Japanese Wedding.

Posted in Personal on February 16th, 2004 by byronkho

A Japanese wedding – and then a poignant parallel, to the stiffness of life as a young wife to a husband who’s not there, in soul at least – and the stiffness and emptiness of being alone, and the friends you make aren’t the friends you think of as friends, but the bitter empty shells that one would hardly notice. They do have some life left in them. And then the view back, a crazy kaleidoscope of color and bubble-gum pop-ery that is so fake that one immediately builds a kind of suspicion of emotion. Not suspicious, but the impression of being suspicious, though we (and they) know exactly what it’s all about. It’s the one-up-manship of foreign pop culture over American yokeling, on the silver screen. I hear the plaintive cry (though very 14ish) of a fefe dobson, subtle reminders of what can go wrong with overdoing this version of angst: pink. or the other version of angst: simple plan, and sellout incorporated. But in that reverie that is neither soft or dreamy, there is a lyricism that speaks just as loud as a film that leaves all the essentials out in favor of showing the obvious – and then you understand it. No underestimation of my intelligence, or overestimation – though God knows that happens often enough with some films. An intellectual pretense that somehow feels wrong. Oh! that was interesting! He feels empty, waking up to this lounge singer strollin’ around, and he opens the door to a spasm of disappointment across her face, though we never quite see it… we feel it though. Something in the way that the sound filters out the door to where we, and she (not the lounge singer) is/are standing, sitting, soliloquizing, feeling lost and helpless and cold once more. Feigned indifference – how come that’s always attached to the image of cold? Oh, that makes me so hungry, and wistful of this summer – beauty and shabu-shabu, and an ounce of sadness. “I don’t want to leave.” I’ll always remember the sweating in and out, and the scene at the bar, and the wanton look (though tired) that came out of the woodwork, but disappeared as soon as the elevator door closed (a little giggle perhaps, inside, then a stifled sob). A tired, creased look. Goodbyes are goodbyes, are goodbyes, and to deal with loss is to be closest to having, and loving. Red rims, and this time it’s final. But it’s happier for having been.

Books.

Posted in Personal on February 15th, 2004 by byronkho

It’s been a wonderful semester yet! I love being here – at Penn, I mean, and happy – and there’s this sense of newness that had disappeared for a while. I’ve met all kinds of new people, stayed in touch with the old, and helped all kinds on the road to victory. And not only that, but I’ve found meaning in what I do. That’s it for the wow, I guess. Not for the inane: as for reading, I have this huge fine at the library. I can’t borrow anything till I pay it. There goes quality reading this semester! However, Doctor Zhivago remains, as does Faulkner. But Forster still calls out to me. Entrancing mysteries: one should read Iain Pears’ the Dream of Scipio, or the thriller, the Company of Strangers by Robert Wilson. Ken Follett occasionally comes out with some good ones. Jackdaws was good – whereas his newest one just sucked.