused in his tracks. As we were now outside in an empty quad, we could finally talk freely to each other.

“Lilette,” he said, turning towards me, in his disciplinary voice reserved for students caught watching Instagram stories on their phones. I winched, realizing I probably shouldn’t stick out my tongue this time.

Continue reading “Short Story #6 – The Moon had Smiled”

Blog – 052318

Feeling tired and uninspired. I think I’m just experiencing all of the burnt out-ness of my body that has been delayed from finals and such… in full-tide now.

Work is also frustrating and exhausting.

I wish can sleep for forever and a day. But I also like being productive and doing the things I need to do / want to do to, you know, carry out my life. And to think about stuff that go beyond school (not to mention I’ve been avoiding seeing my grades).

I simply hope I can gather enough motivation to get started on my hobbies again.

And to be able to sleep properly for once.

12:27 AM, good night.

Short Story #5 – Security

8
손화민; not mine.

Despite the shell of protection around me, I would still slip out to be misled by a false sense of desire. My younger sister Kaitlyn, my mom, and Adam himself wouldn’t be able to prevent me from being foolish, as I apparently find something in him that I missed since landing in the U.S.

Voices of reason won’t stop me.

Pain will.

Continue reading “Short Story #5 – Security”

Short Story #4 – Too Good for Cheese

5
리햅; not mine.

Gooey, cheese-ridden pretzels and vanilla/chocolate chip cookie dough milkshakes would’ve been good, except for the chilly polar bear roaming around in the room.

A.k.a., a past boyfriend that called for one last dinner while you were stressing over a manuscript due to your publisher in two weeks. It’d been cloudy then, the skies thick and pungent with an anger soon to take over in the form of pouring water. Musky and wet, the very air signaled rain, which had once alluded to spicy cinnamon hot chocolate with fragrant strawberry candles and all curtains drawn. With your Maltese teacup snoozing on your lap, fingertips would’ve tap-danced on your keyboard until intestines growled for some food, often in the form of ramen as your buzzed head would finally rest from all the radiation. That’d basically be the day.

But here’s a shift in routine – a jarring jump into the past that’d left you shaken, unsure of what to say or do. Though you’d crawled out of your studio cocoon for him, you weren’t even sure at this point if this was right. Letting go was letting go, and you thought you were sure.

And the skies too thought they would rain. It didn’t though, and neither had you stuck to your “break.”

Continue reading “Short Story #4 – Too Good for Cheese”

Short Story #3 – I deserved it.

2
손화민, 임보라; 갓스킨 화보; not mine

I shouldn’t have expected her to run towards me. I should’ve made the first move – to tug on her arm even if it meant disfiguring her arm socket, or pushing her back so I’d be the one hit by the asshole drunk. But instead, this whole thing is incredibly ironic. And so, so haunting I could die myself.

In our case, not long after I pushed her to the brink, I’ve been hit with forced closure. Life did not, could not, wait to force-feed me the consequences of my actions that, currently, I can only choke on.

I still miss Alice. I should’ve been the one rushing across the street, never making it to the sidewalk in time.

I wish I took the responsibility for her brokenness, with the correct foresight.

Continue reading “Short Story #3 – I deserved it.”

basics.

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this is what it always comes down to.
a cup of cold brew that wakes you up.
the right song shuffled to dance through earbuds.
consistent green lights while driving.
a pretty pastel hue of blue in the sky.
that friend you ran into in the library that loosens your shoulders.
steady breathing.
your body and skin hanging on despite days of stress than care.
food and dollar bills at hand.
loved ones waiting for you at home (yes, this includes dogs and hamsters).
a privilege to see and the ability to hear.
to listen. soak in. to be present even for one moment.
money is only paper if you don’t know what to use it for.
your dream is stuck in the realm of imagination if you never act upon it.
investments show their true blessings in due time.
if you know these things,
and move, fall, make mistakes, recover, brush the dust off, and keep
trying –
you’re already living and making it.

these are the basic rules of life.
these are all you need.

i wish i knew.

is balance –
in life, health, workload, emotions, mentality
or simply one’s happiness –
an achievement
an illusion
a result of something earned
or just for a selective
few?

Blog – 051418

I mess up so many times
with people that are both close and far
but I’ve been learning that
forgiveness is there
in due time.

I’m always scared of
losing those that I’ve once
shared a light with
but probably
I’m not the only one
who sees them
to begin with.

Short Story #2 – Intentionally

KakaoTalk_20180514_150629868
[Listen: * , *]; not mine.
We as spectators view the girl from an unknown camera, as she sits huddled in the lightless room. The lens attempt to capture the details surrounding her, but the lack of light renders the feat to be difficult. We are silent, crouched in a space where she won’t see us. We know her name is Hatty, and that her older sister is Hailey. 23 and 25.

What we don’t know is how she feels after what just transpired.

“It’s not my fault,” she mumbled, breaking her silence. “It’s not.”

Through the lens, we view her eyes flitting to her closed door – wondering if someone is beyond the doorway.

Continue reading “Short Story #2 – Intentionally”

Blog – 050918

No matter how foolish and belittling it may seem of me to do so,
I still find myself wondering about you a little each day,
catching myself imagining all that you may be doing, who is in your head, if you remember me at all.

Even if I’ve little to no context to even work with.

hmph.

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I’ve come to terms
with the fact that
you can (are allowed to)
forget.

Finally, I can forget
(you) and let go but
I curl up in shame
(for holding on) too long.

I wonder, wonder
(useless) how it’d be
to see you materialize
here (but why, I won’t be happy).

Don’t dare
“making up”
(or doing anything beyond)
smiling. A devil in disguise

(are you).

Heater

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I lose myself thinking that a
gust of wind is
your breath warm traveling down
my arm, brushing by my neck
after an imagined hug that
my skin rejoices in, intoxicated and
dumb, quite even now.

I imagine your fingertips tracing
art on my skin, my breath holds itself
back from breaking the spell –
it’s too real, your slim touch
tracing a heart on my
chest, going down my stomach
in slow swirls, squeezing
my inner thigh and
inviting yourself in to
tune me up and have me
echo a song for you
in a dark hushed room
acres away from any form of reality.

It’s your legs that keep
mine apart,
believing no forgetting
desperate not wistful
to mold into warm, living being
some kind of love
that exceeds imagination
or painful history.

No way is this
merely fantasy.
This warmth can only
be yours
to keep for
me and me.
Appear when I ask and
stay for eternal moons,
don’t leave me cold to
watch the next moonfall alone
you were once here.

let the truth sink in.

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the secret to put an “end” to more learning, to
cap a lid onto the steaming elixir to close the
window, block the onslaught wind of
others’ approval others’
voices and simply think
accept wait – hopeful is
to see that this length is sufficient
to show just exactly what you
meant but
not really
it is seeing that
errors are imaginary enemies
disguised as letters and the keypad has
been told to shut up letting you
click tap away when the
document has had enough of
relifting, editing and cosmetics and
it too just wants to breathe let
the words sink in like carbon dioxide
brushes the top of your still
hands
you’re breathing now and seeing
everything as is and the enemies
have said goodbye, jumped back in
the abyss they have come from and
now you’ve unraveled the
quiet truth for yourself, the next to be
set free amongst a sea swarm that are not.

Congratulations, you are now content.
So go.
(*inspired by Grace Paley’s poetry)

개물소리

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넌 어떠니?
바쁜 시간에 문득 생각나며
또 추억들이
마치 작은 개물같이
몇 방울식 흘려내린다.

멀리서 들리는
노래 처럼
우리의 웃음소리
조용히, 선명히 들려.

묻고싶다.
‘잘 지내니’보다
‘요즘 어때’?
니 머리속엔
누가 있을까.

끊임없이 궁금해가며
이 밤도 끝없이
숨막히게
흘러간다.

are you, am i

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only
my heart wants
to miss you
someone who
stole than
gave
100% to
me, who can’t fly
the ocean
to hold me
let alone send
a word
the truth he left
undug and dead
it wants to miss
the chance
lurking
flirting with
the impossible
a thrill let loose
sparks beneath
the coals
like them, I wait
for him to
light my sparks

tell me how
I flit around your
head like a bird
searching for crumbs
in rubble
a busy dot on
your grid of memories –
fleeting images that
keep you wondering
awake

tell me am I
your cup of coffee
every morning or
a story to tell
the guys of
your first
mess-up dealing with
all things love
vulnerability
and that honesty is hard but
in reality, missing
should be harder –
I wonder if you ever
think to yourself
I’m past that but
not yet past
you

I truly wonder

I need to reread Sylvia Plath

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I never understood
‘The Bell Jar’
’til now.
The work you produce,
the thoughts effort panic and
time
they are worth
so damn much.

The work you produce
should be is utterly significant
it doesn’t matter shit whether
it succeeds or not.

I tell myself this,
crying to sleep.
I wish I can talk with Esther.
Did she find solace for
one second out of the
darkness
surrounding her?

Even if this
is all
‘common sense’?

this is a letter to myself.

