Category Archives: Memories Shared

The Drawers with All the Different Brands of Cigarettes

How these memories of what’s lost, keeps on, taking over, our, lives…can’t find that familiar taste of cigarette, no matter how hard she’d, tried…on estrangement…translated…

Her first cigarette, was from her, father, he’d taught her to, smoke.

On an ordinary afternoon, she’d gone out with her father, on his deliveries.  She was out of school that afternoon because she’d sustained an injury from the fall off the steps, bumped her head, got sent to the hospital for it.  The school contacted her father, to have him pick her up from the hospital.  He was working, and all the deliveries he was making were all, urgent, he couldn’t, drop her off at home first.

That final place where her father took her to deliver the items was, a famed restaurant, located adjacent to the River of Love.  They were, clearly, late, and, everybody was busying in the supper rush hours, nobody came to sign off on the deliveries.  And so her father parked his truck by the side of the road, stood on the sidewalks with her, with the boxes of refrigerated orders taller than she was between them.

illustration from

Waited for too long, her father asked her, can I smoke?  She’d nodded.  He’d lit one up, walked, to the, side.

He normally wouldn’t mind these sorts of small things, but every month, her father would take her to her maternal grandmother’s home, and that was the only chance she got to visit with her mother after they split up.  Every time when the weekends came around, her father would fall, silent, lost in his thought, and would ask more than usual questions of her.  Like, if she’d minded that he’d, smoked in front of her or not.

As he smoked, he’d found her, squatted down, holding her head down, like she’d fallen, ill.  He looked at her, then, pushed out a cigarette, offered it to her.

He’d taught her which end to smoke on, which end to lit the fire to, then, told her to get close to the lighter, to take the inhales, slowly.

Her father believed back then, that smoking could ease her headache a bit, it was so stupid.

In actuality, it wasn’t that she’d felt ill, that she’d held her head, just felt, that it was weird and new, feeling the sutures on her head, the bumps, she’d patted her scars light.

It was quite on the ride that day, all the way until the employees at the restaurant came out, there was only a garbage truck that’s passed them by, and, it wasn’t on duty, because “The Maiden’s Prayer” wasn’t playing.

Late one night after she turned adult, as she was having instant noodle at a 7-Eleven afterwork, there was someone that looked like her father.  The two of them had become estranged, stopped contacting one another, and suddenly, she’d wondered, which brand of cigarette her father had, smoked.  She’d worked hard, to try and remember, but nothing about what the box looked, like.  And so, she’d asked the clerk for one of every available, smoked one from the various packs a day, but hadn’t found one that’s tasted exactly like the one she’d remembered, and the packs got, stashed in the drawer below that drawer of change.

On her thirty-third birthday, that man who she’d met for the very first time opened up her drawer, asked, that she’d smoked that much.  And, the moment she saw that drawer and its, contents, she’d lost it, chased that man out, and, used the entire evening, to smoke every cigarette out of every box again.  But until light the following morn, in the tears, she still, couldn’t, find that scent that she was, familiar with when she was a young child.  She ended up, holding her head, bent over, sat on her, floors.

So, this is how this woman is, searching for her father’s taste and scent, but that taste, that scent had already, been lost through time, and can’t ever, get found back again, but she’d, missed that particular moment of intimacy, of getting close to her own father, as that, was a once-in-a-lifetime encounter, and she’d, longed to, get that taste, that scent of her father’s, cigarette back, so she could, hold on to him, but she can’t find that back, because all’s been, lost, through, time already!

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Filed under Abandonment of Children, Cost of Living, Family Dynamics, Life, Loss, Memories Shared, Parent-Child Interactions, Perspectives, Properties of Life, STUCK in a Cookie Jar

The Snow in Hokkaido

How your friend took you on the trip to Hokkaido she went on by herself, how the collective memories are made by the two of you, sharing the same moments together…translated…

On the morning of Lantern Festival, got up, turned on my cell phone, received the texts from my friend in Hokkaido.

One was a photo of the empty streets in the early mornings, with the break of dawn, a tourist, in a thick coat, trekking across the snow paved streets; a few were of the close-ups of snowflakes, and there was also a short video of about thirteen seconds, documenting the snow falling outside her window.

