Anger, angst… fear

I was a total arse yesterday.

To cheer me up, friend bought tickets to the Walt Disney Hall, because I hadn’t been in there yet.

He called me at 10:30, “I’ll pick me up at 12:30.”

I rebutted, “Wait, so we are not having lunch?”

He paused, “We can do lunch although I won’t recommend it.”

I rolled my eyes and barked back, “I thought it was like last time when we went to Dorothy Chandler. So I haven’t yet had any breakfast.”

“Never mind. I will pick you up at 11.”

By 11, he was downstairs. He was tense. I tried small talk. But he wasn’t engaging, “I’m not a morning person. I’m not awake yet.”

We had a quick lunch. 30 minutes later, we were done, almost.

He asked, “Are you ready?”

It was barely one o’clock. The concert didn’t start until two. I snapped, “What’s the rush?”

Three minutes later, we were out of the restaurant. By the Modern Art Museum, there was a fugly fountain. Some clueless tourists were posing and taking photos.

He stopped by a group of family.

I rolled my eyes, trying to ask him why we were stopping since we were rushing.

He ignored me and turned to the family, “Would you like a group photo?”

“That would be great! Thank you!”

I zipped out and sat down on the nearest bench.

He joined me a minute later, “This is what I do when I see tourists. I take pictures for them.”

“You can at least tell me to wait.”

“Life is too short.” He said to himself.

In silence, under the perfect Californian sun, we strode towards the gleaming Disney Hall.


I was underwhelmed. The French Horn was late. The maestro lectured before every piece. The tenor popped the mic a few times. The female instrumentalists donned various colored gowns as if they were models. Constant phone lightings in the dark. People zipped in and out, during the performance!  Too out of context to appreciate the combo of music pieces, I gave up enjoying.

I knew I should just keep my mouth shut, but I complained to my poor friend during the intermission. He pointed out that it was a summer concert and it’s LA, so it’s casual.

Three hours later, we hit the road again. I asked him where we were heading.

“I’m dropping you off.”

“Wait, didn’t you say we are going to talk through my issues today over dinner?”

“I’m tired. I need to be alone, at my home.”

“You could have told me.” There I began another round of accusation.

Naturally, he gave me another round of silence treatment.

In the end, he finally said, “I’m not obligated to engage at your level of emotional immaturity. It’s like an adult trying to reason with a kindergartener who’s determined to throw a tantrum.”

The gut punch. I lowered the car seat and lay down… and breathed.

“The anger you have is towards your former boss, the way he treated you from the beginning to the end. Now you are lashing it out at me. I don’t need this, okay?”

I re-adjusted the seat and turned towards him.

“I’m sorry.” But my terse reply betrayed me.

“The good news is you are still young as you experience this thing called betrayal. You put your trust on someone and didn’t get what you were promised. I didn’t experience it until much later. It’s painful. It takes time. Your problem will still be here tomorrow. But right now, I’m too tired and you’re too angry.”

I finally realized what I was doing. I didn’t pick my battles. And it became a shitshow.

By the end of the night after half-pint of mint chip ice cream and a full box of cherries, I spoke with my psychologist friend in Shanghai.

“Come back home. Re-center yourself. You can’t make right choices when you aren’t mentally healthy. The good news is you’re still young. Not that you can’t when you’re older. A couple of months later, we can laugh about it over some wine. It’ll be okay.”

As I woke up this morning. I heeded to her advice. I repeated what she asked to say:

“I’m a spirit experiencing human experience.”

With my phone timer, I let myself be the victim, feel the pain, the loss, the betrayal for fifteen minutes and no more.

Tomorrow, I will do the same to begin again.

Now, I will start working: declutter my life and do it out of love.


Yours truly,

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