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Honestly, you don’t need to know
why you’re a step slow,
forgetful, anxious to stop
and see where else
you need to go
(but not always how far you’ve come
already).
Misfortunes rob each breath that
fail to escape lungs and
instead clouds up the heart
already filled with a million and one
unspoken junk, strung
together on a
long string of panic.
There isn’t room for
peace – only calamity
and the notion of lost
sanity at all the things
I do wrong.
Even still, you’re
hungry for
rest – no plans echoing
in your mind
to paint a false sense
of doing “it” right –
“adulting.”
But where
is running
taking you?
Self-love
is an act
of healing –
you’re not selfish
for choosing
yourself.
You’re so quick to bring
light to others, but
where is yours?

moments & memories merged into a mess.

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Smiles and
questions
conversations and
texts
the laughs
the awkward
quiet waves
or the many times you said
good night, good morning
I’ve arrived here to
do this or that
like clockwork.
Our lives
intertwined merged as two
like ink bleeding writing
illegible under a sheen of
spilling colors throbbing
life love and a
wild dream I yearned
to stir, but did with
my hands (only).
You changed my scenery
then ran – the jarring silence
the blank page
I screamed
split my eyes to cry
tears copied the ocean
to cross our distance
while I was here and
you were there.
I lost my
voice,
couldn’t stand
the empty white
a lack of any
presence. With you
gone
what was clockwork became
an ongoing sequence
of dreams colliding
with the sun
daring the moon
to conquer me through
fitful sleep
answers unfulfilled
life unrequited.

opinion: what it takes to obtain closure.

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It’s nearly impossible. Feelings are like waves in which, just as you think the high tide is gone and the low tide is here to stay, the moon alters its spin or angle or even thought, and the waves act up. The memories associated with those unwelcome feelings come spilling back onto the otherwise clean shore of your delicate mind, which is already cluttered with a billion and one thoughts. It’s the land version of stars, the number of opinions, pains, daydreams, fleeting observations, lyrics, images, and ideas that clutter the brain like an hourglass. But when this mound of identity becomes lost, spilled over, and taken in by these occasional, powerful waves…what then?

Uncontrollably, parts of you give in – they must. The pull of the waves, the haunting voices of the memories, the stormy feelings you thought you escaped. They all come back to haunt you, but not to answer any remaining questions. Though you probably don’t need to be reminded of this, no amount of what-if’s or he should’ve’s will undo what he failed to carry out while still in contact with you. He won’t be aware (as people sometimes can be; not everyone is in tune with the concepts of fleeting time and opportunity) that it’s the last time. Not everyone will say what needs to be said – either by choice or by oblivion. And no matter what, you can’t do anything about it, because they are a whole other person – a whole other world.

And, more importantly, once they’re out of a scene, they’re out. The steps you take won’t bring you closer to them, but only further away from where you originally were, as you. There’s no door to reach because there is no door. Everything’s closed once he leaves, and it’ll take a special pull of the universe to pluck a string and bring about a miracle. If it’s meant to be. Often, you won’t find out until you won’t need it, which is just simply annoying. Sometimes though, the world has too much on its hands and it can’t accommodate to everyone’s lack of closure. I thought the world could provide that much, but I learned that sometimes people really can leave you with the most crucial truths unexplained. They can leave you guessing for forever and a day and they’ll most likely forget until they get confronted with the same situation themselves. Only then will they realize that you were, in fact, their mess-up (because everyone needs a first mess-up).

That was my case, and quite frankly I still can’t forget it. I thought I walked back to my own world and closed my door, kept the waves off and rebuilt my shore, ever since the end of January. But again, the waves are pounding, threatening to seep in through my door and its chains and to wet my sand and take some of it with them, dampening my stability. Again. All I can say is to stop coming back. You left me in ruin by avoiding saying the most potent of truths… especially when it was my first confession. I deserved clarity, and I deserved closure. I’ll give you the deadline of my lifetime, waiting with my sanity bobbing in and out of my leaking heart. All I can say (other than the fact that I actually really don’t want to see you ever again) is that –

Do you even know what you’ve done?

opinion: pity is a double-edged sword.

Pity is a good word.

It’s a very understated word, reserved often for fantasy books or romance movies or even sad animal stories that – beyond a little personal infliction, we don’t truly have to be invested in. It’s more so a conjured feeling, and not something we associate with daily.

But if we do – we hide it like shame.

Continue reading “opinion: pity is a double-edged sword.”

opinion: the concept of age in a relationship

Coming off of a discussion yesterday that I’ve had with some close sisters, I came to realize that age matters differently than how I’d initially thought in a couple relationship. What previously seemed to be an issue of generation gap and the wisdom that follows, became (not replaced but) enhanced with the notion of priorities. It’s the priorities that, depending on whether they match or not, come to lead to a connection (rather than merely knowing one another).

That’s how sometimes, relationships with a big age gap can work, while others are better off remaining single with the fading question of “what if”.

(Though of course, absolutely nothing is guaranteed.)

Continue reading “opinion: the concept of age in a relationship”