Advertisement

Author Topic: Time Capsule  (Read 125 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Believe_N_Me

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12899
  • Respect: +444
    • View Profile
Time Capsule
« on: July 27, 2022, 10:14:30 AM »
"THE SWEATSHIRT"

       At the bottom of a basket and underneath a stack of winter clothes was where I saved it. Since I only wore it one time to look at myself in the mirror, it still smelled like the packaging. I didn't forget that it was there. I just hadn't thought about it being there because I struggled to cope with the memories. During the second weekend of C's visit, he convinced me to have our picture taken at the mall. The place was a small studio operated by some Hmong people whom I've never seen before. The backdrops were outdated and unflattering, but C could've cared less about appearances. He was hellbent on having our images immortalized so that he could frame it in his office.   
      While I searched the closet and rummaged through the dresser for a top, C pulled out the sweatshirt. "Hamline University" was spelled out in large, maroon block letters on gray fleece. My heart skipped a beat as he proceeded to measure it against himself. C remarked at the newness of it and then mentioned how it was too big for me. He asked how it came into my possession but before I could think of a suitable response he was already pulling it over his head. I hesitated to comment after he marveled about it being a perfect fit and wanted to wear it in the picture. I raised an eyebrow at him since I was under the impression that we'd dress a little more fancy. However, C was perfectly content going all casual and insisted on wearing the sweatshirt. I was about to object, citing that one should never wear a top with letter print in pictures, and that that sweatshirt was actually a sacred relic never to be touched, let alone worn. But there was no creative way to express that last part without disclosing some history of that sweatshirt. I gave myself a break and decided right then that this was exactly what I needed to start anew.
      Over the years the sweatshirt was mine in name only. It became a staple in C's closet. It was his goto top of all time on cold days. Even if I put it away with my clothes, C would always find it when he was going to do yard work like rake the leaves. One nippy day in October, it just popped into my head that I wanted to wear it on my walk. It would've only been the second time that I wore it. I remembered seeing it laying atop a pile of C's clothes, rolled up loosely and parts turned inside out. The bottom band was stretched out from wear, and the maroon letters were cracked and flaky from loads of washing. When I didn't find the sweatshirt where I last saw it, I went through my dresser and baskets. Nothing came up. Zilch. Nada. I didn't want to admit that I felt a sense of great loss.
     I waited until C came in from the garage to ask if he knew of the sweatshirt's whereabout. There was no immediate response because he had to think about which sweatshirt I was referring to. I followed him as he traipsed through the length of the house to wash his greasy hands in the bathroom sink. I couldn't tell if it was just an act - him suddenly not remembering which gray fleece sweatshirt I was talking about and all. I stood in the doorframe and waited for an answer, or a clue... anything. He closed the door and said that he needed to tinkle. Then from the other side of that same door he said:

      "I threw it away."
      "You threw it away?" I asked as though I didn't hear him clearly enough.
      "I threw it away," he repeated just as nonchalantly as before. "It was a bloody mess. I wore it last weekend when I went to help slaughter the cow."
      "You couldn't just have washed it? I would have washed it."
      "Nah. It was soaked in blood and smelled like guts."
      I contemplated about checking the trash bins when C added:
      "I threw it out last week. It's gone."
     
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miZU7r8fT0Q




   


« Last Edit: July 27, 2022, 03:37:11 PM by Believe_N_Me »

Like this post: 0

Adverstisement

Offline Believe_N_Me

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12899
  • Respect: +444
    • View Profile
Re: Time Capsule
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2022, 12:45:40 PM »
"PLAYDATES"

