Sunday, May 25, 2008

High Expectations

Last night my senses were heightened.

We were listening to utada's 'simple and clean' and for some reason she sounded amazing. Her lyrics oozed from the youtube clip with such conviction... "please... don't go." I found a stale piece of cheese in the fridge that should have been thrown away, but instead, I microwaved it and it was the best cheese I have ever fucking had in my entire life! And SOMEHOW JV teleported behind me with a cup of noodle in his hand!

Only in Berkeley.

I'm a bit tired. Yesterday was my fourth bone marrow drive. My fourth day dealing with damp food stained cotton swabs from people's mouths.

The drive at the Southeast Asian Graduation Ceremony wasn't as successful as I thought it would be. I day dreamed of registering all 600 people attending, but we managed to get a fraction. As I tried to out reach, I realized that it was difficult from the beginning; the committee concerned that the drive would take away from the ceremony. I was stepping on egg shells and trying to be as respectful as possible. During the drive itself I was reminded that people are less receptive to care about people that they are not attached to.

I made an announcement that I imagined to be a bit powerful, but as I practiced it over and over hours before, it became too rehearsed and its emotional flare dissolved.

I've learned the kindness of strangers and the test of friendship when people that I didn't even know showed more concern about me than a couple of people that I considerED my friends.

After my announcement, I walked by each table in the room asking people to register. Adults had a glazed looks, kids were making jokes and my goal of getting pass 100 registered dwindled. Even though I threw in key words like, "community, family... " even though I "urged everyone to ask questions, keep informed," in my speech and received a respectful applaud at the end, only a handful seemed to be willing to listen. Of course, they were here for a graduation ceremony, not to save a stranger.

But on the flip side a fair number of people told me they registered and wished me good luck... generousity was shown by many strangers who approached the booth to learn more and to register and many of MY friends who registered "for me" because they "care about me" got more of my respect...thank you so much...and folks were generally positive. Almost 50 were registered and out of that 50... someone could be a match. I should be thankful that SEA Grad even let me host a drive.

I just wanted to beat the Club One turn out of a 102!
The day before I helped at Delta Sig's drive. Amazingly, 80 registered (out of the 2000 individuals invited on thefacebeook). It made me smile to see that they had the support of the entire fraternity. I also was driven by other motivated members of Team Michelle! I was saddened that only a couple of kids from my community showed up.

It was the end of the year. Maybe I just had too much expectation. I guess.. I just needed more familiar faces to give me hope... hope for myself, hope for my cousin.

I made some calls from my network of friends to urge them to come to the drive, but most of my calls were ignored. Except from a boy that I've been crushing on for two years.

He told me he would come.. and he did. He asked me about my cousin, he asked me about how I was doing. He was warm and friendly even though he knew that I had a crush on him. He did not let that affect our friendship.

As I walked away with my signs he said, "chris.. wait... what happens if you don't find a match?"

I explained that she would have to go through more chemo and there is ONLY so much chemo your body can take. He had a glossy look in his eyes. "I hope everything is okay, Chris." He really cared and gave me a nice tight long hug. I knew there was a reason why I crushed on him besides from his cute face.

I've been asked if Michelle really is my cousin. And I answer: Yes. Because she's been there for my family and for me personally.

A couple of months back, she called me up randomly to ask if I was okay. I reassured her that I was well... but found myself calling her back 10 minutes later only to release a lot of pain that I had been experiencing. Pain that I don't share with others because of a promise and because it's the sort of pain that you don't share with just anyone.

Michelle and her boyfriend Van (my blood cousin) spent time fixing my resume. They made time for me and made me feel as if I was worth something.

And Michelle had always held her hand out... just incase I needed help. So.. if you ask me if Michelle really is my cousin. Then... I tell you that she is. And I'm on a mission to save her.

Sally told me it was great to see me back in my element; in a place where I was informing people about something I cared about... it made her smile to see passion back in my eyes that had been absent for so long.

...Being laid off really is a positive thing... I'd rather be a part of something bigger.

1 comment:

Ri.S.K. said...

Don't let the calloused, selfish people get you down, Chris.

If people would rather care more about a graduation than someone's life, that's their downfall, not yours.

Keep your head up and keep going strong.