And it’s 21 days until my 21st. The third time for someone to not recall my birthdays coming up. It’s happen plenty of times in the past years (especially high school) but I wish I had friends who cared to remember my birthday like I care about theirs.
“We fled to the Philippines, which was under American occupation at the time. But it wasn’t long before the Japanese took over the islands. We were living in Manila, and when the Japanese occupied the city, they began to teach us to read and write Japanese. When the Americans came to retake the city, they invaded from the north, and the Japanese blew up the bridges and barricaded themselves in the southern part of the city where we lived. Shells were falling all around us, because the Japanese had stationed a gun encampment across from our house. One morning, we decided to make a run for the hospital, so that we could put ourselves under the protection of the Red Cross. Our neighbors were running in front of us, pushing their belongings on a pushcart, when they stepped on a land mine and the whole family was killed. We kept running, but when we got to the main street, there was a checkpoint and we weren’t allowed to cross. So we hid beneath a house, and soon we were discovered by Japanese soldiers. They lined us all up against the wall to be executed. We begged and begged and begged for our lives. They finally allowed my mother and the children to step aside, but they told my father to stay. My mother dropped to her knees and asked the Japanese commander to imagine it was his family. And he finally let all of us go.”
My coworker /friend’s struggling trying to write her bio for a professional artist magazine. While my friend currently only goes to school, all the other writers have impressive accomplishments. One has “So-and-so has written 35 books” while the other says “So-and-so curates for [high amount] of galleries, owns her own in California, and is managing editor of so-and-so. To view her portfolio, check out this website” and leads to a professional website. All of their paintings are in galleries.
So I ask her, do you have a professional website? “No.”
I ask her, “are you a painter? do you do any amateur painting?”
She’s, like, “yeah I actually do.” Okay. Let’s put that in there.
She pauses. Looks up at me and says, “The only paintings I’ve made are in my living room.”
“We fled Germany on November 9th, 1938. It was called the Crystal Night, because there were demonstrations against Jews all over Germany, and many windows were being broken. We were living on the outskirts of Hanover. When my father came home from work that night, he told us that the synagogue was on fire, and that firemen were standing in a ring around it to prevent the flames from spreading to other buildings. He said: ‘We’re getting out of here.’”
Messy hair. No makeup. This is my place, my sanctuary. As you can see, I'm not looking to impress. Thanks for stopping by.