Mary H.K. Choi writes about reconnecting with an experience she’d had when she was younger: rolling on molly.
When you’re a kid, you think you’ll be a certain place in your mid-30s. I presumed I’d be rich because when you’re middle-class with hardworking immigrant parents that’s the whole point. I also thought I’d be married and potentially own a beautiful apartment in New York. Ha ha. What you spend zero time wondering about is whether you’ll still be doing drugs. You naturally assume you’ll grow out of whatever stupidity you dabbled in as a teen. Even up to my 20s I didn’t realize that job-having, non-fuckup grown-ups in their 30s and 40s still smoked weed. Or did ecstasy.
But then I got older and got bored. Saying you’re bored as an adult is truly despicable since it implies that your Maslow’s pyramid is so satisfied, so abundant with shelter, food, health, and love, that you’re driven to idly wishing you liked video games more.
What I want is a vacation from myself. I’ve tried exercise, meditation, sex, and food. I wait for the desire to plan a wedding or have a kid or buy a house and when those things don’t take hold or are plainly untenable, I get my aura read. I open a trillion tabs of internet and drink it in. I gorge on studies about magnets that make you think differently and begin researching the properties of crystals. I don’t think about any of it as self-help because that’s way too pathetic, certainly more than the itchy meh I feel. I want to hurl my brain into outer space; it’s real, real quiet there, the ultimate holiday of feeling small. But because I’m not pregnant and don’t have cancer, I just want to do drugs again.
Mary HK Choi spent the first dozen years of her life at odds with her mother but now she loves her so much it kills her. A lovely offbeat story of mothers and daughters.
I love my mother a not-normal amount. It’s all twisty because she tried to kill me when I was young. Just kidding. My mom is an excellent mom. She knows I am irascible, prickly and antisocial. She knows that most human interaction makes me tired and that I either scare people away with precise invectives or trot out the fakest, nicest skinjob of myself because it requires zero effort. She nails me on all of it, asking one billion follow-up questions until I get behind my eyeballs and engage. She forces me to call distant relatives, dialling the phone and pressing it into my cheek while my eyes get hot and watery. She pulls rank all the time and once judo-flipped me onto my back in a grocery store to remind me where things stood. She is my favorite and it makes me crazy. You can tell that she was popular in school, but I am a fundamentally more popular person. I care more and I’m great at rules. I’ve known it since the first grade.
The top comment on the story is well worth a read as well:
Justin went berserk.
I’d NEVER heard a kid scream so loud or for so long and still manage to run around a room tearing drawings off the wall, shoving kids all over the place, tossing chairs across the room.
It was AWESOME, in a moderately terrifying kind of way.
And the tears. Oh the tears. You’d have thought we’d taken his pet dog and made him slit its throat and then skin and cook it.
That day NEVER ended. I mean of course it did, but it never ended. You know what I mean. So, I’m hanging in the room straightening up from Justin’s rampage, when our supervisor comes in and tells me to come outside.
Which is how I met Justin’s grandparents, the two nicest, sweetest grandparents ever. No, nicer and sweeter then that. When I stuck my hand out they brushed that aside and it was semi-bear hug time. They both thanked me for what I was doing with Justin and how he didn’t talk about anything else but me.
Mary HK Choi takes an hour-long journey in the last remaining sensory deprivation tank in New York.
Okay. This is when you realize you had a picture in your mind about an isolation tank, so you’re going to be simultaneously bummed out and fully relieved that the tank isn’t one of them lock-down joints from “Fringe.” This one basically looks like a huge bathtub, enclosed behind an upright sliding shower door that’s black and features a handsome wooden handle. There is no lid. The darkness is your lid, just as it’s always been. (JK JK, I don’t even know what that means!) This is good, because you don’t have to worry about suffocating on your own carbon dioxide because you don’t experience that thing where your breath breathes back at you because you’re panting and watching the intruder from inside your closet that is so very small. :(
The water-“water”-is set at exactly body temp, so don’t expect that tingly sensation of sliding into a hot tub. And remember that it’s saline solution, so don’t get it on your face. It’s not that tricky, since you’ll slide in so that you’re on your back. So your eyes, nose and mouth are completely exposed and floating, as well as your toes, the tops of your thighs and a half-bagel of your belly (or full bagel depending on the day).
Mary HK Choi observes that NYC’s men have suddenly learned how to dress and now she can’t tell who’s who anymore, socioeconomically speaking.
I can’t figure out how old anyone is. I can’t figure out how gay anyone is. On silent subway morning commutes there are no tells. The brogues, desert boots and quickstrike high-tops not only have me manic-fantasy-banging every well-dressed dude on the F BECAUSE IT IS ALL SO GODDAMN GOOD but the fact that so many are suddenly well shod plus the prevalence of hard-bottoms straight CRIPPLES my ability to tell how rich anyone is. And that is fucking my game up major. Aaaaaaaaaand everyone’s watch is now the old timey Timex from J.Crew for $150 so yeah, 360 IDK. Plus, also, seriously, there must have been some clandestine colloquium workshop situation where all the dudes in all the land shucked to skivvies and got sized for their perfect pair of Uniqlo jeans and nobody said “no homo,” not even one time, because, Hi, y’all all look fantastic FUCK YOU.