When a child first catches adults out – when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just – his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine.

And the child’s world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.

John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Water dripping on Howl

2015.06.23 | Howl’s last [full] day in Sunhe, Chaoyang District, Beijing, PRC


“Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego:

Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And, it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone.

Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S” – that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes.

What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us.¹ Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And, what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He’s weak… he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race. Sorta like Beatrix Kiddo and Mrs. Tommy Plimpton.”

Bill – Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)

Two Indian men were hitting on me while I was waiting on the wrong subway platform² to head home from Seoul, Saturday night. Though I found it awkward dropping hints that I was not interested³, the following warmed my heart:

“Your hair – your natural color?”

“No, but if I don’t have it this way, I can’t get a job here.”

They both said, “OOOH!” in a way that showed they fully understood what I meant. It was a moment in which I realized what class of people I was, and that it was okay. I thought, “Wow, I didn’t have to elaborate at all. They understood because their background, although different, has similar handicaps.”

It was a sense of homey-ness.

2015.03.21 – Apartment in Sunhe, Chaoyang District, Beijing | Homey-ness Maximum with Howl


¹Although I am awesome, I do not mean to imply I am on the same level as Superman.
²I was not aware that I was on the wrong platform – Sindorim Subway Station, I’ve discovered, is a bit confusing with its variety of routes available on the same subway line. The sentence referenced also sounds like the beginning of a poorly thought out joke.
³I have decided from now on, I will simply ask, “Are you hitting on me?” and move on from there in future exchanges with others.