This photo was taken at Ground Zero of what remains of the World Trade Center. On September 14, three days after the planes crashed and burned the Twin Towers, it rained. By nightfall the rain ceased and dust settled in the city. It was time to go to the funeral.
I headed for East Village. St. Mark’s Place was bustling. People were in shock but in good spirits, a camaraderie that graciously emerges when tough times unite a group of people. I had Japanese noodles at a hole in a wall so crowded it felt like the end of the world. We all slurped our noodle soups like it was. After that I knew I was ready for my pilgrimage downtown.
I walked around the barricades to make my way closer to the ruins. Even in shattered pieces, the World Trade Center was impossibly huge. First responders worked round the clock. I took a good look and got out of their way. I bought an American flag off a vendor and tucked it into my bag as I walked away. The subway smelled of Lysol and burnt flesh. Firefighters off their shift slumped in their seats on the train. They stared dead ahead of them in between nods at people who thanked them for their service.
I had a ticket for Rocky Horror Picture Show on Broadway in my pocket, purchased weeks prior. The show was going on that night and I wasn’t about to miss it. Dick Cavett was the Narrator. He talked about life and death and life going on. Each one of us with beating hearts do our part to keep life going.
Back then, New Yorkers were in it together, regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. How did that same event that united a city become the catalyst to a war with no end in sight?
To wander in the fields of flowers,
pull the thorns from your own heart.
I have demons in my closet and they speak to me. They speak truths so true they wedge thorns so deep in my heart I reach longingly for rope. I huddle under hanging clothes and bury my head between my knees. I am worse than worthless. I am the destructor of all potential, the black cloud that sucks the marrow out of joy, the hand that turns gold into shit. I hide from you because I am ugly. No one wants to see me. If I don’t breathe… If I don’t make a sound… If I could un-exist without fanfare, without drama, without ultimate harm on the people I love.
Out of all the painful truths, there is that toxic lie: that I am alone in this world, that no one cares, that I can swallow up all my demons and destroy them by destroying me. If you understand what I’m going through, then you must recognize that lie woven into the truths.
This is me coming out of my closet. I am airing it out. These demons will have to speak to me in the light of day just as well as they speak to me in the dark. These thorns in my heart, I don’t know how to pull them out yet, but I will let pain teach me compassion.
Join me. Let’s not be alone together. You are needed.
Uncle Tim came home with a dead deer in the back of his truck. There was already one hanging upside down in his barn, but it was his brother’s. Uncle Tim is the man when it comes to field dressing deer. I remember a few Thanksgivings back when he bagged a hermaphrodite deer. He called it “queer deer” (pronounced kwee’ yah dee’ yah around these parts). I took photos, asked questions, no judgement. Uncle Tim seemed to enjoy my company. He entertained my questions and didn’t mind me taking pictures. I’d been in the family a long time but I know I’ll always be foreign to him.
A 14-year-old niece asked my advice on modeling, photography, and how to get her swollen lip to go down. She had gotten a piercing above the left side of her lip. Last summer she also asked my advice on eyebrow issues; first when she had shaved them off, drawn them on with a pencil, and given her face a surprised look; then when she had drawn them so thick they looked sharpied on. She may have found a happy medium with the eyebrows since then. Or maybe I didn’t notice on account of her fat lip.
“I brought my homemade mini pumpkin pies. Gluten-free!” I offered her. I made a batch every year.
“Oh my god, I love you!” She hugged me as she stuffed one in her mouth.
16-year-old Dylan also came up for a hug. He had grown from a chubby boy with Freddie Mercury teeth to a young man with short blonde hair, braces, and a hot bod! Call me a perv, but his good looks are not lost on me. The hug felt good. I walked right into his arms. He wrapped them around my back and squeezed.
“Auntie May, would you like to see my football videos?” he asked.
I glanced at his mother, an overweight blonde woman a few years younger than me but looking haggard. She sat on the other side of the room, clutching at her yappy little pomeranian, while she sobbed about her dog that died last summer. Her pomeranian upchucked a piece of turkey right onto one of the guests. A ruckus of cleaning up and apologies ensued.
“Sure!” I sat on the couch next to him as he pulled up junior varsity football game videos on his laptop. I became self-conscious of my minidress being a tad too short. His fingers tapped on his muscled thighs, dangerously close to mine. We watched his videos together. I heaped praise on his moves and watched him blush.