     His name was David. His light blonde hair was shaved so close to the head that it felt prickly like the heavy duty scrub sponge in our kitchen sink. His eyes were so light blue that they glistened and appeared translucent. He was only wearing short, gray bottoms when I first met him, or rather when I first heard him behind the large waste bins of the apartment complex.
     After tossing trash into the bin, I peeked around the corner to investigate what sounded like rocks hitting against a hard surface. I saw a row of empty soda cans placed near the brick wall of the building. He stood about ten feet back and took aim at them, shooting rocks with a bright orange, plastic, store-bought slingshot. I immediately thought how much better I was at taking out those cans. This kid was awful and who better to show him how to get the job done than me? I invited myself to his game by asking if I could have a try. He didn't object and proceeded to hand over the slingshot. The truth was that I had never played with slingshots before since my big brother would've killed me if I touched the ones he whittled from branches. Needless to say, I was the undefeated marbles champion in the 2nd grade at school so having excellent aim was something that came naturally to me.
     I closed one eye and strategically aligned the shot towards a can, then released the band. Pew! Bullseye! The can flew out and struck down at least three other cans. It was actually just a lucky shot. I was confident that I could do it, but not that confident. However, David jumped up and down ecstatically and we gave each other high-fives. For the next hour we took turns shooting and David got incrementally better. 
     Afterwards, we played in front of David's patio. I pointed out the building where I lived and asked him why he didn't go to my school. He didn't know why except that it was his old school and that he didn't want to leave his friends. I learned that David lived with his mother, a sister named Kim (who was in her teens), and an older cousin named Chris. I don't know why I thought it was worth mentioning that Matt and Jesse also only had a mom, and my friend Shirley, too. They were kids who lived in the complex. Shirley's mom was heavy, like David's mom, but Matt and Jesse's mom was slender. All details that seemed important to a child.
     I spotted my mom's white Corolla hatchback roll into the parking lot. At the same time, David's cousin stepped onto the patio and called him to eat. We waved good-bye to each other and said that we'd play again the next day.
     Everyday after that I looked forward to playing with David. The school bus dropped off my sister and me at the street entrance to the complex. I'd have to walk pass David's apartment on the way home and noticed that he had just come home from school, too. I tried to keep it low key when he waved to me from his cousin's car since I didn't want my sister to know about our friendship just yet. Then as soon as we stepped foot through the door, I'd throw down my backpack on the table and hightail out of there. My older siblings didn't seem to have any concerns about where I was going or who I was playing with and I never bothered to let them know either.
     David was not allowed to go past his building so we only played ball on the front lawn or watched tv inside. Chris would sit on the sofa, flipping through fashion magazines, but Kim was super fun and friendly. She curled my hair and played the Go-Gos on the record player. She dressed me up and applied make-up on my face. I'd come home with blue eye shadow but my mom didn't even notice.
     One day I unknowingly said David's name out loud. My sister thought I was talking about fat David Sparrow who lived next door. He was an older kid, about my brother's age, and kind of mean. He also had a sister named, Peggy, who was mean and not just kind of mean. None of the neighborhood kids wanted to play with her. Their mom was white and their dad, who came around once in awhile, was black. Anyways, once the cat was out of the bag my sister started tagging along with me to David's house. Soon, it became a girls' thing with other girls in the neighborhood inviting themselves to hang out with Kim. David and I started spending less time together until it suddenly stopped one day.
     It all happened when Kim, who was older than all of us, admitted to having a massive crush on Jesse. Both attended the same high school and she felt delighted that he lived in our complex. The plan was for the younger girls to lure him out by inviting Matt to play. Almost all the kids in the complex were latchkey. That is children without adult supervision other than an older sibling. The only person for the job was my sister since she and Matt were in the same class and he was kind of sweet on her. If all else failed, my sister would have Matt ask his older brother, Jesse, to go out with Kim. For some unknown reason to me, the rest of the girls felt motivated to confess their crushes. I started feeling nervous because I was afraid to tell them about John, a quiet boy in my class with caramel-colored hair and olive skin. John had deep-set dimples and the prettiest green eyes I had ever seen.
     When it was my turn to confess I completely lied through my teeth and said that I couldn't think of anybody. Just then, Kim called to her brother to come quickly. David appeared in the doorway with a sandwich in his hand. He looked annoyed at all the girls, including me, who stared at him like a sideshow freak. Kim made some random remarks about the two of us and then someone suggested that we kiss. David ran away immediately and I was nearly in tears from the humiliation. 