The photos and video all looked, “fake”, like in the movies.  Especially the delicate appearances of the snowflakes, looked quite artisan, really enigmatic to me.  I’d always thought, that that was a symbol for snowflakes, and now I realized, that that was, what snowflakes, really, looked, like.

like, this??? Photo from online

“Looking at the distant snowflakes that are falling, once they’d fallen into your laps, do they become, ice?”, I’d asked.  He’d told, that “from before I thought it was like the cotton falling, but as it’d fallen before my sight, I would turn and dance in the air.  Opened my mouth to taste them, it quenched my, thirst.”

Recalled how this is the day for the rice balls here, don’t know if the Japanese celebrated the Lantern Festivals like we do?  Would my friend be able to find the rice balls in Japan?  No matter, I’m sending my blessings to him, who’s on vacation away in a distant land, along with the members of my own, families.  I’m sure, that this will be worth recalling later in life, the memories that are, so beautiful it’s poetic.

On this quiet, calm morning, my daughter was fast asleep on the couch close by, my high school classmate and I were discussing the snowflake from separate sides of the oceans, I’d lifted my head, looked out the windows at the roads, so quiet, it’s as if, I too, hear those, snowflakes, falling…

So, this is how the two of you, were connected, by that moment in time, the two of you are not in the same city, she’s out traveling, and you’re here, and yet, with the visuals she’d given to you, what she saw, the snow falling out of her window in Hokkaido, it’s as if, you are, right there, in the snow country too, isn’t it???

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Filed under Awareness, Connections, Friendships, Interactions Shared with the World, Life, Memories Shared, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

What’s Real is the BEST

The lessons of disappointment, learned, at a, very, young age, too difficult for a child to manage, and yet, we’d still, all, grown up because of these, broken promises that our adult counterparts failed to, keep…translated…

It was 1971, back when the pencil sharpeners were, an extravagance to the families, we’d normally used the small blades to keep our pencils sharpened enough, and, the better from that was that tiny rectangular box with the shaving blades installed, we’d stuffed our pencils into the hole, then turn the pencils to sharpen them.  In my sixth grade year, our instructor brought a large pencil sharpeners the color of the bluest lake I’d ever seen to class, claimed that she was going to sharpen everybody’s pencils during break, all of us became too excited, and, for that period of class, we’d stayed, especially quiet and focused on what she was teaching us.

what the students, used…photo from online

It was break time, I watched my pencil box, with all the pencils already, sharpened to pointy, thought, why would I want to stand in line, I’d much rather quietly, read the “Chinese Children Daily” on the newspaper racks on the back of class, but, a classmate who’d used the large pencil sharpener waved a box full of perfectly sharpened pencils to show me, then, the words on the newspapers, started, going all over the places, and I couldn’t read the contents anymore.

I’d thought, fine, broken my pencil down, lined up, and waited to get baptized by the sharpening of pencils.  And yet, the bell rang, the teacher announced, “I shall sharpen your pencils another time”.

For the entire class period that followed, I’d felt regrettable, and slowly, used the small knife pencil sharpener, to make the perfect curve on my pencils, until the end of our elementary school years, our instructor never remembered his promise to the class, and with time, everybody forgot about it too.  And yet, I’d gained the understanding since, what’s not mine, no matter how beautiful, how wonderful, it’s nothing but mirages, what’s in our hands, no matter how ordinary, how plain, that’s, what’s, real.

And so, this is how it’d felt, getting let down at a very young age, and, the writer learned, to NEVER hold any expectation of anyone else again, and that’s, such a difficult lesson for children to learn, and yet, the writer had, grown up, matured, through this experience of the teacher’s not fulfilling her/his promises to the class.

here’s what the instructor brought to show the class! Photo from online

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Filed under Awareness, Broken Promises, Child Development/Education of Children, Early Exposures, Expectations, Innocence Lost, Lessons, Life, Memories Shared, Properties of Life, White Picket Fence

To Breathe Again, without You…

That was, an impossible “feat” from before, but, lost you, I had, and I must, go on…

To breathe again, without you, it was, like the air got, knocked out of me, repeatedly, after you’d been, taken away from me, and it’d hurt every time I’d, breathed, and I’d felt, so very guilty: why am I here, and you’re, not?

