Like Pi

As I obsessively search for some trace of a pattern

in the random etches of my life, as I yearn to feel the

comforting touch of some sort of foreshadow, as I

analyze the Freudian nature of my dreams on a scale

of one to lust, as I take note of the number of steps I take,

the number of hours I sleep, and the color of my socks,

as my id asks questions, and as my ego answers, I wait.

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K| One time I hit my brother

One time I hit my brother

so hard I thought I killed him,

but he was never supposed to exist

in the first place, so I didn’t

really feel that bad about it.

But what would I tell my parents?

They call him a mistake,

but in a doting way and I just hate that.

They like him–they really, really like him,

probably more than me.

So do I cry and pretend it was an accident?

He did not end up dying

but he did crumple

like a piece of paper in my arms

and he asked me to forgive him

for whatever he did wrong

and I didn’t know what to say

because he didn’t do anything wrong,

I just didn’t know why he had to exist.

Together we buried this secret

alongwith that time he ate an extra

piece of candy so we called it even

Maybe I was just too young to understand–

except I did understand.

One time I hit my brother so hard he forgot

but I never will.

In Cautious Anticipation of Decisions Day

To the future me, 5 days from today:

It looks like it is officially Decisions Day, or more appropriately, D-Day. I can hardly imagine the kind of anxiety that must be coursing through your over caffeinated body at this point in time. Did you decide skip 8th and go home with K? Or did you consider karma and decide to stay the extra painful two hours?

Have you been obsessively stalking that one College Confidential forum, and receiving ironic comfort from the nervousness of the other applicants? Have you eaten at all today, or did you decide to skip breakfast, lunch, and dinner all together, in cautious anticipation of throwing up?

In about 5 days from now, my/your life could completely change. In about 5 days, either I/you will be celebrating, or I/you will be stuck in the basement, trying to finish 20+ college applications. In about 5 days, either we will be posting on Facebook a post that will receive 200+ likes, or we will be choosing to stay off of Facebook, and every other social media platform as you wither in sorrow and pain.

To the future me, promise me that come D-Day, you will do your best to get through the day. Promise me that you will pray before and after you find out your results, regardless of what happens. Promise me that if you get in (yay!) you will be thankful. Promise me that if you don’t get in, you’ll let yourself be sad for only a few hours and you’ll be happy for your friends.

Whatever happens, we both know how hard you’ve worked. We both know all the craziness you’ve put up with. So whatever happens, keep loving yourself and look forward to whatever God decides is best for you. After all, he knows best.

Love,

The past you, from 5 days ago.

K| Last I Heard

We are made up of the same sticks

and stones and mud that we built into castles–

no, fortresses, we called them

in our backyards.

There was a line that separated our respective grasses

and it was on that line that we declared

our continent.

At one point, we were not afraid of cobwebs and attics,

but then, we watched that rated-R movie about that

serial killer in the attic with the cobwebs,

and it seemed like everything changed.

Last I heard, you moved to Atlanta

and that one time you messaged me on Facebook,

late November of last year, you told me about all

the Atlanta boys and the way they stared at you

and I thought about how much

we had both changed.

Maybe it’s a good thing or maybe it isn’t.

Either way it’s too late to do

anything about it now.

I wanted to ask why you didn’t mention

your mom’s cancer, but then

I wondered why I thought you would have.

K| It’s Been a While

So, it’s been a while since I’ve last posted–since any of us from TOTTS have last posted and, honestly, it’s been a good break.

A lot of things have transpired in all of our lives during these past few months (applying to colleges, dreaming about the future, going through senior year, more dreaming about the future) and I speak for all of us when I say, it’s just all happening so incredibly fast.

I think all three of us got completely consumed by the day-to-day of our lives and TOTTS, while still extremely important to all of us, slipped away briefly so that we could experience everything in full.

Sometimes I think you need exactly that–living in the moment before stepping back and reflecting. I’m not saying it’s not possible to do both at the same time (in fact, I’ve just made it a goal to achieve both simultaneously), but when it doesn’t happen that way, I think it’s okay.

But, I’m ready to be back. Definitely. My draft bin is starting to overflow again, so be prepared–TOTTS is about to fill your newsfeed again!

This post is not to say that there won’t be any more hiatuses on our part, because I am sure that there will be. But we’re going to keep living and we’re going to keep writing in whatever order ensues naturally.

I think following each break are periods of inspiration and introspection. Every break and every breath that we all take as writers, thinkers, and people make way for something beautiful.

Stay in touch with us for that something beautiful.

K| At This Point in Time

At this point in time, I am disoriented by the perplexing mess of my room, listening to the song “Something I Need” by OneRepublic, and somehow wearing only one sock, but at least it’s the one with the cats on it from Forever 21, so I’m feeling okay.

At this point in time, my dad is snoring in the room next to me and my mom is downstairs feverishly catching up on an Asian drama, probably about some crazy love triangle that won’t get resolved until the seventy-fourth episode.

At this point in time, somebody is stealing eggs to feed their family and somebody is egging their neighbor’s house. Somebody out there is changing the world and somebody out there is changing themselves. There are girls becoming women, boys becoming men, and people realizing that they were born the wrong gender.

