Fireworks

I do not know when I first heard fireworks, but I can remember it was 1989, December 31st, near midnight and I looked out my small bedroom window thinking, “It is finally another decade.” I was 10 at the time and a mere two weeks short of my 11th birthday.

It was not necessarily a moment to tell myself life will get tougher, but I have a feeling it was a moment of wonderment. I always looked toward the future as if it was a painting that I needed to uncover. I have uncovered it and found that there is a lot of ugliness in this world, even through different perspectives. Maybe that’s also the beauty of it. It’s like a crystal where many different colours shimmer from it from a single beam of white light. One subject, infinite views.

So I turned off my computer monitor, all of the lights and proceeded to bed when I heard the sound of distant booming. It was the Canada Day fireworks near downtown Vancouver. Somehow, I reconsidered going to bed before midnight and thought I will spend some time with one or two new journal entries here. However, one thing lead to another and I only managed to type up the first two paragraphs. I deleted two sentences that took up this space here though.

What motivated me to come back to my computer was that after hearing the fireworks in the distance, I remembered something I thought about two Halloweens ago. You see, every Halloween here in Richmond, the Fire Department puts on a fireworks display out in the school field near here. Two Halloweens ago, I went out with my mom amongst a crowd and watched the show. It was beautiful. However, the entire time I was out there, I thought how wonderful I could share that moment with Amber instead of filming it with a camera for her to see.

What also motivated me to enter my thoughts here about that is that I remember every year I hear the downtown fireworks and for as far back as I could remember, I thought, “When can I finally see the fireworks with the woman I love?”

I have never seen fireworks with a girl I like before, let alone someone I loved. It could possibly be ‘I am saving myself’ for that special someone to share that moment with.

For Canada Day, I spent the entire day alone. I listened to music, checked emails, did a little work and watched three movies from the “Young and Dangerous” series. Some time during the day, Uncle Dick gave me a call just to say hello, followed by a call from Amber minutes later. We talked a little. Hearing her talk in her sleepy girly voice melts my heart. Though it was nice to hear voices from outside my prison, the nicety was barely penetrating my anxiety and sadness. There is a stirring anger in me, frustration, worry and hopelessness. Indeed, there is a speckle of hope, but I have an entire forest burning with hopelessness and the feeling as though I am going to lose the battle. A decisive battle that may end up losing the war as well.

Though I appreciate that Uncle Dick gave me a call and tried to reassure me that my life will get better eventually, at the same time, I could not help but think, “It’s so easy for others to say that to me.” Indeed, one of the things he mentioned was the my resilience is greater than most people he has ever met and he thinks compared to most people he has met, most of everyone else would have faltered already. In some ways, that is nice to hear that someone recognizes that about me, but at the same time, it doesn’t help my situation that I am stronger than most and more resilient than I look, etc.

What I need is a chance at life, a chance to have a future that I can look forward to. What I need is for my third partner to finish the changes requested by the client’s designer. What I need is for my second partner to be the project manager and work closely with the design lead and get things done and closed off. What I need is for the client to pay us, so I can get paid, so I can send out our immigration forms for Amber and give money to my mom for her welfare. My partners can afford to lose $1,000 to $3,000, but I can’t.

That’s why it’s easy for everyone else to say things to me, because they can afford to lose a few thousand dollars. I can’t because my family relies on that money.

It’s so easy to see people post on Facebook, “Life is short, do what makes you happy.” Being able to provide will make me happy, but I can barely provide and this constantly brings my mood down. I am constantly in a state of unrest. When people say to me, “Money isn’t everything. Health is more important.” I wish I could agree because I disagree. People who have money can say health is the most important thing. Guess what? We’re all going to die one day. It depends how we’re going to die. I am not so extreme to think that health is the most important thing when I have no money to support my family. If I could trade ten years off my life, to give my entire family a life time of financial support, I would gladly give my life away.

However, an off-duty police officer sitting across from me at a friend’s house once bluntly told me, “You’re not as supportive as you say you are. You’re not doing as much as you think you are. If you really cared about your family, you would drop everything and do anything to help them.”

He was right. He was 100% correct in his assessment.

Although certain things Amber has told me in the past and recently had upset me, she was also right. She may not think of me as a useless person, but as I once mentioned to Albert, I confess that I am overly critical of my esteem. I am an utterly useless piece of shit. I can only do what my brain allows me to do. Other than that, I am an utterly piece of shit.

Mind you, I say that to myself, but I don’t completely believe it. There is a part of me that tells me that I am more than just a useless piece of shit. This is something others cannot convince me about. This is something only I can believe myself. Whatever people tell me how they think of me, usually hits a lead wall and dissipate. Reason is because they haven’t lived my life, felt my emotions, experienced my experiences. So whatever they tell me, I normally either smile and nod and accept whatever they say, or I stop them in their tracks and tell them to not bother. I still appreciate that they try to tell me something nice, but it’s me. What is nice is for my client to pay us, so I can get paid and bring Amber here, give money to my mom and stop feeling so shitty all the damn time.

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/th0ma5b/.

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