The last time we saw each other, your feet were perched on the seat as you smoked a cigarette in my car. I tried to hide my grimace as the lights of passing cars played shadows on my face. The tobacco was bold and all-consuming. As I spoke about the turmoil of my schedule, I caught your bored gaze, wandering eyes and pursed lips. You wanted to keep talking about yourself. A heaviness latched inside me as I realised that I was not your friend, but merely a confidant. A sister. A therapist.
This pair of words, no matter what background you are from, may have elicited some sort of image or reaction from you; perhaps it’s a ‘helicopter mum’, or a pair of harsh and strict parents who disdain the arts and force their poor second-gen immigrant children to become doctors, lawyers or engineers. Maybe it’s the generational trauma passed down each line on the pedigree chart, a theme we have been seeing a lot in our media, depicting the stories of Asian immigrant families and the dynamic between traumatised parents and cultural freedom-seeking children.
The sweat. The rush. The crowd. The bounce. The game. It’s full throttle: no protective gear, played in the dead of winter, and known for being a petri dish for vulgarity and violence in its crowd. Aussie Rules is the sport for Australians. It’s as tough as its namesake nation — the soul of a home with over 60,000 years of history. It’s a game for all Australians…
Well, up until only six years ago, it was actually a game just for men.
The taxi fills with sunlight. I’ve never been to this city before, but as I look out the window, I instinctively know I’m in LA. The car pulls up in front of a bright white hotel with large circular pillars and gleaming windows.
“Ms Davis is waiting for you in the foyer,” says a suited employee while ushering me inside. My chest tightens in anticipation. Hollywood, Davis — this can only mean one thing.
I’m sitting in my first-year marketing class. The term ‘sitting in’ is a bit of a stretch, given that it’s 2020 and all of my classes have been shifted to this peculiar platform called Zoom. We’re learning about the premise of cost/sacrifice value and I’m half paying attention, thinking about whether or not I need to remember this information for this week’s Moodle quiz. Yet, fast forward to two years later and now every day I live the eternal struggle of evaluating the cost/sacrifice value of my silly little $6.50 almond latte.
I think my love affair with the bright side of life started when my dad and I watched Monty Python’s Life of Brian — we’re the only two people in our family of six who loved that movie. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Brian is mistakenly believed to be the messiah, despite his protests that he is just an ordinary guy. He is then sentenced to death and while all his followers and his girlfriend have the chance to save him, they instead vow to preach his teachings and form a new religion in his name. So, as he is hanging there after being crucified, his buddy the next cross along tells him to “cheer up you old bugger, give us a grin” and launches into song. Needless to say, the joke never fails to get a good laugh out of me.
Sometimes when you’re in need of a little hope, you might be inclined to venture outside for a walk or to enjoy a fun night out. Other times, you may simply want to retreat to your room, withdraw from the outside world, and enjoy some alone time.