I’m aware of my “sexy aunt” status. Being asian and married to a white man makes me an “other” in his family; a hot exotic creature they can fix their fantasies on without feeling incestuous. I kinda like it. It feels good to be desired. And when I’m alone with my man I tell him I’m going to hire Dylan to mow our lawn this summer. I’m going to watch him peel his sweaty shirt off as he pushes the lawnmower around our backyard. I tell him I’m going out in a sheer little sundress, no bra, no panties, to bring the boy an ice cold lemonade. I whisper all the many naughty things I’m going to do. Whether I actually do it or not is beside the point. It makes my man hard to hear about it. It’s our connection together on a fantasy so immediate and so naughty that matters.
Did you have a sexy aunt when you were growing up? What fantasies did you have of her? Tell Auntie May all about it.
A cruel late autumn wind hit the man on his cheek like a slap on the face. The day had been warm and sunny when he and his wife began the hike up to the top of the mountain. He carried a picnic basket on his back gaily while she prattled along the trail ahead of him. As they approached the sheer cliff of the summit, the wind had its way with the couple. Sparse trees swayed and shook. Red leaves barely holding on finally let go in a swirl.
At the edge of the clearing, a girl sat in a swing that hung from a maple branch. The couple beheld the sight of her dark silhouette suspended from twin ropes. An exorbitant amount of ribbons, ruffles, and bows made her seem out of place in the wild outdoors. She would have made more sense in a Victorian doll house.
The couple looked at each other in disbelief. The man wondered if they were looking at an art installation or a fashion mannequin. The woman looked around for any other people within the vicinity. They were alone.
The girl turned and focused her piercing blue eyes on each of the hikers, assessing whether they were friends or foes. The woman was quick to speak.
“Hello! We’re here for a picnic! Would you like to join us? We have food!” The woman motioned to her husband to take the contents of their picnic basket out.
“Right, right, food!” The husband busied himself setting up a blanket on a patch of grass. He took out apples, grapes, bread, cheese, and salami.
The girl smiled. “I’d love to!” In one swift motion, she leapt from the swing. Her dress ballooned open like an umbrella, giving them both a half-second glimpse of her thigh-high stockings and her panties. She folded herself readily on the picnic blanket, every pleat perfect over her black lace-up boots. She devoured the food as if she hadn’t eaten in days, entirely uncharacteristic of her formal attire. The couple watched as fruit entered her mouth, moistening her red lips.
The woman took a sip from her water bottle. “What’s your name, dear?”
The girl attempted to answer but decided to keep eating instead. The couple watched as the girl ate every single morsel of food they had packed for their picnic. When their basket was empty, the girl seemed self-conscious.
“I’m sorry I ate all of your food. But I thank you. I was really hungry.” She leaned over to the man and gave him a tight warm hug.
The man chuckled, “We’re glad to feed you. No harm done.”
The wife watched the man put his hands around the girl’s delicate waist. She watched his cheeks turn a rosy hue, his eyes sparkle, his smile spread giddily from ear to ear. She knew that look. It was a look that until then was only reserved for her. A look that she had not seen on him in a long time. She knew what he was thinking. What a perv!
“What’s your name again?” the wife asked.
“I’m Elenora,” the girl replied after she peeled herself off the man. She stood radiant. Her skin was impossibly translucent. Her hair shone like a beacon. For the first time that afternoon, it became apparent to both the man and his wife that the girl was a blossoming woman.
The sun dipped the bottom tip of its rays into the lake. The man pulled his scarf up over his face and exhaled to warm it up. He shivered.
“Aren’t you cold?” he asked the girl. He took his scarf off his neck and wrapped it around her nape. His fingers brushed her smooth sweet skin. He felt his toes tingle. He tried to push away the thought of cradling her exquisite neck in his hand and tasting her juicy lips. He had an overwhelming desire to wrap his body around hers, to protect her fragile beauty from the harsh wilderness.
“Are you here with anyone?” the wife wanted to know.
“Yes,” Elenora answered.
“Where?” The woman looked around. She could have sworn there was no one else there but the three of them, but that in itself was odd.
“They’ll be here,” Elenora assured.
The man’s blush turned pale. He felt nervous. They? Who are they?
“It’s going to be dark soon,” the wife warned. “Maybe we should look for them. I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave you here by yourself.”
“Oh, don’t worry,” Elenora said wanly. “They’ll find me. They always do.”
The wife felt uneasy. Something was amiss. She shook the crumbs off the picnic blanket, wondering in the back of her mind why it was so quiet. Where were the birds or crickets? Where were the chipmunks that usually come after the food? She dismissed the thought, folded up the picnic blanket, and stuffed it into the basket. All she knew was that she wanted to leave. She wanted to get away from the girl, but she felt guilty about abandoning her at the top of the mountain at dusk. She was torn.