« Last Edit: July 27, 2022, 09:47:49 PM by Believe_N_Me »

Like this post: 0

Offline Believe_N_Me

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12899
  • Respect: +444
    • View Profile
Re: Time Capsule
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2022, 03:23:34 PM »
"REMNANTS"

     They wanted it all. Everything. All evidence must be thrown out and destroyed. It was the tradition. My mother relayed this message to me from the mediators. I scrambled into my bedroom and locked the door behind me. The girl in green was doing number one at the time so I was alone. Good. I pulled out all the albums and the size 6 shoebox from underneath my bed. I checked the stereo to make sure that it was empty - nothing in the cassette deck. Good.
     It was now time to say good-bye. I tried being ceremonious about it. I thought that I would cry, but I didn't. Two years reduced to a shoebox and a couple of slots inside three binders. I dumped everything into a plastic shopping bag and then dialed ###-530-9244. Brrring, brrring, brrring... Disrupted by a light knock on the door. It was my mother coming to check on me.
     "Are you in there alone?" she asked.
     "Yeah, mom. I'm almost done in here," I told her, hoping that she would go away.
     The phone rang two more times before my niece picked up. There was no time to explain anything as I ordered her to come by the house immediately. The matter was urgent. It was down to the seconds.
     "Open the door," my mother demanded from the other side.
     I dropped the bag with its sentimental content on the dresser and unlocked the door. My mom stared at me with interrogative eyes when I stepped out of the room. If I was sweating guilt then lock me up. I slowly moved into the room where they sat at a long table, their arms folded and surrounded by a sea of uncles, cousins and other male relatives. The only person in the room who didn't have his eyes on me was my own father. He was wiping away tears and blowing on his glasses.
     One of the mediators was the first to break the silence. He motioned that if there was nothing else then they should move on to the next phase. Just then, I spotted my niece weaving her way in through the crowd from the front door. I gestured for her to meet me in the bedroom and she quickly complied. By that time they were bored of me and did not care if I slipped away. There was no need to raise suspicion by shutting the door so I handed her the bag and whispered into her ear.
     "Keep this for me. Whatever you do, do not discard it."
     She nodded and then quietly exited the house unnoticed.

     When someone goes away all evidence of them goes away, too. It's as if the universe conspires to pause all traces of their existence. I began to wonder if it was ever real. Maybe it was all just a dream. It was certainly a head scratcher that even favorite songs on a mixed tape never coincidentally aired on the radio or played through the speakers at the mall. Perhaps it was better this way. Heart breaks are debilitating. They cause one to become dysfunctional. Breathing hurts. Crying stings. Waking up is a struggle. 
     Then one day they appear in a dream that ends too soon. Yelling at the alarm clock won't bring back the feeling of being embraced by their eyes and enveloped in their love. Of course, the appropriate response is to call in sick. Hide underneath the blanket and sleep away the day.
     If you live long enough to experience another opportunity to love again, you'll realize that life will give you a free lobotomy. However important or special you thought that person was, you'll find yourself reading the chapters of your past like it's somebody else's life. No evidence means no existence. And then BOOM! You're cleaning out the house decades later. A house that is located in a different city, a different state, and is completely detached from where you once were. And just like that you come across a remnant that was thought to have been lost, thrown out, or destroyed.     