At this point in time, somebody is writing a book and somebody is reading one. There is somebody roaring with laughter watching the GOP debate and somebody starting a revolution. Somebody just finished all 236 episodes of Friends and somebody just swore off watching TV forever.

At this point in time, somebody is breaking tradition while somebody is making tradition. There is a man saying “I love you” to a man for the first time and a woman kneeling on one knee, asking her boyfriend to marry her. Somebody just said something they will regret for a very long time and somebody just said the most significant words of their life.

At this point in time, there is a child leaving his mother and a mother leaving her child. Promises are getting broken and promises are getting made. There is an argument breaking out between two people who don’t know how to love each other anymore and there is a woman who just found the perfect wedding dress.

At this point in time, somebody is saying something racist and somebody is saying something sexist and someone is losing faith in humanity and somebody is choosing to see the good in life. Somebody has no water left to drink and somebody’s village sinking. Somebody is saying let’s end this madness and this sadness. Let’s end it together.

At this point in time, there is a girl is losing her innocence and absolutely loving it and a girl losing her innocence against her will. Somebody is deciding not to kill themselves and somebody is beginning to love themselves. Somebody is feeling lonely in a crowd of people and somebody is feeling fulfilled by their independence.

At this point in time, I am writing a blog post about how I am feeling about the world at the moment.

J| Growing Pains

I still don’t know how to tag someone in a Facebook photo.

I once wrote my darkest secret on paper. I burned it immediately, but I worry that someone will collect its ashes and put it back together. The scenario has played out in my head in a million and one ways and I decided to be flattered that someone would be so obsessed with me. I would also file for a restraining order.

I cringe when I see that I have friended someone two years ago, and they have yet to accept my request.

Sometimes I can hear my teacher’s voice reading out my writing, and he will repeat certain parts; “A million and one ways…” he’ll mutter. “A million and one ways.” He’ll try out, and suddenly my writing doesn’t seem as elegant as I thought it was. He’ll challenge my little jokes, and make me feel bad. It’s not until later I decide that I shouldn’t feel bad for me, I should feel bad for him for not having a sense of humor.

There are a million and one things to do, and I can’t stop stalking this one girl – this one insanely gorgeous girl – and go through her profile pictures from 2010. I don’t want people to see my little acne spots or my yellow teeth, but even more I don’t want them to see that I had air brushed my picture. This insanely gorgeous girl has orange skin, even though she’s Asian, and blurry skin and white teeth and suddenly she doesn’t seem so insane.

I like her picture anyways. I comment anyways.

I’m still not completely sure how to spell the words immediately and definitely and subconscious. You don’t know, that even though I’m Asian, I don’t have a 4.0 or a 2400 or know how to spell the words immediately, definitely, and subconscious.

I like to put on makeup at 11 PM. I like to play with blue and purple eyeshadows and make my eyebrows black like ebony, but then I’ll forget I put it on and get embarrassed in front of my older brother. I’m not completely sure what ebony is, but I think it’s a plant.

I like to curl and my hair at 12 AM and tell myself “Yes! I’m doing this for school!” I’ll sleep with bouncy hair and the next morning I’ll frantically rinse it out in the sink. My bus comes in 5 minutes and my mom is yelling for me to hurry up, but I can’t go to school like this. I’ll curl it one day, just not today.

I wished that he would ask me to prom and he did, but out of the million and one ways he could have prom-posed, he did it over instant messenger. He asked my best friend the next week with cupcakes. I didn’t cry, but I wish I had.

J| Jumpsuits

I wish I looked good in jumpsuits. I wish I chose not to wear them because of how ugly they are, not because of how ugly I look in them. I wish I was the kind of person to leave online reviews; the kind of person who is helpful and has that kind of time in their life. I wish I hadn’t read that one negative review because now I can’t buy this geometric print creme/blue crisscross shift dress. Oh, how I wish.

J| Adult Nightmares

Throwback to the days when we would live recklessly and carelessly, when we would count seconds for hide-and-seek, not hours from nine to five. Throwback to the times when we would brag about how long we could hold our pee, because those were the good ol’ days when our greatest nightmares were nothing but nightmares.

Do you remember what scared you in your sleep as a child? I remember some of my early, terribly traumatizing dreams. Some of them were classic, like being chased by the ghost from the PG-13 horror movie I watched when I was 10. Some of them were laughable, but only once I woke up; I once dreamt that I was trapped in a tower by the witch from Dora the Explorer and woke up, covered in cold sweat. Some of them were legit creepy. I remember in one of my nightmares I had been hypnotized by a magician who was crazy in love with me. He was super ugly. It’s strange to think that the things that scared me as a child as so laughable now that I’m older.

These days when I have nightmares, the memory haunts me for days. My nightmares aren’t about trivial matters anymore. I have nightmares about accidentally joining a cult, or getting mugged in broad, public, daylight, or my grandparents leaving forever, or not getting into college, or Donald Trump becoming president and driving this country into the ground. The scariest thing is, these scenarios are all very plausible. I hope living vicariously through my dreams will be the closest I ever get to these these vicious scenarios.