“Maybe you should come home with us,” the man spoke up suddenly.
“Oh, I don’t know about that. They might be worried about you if you come along with us without asking their permission,” the wife argued.
The man felt the heat rise to his head. “They! Who the hell are they? Do you even know who they are?” he yelled at his wife.
Elenora was visibly startled by the man’s outburst.
The man checked himself. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I just… who are these people that you’re with? Are they your family?”
Elenora shook her head. “No, they’re not.”
“You see!” the husband turned to his wife.
“But I guess they do protect me,” Elenora added.
“Who? Who protects you?” the man pried. He didn’t know why he felt threatened by them.
“I don’t care at this point,” the wife piped in impatiently. “It’s going to be dark soon and I want to be home before then. I’m going to find them, whoever they are, and make sure Elenora is back safe with them. Then I’m going home. I’m going to take a nice long bath and sleep in my own bed. And you better come with me if you know what’s good for you.”
The man wanted to be home before dark just as much as his wife did. Maybe even more so, because he did not want to find them and he did not want to wait for them to find Elenora. He wanted the three of them to leave the mountain at that moment.
“Woman, you will do no such thing,” the man ordered his wife firmly but calmly. He did not want to scare Elenora any more than he had. “Let’s all go home together. We’ll call them on the phone after we’re safe at home and have had a nice dinner.”
“NOOOO!!!” The wife tore madly through the woods, screaming at the top of her lungs. “HEY!!! HELLLLOOOOO! YOOOHOOO! You better get your girl back now ’cause I don’t want to leave her here by herself!!!”
The man shook his head apologetically. “I’m sorry, Elenora. I’ve never seen my wife act this rudely before. That woman gets hangry on an empty stomach, I tell you. Let me get her back and we can all go home.”
The man took after his wife, following the sound of her shrieks through the trees. When he finally caught up with her, she was teetering at the edge of a sheer cliff. He grabbed her. She struggled to get away from him and fell.
The woman hung by her fingertips an arm’s length down the cliff. Several hundreds of feet underneath her, jagged rocks dotted the bank of the lake.
The man got down on the ground and reached for his wife. “Take my hand!”
The wife shook her head. Dust clung to the sweat and tears on her face.
“Come on, baby. Take my hand!”
The wife looked deep into her man’s face. She saw his determination to bring her home. She saw his infatuation with the girl, the lust in his eyes, his desire for what the wife was long unable to give him. Youth, excitement, newness. She saw her own jealousy and insecurity. She saw that she was on the brink of falling to her death, and for what? She put all of her weight on her left hand and reached for her husband with her right.
A scream echoed through the mountain.
The man’s eyes wavered from his wife. They had the girl! His wife’s left hand was slipping. He imagined her broken lifeless body on the rocks below. He yanked his wife up by her outstretched hand with all his might.
The man and wife ran back to the clearing to find the swing barren. The man’s scarf draped lonely over the seat. He snatched the scarf quickly.
“ELENORA!!!” he called, ready to run through the woods again, this time in search for the girl.
It was the wife’s turn to rescue the man from the edge of insanity. She clutched tightly at her man. “Let’s go home, please. Please. Come home with me. They’ve got her now, darling. Let’s go home.”
“ELENORA!!!” the man kept screaming, looking wild-eyed from tree to tree hoping to catch a glimpse of the girl. The wife held him tight and pulled him all the way down the mountain. A loon cackled as the sun dove deep into the dark lake.
I remember the day I became an American. I stood with a group of strangers from all walks of life and over the world. Together, we each raised our right hand and recited the Oath of Allegiance. I found myself holding back tears and swallowing down a lump in my throat as we collectively sang the Star Spangled Banner. Our journeys thus far and our dreams of the future shone in our eyes. This is the promised land for the brave and the free.
While watching fireworks last night I thought about that song again. I thought about that flag that “was still there” despite the rockets and the bombs. Quite possibly that flag was singed, torn, tattered with holes, but it endured. And strangely enough that ratty old flag inspires me to keep going when the going gets tough.
Reaching for the American Dream isn’t easy. No one hands it out on a silver platter, especially not to a woman of color. I’ve had to compromise myself. I have battle scars. I’m damaged goods. But every day I get up even when I feel like it would be easier to crawl into a hole and die.
