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Jan. 2nd, 2005 @ 06:49 pm (no subject)
Warning, selfishness ahead. An unnecessary warning, perhaps, for what is an online journal but a masochistic exercise in narcisissm?

Goodness, what a way to end the year. 2004 left kicking and screaming and not wanting to let go, leaving its successor to come into the world bewildered and confused. So much shit has happened over break that I really can't tell you guys about here. You'll hear it from me soon enough, if I sufficiently know and trust you, but goodness, not here. It was a bad idea to come to New Jersey for the holidays, a really bad idea. And to think I was looking forward to avoiding the inevitable, helpless misery I would have felt watching my mother's sanity rot away in Taiwan.

I did get to spend New Year's with my old buddy Chris and his friends, though, which was a pleasant respite from Family Problems and a good opportunity to catch up on what I've missed out on by growing up in another country. I've always believed I'd have gone to Oberlin even if I hadn't moved to Taiwan, making this current stage of my life a sort of confluence of parallel universes, and visiting Edison again with my friends all grown up provided a strange sense of closure. Chris is still a truly decent person, one of the last, and I am incredibly thankful for him. He hangs out with grown-up versions of my friends from elementary school, the kind of people who I would kind of sort of know had I remained in New Jersey instead of moving away. People who drink, but not too much, and party, but not too hard, and make fun of each other, but not with guns. Good folk, most of them. Choir people, gamer people, people old enough to have personality but young enough to retain a shred of innocence. One of them threw a party in a cheap motel room over New Year's Eve, and we killed time waiting for the legendarily anticlimactic New York ball drop by playing Taboo and watching episodes of Family Guy on a laptop. When the garishly lit sphere finally buzzed down its column of Christmas lights, splashing fireworks all over the fuzz of the motel TV screen, we celebrated by not drinking (someone had forgotten to bring the booze) and acting as if we had. Felt like college.

Chris's family is awesome. Just sleeping in the guest room of their house imbues a person with a powerful sense of love and compassion and security. There's a cheerful spirit to Chris and Little Fishy and their mom and dad, a strength of character bolstered by faith in God and a strong support network. It makes me so happy that there are families that like his that remain secure and unbroken, resistant to tragedy, over the course of so many years. This is the family of American myth, the American Gothic of the hardy Asian immigrant. They are the legendary Normal People, of whose existence I was beginning to doubt. It gives me hope that a family so similar to mine--as young children, Chris and I were often mistaken for brothers--can survive for so long, not only intact but untainted.

Meh. I am waxing melodramatic again. That is my signal to stop typing.
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