Present Ghost

Telling stories



In the car

Most of the time, when I drive to work, I just drive. I follow the same blue-green Honda Fit plastered with bumper decals about universalism, hiking, and geology. If I’m not catching up with family phone calls, I’m listening to Vietnamese language CDs and pushing the “back” button again and again trying to pronounce impossible words before 8 a.m.

The other day at a stoplight, I looked to my left and saw a Sikh in his black 1997 Hyundai Accent, sipping on a homemade energy shake. His turban was pressed against the ceiling. In front of him, a salt-and-peppered post-professional man revved his engine and smirked in his Mercedes convertible. He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt. To his right and in front of me, a woman was hotboxing it in her 4Runner, blaring talk radio so loud that I could hear the anger passing through her windows. The hatch bore a Navy ribbon. The woman to my right sat in an Avalon and applied her perfectly coordinated lipstick in the rearview mirror, sipped her Starbucks, and blotted. Continue reading “In the car”

Why I Write

Written before the blog was active, August 6, 2013.

My mother told me that my first words were “baby bear” and “Barbie dar,” and I don’t remember saying them. The first words I actually remember saying were indignantly strung together as declaration and defense:

“I can do it myself.”

Much to my detriment, whether in matters of art, career, spirit, or relationships, these defiant words have defined my resistance to hearing advice and taking help from people far wiser than I am for most of my life. I’m lucky I’ve learned that despite the promises in sprawling sections of self-help books in every corner book store, I certainly cannot do it myself—it being as simple as moving a queen-size bed up a flight of stairs or keeping hardships locked inside. Moreover, even if I can manage to get it done, it’s not always best to do it alone. Continue reading “Why I Write”

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: