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[personal profile] bao
There used to be a time, not so long ago, that I was a widely respected and powerful man. Not here, obviously. Not Thái Nguyên, either. In TN, I was always up to no good, even if I didn't know it, because what else would you expect from the son of Liên Tuyết? "Thắng lưu manh đang lá con đĩ." And here, I'm either flattered half to death for being so very "wise" and always knowing what's best, cursed for being horrible personified evil with large serrated death, or teased for being a silly pervert.

If it sounds like I'm standing on a soapbox and about to bitch at the world with a megaphone, I'm sorry, but I'm not really up to that right now, or possibly ever. I'm just thinking about pigeonholes of all kinds, whether they be the reputations you can't live up to or the reputations you can't live down. There are only two people in this world that I'm absolutely certain know what I'm like at both my best times and worst times, and can still accept both and everything in between.

There is a particular person whom I'd like to be more frank and serious with. But that, right there, is the wrong way to phrase it-- there's already been some confusion about how I feel about her, or her about me, and I want to be serious in a non-romantic non-sexual direction. I want to actually talk about my life, my fears, what's going on, in a serious fashion without having to feint one way or the other to avoid the topic. I don't care if it's face-to-face or if she prefers to keep it in email so that it doesn't mess up the fun of hanging out... heck, I've known for years that even the most open-minded folks have an easier time dealing with me if they're talking to an icon rather than this face.

It's not just for me that I want to talk seriously for once. It's that I've got this hunch, this gut feeling, that she's dealing with a lot of the same fears and issues that have been plaguing me for years. That mode of thinking that you slip into after years of living here under a constant barrage that claims to be a reality check, to "save" you from daring to think that God doesn't make mistakes, that what you think you have to hide shouldn't have to be hidden, that you don't have to force yourself to pretend that what everyone tells you about yourself is the way you must be.

I knew what I was getting into when I retreated from respect and power to become a nobody that few even believe exists. I did it to save a soul. I've taken the best this world can toss at me, the most viciousness that the population has had to offer, and it's ripped away little parts of me over time, such as that I don't know if I could ever return to my old way of life. But I accomplished what I set out to do in the first place, so I have few regrets. She smiles, she laughs, she makes little crow noises at dogs. There is life in her eyes again, and that's worth more than any respect or power you could summon to bribe me with.

At the same time, do I stop there? Save one bird and ignore the rest?

I want to at least tell her that it's okay, and that I'll always be there for her if she needs someone to talk to.

And then immediately fix "In an obnoxious protective older brother sort of way," onto the end. Because everyone thinks I'm trying to woo them all the time. Lucky me.
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