Feng-Ling Chou: my sex education came from the romance novels, in the time when those things were banned, they’d managed, to bleach out the desires too, and, there were only faces that were in romances or making love, everything else underneath the faces, were, left blank, this without the senses of the body kinds of novels, turned me into someone who’s also, without the senses of her body too, I’d once imagined, that if having sex is like using a quilt, or a towel, holy, holding it for too long, you’d start to pant, that’s real close, right? Until middle school, a female classmate who’d matured earlier than most of our class told of the truth about sex, I was so shocked, and, ever since, I’d felt, that boys were impurities, that they’d taken baths or showers, without checking to see if they’d actually cleaned themselves up well. Back then, most female students, after they’d started growing, weren’t wearing bras, and we’d still wore those white cotton pads, and, among us, if there were those who wore bras, they’d been called “evil”. Actually, not wearing the bras will make you show, which will then, make others commit some sort of violations, I had been, attacked, once, by a strange man who rode up toward me on his bicycle, and I’d felt awful about it for a very long time, I really did want to kill myself for a very long time too.
After I’d entered into college, did I start, practicing wearing bras, but, it just couldn’t, prevent me, from getting violated, on my first date, I was still grabbed, and, I guess, that my relationships never lasted long because of this, I’d started running, as I was about, to enter into the carnal stages of the relationships I was in. I’d normally not feel a thing toward men who are good looking, and, the boyfriends I had, each one was uglier than the previous, and, as I’d brought them home, my mother would often say, “Holy! He’s so UGLY!” Ugly men aren’t sexy, and, being in love with them, you must have a great deal of imagination, and pay the price too. There are those, who have a good heart, despite their bad looks, but, meeting up with those who were ugly inside AND out, I’d ended up, badly.
The twisted views of sex stems from the twisted families of origin, inside those large families, there were, a ton of twisted interpersonal relationships, the first wives, battling it out with the second and the third, revenges of the sweet prince, a great aunt who’s kinda transsexual, a widowed great aunt, only my parents’ marriage was harmonious, and this had given me hopes in marriage, and still, the letter from my father a few years ago said, that it’s because of this sort of family, that he’d intentionally, distanced from his wife and children, so, we were, NEVER actually loved at all. His hatred is hidden deeply, and, those families with more hatred than love can hurt someone for life, Ai-Ling Chang’s “I-Ching” described the sickness of the families, and I can totally understand. As writers described this, there’s the need for the discoveries, and cleaning up, that, was the internal forces, working.
A family without love, only the mother’s passions, spreading the seeds of brightness and hope, but, we are totally opposites, and, it wasn’t, until I got married myself, did I realize, that my mother was where my light, and my passion came from.
Growing up in an all-girls’ school, I’d become retarded when it came to sex, and there’s this lax of love too in my life.
It was until I’m much older, did I know about the pleasures of the carnal nature, from before when I sought out the spiritual kind of love, there was, a bit of sympathy inside, the love that nobody wanted, I took in, there were one to two affairs I’d had, I was taken with men with amazing voices, the ones that sang; those who will whisper sweet nothings into my ears; those with the raspy voices………once I’d dated a man by phone for an entire year, and then met, it was more than satisfying, just to hear his voice, I’d treated love like adventures, tramped on, in the auditory sense, on the surface, all is quiet and at peace, but, there’s great danger inside of me, making even myself fear. The infidelity of the married man is the funniest, they can only do, and not talk about it, if the wrong numbers were dialed, then, one would chicken out, get angry, return all the love notes, the gifts, or maybe, doing things, to hurt one another, this, is the tragedies, brought on by the auditory sense, and, it’s all, because of us, sound-chasers.
In order to end these sorts of dangerous relationships, I can only turn to marriage, the patriarchy is just as uncomfortable as the claw of the evil man. When you marry in Taiwan, you’re NOT just marrying the man, but his entire family too. My mother often said, that among us all, sisters, I’m the most mildly tempered, and, marriage had caused me to start rebelling, it’s better to say, that I’m not fitted for marriage, I’d run romance like it was the service industries, like how the fairy helped the good man make the clothes, after she’s done, she’s bound to leave, it was, one-sided kind of love.
And, I feel better with members of the same sex, this natural closeness, I was loved by girls once, and, there were many lesbians around me, and I am willing, to defend them, and, I feel complete empathy toward those who were not involved in the “normal” kinds of love, there’s really only limited knowledge about love that we have, and yet, we’d made it even more limited, the older I got, the more humble I’d become, toward love. After age fifty-five, don’t know why, I started feeling ashamed about sex, but, I’d already had both, although, they’d come late to me.
Thinking back to my love, the “force fields of attraction” are quite odd, I’d only attracted some weirdos, maybe, I’m the weirdest of them all, this, is already, a fact, can’t be altered now, what’s meant by a happy marriage and a family is too far from where I am now, and maybe, I’d still had fantasies for a blissful romance and marriage, I’d often had fantasies about beautiful things in life, especially of love. And, all I can find, was this merciful kind of bliss, being merciful to oneself, and to others as well.