To breathe again, without you, it’d been hard, and some days, I’d wished that I had died too, but, my heart’s still, pumping, a lot of blood inside of this, body of mine.  To breathe again, without you, it was, next to impossible, ‘cuz I got trapped up in the loss of you, my love.

the song by Shania Twain, off of YouTube

To breathe again, without you, I couldn’t, and yet, I can’t, stop myself, from breathing in the air I need inside these, lungs of mine!  To breathe again, without you, I’m still, grieving over you, it’s just, that you’d, “surfaced” back up into my mind, a little less and less than before, so yeah, I’m moving on, one foot at a time, still, marching to the ticks and the tocks of this god damn clock that’s now, taken over my life.

To breathe again, without you, it was hard, but I’m doing it, focusing on every moment I inhale, and exhale, thinking about, nothing else, that, is the only thing I can do, to prevent my self, from getting lost in the loss of you again.

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Filed under Letting Go, Maturation, Memories Shared, Moods, Emotions, & Feelings, Properties of Life

Every Child is Happy in the Amusement Parks

On how cruel the parents can be, without themselves, knowing it, abandoning US, their own FLESH-and-BLOOD!  And yet, we still all, grew, UP…translated…

I still loved taking my children to the Children’s Amusement Park.

As my father was younger, he too, might have understood this also.

It was mildly cooler on that day, thinking back, I suppose that it was at the time when autumn is about to, head into, winter.  The reasons for it, unknown, to me then.  One day as I got up, my father and my mother discussed something in a quiet voice, then, he’d told me to come with him.

That was a day of school, as I recalled, so, why didn’t he bring my younger brother too?

I was staying quiet, and focused on staying quiet, uncurious, but, I was, secretly worrying, that my father was, taking me to sell me off to someone.

what the, amusement park ride looked like to this man when he was only a young boy…photo from online

The drive wasn’t a short one, I’d no longer recalled if I’d shared conversations with my father or not, and, even if I had, I’m sure, I’d only spoken, a few, words, back when my father was younger, he’d not known how to talk to his children.

And finally, we got off the freeway ramps, and it was surprising to me as he’d pulled into the parking lot, the colors of the rainbow came into sight, it was, the rambunctious, loud, Children’s Amusement Park.

Don’t know if anybody recalled the “Tien-Yuan Villa of Doliou”.

My father bought us the fares, and, stuffed a hundred or was it two hundred dollars in my hand (back then, that was, a whole lot of money), told me to go into the park to play, to get myself something to eat if I get hungry.

He’d told me, “before the park closes in the afternoon, I will come, and pick you up.”

And at that moment, I’d understood, that my father took me to get babysat at the Children’s Amusement Park on the day.

How grand was that, I tried hard, to hold back my grin, as my father looked, very serious then.

Shortly, my father sped off, and the old woman who was watching the gates close by, didn’t say a single word.

I’d entered into the park, recalled how I had a ton of, fun, gone on every single right, it was cool, the weather, but I’d, sweated a whole lot on the day.

When I suddenly felt hunger, it was past noon, I bought a corndog, had an orange soda, burped a few times, I felt more than, happy and, satisfied.

what childhood is like, for most of us…photo from online

I’d stuffed myself then, time for the Haunted House, I’d not dared entered since I got there in the early morn.

I saw a couple, who were, smiling very radiantly as I was standing in line, looked like they were, checking into a motel or something.

Thinking back, it was, quite, metaphorical, that a couple entered into a haunted mansion together.

They may get married in the future, and, maybe, they will become, someone’s parents, and, bumped into a ton of, scarier things than ghosts, and some of which will probably be too hard for them to handle, but, so long as they still shared the love, they will probably be able to, laugh, about it.

I’m scared of ghosts, and couldn’t even, open my eyes, and just, clung on to that older girl’s shirttail all the way, thankfully, she’d not found me a nuisance, she was like a mother, held me close, gently.

Don’t worry, it’s all, fake, she’d, told me.

Exiting the Haunted Mansion, I’d passed the couple by, don’t know why, I’d started, feeling, something weird.

