The Propeller Seed

asian American, journal, Journal

Propeller seed

December 28th, 2018. Three days before the new year eve.

It’s still five pm in Lincoln, but the sky outside was already dark like it was eight. Outside and inside were the same. Cold. She had not turned on the heater inside her apartment.

Here what she could find around that time: white snow covered the empty streets and the rooftop of the apartment building, scattered papers and books on the floor, messy blanket on the bed, creased newspapers all over the flower patterned sofa, cinnamon pancakes on a plate with peanut butter jam in the kitchen and a cold water for the coffee in the saucepan.

She was sitting on the sofa and looking straight to a poster of John Lennon and his ‘Imagine’ lyrics. Her mind was blank, but her heart was not. She started to feel as if she was sinking, going down, down, and down.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

It was her worrying things too much. It was her starting to be conscious again about time. And about future, too. Her heart was beginning to beat faster. It was a long holiday and she did not do anything. Not going on vacation nor working on anything productive. But why should I do anything in a holiday? Why could not I just do nothing? She protested to her wandering mind and looked at her phone message.

“What are you going to do tonight?”


“Are you busy?”

“A bit.”

She walked to the kitchen and took out a box of flour and mixing it with water, corns and chopped shrimps. She added some salt, pepper, and garlic. Stirring it. She could do many things for that day, her unfinished business of works, but she felt wanna do random things recently. There was something inside herself that wanted to talk something to her. Something deep out of something deep. Something that made her stayed late at night almost every day during the holiday. Something that yet she had to decipher. The meaning.

She remembered random things that she did during the holiday: grabbing newspaper outside the apartment building in the morning, laying on the bed until noon, moving her feet under the fur blanket, circling the living room while carrying a magazine with one hand, eating cereal while sitting on the couch. Her eyes were gazing to the balcony. During this winter, where all the squirrels go? Where do they hide and protect themselves from the coldness of snow? She thought.

Starting to learn piano again, the thing that she used to do when she was in her junior high school. Before things become more complicated. When her family still had enough money for luxurious thing such as joining a piano course. When her piano teacher said to her that she was a talented and natural born creative person who could learn musical instrument fast.

“What are you doing?”

“Writing. What’s up?”

“I am thinking to invite you but is this invitation worthy enough to steal you from the muse you have right now.”

“It depends.”

“Let’s go at eight o’clock, then.”

She did not answer. She looked again at the poster of John Lennon in front of her. She remembered one of her best friends teasing her. Lennon looked like your ex, that girl said. That’s why you put the poster in the living room. Even though it was not her motive nor reason, she started to think maybe her friend was right. Maybe it was her subconscious mind. The fact was she had talked with her ex, months ago when they still cared one another, about being a creative power couple like Lennon and Yoko Ono. Now it was over.

Her head started to feel dizzy, the routine that she had always had whenever the panic attacked. Panic of something that had not happened. Panic because of her overwhelming thinking. She rushed to her room. Laying down on her bed. Eyes were staring at the ceiling. The ceiling that looked like a corn dough spotted with black pepper powder. What am I thinking? Why I am feeling like this? It must be because of the snow, fogs and rains. Or maybe, I want to have my period, she assured herself.

Another message was coming. From another male friend. Pictures. A lot of pictures. And a hug emoticon. Handsome fella. Very handsome. Like an artist with a six pad muscle and a broad beautiful smile completed his persistent stare.

“Wish you were here enjoying the scenery with me. “

She put her phone and closed her eyes. How come she was not interested with any of them? How come after several dates with all the new guys, her heart was still locked up. She already tried her best. To heal her wound. To let her guard down. To let love in again.

She talked with them almost every day, pushed her self so hard to like them as the way they were. But why it was useless? The hurt was still there, residing like a frozen burned dough in the corner of the baking pan. It was difficult to be removed and cleaned. Meanwhile, the feeling was not there. Her heart was drying up. She remembered the saying of an old fellow who claimed having psychic ability. Two people last year. She loved these two people. None could replace them. And she would marry one of them. She decided not to believe it.

She started to think about random things again. Is it always be a curse of a creative person? To feel deep and think deep and be difficult with people? Since you are becoming yourself, you need to meet with the same soul as you are and it is a rare occasion to have. Or is it only her being difficult with her life? Why don’t she tries again? And to be patient with time? 

“I wish the same way, too.” She finally replied the message and sent a cartoon of a hugging dog.

Maybe she could try. Could try to love and to grow a propeller seed. Try to kick her feeling out of its comfort zone. To start loving a person like them, not like him. The one who deserved attention and her time. The one who was willing to make an effort to listen to her. The one who was there when she needed him.

But, who knows the future may bring? Who knows. Who knows. Who knows… We never know.


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