Freedom is risky. It’s safer to go along with the herd, keep your head down, do what’s expected of you. Freedom of speech means speaking up when there is injustice. Freedom of expression means being open to criticism, opposition, and shaming. Freedom requires courage.
Dare to be free, my little munchkins. You can come out now.
Let me take you to another world, a world created by my words and my voice. I want to take the intimacy between writer and reader to the next level. Let me make love to you aurally. We’ll explore Eden and the ancient world together. Listen as Lilith discovers the mysteries of sex, the forbidden fruit, her free will, and the power of words.
In exchange I would appreciate honest reviews on Amazon, Audible, iTunes, GoodReads, or your own blog/social media channel. As a new author, and a self-published one, I can only rely on friends to help me get the word out. Reviews really help.
For Donald Trump’s eighteenth birthday, the she-demon Satrina, who appeared as his college advisor, instructed him to bring her a goat as part of his final exam. He ran around the hot streets of the Bronx, down to Chinatown and Alphabet City, all the way out to Brooklyn and Queens. Just when he had given up and was on his way back, he finally found a makeshift petting zoo at Union Square.
The young goat was surrounded by children giggling and rubbing their fat fingers in the goat’s fur. Donald whipped out a wad of cash and negotiated with the stocky Mexican man tending to the animals. The man wouldn’t budge.
“No, la cabra not for sale. For children, see?”
It was two-thirty in the afternoon and he had no time to dicker. He kicked the Mexican man in the groin, pushed the children aside, and grabbed the goat. He ran. He could hear children wailing, mothers screaming.
One of them yelled, “Police!”
He kept running as the goat bleated into his ear. He headed for a stopped yellow taxi. An old woman with a cane was carefully lifting her leg into the cab. Donald pulled her and threw her to the curb. He got into the backseat with his stolen goat and slammed the door shut.
“The Bronx!” he ordered. The driver looked at Donald’s red sweaty face, looked at the whining goat, and drove away, leaving behind a beat cop scratching his head, holding a pad of paper and pen, surrounded by the Mexican man, mothers holding toddlers, and onlookers pointing toward the fleeing taxi and the old woman bedraggled on the sidewalk.
At three o’clock on his eighteenth birthday, Donald ran into his college advisor’s office in Fordham with the goat in his arms.
Satrina stood by the window in her office. Her black hair fell shiny and full down to her tiny waist. Her eyes shined like black diamonds.
Donald hadn’t yet caught his breath. His face turned even redder. After all the trouble of bringing her a goat, he wanted to scream.
“I will not tolerate tardiness in my apprentice, Donald Trump. You’re fired.”
Anger turned into fear. Donald’s face went from red to white. The stupid goat kept fussing in his arms.
“No, no, please,” he begged. “The goat. I got you a goat. It wasn’t easy.”
“Easy? Did you think it would be easy? Of course it wasn’t easy. If it was easy, everyone would win. Everyone would be president.”
“Please, I’ll do anything,” Donald fell to his knees. “Please take me back, I beg you.”
Satrina walked away. Donald followed her, still carrying the goat with him. They entered University Church. It was dark and empty. Satrina walked up to the altar and turned to Donald. She took the goat, and for the first time the goat was quiet.
“Prove yourself to me.” Satrina handed Donald a knife with an ornately carved handle. He took the knife with shaking hands. “You know what to do.”
He focused his eyes on hers. Her face was shrouded in shadow but colored light came in through gothic stained glass windows to illuminate her eyes. She held the goat and exposed its neck to him. That poor little lop-eared goat. Its fur was so white, its nose so pink. It stuck its soft pink tongue out and licked Satrina’s finger as she held its head up.
He did it. He slit the goat’s throat. It kicked against her as she sucked on its blood.
“Quickly!” she spat at him as she handed him back the dying goat. “Drink!”
Donald sucked. He felt a surge of power in his veins. The metallic taste of blood electrified from the center of his body to the tips of his limbs. He felt a roar well up in his throat. The goat’s kicking slowed until it stopped. She pulled the dead goat off his mouth and kissed him.
They sucked blood off each other’s mouths. She laid the sacrifice down on the altar, pulled Donald’s pants down, and pulled her black pencil skirt up over her thighs.
“Fuck me,” she ordered.
“Fuck my ass! Desecrate this altar with sodomy.”
She crouched on all fours and stretched her back like an animal. He mounted her, rammed his cock into her wet cunt.
“My ass, you numbskull!” she demanded. “Fuck my ass!”
He pulled out of her dripping cunt and pushed his lubricated cock into the tight pursed mouth of her anus.