     Don't underestimate the power of a piece of paper that is no bigger than the size of a hand. That little card traveled over 900 miles just to confirm that it was all real.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO_pZm6LCW0

 


« Last Edit: July 27, 2022, 09:52:40 PM by Believe_N_Me »

Like this post: 0

Offline Believe_N_Me

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12899
  • Respect: +444
    • View Profile
Re: Time Capsule
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2022, 11:36:23 PM »
"WHEN DADS ARE IN CHARGE OF THE KIDS"

     That morning I weaseled my way out of going to school by faking a tummy ache. I'm pretty sure my dad knew that it was all a hoax but he was too tired to battle it out with me. Besides, kindergartners started school late, which meant no bussing and parents had to drop off and pick up their own child. If you asked me, I did my dad a favor by giving him an extra hour of sleep.
     While dad slept without a care of what I was up to, I made my way downstairs into the kitchen where I poured myself a bowl of Honeycomb cereal. I didn't particularly care for this flavor but it was my brother's favorite and he usually got his way. I was careful not to pour too much milk since I knew that I wouldn't finish it. For some reason it really grossed me out to drink the milk after eating the cereal. Maybe because the entire time I was dipping the spoon into the bowl after eating from it. Yuck! Anyways, I spent the morning watching "Scooby-Doo" and then the "Polka Dot Door" on PBS. I skipped the shows with puppets because they creeped me out. The only puppet I liked was Kermit. Every other one of them had scary eyes and I didn't like the fact that their mouths stretched from ear to ear. They gave me nightmares.
     Around 12 noon the phone rang. My maternal uncle was on the other end of the line. He was surprised to hear me answer the phone and questioned why I wasn't at school. I didn't exactly give a reason and only told him that I just didn't go. He didn't press any further and instead, wanted to speak with my dad. I rushed upstairs to fetch my dad, who was actually just done washing up in the bathroom.
     Some time after my dad got off the phone, uncle showed up at the house with his three-year-old daughter. She reminded me of a baby doll with her rosy cheeks and bobbed haircut. I gave her one of the Strawberry Shortcake dolls and we pretended to play house with them. As we carried on, I overheard the dads briefly chat about uncle's car. Something wasn't right with it. Then my dad turned to me and explained that I would have to help watch over cousin for just a bit. He and uncle had to run to the store for auto parts and it was too much of a hassle to bring us both. Uncle held cousin's hand and told her to be good.
     "Don't cry. Stay with sister. See here. Play with the dolls. I'll be back soon," he persuaded her. She was actually being very good and not crying at all. Then he stood up and asked my dad if I was capable of the task. My dad reassured him that I could do it.
     "Don't open the door for anybody and don't answer the phone. Don't tell anybody that you're alone,"  my dad reminded me.
     "Okay," I promised.
     "I'm going to lock the door so don't open it," said my dad as he and uncle were leaving the house.
     After they left, cousin and I played with the dolls on the sofa. I explained that these were special dolls because they were scented like fruits, and then held one up to her nose. Her eyes lit up and I continued to hold each doll to her nose. I asked her to pick out her favorite one and her tiny finger pointed to Cherry Cuddler, which I received as a Christmas present from our sponsors. Then I heard cousin's tummy growl. She stopped playing dolls and told me that she was hungry. We went into the kitchen but there was nothing that she would eat. She pointed to the freezer.
     "Ice cream," she insisted.
     I opened the freezer door but there was only a blue freezer pop, which I bit off the end and gave to her. After finishing the freezer pop she still insisted on having ice cream. I explained that there wasn't any ice cream, but she could not understand me. However, I did know where we could get some. There was an open space between the back of our apartment building and a small plaza. At the end of the plaza was a convenient store that sold ice cream. My sister and I, along with friends, went there all the time to get ice cream cones. It was a bit pricey but the flavors were delicious. I told cousin to stay put while I went upstairs to fetch my coin purse. I remembered that I had exactly five dollars and some spare change. Since I didn't want to break up my five dollar bill, I counted my coins to make sure that I had exactly enough for one cone.
     I helped cousin into her shoes then closed the door behind us, leaving it unlocked since I didn't have a key. We were off to buy ice cream at Duffy's. I held her little hand as we went around the building and opened a loose board in the wooden fence. I assisted her so that she wouldn't scrape her legs. As we crossed the open space, she was frightened by the long grass that brushed against her legs and arms, but I told her not to look at them. When we got to the plaza I lifted her up to look into some of the storefront windows. We finally arrived at Duffy's. I was familiar with the man who owned the store. He waved hello and lowered himself to shake cousin's hand. However, I had no time for chit chat. I was strictly there for business and wanted to make it back before the dads got home. Cousin didn't have a flavor preference so I chose the strawberry for her. It had real strawberry fruit so I just figured that she'd like it. I told the man only one scoop. He rang us up and I gave him four quarters, two dimes, and six pennies. I knew this because my sister had shown me every time we went there.
     On the way back cousin made a great mess. Her face was smothered with ice cream. Her dress was wet and sticky. I tried to wipe it off but only made it worse. The dads were home shortly after we got back. They both noticed cousin licking away at her cone. Uncle didn't say much except that it was nice of me to give ice cream to cousin. I don't think he understood that it wasn't from our refrigerator. After they left, my dad asked me where the ice cream came from. I proudly explained to him how responsible I was to take cousin to Duffy's and even used my own money to pay for it. He suggested that I don't mention it to my mom.
 


