Poem: First Memory

August 28, 2006

First Memory

Long ago, I was wounded. I lived
to revenge myself
against my father, not
for what he was—
for what I was: from the beginning of time,
in childhood, I thought
that pain meant
I was not loved.
It meant I loved.

Louise Glück

When I was young I loved the Transformers (TM). I would beg my parents to let me watch the cartoon every Saturday, and endlessly heckle them to purchase the Optimus Prime toy for me. My mom always wanted to let me what I have. My father, on the other hand, is the emblem of Asian Conservative Values (whatever those might be. Here’s looking at you, LKY!), and he knows the meaning of the word bargain. He never let me do anything unless it was good for me (read: him).

So the hoops I had to jump through to get that Optimus Prime were amazing and neverending. As soon as I completed one task, another set of instructions would issue forth from his lips. A Sisyphean, Kafkaesque nightmare. Finish your Chinese homework. Score at least 95% in your next Maths test. Go for your piano lessons. The list was endless.

Till one day, I knew I had him trumped. Being the adorable boy that I was (yeah right, I was a fat hideous kid who could spell his ass off), I was asked to perform the duties of the pageboy for the marriage of one of the members of the church. I agreed, sweetly. Yes, auntie. The sting in the tail was, of course, on the day of the wedding itself, I refused to walk down the aisle unless a new Optimus Prime boxed set was placed in my arms. I screamed, I kicked, I yelled. Nothing, nothing could placate me. And that’s how I got my Optimus Prime.


One comment

  1. Beautiful. And very Powerful.

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