“Yesss!!!” Her eyes rolled back in ecstasy, her breathy voice mumbled phrases in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Farsi. He fucked into her until he emptied himself into her thirsting ass.
“I love you…” he cried. His voice sounded like the bleating of a dying goat.
Through the years, she guided him with every business deal, every property purchase, every decision. With her instruction, he built every Trump Tower the world over with a sub-basement.
“Your very own entrance to Sitra Ahra, where you rejuvenate your energy,” she said. No matter where in the world he is, he could come to the sub-basement of a Trump Tower, and there she would be. He never questions it. With his trust in her grows his wealth and power.
His prior marriages ended because his wives questioned his daily disappearances at three in the afternoon. Those wives did not know their place, and they had to be done away with.
Donald’s devotion is only to one. Satrina, the true Miss Universe, to whom the most beautiful women all over the world pay homage.
“My queen.” She never ages. She remains in the fullness of her beauty from the moment he met her to this moment, when he kneels naked in front of her, an aging multi-billionaire.
She digs her high heel deeper into his shoulder and pulls him toward her exposed cunt. Donald plants his mouth around her swollen clitoris and suckles like a babe. She grips his head by his hairsprayed hair and rubs the sensitive folds of her cunt around his swirling tongue. He inhales her deeply. He fills his every molecule with her. He drinks her eternal juices. She writhes and shudders with pleasure, then pushes him away from her.
“I want you to build me a large structure that extends all the way across America. Above ground it will be a wall, a border between the United States and Mexico. Underground it will be the biggest gate to Sitra Ahra.”
“Your wish is my command, my queen. When I am President…”
A white woman yelled “Go back to China!” at an asian man on the street. He turned around and yelled back at her, “I was born in America!” The asian man happens to be New York Times deputy Metro editor, Michael Luo, who then wrote an open letter to the offending woman. He also started a twitter conversation about Asian-Americans’ experience of racism, #thisis2016.
Most of it sounds like petty playground taunting. The fact that an asian man can confront his abuser and write about it later on the New York Times shows he has power. Had it been a black man doing the same thing, he would have been shot dead on the sidewalk before he even opened his mouth. Had it been a Muslim doing the same thing, s/he would have been labeled a terrorist and taken away, never to be seen on the face of the earth. I’m exaggerating, of course, but not by much and you know it.
I do have a problem with people assuming “victim” status. I’m not talking about real assault here. I’m talking about words thrown about carelessly on one hand, and hypersensitivity to certain keywords on the other. On the playground, if you let a bully see your weakness, the bully wins. Remember, the best defense is offensive. Here are a few suggestions for snappy come-backs to racist comments:
People talk “ching chang chong” around you? Don’t act all hurt. “Ching chang chong” back at them. Incessantly, like you’re their new best friend. “You-me-ha-ha!” I’m pretty sure it’ll weird them out enough to stop, or if they have a sense of humor they’ll actually laugh at you and themselves and the whole situation in general.
Someone call you Bruce Lee? Say thanks, it’s an honor. The man is a god! Then whip out some karate chops. You don’t know karate? Just make shit up. Racists are stupid. They won’t know the difference.
Someone tell you your English is perfect? Say, “Thanks! Yours needs work.”
Someone ask about your slanted vagina? Say, “Yes, and I’m another slanted vagina you’ll never get to fuck.”
Someone tell you to go make chinese food? Take their money to go.
Someone wants to kick your butt back to China? Kick their butt back to Ireland. Not from Ireland? Who cares? I’m not from China!
See what I’m getting at? Asians can out-racist the racists. We’ve had plenty of experience. East Asians think they’re better than South and South-East Asians. Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans don’t like each other either. Singaporeans and Hong Kong Chinese hate Filipinos.
If there is anything #thisis2016 has shown me, it’s that Asian Americans are racist against Asian-Asians. They’re saying, “How dare you lump me in with immigrants and international students who don’t speak English well or at all! How dare you compare me to low life sex workers, maids, nurses, delivery boys, cooks… I’m better than them! I’m American!!!”
I’m a naturalized American citizen originally from the Philippines. I’m a college graduate and my American English is impeccable. But you know what? I put on a mock Asian accent and race play with white men. Why? Because it’s naughty. Because I like Asians, yes, including the whores, the maids, the nurses, the delivery boys, the cooks… I am them and they are me. Because calling myself racist slurs does not threaten my racial dignity any more than being a sexual submissive threatens my feminism.
How does your hard white cock feel about that? Love me long time, Joe?