« Last Edit: July 27, 2022, 11:41:34 PM by Believe_N_Me »

Like this post: 0

Offline Believe_N_Me

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12899
  • Respect: +444
    • View Profile
Re: Time Capsule
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2022, 01:14:32 AM »
"THE MIGHTY SHAOLIN MASTERS"

    In the summer of ## we became obsessed with Chinese Kung Fu movies, especially those that featured a female cast or a strong female lead. The two brothers, who lived in the west apartment building, came over to my maternal cousin's house on a regular basis. We watched our favorite movies and held lively discussions about the actors and actresses. We knew the brothers through one of our sister-in-laws. The younger brother, Ying, was attractive, athletic, and popular. On the other hand, his brother, Leng, got the short end of the stick when it came to the gene pool. He was clumsy, slow-minded, and not very good-looking. The motive behind their frequent social interactions was because my cousin Joua was attracted to Ying. Meanwhile, his brother Leng had strong feelings for my sister, who openly rejected him every time and gave him the elbow if he dared come close to her.
     One day my sister and Joua appeared dehydrated and exhausted. At first, they hesitated to divulge where they had been. They would only say that it was a secret. Joua's younger brother and I begged them to disclose their secret and when the pleading failed to work, we resorted to petty threats. Finally, Joua said that it was safe to let us know, but I could tell that she was dying to let the world know about their unusual activities with the two brothers.
Once the secret was out, Joua's brother and I expressed how much we wanted to be a part of it. The two girls promised that they would bring us along the next time.
     On the following day, we followed my sister and Joua out to the field behind the apartment complex. Ying and Leng were already out there waiting with two other younger cousins (A-Lee and Teng). As soon as we reached them Ying suggested that we get into formation and do warm-up exercises. The bad guys would be here soon to invade our village and we must protect the women and children. However, cousin Joua said that we should partner up so that each guy had his own wife to protect. Ying agreed that it was a good idea. He quickly claimed my sister to be his wife, which surprised Joua because she was hoping that he would choose her. She objected by reason that everybody should partner with the person closest to their age. Therefore, my sister should pair up with Leng and that she and Ying should be husband and wife.
     "But I already chose a wife," said Ying. "I guess I can take two wives. Joua, you can be the second wife."
     "Oh no. Then I'm out," my sister said and stepped back.
     "Fine. You can be my wife," Leng suggested happily. My sister gave him the death stare.
     Joua recommended that we figure it out later. Meanwhile, she ordered me to choose between A-Lee or Teng. I complained that they were shorter than me. I pointed out that husbands should be taller than their wives and why couldn't we just be the children in the village? In fact, nobody had to be husband and wife. We agreed that everybody would be a mighty Shaolin master instead.
     In the field, we built our village from mud and tall grass. The boys found discarded wooden sticks and drywall from an apartment building that was undergoing renovations. We practiced sword fighting and punched through the dry wall. Ying showed off by stacking a bunch of them together so that he could do a roundhouse kick. We trained fiercely by climbing over the walls that divided the patios on the first floor. Just then, a man shouted at us to get away from the building. We scrambled over the dividers, leaving my cousin (Joua's brother) behind. His chubby body struggled to keep up and we heard him cry. Ying told us to run to the field as he went back to assist the fallen warrior.

