Salome Magazine
covenant dance chamber archives gatekeeper
LAce Posted Monday, February 21st, 2005
Teresa Pham

Sometimes I lay on the light, cream-colored carpeting of my room, on my side, my head resting on my bent arm, staring at the Easter bunny pink walls, my mouth partially open (it tends to stay that way) as I try to fill my head with brilliant, original thoughts of my own, trying to be like great philosophers, authors, inventors, architects, and visionaries before, with, and after me. My mind fills with useless tidbits of information, the lunch schedule for tomorrow, my best friendís middle name, the origins of my tiny turtle in his plastic carrying container, purchased from the streets of LA; memories emerge occasionally, that one time on the beach, sun setting as I splashed through the waves, water so cold, my jeans soaked through, frothy waves as I slapped the surface with my hands, so delicate-looking as they disappeared under the surface of the water momentarily. The slight breeze, the sea spray tangling my fine, straight hair, my breath catching as I stared off into the nothingness of aquamarine, so unsettling- the feeling of revelry, wonder, my mind only draws the ghost, a vague shadow of those same emotions. Blank and bland, but trying to be more, like my sad pink wall, the color so muted even though in the can and on the swatch shown on the shelves of Home Depot, it looked almost neon. Trying to be the all-American girl: jeans and a t-shirt, ribbons in my hair, paper bag lunch to school, small talk with the neighbors over the fence of our pretty little suburban home, humming the Star-Spangled Banner off key. Trying not to be like every other American girl: the failed attempt to dye my hair blue, poetry scribbled in a cutesy Hello Kitty notebook, proudly bilingual and literate in Vietnamese, sniffing in disapproval at perfectly manicured nails and big, smoky eyes, the obvious product of much time (and money) wasted on makeup every morning. Lying on the floor of my room, glazed eyes as I stare at the wall, young Vietnamese-American girl, never what I try to be, no philosopher, not author, no inventor, and no visionary. Giving up, I sit up, carefully slipping a CD disk into my stereo; the first song comes on, loud with a catchy beat; I stand up, and as I twirl around to the song, no thoughts, almost primal, I am, for once, not trying at all.

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Katrina Denza on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005 at 7:52 AM
Teresa, This is glorious. I love it!

Posted by Teresa Pham on Thursday, February 24th, 2005 at 2:22 PM
Thanks Katrina =). I'm just a silly 16-year-old trying to write my way through life...

Posted by Katrina Denza on Thursday, February 24th, 2005 at 4:03 PM
Well, judging by the quality of writing I see in this piece I expect you'll have a very fine life. :) Nice work!

Posted by Sharon Hurlbut on Friday, February 25th, 2005 at 12:35 PM
Lovely piece, Teresa, and the title is perfect. We've all been there, trying to fit in and figure ourselves out all at the same time. The ending just soars. Sharon

© Copyright 2002 Salome Magazine. All rights reserved. email gatekeeper