semi-permanent beast

Self portrait 1.0
cr; lamahkun @ Facebook

It worries me that I spent NYE sitting at home catching up on performances from Korean end-of-year award shows. Rather than drive the 15 minutes to my friend’s farm for cosy NYE board games and drinkage. Rather than watch the brightness of the Sydney fireworks on the living room TV with my family. Rather than sit outside my yard watching mildly illegal fireworks prickle off and explode in sparkles of colour at the high school behind my back fence – which they have been for the past hour and continue to crackle away on a balmy night that drips with promise.

I got home at 8PM after spending the past four days swapping driving shifts in Melbourne and in between Melbourne and Sydney while listening to craploads of old pop, Western pop, K-pop, J-pop – I convinced myself not to buy a t-shirt that said ‘J-pop’ and sought refuge in the thought of creating one at home emblazoned with ‘K-pop for life’. I tried to eat myself toward the point of vomitting, sought cool shelter in the National Gallery of Victoria before melting on the sidewalk trekking from Queen Victoria Night Markets back to the apartment. Halfway through a bowl of wonton noodles on Russell, a cousin took a seat beside me and carefully placed his helmet on the next table. He’d taken a chance early that morning to ride his motorcycle from Sydney to Melbourne not realising that his cousins would also be there at the same time. He and I went looking for new friends on what was my last night in the city.

‘Have you done this before?’ I asked, sussing out a quartet waiting at the lights. Mildly tall, Asian-looking, cute-ish and heading toward San Churro, at least according to my lack of 20-20 vision. His glance met my bitten lip – habitual lip-biting thanks to mild anxiety-slash-overanalysis.

‘Once before, but accidentally,’ came my cousin’s reply as he assessed and digressed the situation. Two mildly dyed-up Asian girls, donned in skin-tight corsets and jeans that were clearly skinnier than my own, were most definitely coupled up with the two Caucasian guys. I half-decided I wanted my own skin-tight white corsetry before realising that we were assessing two different groups.

We ended up at a rooftop bar with a familiar yet unexpected face. As workers packed away the remains of the rooftop cinema, we draped across the railing making small talk and watching the New Years’ Eve Eve folk trickle across the astroturf. It felt mildly depressing that I spent most the night over-agonising to my own rambles and tacking them onto the ends of conversation, convinced that my cousin thought me more odd than usual and that his friends thought none too similar.

Self portrait 2.1
cr; lamahkun @ Facebook

I spent most of the year looking, but never really finding. I let myself settle, convinced to go with the flow and tried so hard to find what it was that I was so sure I was looking for, but could never feel truly satisfied. It worries me that I find so much near-implosive joy when I’m watching things online, reading things and fangirling and letting myself be carried away by the hilarious things filtering through my 22-inch screen instead of being in the genuine company of friends or enjoying the intricate pieces and nuances of real life.

In all honesty, I don’t mind being alone but these days it feels like I’ve spent so much time being alone that maybe I’ve become lonely before beginning to realise it as such. I reach for conversation and never feel as satiated like I used to be. I sit online and I blog and look to people I’ve never met. I know I spend so much time living inside my head, ‘feeling’ satiated by the stories in my head, but never ‘being’ because I spend so much time in my own world trying to find something. A connection, contentment, something to mirror all the things I see between people and moments that sit alone, but are so much more. I long to the point where I feel like I’m aching for something that will fill this void that I can’t quite place.

I used to write a lot when I was at uni and I used to channel parts of myself through the characters I’d create. I remember refusing to write in first person, despite the advice of lecturers and peers, because I was so adamant at never letting myself get too close to the characters. I hated writing in first person because I was convinced the folks in my workshop could see parts of me radiate from the page and it fucking scared me. It still does. I still hate writing in first person and I still hate writing stupid personal shit on blogs because it feels like all my fears and vulnerabilities are laid out for everyone to see. Hello stupid thought is stupid – the whole point of writing a blog is to do so with the knowledge that it will be read by someone. Never mind the fact that I hate self-indulgent blogs with a passion – yeah, watch me guzzle word vomit.

I keep most of my thoughts in text messages, conversation, freakishly long emails, private messages, the odd glance and common understandings between myself and the few albeit growing fewer close friends that I have. I don’t know why I’ve suddenly taken to laying bare some of my insecurities. Maybe it helps.

Self portrait 2.2
cr; lamahkun @ Tumblr

New Year’s resolutions tend to expire three months into the year, but anyhoo. This year I will:

  • Re-learn guitar. Specifically Julie Delpy’s waltz from Before Sunset and Lisa’s acoustic version of what is possibly my most favourite Korean song ever,누난 너무 예뻐 (Replay). My mum’s guitar has been shooting evils from the corner of my room all year.
  • Travel a.k.a. take some damn leave already. Specifically to hit up the USA in April so I can finally meet the Facebook friends I’ve been chatting for two years. And I will inhale bits of Hong Kong, Korea and Japan before this year ends.
  • Take more photos.
  • Spend more time in real time a.k.a get my damn arse offline.

In other news: my day-after-Christmas was spent with my primary school friends rolling, frying and steaming pork 140 dumplings, attempting to make a Domokun cake, making and inhaling Vietnamese prawn salad with jellyfish of awesomesauce, trying to make a roast pork mildly Korean with ssamjang sauce, watching my friend make implosively good green tea meringues. I later indoctrinated said friend and virgin Korean drama friends (yes, they exist) with 미남이시네요 (You’re Beautiful). Quite possibly the best/only Christmas I’ve had in a very long time.

NB: Dear Lamah – please stop me from hocking your beautiful photography to break up the monotony of my blog. I will buy you OJ if you do.

6 thoughts on “semi-permanent beast

  1. Wooot! Lovely post Margaret! Happy new year dudette, hopefully I'll be seeing you across the ocean? Here's to the new year of 2010, cheerrrrrrrssssssss! 🙂

  2. …You're in Melbourne right now?!?! :OI personally think this has been the best blog post you've written ever since I've been a regular follower of yours. I guess it's cause everything you wrote was written so well (then again, you always are on your writing game) and also casue I felt everything was relatable to me. I hope you have a wonderful 2010, Margaret Tran!

  3. Margaret! LOL 3 MONTHS EXPIRATION? HAHA lasts longer than mine, mine is about 1 month and a bit then I forget…. *LOOKS AROUND*I watched the Korean Music Festival 2009, omg CL & GD AHHHH I was going a nuts over that haha. The way they move are in sync. Damnn!!Hope you had a great first day into 2010.May this year bring you more happiness & excitement WOOOO, have a good one lovely. xx

  4. I know what you mean about channelling yourself through different characters in your writing. Writing a story was practically diary time for me. I can fully relate to the being alone thing. Sitting at home looking for your own entertainment seems to guarantee a better chance of finding it for me. But after going out so much in VIetnam, I'm more willing to go out and do stuff (if only things were closer by like they are in Vietnam). Your graphics!! I'm going to be pwned. T_T

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