Finding purpose

I realize how green I am to the corporate world
and in this corporate world that I occupy
I tell myself I’m only here to pay the bills
buy food to make terrible homecooked meals
buy gas for my dumpy used Honda car
buy excessive Cinnabons to make myself feel better
buy whatever I need to get
to become a so-called working actor.

But today was a reminder
a reminder that in this world,
hard work and experience can turn into vapor
at the mere whim of money and inconvenience
just a snip snip here
just a snip snip there
all done to make the company more
“efficient”
while completely apathetic that the person
may have given their life to the company
to support their family and kids.

Now, it’s all gone.

It makes me wonder,
what if Life was just a big corporation?

In the end, we all die
so are we working hard just to die?
If so, what is the point of it all?

What is the purpose of me trying so hard
to be an actor or poet or even alive
when it may mean nothing
in the grand scheme of things
or even right now?

Do I sound suicidal when I say this?

If so, it is not my intention
to scare any of you all
for I am fully aware of the beauty Life can offer.

But today,
just for today
(and maybe the next few days)
I am keenly observing
the dark shades painted over my heart
the darkness that reminds me of
heavy thunderstorms raging across the sky
the storms that make me stop in my tracks
and admire the frailty of my life
and how I must make the most out of my life.

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(I’m)perfect

I have dreams that haunt me constantly
dreams that I wish to be someone else
someone who is me
but not quite like me
someone who is more
talented
kind
amazing
beautiful
charming
cheerful
confident
smooth
patient

unforgettable.

So I play time travelling memory tricks with my head
and I revisit sections of my past
I revisit each time I reach a new checkpoint in my life
when I graduated from high school
I would revisit my high school days
to see how I could be more popular
when I graduated from college
I would revisit my college days
to see how I could be more loved.

Even now, when I’m making a living here in LA
I would revisit my 8 months so far here
to see how I could be more influential.

I do this constantly because
I have always seen myself as the outsider looking in
the awkward boy who couldn’t get comfortable in his skin
the loner who struggles to try fit in anywhere
the desperate fighter who fights for people to remember him
the sad soul who just wants people to love him.

These dreams keep coming back to me
whether asleep or in my waking state
and when they do, it reminds me
how very unhappy I am with my life
and kills all my momentum to make progress.

But on one spontaneous rainy day
when I was driving back home
at half past twilight
surrounded by beaming mechanical lights
who were rushing to go back home
or go to another club to forget the day
I had an instant revelation that spoke to me
that told me everything that has happened
all my awkward phases
all my heartaches
all my failures
all my disasters
all my struggles
they’ve made me who I am today
they’ve made me the honest passionate stubborn man
a man who has a huge heart and will drive himself crazy
when the world is full of anger and injustice.

The past that I keep looking back on
I realize I do this constantly
because I keep seeing myself imperfect
as if I’m trying to edit my life
as if it were a film
trying to erase all my sound jumps,
clean up my cigar burn holes,
and fine tune my sloppy editing.

The story cannot be changed
for it is the story of my life
with all its blemishes and mishaps
the imperfection that simply makes me
perfect.

Halloween

There was a time when I thought
Halloween was one of the best holiday ever
I thought it was the coolest thing to
dress up as anything you want to be and
go on a night adventure bouncing from house to house
getting the next batch of candies
screaming in glee (or absolute terror)
at my friend’s homemade horror house

Now I’m all grown up,
and slightly more mature
but with a lot less time than ever before
and I now think Halloween is the most useless holiday ever
because I’m way too old to go trick or treatin’
and it’s not quite the same wonder effect
when it becomes an excuse for women
to dress up in their most skankiest outfit
and have men holler and hoot at them.

I always told myself
that I can keep an element of childhood
no matter how old I am
that I can always be young in heart and soul
but I know that’s not true
when I compare myself to the excitement
I would feel when I was young
to the complete apathy I feel now.

The thought that such a change can occur
brings a somber depressing cloud over me
and I wonder if I’m growing up too fast.

So I stare at my Cinnabon and
I just hope my love for it
never
ever
dies.

Surprise

My oh my
I didn’t expect to hear from you
nor did I expect for you to tell me
how significant our friendship was to you
and here I was,
always wondering if you even cared
always confused what you thought of me
so forgive me for my surprise
for I simply had no idea.

You start off by immediately telling me
that you have come to terms that
our friendship has officially ended
that even if I did respond to you
you tell me you can’t promise me
to keep in touch
you tell me you can’t guarantee
that our friendship can continue.

But then you tell me
how much I made an impact in your life
how much I mean to you
words I have never heard you say to me
during our time that we’ve known each other
and you dare say it has ended?

Are you crazy??

I nearly cried reading your words
knowing that I still mean something
to another person in this world
to another person who I thought didn’t care
and then you take that away from me
by telling me that it has ended.

Do you know what that feels like?

That’s like putting in some much-needed battieres
to the Energizer Bunny who is deprived of connection
you give me the spark that I thought we lost
but then you rip out my bunny head
because you think it’s defective.

You first give me batteries and then you take off my head?
Give me my freaking head back!

We’re going to fight for this now
and you’re not going to leave my life
without me fighting fiercely for it
without me having a damn say in this

Because I don’t know if you realize
friendships are worth more to me
than any fortune or fame
and I will go over to the ends of the earth
to reclaim all the friendships
that have departed from me
and are drifting in the sea.

Now that I see you floating out there
giving your flare signal that this means something
you better not goddamn move from your spot
because I’m coming over to find you.

