Tako — Every time I’ve come to Narita airport from Tokyo, it has been a sad trip. The perspective of leaving this megapolis that feels like my cute little hometown, has always made me cry. Many of the times I’ve ridden the bus to this airport, the rides have felt like 10 minutes. But today was the saddest of them all. My 15 year old son has left Tokyo after living one year with me. The two of us. He ca...
Hanoi — There are only 8 meals left. Eight. Tonight’s dinner (which I will make at home), two full days of breakfast, lunch and dinner and a quick breakfast before this self-sanctioned exile is over. Discover...
Fountain valley — As I sign your yearbooks, and read the cards and letters you’ve written me, I see the upside of saying good-bye. There is an indefinite amount of goodwill, friendship, and hope that we finally can exp...
The Smell of GoodbyeI smell like sadness, a dozen hot summer days infused to my skin, my pupils quiet in the darkness, smeared makeup, cheeto breath, and a thousands reasons to never wake up. I smell like mourning, when someone decides that life is not quite worth 100% while as death will have to wait: the silent grey of monotonous coexistence with reality. I smell like depression, the stench of unmotivation, last week’s morning hair stuck to my scalp. I bet you smell like sandle-wood and sweat. The perfect concoction of masculinity. Then the aroma of a fresh shower, the spice of natural body odor, the tinge of after shave. You’re an atmosphere I’ve almost forgotten existed, but yet can’t breathe without.I remember our smell: an infusion of salty, sweet, and everything in between. Eliciting the most positive kind of medley: like Thai food, just the right amount of all the flavors, the weirdest blends in a captivating combination. An impression that forever lasted, until yesterday.I think about all the yesterday’s because there won’t be any tomorrow, with you. I smell a hint of sour wine, the scent of regret. The brew-ish whiff of a handful of rotten grapes decaying on the windowsill. I smell raw blood leaking from my punctured fingers, grabbing handfuls of shattered glass. I smell smoke as the fire of your anger burns through my memory.I smell him, the acidity of betrayal in your eyes— a skunk would be jealous. The room reeked bitter of broken promises. You were the hallmark of vindication. Today it stinks of ripped hearts and rotting souls. I was the wild card you pulled from a sinking ship, and you were the quiet lullaby my mother used to sing me to sleep.Now you’re just a whiff of a scent I induce in retrospect. The unforgiving stereotype, the savory gourmet sauce that reminds me of criticism. I blame myself, I blame you. Unresponsive is my heart as I cut it from my chest with silver tendrils of crystal glass. It smells of cool afternoon and unwashed carpet. And then it smells like death. Self-blame is a hint of ashes and a rotting open wound filled with maggots. Suicide is the smell of disease infested waters and a million mosquitoes. I hope I’m the whiff you’ll recollect with a smile of sunshine and strawberry ice cream. Because today I smell like decaying contrition. A cold body wrapped in suffocatingly miserable ashes, a final goodbye.
the goodbye blues
The upside of goodbye (a letter to my students)
The saddest Narita of them all.
Bye bye Berlin
The dream of us is over.