Monday, March 12, 2007

I'm thankful for Darlene in Chinese

Okay, that headline will make sense if you perservere to the end of the post.

I bought Chinese food for lunch today. And in doing so, wondered again how I might say thank you in Chinese. Finally remembered my inquiry long enough to look it up on the computer. Xie xie. Pronounced like she-she, but with the tongue lower down in the mouth than if a typical American were to speak.

Turns out to also be a venerable Chinese family name, with variations depending on location. Tse in Taiwan, for example.

Which got me thinking about a beautiful angel from long ago in my life, Darlene. Darlene Tsu. I wonder if maybe her last name might have been some form of that same word.

She was a Polynesian-Asian blend of utter loveliness, with a personality to match. And if I hadn't been a scatterbrained, 15 year old, confused idiot boy at the time, I would have dated, married and deified her.

She was the first girl who really paid any attention to me, but I was too immature to respond properly. To this day, I remember seeing her for the first time, leisurely strolling down to my darkened, early-morning bus stop, with the tiny red torchlight of her cigarette glowing in her hand.

Oh yes, sweet, otherwise innocent Darlene smoked. My fascination for lady smokers had begun long before, but it burst into flame in her glorious presence.

She gave me a ride home, just once, when she became old enough to drive. She offered another but I told you, the 15 year old boy brain has many missing circuits and doesn't always make sense. I worshipped her and would have ridden with her all the way to Alaska in a beat-up Yugo, so I never rode with her again. Go figure.

But on that one ride, ah -- Debbie Gibson on the stereo, warm spring sunshine upon us, life limitless in front of us. And she lit up a cigarette and I rode beside her for twenty blissful minutes or so, bathed in her sweet smoke, breathing it in like the finest perfume, along with the sun-warmed scent of her hair, and making dumb conversation to the best of my pathetic abilities.

It would make perfect sense for her name to mean "thank you." Her presence that year made it worth getting up for high school every morning, even though I was too stupid to capitalize upon it. And by the time I did have a clue, we moved.

Wherever in this world she is today, I hope she got everything she wanted and floats on clouds of bliss.

4 comments:

Perhaps you won't understand said...

Good to see you writing about such experiences, now knowing that there's nothing weird about you.

It's amazing how destructive it is to not comfortably be able to express important aspects of oneself. This applies to political opinions as much as it does to sexual preferences/fetishes. And how much unnecessary harm the inertia of cultures, religions, and social taboos do to contribute to this...by restricting one, be it through ideas of "sin" or "weirdness" (usually shorthand for insufficient conformity).

Hopefully, it's a weight off your shoulders. I hope that as time goes by you only get more comfortable to live the life that would make you most free and happy, and that you find the people who can satisfy your fantasies. The most uncomfortable thing for you may be to ask a partner if she'll do this for you, but I think it would also be very rewarding for you and if you're as nice to her as you are in general on your blog she'll probably be more than willing.

eastcoastdweller said...

Thank you, Lance.

This blog has certainly become an outlet -- I'm able to discuss things that have long been bottled up inside, fitting them in nicely amongst less controversial details of my life.

Thus I reveal that an ordinary, non-felonious sort of guy can pant like a porn star for a little secondhand lady-smoke to blow his way, but then go right back to his vanilla life.

Then again, serial killers are famous for being able to do that too.

Perhaps you won't understand said...

No worries...The serial killer comment, I found a funny joke. Although then I realised something else...I hope you don't in some ways compare yourself to a serial killer just because you share some feature with serial killers! This seems to be something which a surprising number of completely peaceful people do, as a large proportion of people would share some basic similarities with the common serial killer

You've gone back to what you describe as the vanilla life
after panting like a porn star at what you really like because you've been uncomfortable with making that a part of your life. But if you know yourself to be a peaceful, nice guy who doesn't want to kill, don't let the literature about the common personality profiles of serial killers have any undue effect on you. Course this is all irrelevant if what you said was really a joke, which I think it was.

eastcoastdweller said...

It was certainly meant as a joke. I'm not much for killing people. Too hard to hide the bodies.
Joking, again.