'look at the moon
is why i say,
i love you,
i love you,
i love you.
Please leave work early: http://bit.ly/1pvMcJT
it seems my dad and i are always in lost in translation.
it’s not so much that we don’t relate (most of the time, we do). it’s only the instances when we talk about career stability and continuing higher education and pursuing what i love vs. what’s required of me that i get frustrated with him, put him on mute while we FaceTime and simply shut off the phone. i don’t like doing it, because he’s old and he recently got an iPod that he loves talking on so much. but since my Mandarin isn’t so great anymore, my need to explain myself (in the few words he understands) elevates to frustration, then defeat.
i always try to imagine what i would be like if i stayed in taipei and really grew up there. it’s weird because much of who i am is based on this identity of being taiwanese-american, but not really taiwanese nor american. it’s as if i spent the most important part of growing up in transition: learning to think for myself, learning to speak English, learning to navigate the social cues of being an ‘American’ kid. i’m not sure if i had stayed in taiwan, i would’ve been compelled to want to write, or to pursue journalism. despite taiwan being one of the most democratic countries in asia, freedom of press is still not as valued there.
my dad has always been pretty literary. i remember when i was younger, i would burrow under the covers in my room that i shared with my older sister and try to read my manga before going to bed. my dad would come in and without even asking, swipe the manga away from me. in the early beginning, i would protest and rattle on and on about how i was already two days late in returning the rented manga, etc, etc. he’d stare at me, walk toward the light switch and before the final click, assert calmly, “you’re not supposed to read in the dark, it’s bad for your eyes.’ there was no argument, it was just the way things were. that was one of the characteristics of my dad he never learned growing up: communicating.
but on those nights when it was just the girls, my mom would tell me how my dad, who grew up as an orphan, would stay out late at night, so he could read by the street lamps. when i first heard the story, i cringed. i thought it was so…shady. if Adult Angela were to see some scrappy dude reading by a streetlamp in brooklyn, i am pretty certain she would instinctively roll her eyes till you could only see the whites. but for some strange reason, i love revisiting this image of my dad, in his Beatles hairdo and leather jacket, poor as shit, reading under street lamps.