writing rebels

Rebels of Writing

Her parents were rebels of writing. They both had the most beautifully off-kilter handwriting that ever graced the blank canvas of a page. Yet, a revolving door of teachers and bosses reprimanded her parents for their uniqueness. Bee would later undergo the same disciplinary fate.

Bee’s dad was the meticulous creator. Every letter felt like a patch on a handstitched quilt—with its own color scheme, its own pattern, its own material, its own story to tell.

He wrote in all caps…

WHEN HE WROTE POETRY, IT WAS LIKE HE SHOUTED AT THE WORLD. PERHAPS THAT WAS THE ONLY WAY ANYONE WOULD LISTEN TO HIS INNERMOST THOUGHTS. HER DAD RARELY WORE HIS HEART ON HIS SLEEVE UNLESS HE WAS WRITING. THIS WAS THE QUIET SPACE WHERE HE COULD SCREAM.

Bee’s mom was the elegant trailblazer. Every letter felt like a figure skater practicing her spiral—one leg extended behind her, leaning the other way for balance as she glided across the ice.

She wrote in backwards italics (slanting left, instead of right)…

When she wrote essays, it was like she was pulling away from the world. Perhaps that was the only way anyone would notice her innermost thoughts. Her mom rarely broadcasted her intelligence unless she was writing. This was the sitting room where she could stand.

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breakfast with anthony bourdain

Dreaming About Breakfast with Anthony Bourdain

She knocked three times with one of those brass handles you only see on ancient doors in obscure European towns. Bee touched the deep ridges on the worn wooden door. They were like wrinkles formed by a lifetime of highs and lows.

When Anthony Bourdain opened the heavy door, barefoot and dressed in a long Kaftan, Bee knew she was dreaming. The smell of stale cigarettes and booze overpowered the scents of baked goods already permeating the air.

In real life, Tony hung himself in a town in France—much like this one in her subconscious mind. Yet there he was, hungover in his nighty.

Bourdain never asked Bee who she was or why she stood on his doorstep like some groupie. He stared back, an inquisitive brow raised high above his brown eyes.

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balinese woman offering

The Secret to a Balanced Life

Twenty-two Westerners crowded the yoga studio on top of the vibrant green hill. Sitting tall and cross-legged, the yogis gazed at the distant volcanoes and the tangled jungle that stretched across the island. Sweat cascaded down their faces and backs, pooling upon their damp yoga mats.

Tension crept into their bodies. They felt a sudden urge to do everything at once to make up for the last 90 minutes where they spent time doing something for themselves.

Bee was no different from the other yogis. Her eyes darted from jungle treetops to the teacher’s serene face, from the yoga props littering the room and back again to the teacher.

This was her last yoga class before heading home in a few days. She began scheduling every last available minute, scheming ways to do more with the time she had left on the island—one more shopping trip, 2-4 more swims, one more deep tissue massage, more beauty and relaxation before it was all gone.

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ubud jungle

A Tiger Trap Love Story

Bee took the next step forward in the darkening evening, humming inside with vacation happiness and that nice buzz from the 2-for-1 cocktails at dinner. She fell straight into a tiger trap—otherwise known as a giant hole on the side of the road.

In many other parts of the world, there would have been a sidewalk where she stood. Smooth, except for the occasional cracks children hop over to improve their luck. Wide enough for streams of people romanced by their own distractions to pass each other, without making eye contact or brushing shoulders. Protected from motor vehicles whizzing past, simply by being elevated from the road and reserved for pedestrians.

If, for any reason, such a glorious sidewalk is obstructed, a bold warning sign bordered by unmistakable florescent orange cones alerts the pedestrians to ensure their safety.

Not here. Where the sidewalk ends…a lot. If there was a sidewalk to begin with. Even still, it’s no tiger trap.

A married couple Bee once knew went to Southeast Asia for their honeymoon. It was a romantic adventure, until the husband fell into a tiger trap in a remote part of Cambodia. She had been hiking in front of him. When she turned around, he was gone.

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changi airport

Enlightened in a Foreign Comatose Airport

The world Bee had known shifted permanently when the woman rose from her prayer mat. It was 5:07am, in a foreign comatose airport halfway across her microscopic universe.

After 18 mind-altering hours on a plane, Bee couldn’t remember how to walk. Each step was its own careful performance as she dragged her body across the vertigo-inducing carpet. She felt like that dead guy from Weekend at Bernie’s. But without the other two dudes keeping her upright—no 1980s windbreaker and bushy mustache to help her out either.

Humming its mechanical song, the moving walkway carried nobody. Regardless, it glided forward on its devoted expedition.

People clung to shadowy edges, avoiding dim spotlights from the airport heavens above which mocked their undereye circles and ashy skin. Weird music floated across the cavernous terminal—failing to soothe, succeeding as an agitator.

Bee stumbled when she saw her, this veiled woman so beautifully grounded on her protected island. The top end of the woman’s prayer mat rested against the moving walkway. She pressed her slender, dark hands against the mat and sat back on her heels. Her mat was crooked, but she didn’t adjust it.

While everyone else avoided the unflattering overhead lights, she basked in her exclusive sunbeams. While everyone else waited impatiently for their journey to begin, she savored the journey that had already begun.

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