I’m usually very zen, but when my limit is reached, I do get pissed off. And I’m not at all shy to express it. After a brief discussion, the boy and I reached an agreement of sorts and put the matter (including ourselves) to bed. The next day, early in the morning, he messages me.
H: How are you this morning?
M: Well, I slept good, so I’m not that pissed off anymore.
H: Last night I told my guards to watch my door very closely.
M: So I put some fear in you. Good.
Well, I’m glad we got that resolved.
I didn’t die at age 40, much to my dismay. You know how it is — at age 22, 27, even 30 — you think you know so much, you think the world has become so tiresome. You think that you’ve seen it all, experienced everything life has to offer, and that 40 is a good age at which to end it.
I used to think that at 40, I would have accomplished a lot. I’d be at the top of the career pile, have a couple of grown kids, done some charity work for the conscience, cultivated lifelong friends. As a know-it-all in my 20s I thought, my god 40 is so old, I don’t want to live through that.
How little did I know. I’ve known all along that grown ups do not have all the answers, that was obvious to me even at a young age. You see the adult mouth agape and lacking the words, the eyes tinged with fear of the unknown. So I didn’t really put that much expectation or anticipation to growing older or wiser.
And age proved me right, today at age 40-something I’ve learned that the more you know, the more you realize there is a whole other lot you don’t. I’ve passed the big 40 a few years ago, and I’m seeing there is life beyond it. We’ll see how the rest of it goes.
I haven’t forgotten
how it feels to be desired.
Though I can’t quite decide
if that is blessing or curse,
and I’m not one for remorse
or small mercies
or false memories anyway.
Anyway, it’s cruel
to just look away.
Desire wants the rapt attention
the blind affirmation
of the widening iris —
the rush of blood to cheek —
it wants its own hubris.
Any which way
but dead, or so they say.
As though the furtive glance
the promise of some romance
that dark little gleam in the eye
is everything, is anything
but a lie.
There are days when I do get to turn the tables on these guys, and then it’s pay back time!
We were outside the office, grouped in noisy clumps, trying our hand at socializing. One guy keeps interrupting me, teasing and making what he must think to be funny comments. Now, I can take more than my share of ribbing, and I do take a lot of abuse from these guys, but I also like to dish it out. I decide this is just too good an opportunity to pass up.
So I compose my face into a quiet, somewhat pained expression and interrupt him in the middle of a joke.
Using my formal, I-mean-business voice, I say “You know what, you shouldn’t say those things to me. I’m Asian, and you know we take loss of face very seriously.”
He is taken aback, and begins sputtering and stammering out a string of profuse apologies. I let him stew for a while, and then I was laughing so hard, I could hardly say, “I’m just messing with you, big guy.”
The look on his face was priceless–shock, disbelief, a momentary feeling of faintness, I think.
He blurts out,”Oh my god, you’re a mean, mean woman!”
I smile and get the last word in: “You’d do well to remember that.”
In yet another one of those politically incorrect, sexual harassment-fraught episodes that make my little life here so interesting, one of our gung ho guys comes into my office asking for help. After some Q & A and a bit of explaining, it turns out he wants me to do a creative interpretation of the rules so that he could buck the system, so to speak.
Me: No, Muscled Guy, you know I can’t do that. Against the rules. You’ll get me into trouble.
MG: Oh no, I wouldn’t get you into trouble, no Ma’am. I won’t mess with your work [pause]. But… let’s say I take you out on a date, then that’s when I’ll certainly get you into a whole lotta trouble [big grin].
Me: [Roll eyes. Shake head.] You should be so lucky.
MG: Oh, I wish [Shit-eating grin, all the way out the door].
All in a day’s work, my friends. All in a day’s work.
“I went to the Milan. It is the city that is a stylish and fun. My friends say I change, you know? They say is the lifestyle that is changing in me… it become hard to talk about the same things, you know, because there is less in common with us. I think it is not me that is changing, it is like the different life.”
Ah, me. I really should stop watching World Fashion TV with the volume on.