Hairy Conversation

Hello hair. How are we doing today?

I'm feeling very fragile today.

Oh yeah? How so?

You subjected me to a rather harsh Japanese perm! That was quite a shock to the system!

Well, you haven't been behaving lately, and I hate how limp and lazy your body is.

Well I hate you too for treating me this way. I'm your crown and glory!

Crown and glory my ass -- you are starting to turn this ugly shade of cigarette ash! It's distasteful!

It's not my fault I'm losing my colour! You should try being me!

I suppose it's not your fault you're limp and lazy too?

What can I do? I'm thick and course, and I can be whatever I fucking want!

And so can I! I've let you grow long and limp far too long. It was time for a makeover!

But I got fried! I've become wet noodles! I'm worse than ramen!

Don't be a drama queen. You'll be fine. You'll get over it.

Oh what am I going to do? I'm so dry the Sahara can cry tears! I'm flaking more than a snowstorm in Saskatchewan! Poor me!

You're so needy! You sound like you're always a separate entity!

I AM a separate entity! I have a mind of my own!

That's not surprising. I always need to get you under control!

You're worse than a fascist scum! You will never be the boss of me!

I think you better start behaving before I decide to shave you down to the scalp! How do you like that?

Oh woe is me! Now I'm being threatened with a buzz cut! How horrible!

Memory of Rain

This evening, the world was drenched in an unceasing downpour. Intense rain lashed at our patio door glass like tiny liquid whips. In the distance, thunder rumbled hungrily. I haven't heard the rain fall this hard in a while -- it brought up memories of warm monsoon rain, the lash of typhoon winds, glistening dirty puddles in the streets, and rolling clouds in different hues of dishrag gray. Memories of my college years stuck at home reading books in bed, the rain rattling the galvanised roof. The sound would often make me sleepy -- the rain inviting me to a welcome slumber of a drowned world.


We had a picnic yesterday at Jericho beach with our neighbour Ana. We decided we needed to get out of the house. I didn’t want to hear any more COVID stories, and wanted to feel the sun and wind on my unmasked face.

I packed snacks and drinks, and we headed across town. The day was simply gorgeous — one would think it was a normal summer. We found parking just beyond the Beach Cafe, and settled ourselves under a tree, in front of a huge log. We sat on our chairs, and chatted aimlessly. I wasn’t paying any attention. My eyes were on English Bay, the waters shimmering in the sun, and the verdant hills of the north shore. Further to our right was Stanley Park and the skyscrapers of Vancouver disrupted the placid lines of the mountains.

I closed my eyes and leaned my head back, feeling the cool salty breeze on my face. The sun was too bright; even though my prescription sunglasses were polarised, I was still squinting.

I missed this moment of peace — a moment that all is right with the universe, with the blinding sun heralding a semblance of sweet happiness.

Someday we can have more of this. Someday we can actually get together and hug.


Both Sides Now

A couple of years ago, I attended a funeral of a friend who was well-loved in the faerie community. The organisers asked me to sing a closing hymn in full drag. I solemnly obliged, and took to task to memorise a Joni Mitchell classic. The last words of the song hit me so hard that it was almost difficult to finish the song:

I've looked at life from both sides now

From up and down and still somehow

It's life's illusions I recall

I really don't know life at all

It would be erroneous for me think that life would actually teach me lessons, let alone tell me who I am. Life was a bitch, uncompromising yet strangely democratic. Why in the world would life bother with me?

I would like to think I am a stronger person by now, resilient, and wise, but I do not think — or feel — that’s any closer to my own truth.

No, I have no idea what life has told me of who I am. I really don’t know life at all.

The Paths We Take

I was a huge fan of Snoopy and Charlie Brown. I loved Charles M. Schulz’s comics — seemingly innocent and childlike, but with very adult themes that border on wistfulness and introspection.

Snoopy inspired to be a comic book illustrator. I drew and painted my own comics, created stories so fantastic that if I read them today I would cringe so much I would want to shrink to the size of an ant and scuttle away in a dark crevice.

But the desire to create endured, and it became the guiding light of my career. I was eventually accepted to a fine arts college at the state university. But fate had other ideas: a former classmate encouraged me to take visual communication instead of painting, and that prepared me for an entirely different path. I do not begrudge it. I am happy where I am now.

But I do sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had taken painting instead, and how different my career path would be.