Bra Fitting

Early November


I got a bra fitting for the first time last Sunday.

Hey, I’m 16 years old and I’ve always kinda joked that my chest is too small to need a bra anyway. I’ve more than survived on ‘training’ bras and bralettes. I guess that looking at enough girls at Westlake High School, models on Instagram, fashion sites; breasts that look good have a roundness that you can really only get with padding. Besides, everyone has real bras; no, everyone has bras, and I’m the only teenager in her right mind that has never hooked one before.

My mom is very supportive of my transitioning (from Asian to white). Continue reading


The Drive to Succeed

[Excerpt from a recent school assignment on success.]


Especially as a junior, as I’ve started to think about college admissions and the extent to which they should dictate my life, I’ve struggled a lot in the past few years about what success really means. Since my elementary school years, I held this firm conviction in my heart that I will be a real world-changer and my name will be bolded in the history textbooks of the next centuries. It was a belief that seemed obvious to me. How I would get there was a question I never deeply considered. I assumed that, because I’d been told I had a quick intellect and a natural talent for things, the opportunity to bend history would present itself naturally to me and I’d take it easily, succeed, and revel in my success for the rest of my life. I was going to be greater than King Tut and George Washington and Bill Gates. Soon… it would happen someday. Duh. Continue reading

Holding Hands

Nong ming shou. I fingered my dad’s hands in front of my belly. Farmers’ hands. He said they were thick, rigid, and clumsy from too much sunshine. I pinched the plasticky pad of each finger and watched them wave like wary antennae, tendrils of an anemone on my lap. They’re sausages, I laughed, they’re sausages, beautiful sausages, each and every one of them, they’re wrinkly and fat, and there’s a raw power in the clench of their knuckles. I love you, he said, tenderly taking the palms of my hands, stilling them, he stroked each finger between his index and thumb. Yours are slender, he told me, piano fingers, made for a finer life. Sculpted of a finer clay. These hands can do so much if you drive them, daughter. They can move mountains if you have that mustard-seed faith, daughter. They can touch those sinewy hearts of people, these fingers, they have their own power. I knew, I knew, I knew. Father, I should have believed you, I should have trusted my hands: Father, forgive me, I knew too little.

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Call Anxiety

I sweat and sweat and sweat. Blood gallops through my ventricles.

The air trapped against my scalp grows damp with heat, so that my skull is unpleasantly sultry.

My nail tip strikes the numbers, thop thop, while the edge of the finger pad gently gives into each digit. 5. 1. 2. 3… What if what ifwhatifwhatifwhat if…

Call uncertainty. Calls happen in real time, no time to think to carefully match words, like email, no wait—calls are in the moment, there could be an unfriendly voice—calls are closer to humanhuman interaction. So close too scary.  Continue reading

On Stories

“The Danger of a Single Story” is a TED talk given by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I watched it for the first time last summer as homework at a writing program in Massachusetts. It’s reaaaallllly good. Highly recommend it, because that’s what I’m going to talk about now.

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He’s my friend, that skinny lanky, pale freckled shrimp-boy—his brown doe eyes and his crop of brown hair he flips aside with a cinematic swing of the head—his tongue in his cheek. Alexei is one of two guys in my ballet class at Ballet Austin. His dream is to join the company as a professional. You should see his turns, whew, he does three, no problem at all, no problem just whip-whip-whip head.

You know, when I rejoined the Ballet Austin Academy in January, he would sit in the corner of the studio with me during down time and talk about dancing in YAGP, leaning affectionately on the skateboard-of-the-day. Outside the AVST studio, he has this button on his phone you know, and he’ll play a “Fuck you” right into your ear when you’re not paying attention, and skip away in guppy-faced hysterics.

Alexei Bauereis. Funny I didn’t know his last name until now. smile4eileen Rip alexei. A close friend who died June 7th 30 minutes after being hit by a car. He was funny and loved to joke around. I will never forget you alexei and I will miss you dearly.  Continue reading

The Resiliency of Cockroaches

1) Cockroaches can climb walls.

I could feel the crackle. My knuckles pierced the round rim of the cup, my shoulder driving the bottom deeper into the shower floor. Grind. Crack. Geez. I was naked and it was night and I was sick of the cockroaches.

I stared up, craning away from the ugliness under my hand. The ceiling was blank and a sad variety of off-white. I traced the cracks in the paint and tried not to think about bugs. The air was chilly and smelled mustily of coconut shampoo and dried water. There was mold on the back wall.

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