One day in the winter first or second year of university, I was on my way to my -then-boyfriend’s house and stopped by the mall to pick up some food. As I was about to leave, a distressed woman approached me. Her hair was in a messy ponytail and her voice cracked when she asked me “What’s your background?”
I hesitated and then answered, “I’m half Chinese and half Vietnamese”
She responded, “Could you please help me? I think my husband’s been cheating on me and I want you to call this number and tell me what she says…She only speaks Chinese”.
I sat down with her and sent a text message to my -then-boyfriend telling him I was going to be late and what the situation was. He said “You should have just walked away”.
I knew little Cantonese but tried my best to call this possible mistress from my phone and hopefully ease the thoughts of the distressed woman. After a few phone calls and attempts asking, the other line started rejecting my call. I turned to the woman and apologized that I couldn’t do anymore and I wasn’t much help. She started to tear, I pulled a handful of tissues out of my purse and handed to her as she cried to me. She told me about being married for 20-something-years, they have kids together, and she doesn’t know what to do. Her oldest daughter was coming to pick her up soon, I had already missed my bus and the foods gone cold. I continued to listen to her and told her that everything will turn out okay, even though I didn’t know. She thanked me and I gave her a hug before I left…
About 6 months later on my way home, I received a call from an un-programmed number.
“Hi Elizabeth! How are you?”
“I’m fine, you?… I’m sorry but who is this”
“Oh you don’t remember me? I’m that lady from the mall a while back”
“…wow, oh my god. Hi! How are you? How is everything?”
“Everything’s great. It was a very messy situation, but my husband’s still here with me and we’re good. Long story but I found your number and wanted to call you and say thank you so much for what you did. Listen sweetie, I want you to save my number. You can call me anytime, ask me for anything anything at all I’ll be there for you okay? I really appreciate what you did”
I didn’t save her number, I don’t even remember her name…because it doesn’t matter. Don’t do good things to expect favors to be owed to you. Do it because it’s the right thing to do, and that person will appreciate it. I know if I was going through problems, I would appreciate a stranger to be there to hand me a tissue and listen to me. As bad as the world can be, try to be that one good person then. It’s easy to sin, it’s simple to be a bystander, it takes strength to be a good person.
Let me paint you a picture
A sea of fire
And a land of sorrow
That’s all she sees ‘cause she don’t know how to let go
Only that and memories flow into her brain
So let’s take a stroll down memory lane
Don’t take this the wrong way and think I’m insane
Well… he knows I am but let’s not expose any names
Rewind back to 2009
Where I was fine—actually content, that no one was on my mind
Felt a little empty but got used to it over time
A strong defense system for a hollow state
The one time I put my guard down, turn around, got gunned down with no time to retaliate
Shit… then what happened to me occurred at an exponential rate
I was gone and now it’s his checkmate
The kids an evil genius you would have to agree
Yeah, you make me mad ‘cause look what you’ve done to me
Weird dreams and lack of sleep
Always afraid something bad is going to happen
Alright guys, I admit it then
Elizabeth Nguyen, really likes him
Now SHUT UP, I’m trying to finish this poem
Actually… I don’t know what this written is
And I really don’t know what THIS is
This is ridiculous
I assume that’s what you’re thinking right?
I apologize because this isn’t what I normally write
*sigh* I gotta finish this before I turn off the light and call it a night
So where was I?
Oh yes, Guard up, then this criminal comes along
And now I’m making this cheesy shit that could be mistaken for a love song
Feeling like something’s going to go wrong
I’m not accusing you of anything
It’s just… you know… a feeling
Let me paint you another damn picture
It’s a feeling of always being screwed over
Tired of the drug and getting sober
So if you’re not here for us then what are you here for?
Cut off the line now before I get hurt
And so to conclude, I hate you. =)
For making me feel weak
So please take a seat
I hope you can stay but if not that’s okay
Cause I’ll wait for you to come back another day
Over the years just cause of my slanted eyes and tone of skin
They think they know but they don’t know what’s within
I get the same looks, same jokes, same gossip
They think they know me, who I am, my life and what I worship
Constantly I get words thrown around and thrown at
NEVER words of sympathy, empathy or regret
They make actions with no consequence, take no offence to what’s said
Everyone just agrees with the media cause that’s what they’re fed
Gritting my teeth and holding myself back
No one knows that their stereotypical “truths” ain’t facts
Everyone’s blinded with entertainment to know what’s going on
Too amused to realize that when it’s all gone
They’ll be left alone and eat each other alive
Amusing themselves and feeding more lies
Getting lost into no where and can’t sort out the truth
Maybe they’ll finally realize that we weren’t the ones… and they were the fools
What’s the point of tryna make a point if they don’t listen to your opinion?
How can one believe another’s acts are based on good intentions?
Hypocritical, stubborn, difficult immature bitch
I can admit I’m all that
While you sit back and relax
And agree to all this shit
Cause you’ll only see what you wanna see
I know what sort of perspective and respect you have for me
Only remember what you want to remember
That’s right, you don’t need this shit from her!
“This is all one sided, I’m simple minded
Can be easily misguided
Fuck, I can’t play real poker, my emotions are too obvious, I can’t hide it”
That was sarcasm if you didn’t already know
Shocking? Yeah, the pill I’m giving you is a tough one to swallow
Apparently, I’ve been recently diagnosed with PMS and need a new prescription
This cathartic poetry writing is no longer the right medication
I’ve also been told that my sanity’s almost gone
There’s no cure for any of this but it’s being worked on
So all I can do now is try to behave and just reminisce
Think about what we’ve been through, who’ve I lost and what I do or don’t miss
Wait, how long’s it been? Have we made any progress?
Or have we being going in circles on the same platform?
The clouds are rolling in, its gunn be a dangerous storm
It’s not will everything be ‘okay’ after the storm goes…
It’s will nature still grow and will the sun shine brighter tomorrow?
Fighting, halfway to completion, surprisingly still sane?
Red eyed and belly-flamed
Murdering anyone coming into play
Slash another dead weight, already forgot his name
Been stabbed in the back but still carrying on with pain
Making ways through the field in sunshine and rain
Can’t stop cause the battle will continue—it won’t be delayed
No chance for the leading opponents to stay
No chance for the people who love to wait
Or for a team to win cause one always tries to claim
So it feels great to be alone—self-trusted, self-made
Fueled by determination and people’s hate
Breakin’ bones, slittin’ throats walking away in clothes bloodstained
Getting close to the end and still maintaining my frame
Finished out on top, lost many things but the lessons still remain.
He’s not a knight in shining armor but he provides me with an escape
He pours another glass and it temporarily heals my heart-break
As I watch him make me another drink
I have nothing to feel or think
He says to me “I think you’ve had enough”
I respond “I’ll drink till I find love”
So he pours me another cup…