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Grade
9
He
Chapter I (again)
He’s got that look in his eyes again, like two headlights coming out of Route 3, distant 8:00 evening gloom.
The lines on his face mingle like the people of New York, oil shining like glossy colors and shrill sounds of a metropolitan night.  His pores stare like open mouths, gasping for breath. His hair is like an emaciated flappy hand, twenty thin black fingers hanging at his forehead. His eyes are dully glistening, like jelly or tape, with flickering black centers like dark longan pits. They peer up warily as his mouth moves, working it out, grinding up white rice, fatty pork, stir-fried long beans. 
They are pushed down his throat, sticky balls, saliva coating the inner walls of his mouth in smacks; sucks; gooshes. 
As you watch from the dark adjacent room, view him like a stranger would. Peel away his outer covering, which masks him like gnarled, slimy bark, camouflaged by the weathering and conditioning of your gaze. Is he handsome? Wise? Respectable?  He sits there, a bent tree. If you could peel it away, how much of him would fall away, insubstantial, rotten? You don’t want to know. You prefer whole stories and complete books. You like cohesive artwork. But the grainy fidelity of this image seems papery, wobbly. It bears a slender resemblance to a painting you beheld deeply in your past, but this might be a mere drawing. The colors not so bright, the lighting not quite right. One might wish to clear the canvas; eradicate the forgery; convert it to something crisp and sweet. 
You want to reach out, hug him, kiss his cheek; give him something of your heart to make it whole again. You want to wipe him away like a smudge on your glasses, give him away like an extra electron.
Remember him as you’d seen him in your youth. Often, when you passed by him on the couch, you felt a pang of love; he sat there a sleek statue, fixed, noble, a symbol of hard work. You saw rivers of perseverance flow through his chi paths, vaults of knowledge under his feet as deep-running as his imaginary beard. You saw bullet-holes left by continuous rain, and strong arches gouged by wind. You saw gulleys and ditches where sweat had left residue, and chest cavities resulting from ice wedging. You saw deserts cracked and baked; you’d be hard pressed to squeeze out any tears. 
You felt affection for him as one might feel affection for familiar terrain. You don’t need the whole story to appreciate the legacy of a land. Just a few clues and your imagination compensates for the rest. To you, home was home, and home was enough. Home was predictable and comforting, like a repeated motif in a long novel. 
Book II:
You want to get to know him better.
But you don’t want to talk to him. Talking to him is like trying to hold the ocean back with your arms. Your arguments are swept away like barriers of straw. There is no winning an argument with him. You don’t know how many cells are in his body, but it doesn’t matter that much because pointing out his flaws is like pointing out a couple cancer cells amid trillions. 
Sighing, he will pull out an age-old principle of wisdom, passed down for generations since ancient China. It will be newly forged to precisely refute your actions and identify you as the reason why justice, balance, harmony, and order are impossible. 
He is the teacher. He’s the historian. He writes the book. He tells the story of the oppressed, and you are the ignorant peasant, pining for a glimpse of heaven. What else can you do? You have no outside knowledge, no education at all. You have not developed the faculties to learn, yet he is patiently still teaching you anyway. 
You are at the brink of lost hope; you’ve made this mistake time and time again. Your life lies limp and formless in your dirty hands. Your leaky boat bobs futilely against the current, and the day will come when your energy runs dry. You have been on this journey for years; your age is a mystery. 
The current is forever on an indifferent mission to the ocean. It will always run against you. It’s your fault that the definition of the circumstance and felony evolves each time to convict you. You should run faster. You could escape if you really tried. You reach into the water and paddle in anguish; you have a little bit of guilt which he will draw out and lash you with, drown you with. Soon you relinquish the idea of forward-motion; you strive to resist pushing backwards. Every movement is a flail, every attack is a last resort. You forget what direction you were trying to meet with your pathetic little boat, and you forget any confidence you had in yourself. The lonesome drinking songs you sing at night, to keep your spirit from fleeing you, turn to supplications for help, for freedom, and then to silence. 
This happens when you argue with him.
Dream III:
Sometimes he steals your child and uses it as a weapon. In these times, you remember when every word he dropped dropped like gold, and you listened to them as if they were Brahms Symphony No. 4. 
More gooshing, chewing.  A soggy piece of pork drops out of his mouth.
He made you tense, your posture stiff as you sat together on the spongey couch, his hands drawing numbers in the air as he sketched out a map of mathematics. Your brain whirred furiously to understand his science, strained with intense concentration, illuminated by your earnesty. The way he could shoot out the answer to a three-digit multiplication problem was marvelous. He could even do 100,000×532, all in his head. Marvelous! You trusted him, and you trusted the honesty and deliberation in his words. His mental faculties were articulate. Square as facts, straight as arithmetic-
No! You don’t want to hear his pithy ideology, redundantly recapitulated and reemphasized, over and over again. You don’t want to hear than same old story again, the same old hackneyed-inflated-tired-boring-overblown-vainglorious-definitions!
You loved his soothing voice as he read you Journey to the West at bedtime. You’ll understand when you get older, he reassured you. He was a promise to build you a name. 
You dreamt of being an adult, tall and sophisticated, fluidly fulfilling some culmination of purpose and potential resounding deep in your unconscious soul since you were four years old. “There is a blessing in my heart that will someday bloom,” you thought as you lay there, a little body peering into the dark ceiling of your bedroom. Your father has left. The blankets are big and warm. Hasn’t he fulfilled his dream? How wise, how like a god he is. You dreamt of an unwavering, divine guidance in your life, a “meant-to-be”… As you closed your eyes and drifted to sleep, you dreamt  of being destined to greatness. You dreamt that one day it would feel right. 
 
State
NJ
Zip Code
08812