My powerless love, and running away from it, had hurt some people, especially the father of my children, I’m really sorry, but he’d never allowed me to have it easy either, I hope, that my marriage can be completed before I turn sixty, returning freedom to each other, hoped that he could let it go, otherwise, it would be too difficult, to handle the assets, as well as all the weddings AND the funerals that came later on, I truly prayed, for resolution, the resolution of life.
So, this, is a woman’s view on love, as well as her experiences, and, love is a lesson, that not all will be able to master that’s for sure, and, this woman had been hurt, in her pursuits of, her experimentations of, love.
Fu-Ming Yang: on the topics of forbidden and love, to me, it’s the stories of putting up. Since I was younger, I can put up with a lot, anger, noises, the weathers too………even holding it in, became a part of the lesson, I could hold it, to the point that my face turned white, and I’d started feeling the cramps, from seeing the Japanese cartoon, I could really feel the classmate, holy! We both loved holding our stomachs, and bent over, we both had long-term gastric disorders. In my old living room, the calligraphy was written, telling us to hold it in, holding it in, suppression became what we shared, and, silence became, the best way to communicate with one another. And, after I’d held it in for very long, it’d become, natural, I realized, that I have great tolerances for discomforts, and I can adapt to all the adverse conditions in the world, with the tiniest amount of reward, I’d feel so happy that I was about to die, there were, several key moments in my life, when my friend reminded me: it doesn’t seem, that you love yourself quite enough.
During the two years in elementary years, I’d lived under the shadows of being bullied by three to four classmates constantly: the verbal abuses, the physical beatings, they’d threatened me, that they were going to pull me behind the elephant slide at school, and beat the shit out of me. And even now, when I rode my motorcycle and bumped into them, although, we’re all married and with our own kids, I’d still feel somewhat scared, and, I’d get out of their ways, and, the fears are rooted, way too deep within me. I couldn’t understand, why, I was picked on? Perhaps, I’m smaller in frame, made good grades, is a model student, and still, I didn’t know how to fight back, and didn’t respond, so naturally NONE of my family knew about it, I’d just, kept it all, to myself. Once, during the clean-up period before school was over, I was in the fifth grade, one of the guys had first, tossed my backpack into the hallways, I’d ignored him, kept sweeping the floors, then, a mop was shoved toward my face, yes, you know, the kind with the hop resembling a messy head of hair, I’d become forceful then, I knew that his mother sold fruits in our town, I’d gotten all shook up, warned him, “You want to, I will MAKE sure, that your mother’s fruit stand gets NO business tomorrow!” Blindy’s mother is a hard working woman, in order to save up on the rents for the stands, she’d often changed places where she sold the fruits from, and still, I was raging then, don’t know how long I’d yelled at Blindy for, I’d realized, that he hid behind the doors(the door when the long sticks were kept), shaking like a leaf. And I, was shocked, by my own wayward behaviors, and felt a TON of guilt, in the end, the very next day, I’d bought him a drink to apologize, to apologize, and he wouldn’t take it from me.
There are many stories of forbidden nature and of love, the story of taking it all in, there were, always who would be doing that. My great grandmother who lived long, at age seventy, lost her husband, she’d lived until she was 102, she probably never thought she’d be alone for over thirty years of life, how did she put up with the loneliness? And, they’d loved to compare, in the big families: the childbirths, the grades the children made, the size of their cars, I recalled, how when we’d gone to offering to the heavens, the relatives would prepare their own separate sets of offerings, actually, that, was a show-off of the assets too, they can compare the size of the animals being offered, and, how can I take this sort of competition all in?
I was never afraid of the dark as a child, not afraid of ghost, or the loud noises that those firecrackers made, but I’m afraid of the eight generals (the Eight Generals are gods, right?), from before the elementary years, I’d gone with my father, all over the temples in Tainan, and, the histories of offerings became my travel log, the locations of the temples became a geography lesson. I’m like the bad ghost who’d done something bad, fearing getting caught by the Eight Generals, so, I’d hid in the entryways of the temples, I feared the white hell messenger, Hsieh. That time, we’d gone to offer incense at Dragon Lake, Lioujia, before the sky is light, we’d set out, it was, a huge going on, the drums, the cymbals, everything, naturally, the Eight Generals are all there too, waited for the time to enter into the temple, and, everybody was eating breakfast by the car, and my mother took me, who just woke up, to the back of the temple to use the toilet, my mother went into the ladies room, I’d turned, into the men’s, and, as I’d stepped into the stalls, I’d found, the White Messenger from Hell was taking a leak too.
The stench from the urine, the buzzing of the air conditioning system, the fog in the mountain side of Tainan, made the white even whiter, and, the bell that the White Hell Messenger wore rang, he and I each took up a stall, the tall, White Hell Messenger, straightened up his back, and the tall hat on his head made him seem taller still, almost to the ceilings, I couldn’t help, but stared at his relaxed face, his hand. Holy! Did I see something I shouldn’t have?? I’d just, googled the white hell messenger, and learned, that on his long hat, other than the weird stitching, there were also four words—“lucky to see” in Chinese, perhaps, it’s a blessing for me then!
So, this, is from one’s childhood days, and, there are a lot that need to be sort through in one’s childhood days, but, most of the people, just left their childhood where it was, perhaps, it’s because of how painful it is, going through that part of one’s life, but, not all memories are bad, like this man’s interesting encounters in his childhood now, is it???