Thinking “I’m a complicated human being” has preceded all my worst looks this semester. Maybe I should attempt to be somewhat predictable. I should make it a New Year’s resolution. I’ll let you know how that goes. Jokes, but I couldn’t always laugh.
My friends would be concerned that I’m still hung up on a boy who said he’d go on a date with me just to play me. But I can’t help it. We all agreed that I would move on, but I still check to see if he texted back. It’s been a month. I know I talked a big game about self-love, but that doesn’t mean flipping my hair until I break my neck.
I asked a boy out on a date for the first time. I knew I caught feelings when I wasn’t just jealous. He’s a vision of my inner self-image, and I guess all this self-love has been working since I just think he’s so sunny and dreamy and extra. I asked him out real timid-like in a text because I got a 40 on the first prelim, but I wouldn’t have done it in person even if I was still enrolled. As soon as I pressed send, I instantly regretted it.
I spent my time at the Willard Straight sit-in eavesdropping on a discussion about students of color that didn’t care about it. I didn’t pull a muscle to realize they were referencing Asian-American students. Honestly, I was there for only half of the sit-in, so I am part of the problem. Part of this column is to offer an excuse (there are none) but also challenge the Asian-American identity in terms of racial justice. My dad emailed me a Washington Post article and said we needed to talk.
Open queer people declare their pride amid rainbow flames while homophobic and transphobic masses still exist. But I’m not proud. I’m jealous. Pride parades remind me of a Russell Peters bit. His dad momentarily tunes to one on television and sees some brown boys.
A Cornell acceptance letter lulled me into The Best Little Brown Boy in The World dream. Now drunk on my parents’ pride (which I had sacrificed my adolescence to obtain), I could finally say “Cornell” to that Naila Aunty. I lapped up the devotion, especially since it came after my much gossiped-about high school rejection from Brown Hogwarts (my mother boasted of my application despite its patent lack of magic). Dreams fade. My parents believed The Best Little Brown Boy in The World should slice brains and, to preserve my momentum, I agreed.
I was obsessed with gods when I was a kid. I was raised detachedly as a Hindu, in which we had our own in-house puja every few months, went to the temple even less often and still ate beef when we had a hankering. I viewed my participation in Hinduism as an infrequent chore, but entertained a curious fascination with Hindu mythology. I devoured every edition of a comic book series that transformed the timeless and boundless sagas into picturized, bite-sized narratives. I took to the task of printing out pictures of gods, framing them and placing them somewhere in the house to bolster the divinity of our family.
For a long time since then I projected my insecurities on others. I felt like the only true way for me to be gay was to be unapologetically “fierce.” I acted and appeared as a stereotypical gay man and cut out anyone who I felt wasn’t with that. I began to see homophobia where it wasn’t. It took some hard looks in the mirror to see that me at my “fiercest” was me at my most repressed, most pretending to be something I’m not in blind pursuit of something that I thought I should be.
Jiddu Krishnamurthy was a prominent figure in eastern Indian wisdom throughout the 20th century. He believes everything, including all life, is interconnected. He would likely recoil at “eastern Indian wisdom” because it demarcates specific arbitrary groups. “Eastern,” “Indian” and the like. Social psychology tells us that as an in-group becomes more mobilized and tight-knit, the atmosphere is increasingly ripe for conflict with out-groups — individuals seek out similarities and in turn segregate differences.
The scariest film I have ever seen. I had only lived for seven years when I watched it but thirteen years and dozens of horror movies later, most of which rattled me to my core, The Boy Who Was Swallowed by the Drug Monster still checks out. Vince Jackson’s parents are getting a divorce. He befriends a miscreant who lets him borrow his “magic pipe” (pot) so he can feel better. Eventually, the miscreant says Vince must start coughing up, so he starts stealing money from his parents to keep getting high.