Mon, 5 May 2003 10:43:33 -0700 (PDT)
i want to ask you out for a coffee-date (if i have permission from your girlfriend to do so:) after you're done with the semester. i would take you to a more date-like atmosphere (like a library or a church or something), but i thought that would be a bit intimidating. i've been meaning to send this email for sometime, but, you know....yeah, that's how it goes.
we can go someplace that serves alcohol if you're more comfortable with that idea, but if that's the case,i hope you would not mind if i drink milk there--i have a tendency to spill all secrets when i'm drunk (my secrets, other people's secrets, even made up secrets) and i don't want you to know that i've got mad love for you on the first date. maybe later. i'm kidding (try to believe it). don't be scared. let's go have some coffee in a few weeks; allow me to cut in front of you, yeah?
That sounds really nice. Let me know when you would like to get together.
After Monday I am relatively free until I go to India on the 25th. Talk to
Mon, 19 May 2003 12:28:07 -0700 (PDT)
There's a song:
Trời mưa mãi mưa hoài
Thần tiên giấc mơ dài
Vào cuộc đời sỏi đá, biết mình si mê
Buồn ơi đến bao giờ
Còn thương đến bao giờ
Khi muà thu còn mang tiếng buồn đêm hè
Vòng tay đã buông rồi,
Chán chường in trên nét môi...
Realize that I'm on my cheesy, sappy, sentimental streak...so i'm going to translate this, just to share this moment with you. It's only part of the song...
The rain keeps falling,
while the immortals dream their long, long dreams.
As the rock becomes a mortal, it knows that it desires...
How long will love last
when sad summer nights linger on your smile
when arms have already let go,
and despair imprints on your lips...
[[Thus my horrible translation. This is an illusion to The Dream of the Red Chamber--in which a rock from Heaven descends to Earth to pay back the tears that a fairy has shed on him. As an immortal, the rock falls in love with a girl (who is the fairy incarnated) but because of various reasons, their love could not happen. In the end, she dies, and he disappears---supposedly he goes back to Heaven. Well, at least that's what I think the song's alluding to.]]
Anyway, I dropped the book in your mailbox in the department's office. I hope you will like it.
ps/ I envy Penny. I truly do.
I will try to pick the book up as soon as possible. Thanks very much. I have
to go and pick up my passport now so I'll write a little more later. Take
care. I hope that you feel better and the despair departs. By the way, don't
envy Penny, I put her through hell daily.
Thur, 23 May 2003 11:30:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: quan tran
can i call you tonight?
Thu, 29 May 2003 13:36:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: quan tran
I hope you arrived in India happy and well. I was walking along the pier down to fisherman's wharf yesterday when i saw a badly drawn map of the world. of course, i had to locate where you are--could only locate the city, not precisely the street corner as you would have done. i take it you're still in calcutta? hope you have a beautiful week with your family and that you're enjoying yourself.
a note to say hello, how are you, and the like.
btw, i am building up my alcohol tolerance so that when you come back, i can hold a longer and more
reasoned conversation with you over beer. :)
I am still in Calcutta and I don't want to leave. It is really wonderful to be here. Thank you for writing me. I hope that you have a nice summer and learn to speak French with a real snobby accent. Good luck with the drinking. It is not easy to be a drunk. It takes patience, perseverance, tenacity, courage, money, and other such words that I can't spell.
Sunday, November 23, 2003 1:48PM
From: quan tran
To: undisclosed recipient
This is a Non-Email. Do not read. It contains sentences that are of little or no value to you (or to anything) except the chitty, blathering ..me, whose incessant feeling of ..something is gnawing at a particularly pesty pace. Unfortunately, the chit does not believe in private diary entries (that would be as useless as unwritten thoughts) thus she writes them as emails and sends them to the intended unfortunate you. However, there remains enough conscience in her contorted ego to prompt her to put this disclaimer at the beginning. You read on at your own risk, and truly, you must forgive her.
