Category Archives: Story

Last Night

Last night, after the movie, we were sitting by our bikes and chatting.

I asked her,

“Do you remember high school? High school dances? There was this girl I really liked, and I asked her to be my date to homecoming. She said yes. She was a Mormon and a Texan, and would later be a big Prop 8 supporter. Not my usual type, but I liked her. We went to the dance together but I spent the entire time ignoring her and dancing with my friends, because I cared so much about what she thought that I somehow couldn’t stand to even speak to her. I was a terrible date. But, anyways, the reason I’m telling you this is because… Because I like you, and I have been a bad and awkward date all night. Sorry.”

And there was silence, though my admission couldn’t have been unexpected. The seconds crawled on and I filled them with mumbled apologies and explanations and forgiveness.

“It’s okay if you don’t feel the same. I won’t bother you about it anymore.”

She eventually said she kind of liked me too, but expressed her reluctance and worry at the fact that I’d be graduating soon. I was planning on visiting Italy, and moving to Taiwan. I had no real plans to ever return to Santa Cruz. She was shy and nervous in her words, but I understood: she did not want to be in a relationship with me. She did not feel as strongly for me as I felt for her.

Later, and this is the part that waxes poetic, I held her as I said goodbye. I was a bit emotional. The holding was for my sake, but she refused to make eye contact. There was no kiss.

“I know you want to kiss me, but I don’t think I can. Don’t hate me.”

“It’s okay. We don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

She told me to calm down, that my heart was beating out of my chest, and reiterated: “Don’t hate me.”

It told her I was calm. I had just ridden my bike up a hill. Of course my heart was beating. It had nothing to do with her.


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There’s no attempt at narrative here, and I’m not making any sort of point. I’ve had a busy week, without much time to write, so I’ll just describe a typical migraine. They’re different every time, but this will give you a good idea about what they’re like for me.

I could be doing anything, and it could be at any time, but I’m usually reading, and it’s usually in the evening. And I’ll be reading and then I’ll realize in this slow, sub-conscious way that I can’t read what I’m reading. I go back to the beginning of the line, assuming at first that I was tired and just sort of spaced out. And then I realize, as I can feel my heart rate go up pretty quickly and my palms being to sweat, that, no, I didn’t get confused or anything. The entire central part of the page has been replaced by a blurry, gray, zig-zaggy mess. This is the beginning of the aura, the first phase of a migraine. It is the chaotic parade of symptoms which precede the pain.

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On Family

Five or six years ago, I was at a pizzeria with my father and little brother, Dan. A large group had arrived shortly before us, so the service was crap. We were hungry and waiting. Dan, who must have been seven or eight at the time, was not dealing well with his impatience. He was starting to give a sort of show, advertising his unhappiness. He sounded mournful sighs and squirmed around in his chair. My father was doing his best to placate him until our food arrived, but we hadn’t even been given breadsticks to calm our hunger. Dan was loud. People were staring. The big party that arrived before us was being served.

So, Dan has trouble communicating. And he can’t deal with not getting his own way. And when I say he can’t communicate, I really mean he can’t speak in more than fragments. And when I say that he can’t deal with not getting his own way, I really mean that he is essentially incapable of empathy. Dan is autistic.
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An Embarrassing Story

Okay here’s another embarrassing story from when I was little, because I have lots of them and they are fairly straightforward to write. This one’s about another close friend in middle school. I’ll call him Dave, but that’s totally not his real name.

This is actually pretty difficult to write about and make public, but I’ve been having trouble thinking of topics for posts. So here I am, writing a story which relates the distance I was willing to go in order to avoid doing my homework. It’s time to come clean.

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My best friend throughout elementary and middle school was this dorky, chubby Eastern European kid with gigantic cowlicks in his hair. I thought he was the coolest person ever, and I couldn’t imagine anyone I would rather spend time with. Let’s call him Phil.

In second grade, I had trouble making friends. I remember being outgoing, but unable to communicate effectively with my classmates. My accent was very thick back then, and children rarely had the patience to parse my slurred and broken speech. I had my few friends, but I was regularly picked on by some of the popular kids. I became an introvert by necessity, satisfying my need for adventure with internal fantasy. I could stand on a manhole and pretend it was a portal to Disney Land, or I could convince myself that I was an alien with super powers. Though I often found myself alone, I was never lonely.

Still, when my second grade teacher introduced Phil to the class, I decided immediately that we would be friends. He sat close to me, and I ingratiated myself quickly. I hoped to keep him away from the cool kids, who would certainly turn him against me. Somehow, I was successful. We soon exchanged home phone numbers. Playdates were arranged. It was the beginning of something beautiful.
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