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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

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08.29.04, early sunday morning

I used to say dumb things about age like, "24 is sooooo old!" Now that I am almost 27, I realize that previously ancient ages like 24, 27, or even 87 are not so old after all. You are very likely to act at 87 as you would when you were 27. As I have witnessed of certain family members, chronological age does not correspond to one's level of maturity.

. . .

I remember the last time I saw her. Her bloodshot eyes. I remember her saying, Look at us, Na. You think you can do anything because you are young. You will regret. You will get older and I will laugh at you. You will regret.

As my related elder, it was her presumed right to inform me of my future's terrible, inevitable course as appropriate for a disobedient young cambodian american woman such as myself. Of course I would be disappointed. I would discover that my family's idea(l)s of itself and society were right after all. I would regret. I would wish that I had stayed in my proper place within that family as the obedient daughter of her younger sister.

What subtle violence, presumed on an accident of precedence in birth (hers) and by the life's course of a woman who has endured experiences and environments different from mine. Why try to teach me regret for the wildness of my own heart? Let me learn it, if I must, on my own terms, at my free will. 27 may be very chronologically different from 47 or 87 but at this point in my life, a woman at 47 or 87 does not seem more mature than a woman at 27.

. . .

Time will tell? Time has no absolutely metric cycles, no uniform movement upon which one may presume the future of a young asian woman. Time will not tell. Only action.




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