發 BY ALBERT LEE
01 白髮人送黑髮人。The white-haired should never send off the black-haired. His mother’s hair hadn’t yet grayed that year.
02 I don’t know how to tell a story longer than myself. I hope I’m wrong.
03 If the journey is the destination, my grandfather, gōnggōng, swam from Guangzhou to Hong Kong in 1966, shortly after the onset of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. He started with six friends — all but one drowned. She is now my grandmother, pópó.
04 If the journey is just a journey, Peter Wang held the door open as his classmates ran from the Parkland shooter. He was wearing his JROTC uniform. He swallowed bullets with his body. He died on February 14. He was 15. Chinese New Year was on February 16, 2018.
05 When Gōnggōng got to Hong Kong, he started working as a janitor while he waited for political asylum in Taiwan. There, he met a beautiful 25-year-old mother from Sichuan. She carried maybes and babies through mountains, the memories melting in her mouth.
06 Peter liked to play basketball. He was a fan of the Houston Rockets and hip hop music. He never got to kick back a Pinot Grigio with James Harden.
07 According to the drunk aunty from Chinese Baptist Church, Gōnggōng cheated on Pópó with the woman from Sichuan and Pópó bought a gun and almost shot the hoe. I really hope she’s wrong.
08 When Aaron, Peter’s cousin, moved to America from China and the kids started teasing him for his chinky eyes and even chinkier English, Peter stopped that. English is like really fucking hard, yo. I was born 在美國, and there 還有 many 時候s I 不能 English 得很 good.
09 All the men in Peter’s family have died.
10 Gōnggōng learned how to speak the Queen’s English while living in Hong Kong. It always throws off the cashiers at CVS. “Pardon me sir, would you happen to have Pinot Grigio?”
11 There’s a petition with over 100,000 signatures for Peter to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But let’s be real, Trump is too busy building his medieval vanity project to give a chink a fucking medal. I really hope I’m wrong.
12 All the men in my family have cheated
13 I almost had a mental breakdown but I rescheduled it.
14 明日愁來明日愁。As for what sorrow may come tomorrow, let it be tomorrow’s sorrow. Gōnggōng drinks today while drink he may.