Today I did an adult thing and looked at my credit report and didn’t cry. I’m almost 27. It was just time. I bought bell hooks’s All About Love: New Visions for the third selection of a WOC feminist book club and requested a hold on another book at the library for the next YA book club. I sent an email to a former book club where I said I missed them because I do, I really, really do. I am turning in freelance assignments early. I can put on liquid eyeliner with no mistakes. There are vegetables and baked cookies now, olive oil ice cream with salted pepitas to come. I can be a better person.

30 Jan 2014 / 8 notes

I cut off most of my hair and bought red lipstick that is actually fuchsia and is perfect. I cleaned and oiled my sewing machine. I can feel air on my neck. I’m back in Chicago and wearing this sweater with roses on it. Stefan is playing Magic in Indiana and the cats are quiet. So that’s how 2014 is going.

4 Jan 2014 / 8 notes

O’hare, at F10 on my way home to Philadelphia, it smells like onions. See ya later, Chicago.

21 Dec 2013 / 4 notes

On the bus, I listened in on a conversation between a man with a cane and a woman with red lipstick. They had Melrose Park in common but seemed like strangers otherwise. “Melrose Park didn’t expect me. They didn’t know what to do with a half-Black, half-Filipino kid. Walter White, go home. Stop playing basketball by yourself until midnight.” He introduced his Italian friends to sushi, he said. When he said Walter White, of course.

I know very little about the Chicago suburbs. I know that Oak Park is just over there, and I’ve gone to Arlington Heights to visit a friend and her then-new husband. There’s Naperville, Yorkville, Oswego, Aurora, places I’ve gone to because of Stefan’s family. I know the places I dislike (almost all of them) and I know the ones with an Ikea or Mitsuwa or good flea markets. I work in a suburb that’s barely a suburb, everyone says, but is still beyond me. I take walks during lunch. The sidewalks dip in and out, appear and reappear. I think about being a teenager.

When I didn’t go straight to college, my mom got a cat. I slept on the floor in the kitchen and cradled the cat until it felt comfortable. The cat turned out mean and hisses and fights. The house is still in the suburbs, and I think about that house a lot. I look at Redfin and fantasize about not having student debt, about buying an apartment so I feel like I am here for longer. I think about Voldemort, about the room we sat in while we waited for the vet. I see him in the other two cats now. They wrestle more and spoon more.

I like the golden shock of leaves turned mush then ice lately. I don’t have appropriate shoes. I overdrafted my checking account for the second time in my life. I am in all of these book clubs. Well, two. I feel like I am writing a letter.

27 Nov 2013 / 11 notes

Instead of helping Amy, because ice, laziness, my own home, I made spaghetti and sauce the way my mom makes it. It was a treat, the way McDonalds was a treat as a kid. Mounds of steamy noodles in plastic baskets, bowls and chopsticks and forks, all the cousins around.

I bought Black Earth Meats’s ground beef from Harvest Time. A box of tomatoes I had sitting around. San Marzano, of course. Two unpeeled, large cloves of garlic, a bay leaf. A splash of fish sauce and then another splash. A pinch of sugar, salt. Two pats of butter.

Mama Long would make sauce in the pot used to make smooth, fatty, velvety oxtail broth for noodle soups. It was not the way you’re thinking of it, probably. A friend recently said something about tamarind soup base from a pouch, something I’d grown up with, don’t think twice about, sometimes scoff at using because who am I (but really, who am I). There was styrofoam ground beef, a jug of Ragu, a splash of fish sauce and then another splash. A palm of sugar, salt, MSG. Dinner turned out great but not right.

26 Nov 2013 / 5 notes