TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER
an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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05.22.03, thursday morning
Sunday afternoons after we had closed the donut shop earlier than usual, Daddy would take us to the beach, where we’d have an early dinner: Chinese take-out, usually shrimp fried rice or beef chow fun; my parents are not adventurous people, they choose what is familiar to them.
Yet when introduced to new dishes like lasagna or roast turkey, they wrinkle their noses and chuckle softly, still in awe of the newness of America; I glimpse who they must have been before my birth, before the moment they discovered that return was just a dream, before life became the slow crawl toward death through struggle and the accrual of loss - the loss of brothers, the loss of money, the loss of their youth and finally dreams. But this is not what they are thinking of when they order Chinese take-out. My parents don’t think of loss like I think of loss. They are, by upbringing, suspicious of such melancholic and solipsistic reflection. They don’t mourn the past, they won’t regret, they can only remember events in terms of either good or bad, the ambiguities set aside or left on a sidewalk with the trash and the recyclables.