Uniqlo + Marimekko

Whilst shopping for a puffer jacket at Richmond Centre with Shirley, I described to her the perfect and comfy puffer jacket from Uniqlo in collaboration with Finnish designer Marimekko: a red and black cocoon jacket with retro floral prints. I told her I didn't get it at that time because it was for women, but I have been thinking about that jacket ever since.

That was 2 years ago.

"You can wear whatever you want," Shirley said. "No one will know it's for women."

I paused and reflected what she said. I have been wearing women's clothing for drag, and I was afraid to wear a women's floral jacket on a daily basis. A jacket that not only would make me happy, but would also make me comfy and warm. And it fits like a dream.

So I promised myself the next time I go shopping, I would venture over to the women's section and not be afraid to try on women's clothing.

Gray

I was born in the early hours of Sunday, the first of my siblings. The golden child. The child who could do no wrong. Everyone in the family knows it.

My mother tried her best to raise me in the Catholic faith, but I found the concept of god numbingly absurd. I actually did make a few bargains with god before realising I didn’t need a man-made omnipotent deity to live my life.

I devoted my life to the arts. Creation and destruction were the same sides of a universal coin. I had learned see both beauty and sadness in every thing and in every experience.

I grew tired of enforced gender binaries; the toxicity of masculinity and the frailty of patriarchy. I hated English for its pronouns defining two genders. I celebrated Tagalog for only having one.

I danced with the faeries under the moonlight, by the still waters of a lake in the middle of Squamish. The magical romp filled me with unrestrained joy. I was laughing again.

I always wonder about the bolts of grey in my hair, inspecting them every morning in front of the mirror—badges of honour for having come this far.

The Vulnerability of Writing

I think that the discipline of writing opens up oneself to a vulnerable authentic side that no one really knows, except perhaps your most intimate relations, a side more hidden than the dark side of the moon. Vulnerability can be scary, and so does being authentic. They both put the spotlight on you for all the world to see — perhaps you would feel judged by what others uncover. Perhaps ashamed or embarrassed of what people may think.

But does that really matter? Can you really control who you are, and the stories of self you may want tell? Being in that spotlight can also be liberating, uplifting even. Like a sunflower turning its face to the unerring brightness of the sun. Imagine the freedom of not being afraid anymore. Imagine the countless words waiting to pour out from yourself like a new fount of clear spring.

Imagine the possibilities.

An Excruciating Birthday

So in lieu of celebratory indulgences yesterday (well, I can't do anything much because of COVID), I went for my scheduled torture session with my physio.

The therapist had gotten wind it was my birthday and asked what I was doing after physio. I joked I'd probably bake something but my dough never rises so I must be a witch. He giggled as he moved my left arm to an excruciating position and he started pushing at it to open up my shoulder.

I grimaced in pain, tears welling in my eyes as I breathed through the agony.

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you..." the therapist sang softly to me in his Scottish baritone as he continued pushing at my arm.

"Don't make me laugh," I said, still grimacing. "You're sweet but don't make me laugh while I'm in this excruciating position!"

Needless to say, that actually made my day.

Torture

I literally cried through the pain yesterday during my physio. Tears streamed down my face as the therapist worked my stubborn shoulder.

"I'm so sorry for the torture," he said as he moved my arm in a most excruciating position.

"It's okay," I sobbed, breathing through the pain. It felt like I was being worked over by Nanny McPhee: there was no sympathy but I knew the pain would be good for me.

When I woke up this morning, I found I had regained more of my range of movement without wincing in pain.

I look forward to more torture.

I Still Wake Up

Yesterday was #worldmentalhealthday.

I finally went back to physio yesterday morning because I was tired of the stiffness and dull pain on my left shoulder that disrupted my precious sleep for the last several months and limited my range of movement. The therapist concluded it was adhesive capsulitis. I hate that I was at risk for this shit because of age and diabetes.

My current glasses don't work anymore. I'm tired of ordering new glasses. I hate glasses. I hate not being able to read properly up close. I hate presbyopia.

I hate that my body is slowly deteriorating over time in several tiny different ways. I hate taking my medicines. The increasing number of tiny little pills and daily anti hyperglycaemic injections remind me of my mortality. I hate that my ability to cope is impeded by the pandemic and all the anxieties that come with it because as a species, people are just dumb as fuck.

Yesterday was #worldmentalhealthday. Much as I find life exceedingly tedious, I still wake up, and today is a new day.