When I first arrived in the United States of America, I collected every receipt, folded them like squares of tofu, hid them under my pillow, placed them into a purse that my dad gave me before I left my hometown and carried them across the Pacific Ocean. After the semester started, I wrote on the back of the receipts, “I MISS YOU” and gave them to my friends. I kept sniffing the pocket inside my purse after I heard them laughing.
Idealism: Life is a box of chocolates. A person tries his best until he finds the only one that satisfies.
Realism: He doesn’t like peanut butter nor strawberry truffle and milk chocolate. Nothing makes him happy.
So golden fish swim in the toilet
So sunlight reflects on my neighbor’s wilted plant
So tea spins in the bowl
So the afternoon copies the painting
My dad collects receipts and checks lottery numbers on the top of them. He turns on the lamp and waits to be a millionaire in the next second while he reads the daily newspaper. My dad has only earned 21 dollars.
Becoming French. You have to speak French with an American accent, drink French wine, eat baguettes in the morning and crepes in the night, listen to Edith Piaf, walk under the rain, smoke in front of cafes, dream above the Eiffel Tower, marry a French person. It is tiring to be French so let’s quit.
The artists pursue beauty, chase the truth and are pushed to the limit. They commit suicide. The ordinaries are sluggish, pushed and pulled, smell their greasy hair and die at dusk. The fashionistas wear stars on shirts, rivers on pants, the moon shiny inside their braids. They have conceded to suffer.
People who like
black are gloomy,
white are innocent,
blue are blue,
red are passionate,
yellow are sensitive,
green are dying,
grey are me,
orange are in fields.
It doesn’t make sense because color doesn’t know itself.
I went to a restaurant last night and the waiter wrote down on my receipt, Do you want to talk to the manager? I was terrified, shivered and strained. I said, No, it was the best meal in my life so I do not want to share with anyone.
Impressionism drags me to a space where it is loud, twisted, bright, hot and full of layers. I am overwhelmed after I see more than 10 pieces. But after I sit down, it brings me peacefulness.
Therefore the cat ran down to stairs
Therefore the child spins the fan around
Therefore his sketchbook is full of collaged photos
Babies are cute, their little nails, pink lips, pliable bones, disproportionate eyes and sharp cries. They are kicking their feet to the sky, climbing around the toy castle and singing a homemade song. We do not change much with time. We just forget to learn to adore big.
The middle class goes to second hand shops. Poor people go to donation centers. Homeless people sit next to trashcans. Free spirits wear old coats, eat in subway stations sleep next to passengers, paint statues in the street, make friends with street animals and doodle on your wall.
Why don’t you collect your receipts for this month and send them to me? Of course I love you. Of course it is not about money. I want to go shopping with you, watch your wallet and be your daily life.