Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Adventures of Kudos the Poet - Part I

Recently, I had the privilege of venturing to Poplar-Nakagaki Square -- right near Shady Lake off Rutabaga Road -- where my great aunt Wei-Wei operates a five-room bed-and-breakfast. I had just finished off a bowl of her notorious leek dumpling soup, climbed up the oval staircase, and was heading to my room when I heard the sound of someone typing on a laptop. It came from up above.

Now you have to understand that I'd been here in Poplar-Nakagaki Square for many a moon festival, and I knew that the house only had two levels. I was no amateur. I wore floral pajamas with feet. Someone must have been typing on the roof, which made me curious, if only because I'd always been a boring person with an amazing sense of appreciation for the trivial.

I found the ladder for the roof, and up I went, rung by rung, till I popped open the ceiling. No one was there. I looked around, so you should trust me. But oh, the moon! You should have seen the moon. It was a Mrs. Moon from all the public libraries of our youths. If I was one of those kimono-making pygmies that you always hear about in the media these days, I would have stitched a giant kimono for Mrs. Moon. The laughter of a pygmy is often the size of a poncho. Then again, I thought, I have always been one of those people jealous of round objects, and there comes a time in every guy's life when he has to find his inner cubicle, master the art of triangles, and go work for the Trapezoid.

You don't know how lonely it gets sometimes in America. Everyday you order chicken fingers with curly fries. Some morality within you objects to combining curly fries with ketchup. You learn to watch cars, because isn't that what your parents always wanted? You tell yourself to grow up, and exactly three days and twenty-two hours after you have decided that you wanted to be a "grown-up," you find yourself piecing together a 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle of a Minneapolis car salesman's interpretation of Hong Kong circa 1983 with your parents, because your sister decided to come home from San Jose State six hours later than usual, and who can rest comfortably before your sister has arrived back home? Self-acceptance can be brutal.

I was just about to head back down when I heard a voice behind me whisper, "Rhombuses are squares with scoliosis." I gasped and turned around. The voice said, "Hi, my name is Kudos. And just who are you supposed to be at this hour?"


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