I’d felt, very, alone, so suddenly.

Lost my sense of play then, just, sat on the benches, by the, trash can, watching the people go to and from, envied how they were laughing, and crying too.

As the evening came, I’d not noted that it had, until the song “Goodnight” by the singer came on, chasing the visitors, out.  As the skies grew dark, everybody was then, exiting, I’d started worrying then, worried over time, and, I’d, waited and waited, and waited, until, there was, absolutely, NOBODY else around, then, I’d, stumped, outside.

The elderly woman who was watching the gates, smiled and saw me off, still, without a single, word.

I’d turned around for one last look, the amusement park was then, taken over by darkness, without the sounds of joys, or the, color, and I’d felt, that the amusement park is also, lonely, that what she wanted, wasn’t to say goodbye to me, but for me, to go in again, to be with her.

Maybe, the Children’s Amusement Park WAS, the loneliest place on earth, so, that’s why, people always go there, together.

I’d waited for my father outside, tired, and cold too, the skies was completely, darkened, to the color of the blood, red, the car drove off one by one, the crowds, left, to the point, that I could, no longer, see my own, self anymore.

As my father’s headlights showed, the skies had, lost color completely then, even the elderly woman who kept the gates had gone home already.

Ahhhhhh!  Closed so soon!  He’d gotten out, and, blurted out this, lie.

I’d, believed him.

At the time, I still had two younger brother, and could understand it, the every parent had a different mode of making their, marriage work, but, they were all like, the Children’s Amusement Park, bitter, lonely, and in pain on the inside.

Until I became all grown up, with children of my own, I’d still prayed, that every child, when they were taken to the Children’s Amusement Parks, they are, happy.

And so, this, is how we all, grew up, being, abandoned by our parents, physically, and/or, psychologically/emotionally, because, our parents are all, ill-fitted, unequipped, to “handle” their own young, US, and that, is how children lose their, innocence, in their, younger years, without them ever, realizing that they had already been, “stolen”…


Filed under Abandonment of Children, Bad Parenting Behaviors, Being Alone, Being Exposed, Broken Promises, Childhood, Growing Up Too Fast, Memories Shared, Perspectives, Suppressed Memories, Things Left Behind, Wake Up Calls, White Picket Fence

The Passing of the Torch Through a Small Computer

The heart of this serviceman from the same unit is, the most amazing thing, that’s stayed with the writer, even after so many years since he’s finished with his own, service terms in the armed services, translated…

It was 1990, when I was working as a counselor at the Marines’ Penghu Command Post, my primary work involved surveying the servicemen in Penghu, to get to understand how the soldiers were faring, how they’d adapted to the life in the armed services.  Back then, computers weren’t all over the places, it was quite rare, too expensive, not to mention, the armed services worried that the top secret may leak out, and so, we can only conduct the statistical researches manually, with a total lack of efficiency.  Every month, we would sample ten units, and, the surveys we collected were quite massive,, thankfully, in the unit I worked in, there was a small computer that was two, three times larger than the calculators, as we’d keyed in the data, then, the computer would compute out the results; I’d heard, that this was a serviceman from the years before out of the info-tech department who’d bought the machine with his own money, wrote the programs that’s being used right now, and as he was relieved of his service duties, he’d, generously donated the computer to the army, and so, every time I’d thought back, I was filled with, a ton of, gratitude.

As I’d taken over for two months, that small computer malfunctioned, and, as I’d gone back to the island of Taiwan on my break, I’d also, bought the exact same model, and wrote the programs for it, and, yet, I just, couldn’t get the computer to work like it had before.  Seeing how the work came rushing towards me, I’d started, flustering, and, I’d called up the former serviceman who’d left the original computer behind, and still couldn’t figure things out, and so, I’d not known how to resolve the issues with the calls, and so, I’d met up with the person who’d donated the computer in Taipei, so I can, better understand how to make the computer work.

And yet, as we’d met, he’d, handed me, a brand new computer, told me, that the old one had stopped working, because it’d not been upgraded in the memory disks.  I’d told him I wanted to pay him for it, he’d turned me down, convinced me, that it’d not paid quite enough in the services, that he’d started working already, that it was his way, of giving back to the unit he served in, for taking care of him during his time there, told me not to mind it.

