I’ve never seen snowfall. I mean I’ve seen it on the ground, the powdery white of it on a mountainside like in a painting. But I’ve never seen it fall, the snowflakes in their soft descent, the gentle cascade of a million tiny different versions of Christmas falling from Heaven. Maybe that’s not how it really is, but sometimes imagination can give the truest account. So, I’m not sure I ever want to see it now. There are certain things certain people shouldn’t see, even a thing as benign as snow to a person as unassuming as me. A native Laotian never sees the ocean, so what? She’s all the more Laotian for it. Our dear mother, bless her forgiving heart, she never saw her own father, so what? He might have been an unbearable bastard. It’s better she imagines him a war hero who swallowed a shot of cyanide before the commies could beat a confession out of him. Because seeing a thing changes you, like poor Johnny who isn’t shocked anymore by anything, not even an illegal alien probing his ass with a bong because he’s seen so much dope shit and shitty dope in his life.
I know you’re curious Jenny. I know the feeling; you’re a stranger in this world. You want to fit in, but you can’t just dive in. I bet the first blue-eyed boy who whispered “hi” in your general direction, you swam in the flattery, never mind his intention to score his first piece of foreign flesh and then cast you off like a refugee. “He fuck you one time, you love him long time.” “Wham bam thank you Miss Siam”. I can bet you did because I did that too.
Do I sound like a hypocrite? Maybe I do, but I’ve always wondered, is a two-faced hypocrite redeemed for having two hearts or does a hypocrite have any heart at all?
I mean, we’ve all got our blind spots, things we don’t want to acknowledge or can’t comprehend, even as they happen to us, and continue to happen to us years after the fact. I’ve witnessed some things that I can’t describe to you, not because I am stingy with my experience but because they vanish as I reach for them, like shadows, like ghosts. So who am I to tell you what to do? Because if sin did not exist, it would be necessary for you to invent it, if that is your nature. And if virtue blocked your view of all the sick fun you could be having, you’d find some way to convince yourself that debauchery was just a twisted cousin of decadence, like a stiletto heeled slut beneath an oversized mink coat. I’ve done some crazy things, so I can’t judge you, but don’t let my life justify yours either.
Maybe I have seen snowfall, and maybe that’s my blind spot, because all I see is my vision of it, not the blizzards, not the blindness, not the sleet and hail that causes innocent souls to veer uncontrollably off the straight and narrow roads they were traveling on, not the bitter coldness that freezes over both my rival hearts. No, I just see the snowflakes, each as pure and unbroken as the next, all falling in that gentle cascade, like visitants from Heaven.