Homecoming

I’m never quite sure what to do
with the memories of my past
because these memories cling to me
like a pool of unforgiving leeches
and as they suck my blood away
they bring the uncomfortable awkwardness
back into my body full force
with one single word:
Homecoming.

Back at the college that I graduated from
I was never the one who was celebrated
for his good looks,
warm sunny charisma,
beautiful personality,
exceptional talents,
or outstanding leadership.

I was the other guy
the other guy who looked up
to the ones who have good looks,
warm sunny charisma,
beautiful personality,
exceptional talents,
and outstanding leadership.

So when Homecoming comes around
these amazingly wonderful folks
are requested upon by their friends
wondering if these beacons of light
will grace their presence
back in the college land of yesteryears.

I know this because I’m Facebook friends with all of them
and I can see every single post on my pesky mini news feed
which should really be called the news feed from hell
because I really do not want to see
how these amazing folks are more appreciated than I am
that nobody is asking for me and whether or not
I am coming back to Homecoming.

I don’t want to be disappointed by the friends
who I thought would give me a genuine welcome
because I do not want to consider
that I put more value in our friendship
but all my fears come true the very moment
when I hear their “hello, how are you?”
several octaves higher than their normal pitch tone.

I’m not even attending to this year’s Homecoming
and the fact that it’s happening right now as I write this
is stressing me out halfway across the nation
and reminds me I still got unresolved issues
with my unsorted bitter-and-no-sweet filled past.

I want to go back to Homecoming
when nobody knows me at all
and I can walk around the campus
with absolute peace on my mind
and not a single person from the past
to bother my walk through nostalgia.

Or perhaps I should stop being a chicken
go to next year’s Homecoming
and when I see people of my past
that I have unresolved issues with
I will tell it to their face (with kindness)
that I have unresolved issues with them
and dance the awkward tango together
where they may slip out from my firm grasp
or they may take up the challenge
and we may perform an extraordinary feat
of restrengthening our bridges
and forging a beautiful friendship
that will last for years to come.

But I will have to remember to never raise my voice
several octaves higher than my normal pitch tone.

Oh.

Hiiiiiiiiiii!

How are yoooou?~

Honesty

I’ve always been the type of person
who would be too honest for his own good
wearing shoes too big for his clumsy feet
exploding into a fury of honest diatribes
and then tripping over myself
because I have yet to be comfortable
in the large honest shoes I got myself into.

Now my shoes fit me perfectly
shoes that are made of sturdy confidence
so you better catch up with me
because I will be running.

A Rant against the Asian Community

What I am about to say next
will come off as a pissed off rant
but I say all of this out of love,
as fucking crazy as that sounds
so I must make it clear
that despite these harsh words
it does not mean
I hate my Asian community
no, I love them
like I love my family
but like my family
they drive me fucking crazy
and because of that,
I need to get this negative shit off my chest
and hold nothing back.

If they don’t like me
or they hate me because of
what I have to say now
at least I was being honest
to say what I need to say
to take the step forward
and let it be known.

So here goes:

I’m sick of my fellow Asian artists who think they’re hotshots
just because they won some Asian lifetime achievement awards
was featured in some minor guest role in a Hollywood movie
performed at some community event with lots of other Asian people
and let it get to their heads that they actually made it
and can treat me like shit because of their “success”
“Success” my ass, you’re just a big fish swimming in a shitty little pond
so get off your mighty high Asian horse
before I knock you down from it.

I’m sick of my fellow Asian activists who are so holier than thou
married to their pride in how expressive and opinionated they are
that when I disagree with them
they look at me as if I’m sort of traitor or an uneducated fool
motherfucker, I don’t give a shit what you think
or how much more bullshit you may think you know
you’re just a human like me and you’re not any more enlightened
so wipe that smug progressive condescending look off your face.

I’m sick of my Asian elder folks
who think that just because I’m young
they have the right to be patronizing
tell me that I have not seen the world
or that I don’t know my Asian American history
I may be young
and I may have a lot to learn
but you being older doesn’t necessarily make you smarter
it just makes you old
so don’t you dare try to pat me on my head
and tell me that I don’t know shit
because I am going to bite your hand if it gets near me.

I’m sick of my Asian peers
who constantly try to shut me up
telling me that I’m rocking the boat
for making too much noise or attention
chastise me for being too serious
that I need to take these humiliating Asian jokes
like they’re the best things in the world
I’m incredulous that they are so
ignorant of where they are standing on their two feet
wake the fuck up, will you?
open your eyes and realize that you’re not white
nor will you ever pass off as white
so stop pretending you are
and dismiss your own cultural heritage
just so you can get a white person to like you better.

But ultimately, I’m sick of my Asian community in general
who don’t even understand what Asian really means
that Asia isn’t just yellow people, it’s all of Asia
and yes that includes Desis and Iranians!
We’re somehow really good at bickering amongst ourselves
with Asian this and Asian that
afraid to let our model minority stereotype go
afraid to criticize our own people
because we’re afraid that we will hurt their feelings
okay seriously, where do you think growth comes from
if it isn’t for honesty?
we are so incubated within ourselves
that I feel like I’m being suffocated by my own roots
and while it is important
to remember where one comes from
let me bring in a lame simile and use trees
because trees, the ones that make it,
reach their magnificent heights
because they go through adversity
and go through all sorts of changes
as a result of their struggle,
they GROW.

Okay.
I’m done ranting now.