Turns out, after two years, he’d already, forgotten the details, and to try to help me solve my problem, he’d, bought a brand new computer, to research more into it, to know what the problem is.

I’d waved goodbye to him with tears in my eyes, carrying that small computer in my arms, felt very moved by him, and hoped, that I will be able to, passing this heart of helping, this love he felt toward people, on.

And so, this older, former serviceperson had gone over and beyond the call of duty, to help this individual who was currently serving his term, and this older, former serviceperson wanted to make the work in the units easier, more efficient, that was why he’d bought that desktop computer in the first place, and, he’d, offered more than the needed help to the writer as he’d come across the troubles of the computer working well.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, In the Army, Karma, Kindness Shown, Life, Memories Shared, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Connected with the Books, the Affinities, Continued on

How interesting, the affinities worked, how we don’t even realize it yet, but, in our futures, we just might (just might), get, reconnected, with someone we’d, lost contact with, but is, thinking of, translated…

One day after I was retired, Manto called, other than the chit chats, she’d inquired, if I recalled a boy who’s nickname was “Swallow” who was in my class, that if she could, give him my number or not?  Those faded out to gray memories, suddenly, became bright again.  He was my teaching assistant for my Chinese class, very cleanly looking, a perfect, gentleman, interacted with me very well.

turned out, that Swallow, with whom I’d lost contact with for long, had that smooth ride in life in school, and in his career path too, got married, had children, is, a member of the “Success” group of life.  As he’d settled down in his life, he’d start4ed, searching for me in the high school social networks, and the internet, wanted to, reconnect.  A couple of years passed, and he’d not, found me still, as he was giving up, he’d found a blog that’s mentioned my book, he’d contacted the owner of the blog, and got reconnected with me.

On the day we were reunited, Swallow took his wife and young, got up early, set out from Taoyuan, headed to his hometown in Nantou, to find the yearbooks, then, rushed, all the way to Taichung.  Opened up the yearbook, we’d started, identifying the individuals in the photographs then.  This group of guys, are now, working in their, separate fields, I’d, silently said a prayer to wish each and every one of them, well.

The meet up was joyous, we had a ton of things to talk about of the past, but, eventually, it came time for us to part, we’d agreed to meet up again some other time, Swallow drove in the nights, back to Taoyuan.  He’d driven four hundred kilometers in a day.  As I watched him leave, I’d lifted my head upward, and gave a thanks, how blessed I must be, to have, a student who kept me in his heart all these, years.

I’d taught Manto’s class on my second year of teaching, I’d married and had children, she’d brought the baby clothes on behalf of my class to give to me, she’s smiling, and gentle, and courteous, it’d made my husband’s family have nothing but good things to say of her.  As she graduated, she’d drifted up north to work, and, I’d not left the small town.  The two of, lost contact, like two ships, adrift, in the different paths of the seas, finding our separate docks to enter into, to depart from, to find shelters in, to drift away from.  And yet, no matter how many years had passed, I still see her in my mind, smiling, on.

Ching-Han is my best friend for decades of time, I’d had to go and visit and stay with her every time I’d headed up north to Taipei to visit.  That time, she’d stacked up her newly published book in her house, told me, “if you have students or classmates who’d visited your home, do give her/him one volume.”  Ching-Han is passionate, and very personable, the classmates, the students, all loved, hanging out in her, home.

Manto and Ching-Hang were neighbors for long, because of Manto’s daughter getting engaged, she’d taken the pastries to give to the writer.  They’d chatted for a bit, before Manto left, Ching-Hang went back into the den, took a book out to give to her, Manto looked down at the book, saw the name of the writer, so thrilled, “She was my high school instructor whom I’d wanted to, reconnect with for a very long time!  You know her?”

“Searching all over the world, and, finding it, in, plain sight!”, that’s how, affinity worked.  Maybe you don’t believe it yet, but, you will one day, eventually.