A number of things crumble, and together, they create a hole that could only be filled by Danish tobacco. When I was little, my grandfather told me that tobacco could help sterilize a cut and stop the bleeding, promotes coagulation. It would hurt like hell though, my brother was warned thus when he chopped a section off his finger along with the chicken leg. It's a good lesson to remember, except there is no cut for me to stop the bleeding. So what to do with this tobacco that I have? There is only one thing for me to do. Either Danish tobacco is spicy, or it is beginner's tobacco that is spicy. And potent. Almost as potent as my grandfather's tobacco, which he rolled into rolls the size of cigars, rythmically inhaled and exhaled in his little corner by the south china sea. What a long and winding sentence. Doesn't tell you much about what I want to tell you, does it?
When I told you your cigarette smells good, I meant it. Although I was unprepared for the taste it leaves in my throat. And certainly very unprepared for the gliding feeling afterwards. I only wanted to know what you may smell like; did not initially plan on smoking it. My grandfather's tobacco did not have that effect, although it may be because I was too young to remember.
The first time was excellent. The scent was intoxicating, and it brought back to me what I wanted to bring back. The second time I cannot remember because I was too deep into what went on at that moment. The third time made me want to stop breathing. But, this fourth try, I am loving the taste and its smell. I imagine that this is what I would smell if I press my nose against your body.
My friend at first scolded me when I told her about you. She said, Would you please stop and remove you from yourself? He is not in a position to do anything. Leave the man alone. stop being so preoccupied with yourself. Then, a week later, she changed her mind. She said, because she saw how truly happy I was. It wasn't much, was it Rahul? But it was enough to make me high for a little while. It was a very nice moment, and it truly made me happy, and remembering it makes me happy still. For that, she said, she is happy for me. Furthermore, I recognize that it does not extend outside of that moment, thus it is perfectly safe to be happy and accept it as special and bask in it.
But, in this particular minute, I am tired of basking in a suspended moment, dangling, removed from all things, as if those hours have been cleanly excised from the mumbling whole. As if such a thing is possible for more than one single second. Thus I am also in suspension. Who knows, perhaps a minute from now I will return to embrace them again.
I'm sorry--you are receiving this email as a result of many knotty things. I have written enough. I am beginning to have second thoughts about sending this to you. I will stop here before I change my mind. Perhaps that would be a good thing, but you know, I never do things that are good. Try, but most of the times I fail. Like now, or in a few seconds, when I press the send button. I'm very afraid. Torn, actually. Afraid that you will find this so utterly beyond stupid. That perhaps you will read this and raise your left eyebrow in utter disdain. My friend says, in being crazy and crazy as I am (like now, in this email and many other emails besides), I set myself up for failure. That perhaps I do this to purposely freak people out, chase them away. Do you think so? I dont' think so. I'm so used to doing things this way, in telling things this way, that I know of no other way to do it. I will insist on being stubborn. I cannot hold things within. I do not want to keep things to myself. And what is the use of thoughts written down when they are not read? For countless reasons, I have always hated not knowing and not making things known. My philosophy: bring everything out and make everything known, so that nothing is hidden, nothing is kept, nothing is suffered or manipulated.
Will you respond to one question, Rahul? Will you tell me if these emails irritate you? Will you tell me if it is alright for me to keep sharing with you these kinds of thoughts? If you want me to stop sharing with you these thoughts, tell me, and I will stop. I share them with no expectation, except to share, with you only, and, in a sense, to seek(or demand? or force?) acknowledgement. Of course you know already, but you don't know how it is from moment to moment. They come in waves, you know. Like storms. Except there is no weatherman to predict. Atmospheric science is not that sophisticated here. One cannot know before hand when the storm comes. It just come, and one can only hunch down and survive until it passes. I am still wondering why it's acting up now, now of all times. Perhaps El Nino operates here too.
I began this email early this morning. But was afraid to send it, so it sat in my draft box until now.
And in the draft box it remains.
I wrote my reply to you yesterday. I don't think you will write to me again until at least a week later, and only if i send you a nonchalant email, one that does not reveal anything, thus threatens nothing. then you will reply to me, with one or two sentences, telling me about the weather or some other unimportant topic of sort. My friend says she admires you, for the way that you have been responding to me, but I do not. Of course, it is effective, because after a while I cannot help but give up. Then all will be well.
Months later: and why not? all is well.