impressions on a misty day

i woke up at around 1:30pm today. staying up late to eat ramen with spam while watching (or trying to watch) infernal affairs at wook’s suite, i needed the extra hours of sleep. and there was no rush to get to work since i had told them i had been feeling sick. but putting those wet paper towels on my desk before sleep really did the trick. the nose was barely stuffy and my throat wasn’t so bad. i took my sweet time – showered, shaved, read some nytimes headlines, talked on AIM, and got dressed for work.

it’s raining outside, but not really. it’s a constant spray of mist coming from the side. i don’t have an umbrella, but an umbrella wouldn’t make a difference. i am glad that i have a scarf on. keep my throat area dry.

when you get to walk from 50th and broadway to 49th and park ave, it’s a very nice walk. it’s hectic during christmas season – there are policemen directing traffic and tons of holiday shoppers lugging their bought goods around. storefronts are gaudily decorated with bright lights and yet, i don’t feel any urge to participate in the season’s shopping frenzy. i’ll make it easy on myself and stick to an online solution for shopping. i walk by rockefeller center. i don’t even notice the tree – the all-so unimpressive rockefeller xmas tree that thousands of people from all over come to see each year. i walk straight to the dean & deluca across the street from the tree and wait in line to get my $2.01 coffee. i wonder when they’ll learn that starbucks reduced their $2.01 coffee to $2.00, or rather, the pretax price from $1.85 to $1.84. while waiting in line, i spot a lone apple crumb cake. i look below and see a pile of blueberry crumb cake. the staggering difference draws me closer to the apple crumb cake. i submit, and ask for the last piece. $3.25 for a mere pastry.

it’s a great feeling when you can walk into work at 3pm and you can still be useful at the office. 15th floor, i pass by all the superbowl logos of the past on the wall. human resources. warmly greeted, i am given work to do, which i confidently finish a few minutes later. i sneak in some thesis work on the computer while people are going in and out of the office – not that they would care – they are very supportive of my academic work. one of the HR generalist even let me film a scene for my project in her office. but i feel guilty so i start to do work again. i go around and consult with the benefits personnel and then i try to make some changes to the demo page of our up and coming intranet site.

it’s 6:30pm on a friday night and i leave work.

the walk back from 49th and park ave to 50th and broadway is quick. i am a running back in high school again, slipping through fur coated defenders and dodging swinging shopping bags. at the heart of the consumer culture that signifies the holidays, i can’t wait to get on the subway and go back uptown.

the train ride – the uptown (1) – is a pleasure because i find an empty seat by the second stop – 59th columbus circle. i have my sigfried kracauer theory of film book which i read on the way up. i am on the chapter about avant-garde film. it makes me want to become a free-spirited artist. there are no attractive girls on the subway tonight.

i need to pick up wine for a gathering of RAs. i get out of the 115th subway exit. i walk towards the corner of 115th and broadway on the side of lerner hall. a familar face. hello. she’s smiling. i don’t have much to say as usual and it’s that familiar awkwardness. and i fool myself into thinking i am so smooth – maybe she’s the exception.

john jung looking parisian classy wearing black turtleneck and fcuk blue gray jacket, cigarette in one hand and umbrella in another. i ask him to accompany me to the liquor store where i purchase a bottle of sauvignon blanc. we talk about whether or not i should grow my hair out. it’s getting long. john is considerate and puts his umbrella over me to keep me dry as well even though i do not mind the mist at this point. my glasses are like the front of a car window right before the windshield wiper comes by.

back to EC. i sit at a table in anil’s suite. some other RAs are there – rob, ashley, min, and then eliana and sean duffy. we drink a bit and talk. they like my wine. it’s nice and i love the diversity. we talk about race, celebrities, and RA experiences. i remember the first time walking into RA training as a junior – no friends, sorta intimidated by white people, dreading each minute. now i’m comfortable to call some of these people my friends and probably should hang out with them more in my final upcoming semester.

radio perfecto is a restaurant on amsterdam that opened last winter. i remember only a few days after its opening in january, me, mung and his grad student buddy jay sat at the empty bar and drank beer while chatting with the friendly, portly bartender. i walk, almost a year later, bustling with diners, i find wook and james waiting for me. we order our food. another bottle of wine, this time a pinot noir. it reminds me of sideways the movie because pinot noir is supposedly made from delicate thin-skinned grapes. i eat a salad – argula, black bean and shrimp with cilantro dressing. i like the feeling of not being stuffed but just satisfied enough. plus, i should get veggies whenever i can.

back in my room. i turn on all the lights. anil said when he’s coming home tipsy at night sometimes, he lets my bright ass lights guide his way back to EC. i live on the 14th floor and keep my blinds up at all times. it’s an office in here. ikea furniture. and my beloved plants – it’s been more than two weeks. a rubber plant, a small catcus, and a pothos plant. i have them on my outlook so i don’t forget to water them. wook caught me talking to my plants once when i watered them. yes, they’re living things too.

i watch Old Boy, a disturbing but very well made korean movie. i wonder if i could ever survive 15 years in soltitude confinement without knowing why i’m there and who is keeping me locked up. but i’ve been locked up for 21 years… haha sike. my nose clears up. no more blowing nose on rough napkins.

it’s a friday night and i think about messages in a bottle. yes, i am not alone at being alone. it’s a nice night.

One thought on “impressions on a misty day

  1. mo

    hey, i saw sideways too! the director came to school to talk about his movie…you know the korean chick in the movie is his wife? speaking of interracial couples…im not actually dating that “white boy” in my picture–it’s a joke, and he’s gay. oh, and way to applaud the “white” factor on my WALL, big guy…realllll smooth.

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