Waiting to hear whether a lab mate’s family was killed
in the earthquake in China, a little on edge because
he can’t currently get through to them, I’m recalling the time
he wore all red because it was the first day of the year
of the snake and he was a snake and if he didn’t wear
his red hanes sweatshirt and sweatpants to work his
demons would come back this year to haunt him. It was odd
that he could be so superstitious and scientific, but for
a moment I wondered if his boxers weren’t red that day.
I don’t feel guilty when I’m disappointed to find out that
his family is alright, that the earthquake was actually a
hundred miles away, that life is still achingly the same for
everyone I know and everyone they know in California
and China and the whole unchanging universe.
It’s sick of me to want pain to come rattling into people’s
lives like this just to relieve the pressure of my own monotony,
it doesn’t have to be pain, it could be something like a
moon landing, just something wondrously real.
Susan Min was born and raised in Chino Hills, CA and attended UC Riverside as a creative writing major. She is currently working on her first book. Her website is susanmin.com.