UPDATE:

Those boys moved away the following summer. My sister and Joua never saw their "husbands" again but I ran into them by coincidence at the Fresno New Year. I had a cousin who wanted to introduce me to some cute [clan name] boys that she met the day before. At first, I didn't recognize any of them. I didn't know why their names didn't ring a bell either. That is until I kept telling myself that I only knew of one A-Lee [clan name] and how could this person share the same name? I looked at them closer and then asked if they used to live in [city, state]. They smiled and nodded. Then they teased me about not remembering them or even recognizing who they were. Ying and I were actually in the same homeroom for two years and played together during recess. He'd pick me first in gym class and fend off the bullies. He wasn't very good in school so I let him copy off me. Also, he never brought any snack during reading so I'd share half of whatever I packed from home. I'm glad to report that A-Lee and Teng grew up to be taller than me.  O0
 



« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 01:42:08 PM by Believe_N_Me »

Like this post: 0

Offline Believe_N_Me

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12899
  • Respect: +444
    • View Profile
Re: Time Capsule
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2022, 09:41:22 AM »
"THE PRAYER"

Oh my Heavenly Father,

Only You know who I am. You are the One who truly knows my heart's desires, and only You know how to fulfill them. I love him with all of my heart, this You know well. However, if he is not the one that You intend for me then I will wait for the one that You saved for me. As much as it pains me and leaves me broken, I trust Your judgement and Your plan. For you see things that I don't and Your ways are better than mine. I will abide by Your timeline and accept only the gifts that You give. Therefore, my heavenly Father, I will wait with joy for what is to come. I only pray for peace in my heart and the strength to move on.

Amen 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wInJlp8rviw


« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 03:02:36 PM by Believe_N_Me »

Like this post: 0

Offline Believe_N_Me

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 12899
  • Respect: +444
    • View Profile
Re: Time Capsule
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2022, 03:53:53 PM »
"MAIV NOOG COMES TO TOWN"

     The day started out like every other Saturday. The uncles played "kaj taub" on the grassy area while we kids chased each other around the playground. At some point everybody banded together to try and take down Fong, who was my uncle but only four or five years older. Nobody could ever beat him at any of the games, whether it was Chinese jump rope, tag, or cards. This time he was taunting us from the top of the jungle gym tower, knowing that none of us could reach him. Suddenly, one of the boy cousins who was closer to Fong's age scaled across the monkey bars and up the tower. Fong shifted his weight in preparation to jump off the tower as A closed in. Needless to say, the rest of us was rooting for A. Just as A stretched out his arm to tag Fong, Fong leaped in the air like a flying squirrel and landed with both feet in the sand.
     "Ha! Never!" Fong shouted and laughed at us.
     One of the big kids ordered us to chase him down until another boy cousin successfully caught the hem of his shirt. The boys held him down so that everybody could get a turn tagging him.
     "You're out...you're out...Fong's out..." we chanted playfully.
     "No fair. You guys are a bunch of cheaters," he objected.
     Just then, Fong's older brother was scolding us about climbing on top of the tower, to which we all cleared our names by pointing the finger at Fong.  Nobody was in the mood to play tag after the scolding. We decided to gather at my niece's house. She was older but since there was no one else close in age she often hung around us.

.....to be continued


« Last Edit: July 29, 2022, 05:43:28 PM by Believe_N_Me »

Like this post: 0

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 81010
  • Respect: +547
    • View Profile
Re: Time Capsule
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2022, 02:40:46 PM »
 O0



Like this post: 0
"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears." Les Brown

 

Advertisements