And so, this is, so, coincidental, I mean, what ARE, the chances, that this woman met up with this writer who’s friend IS her high school instructor whom she’d wanted to call up, but had, lost, contact with?  That just showed, how strange these, affinities worked, and, sometimes, you don’t even realize this, but, you’re, already connected with someone whom you want to call up, but lost, contact with, because that, is how affinity, work, in the, strangest, ways.

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Filed under Connections, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Memories Shared, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Values

My Father’s Watch

The values that’s, assigned to your father’s, favorite, watch, based off of how he’d, lived his, life, that you now, carried forth…translated…

My father was almost, completely, blind before he passed, and that’s why he’d, placed his cherished pocket watch into the drawers, and never took it back out again.  I remembered this watch very clearly, when I was young, when my father came home, he would, carefully, take the watch off his wrist, then, wash his hands thoroughly, then, put the watch back on.  Sometimes, the watch had, slipped into the sink, and the surfaces scratched up, and he’d, felt really bad over it.

On this day, my mother found his watch.  It was, in the original box with the warranty papers, like how he’d taught me to write, each stroke is perfectly written, easy to read.  As my mother sent me the photo of his watch, I’d smiled, that was, his style all right, even as he’d become, visually, impaired toward the end, he still, kept his collected items, very neat.

an heirloom, like this!

photo from online

My father’s watch was very unique, as when I was still wearing the electronic watches, I’d watched that watch of his, with the second hand keep on ticking away, not at all resembling the sound of the second hand on the clocks; and, although he’d not worn it long, as I’d, shaken the watch a bit, the second hand started, going around again, just like him, he’d been gone a very long time, but whenever I’d recalled him, saw his belongings, he’d, surfaced, back up into my mind again.

I’d decided to take my father’s watch to the U.S. with me, and wear it often like the ad of the watch: Generations to Generations, passing it on, like an heirloom of, sorts.

Those who put this watch on, will keep on, walking on, they will keep on, working hard, dressing well enough, doing the things delegated to them, correctly.

So, it’s the values you’d, associated with this watch of your father’s, that you took, not just the watch, as the mementos of what he’d, left behind for you, and, it’s interesting, how things have that value assigned to them, that gets, passed from one generation to the next.

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Filed under Family Matters, Life, Memories Shared, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life, Things Left Behind, Values

DADDY by Kristin Garth — Punk Noir Magazine

PATTY GIDDIS                                                                Inbox – iCloud  3:23 am   Fine let’s talk this way   To:   Daddy,   Maybe this way you won’t hang up on me again or worry about my roommate knowing my sordid secret.  She’s not even here to peek over my shoulder at what I’m typing – actually would never […]

DADDY by Kristin Garth — Punk Noir Magazine

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Filed under Abandonment of Children, Abuse, Abuser/Enabler Interaction Style, Awareness, Children Murdered, Children that Didn't Have to Die, Choices, Cost of Living, Downward Spiral, Everyone Else's Fault, Excuses, Expectations, Family Dynamics, Incest, Interactions Shared with the World, Life, Losing Sight of What's Important, Loss, Love Became Murder, Memories Shared, Messed Up Values, Negligence, Nowhere Is Safe, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Re-Experiencing the Trauma, White Picket Fence

The Gathering at McDonald’s

The memories of your youth, tied to, McDonald’s…translated…

As I’d finished my morning sessions at school, on my way home, I’d called the kids, asked them what they wanted for lunch, that I could, swing by the stores and pick the foods up.

McDonald’s!  They called out to me in synchrony.

The weather’s too heated, standing under the sun felt like my body was, weighty, if I’d, spat onto the tarp road, I suppose, there will be smokes from the, evaporations.  As I arrived, parked my scooter, I’d, pushed open that glass door, covered in sweat, the air-conditioning greeted me, suddenly, I’d become, totally, relaxed, in only about a second, I’d felt, chilly somewhat.

It’d past the mealtimes then, there’s not that many customers in the store, only a pair of grandfather grandchild at the counter, and, there were, two student couples, discussing about what they’re ordering in front of the self-serve ordering stations.

On the day we graduated out of technical high school, I’d met up with my classmates at the McDonald’s opposite of the school, we’d agreed that we would have lunch there, then, discuss where we’re headed next.

Recalling it now, when we were young, we’d often, met up, in the McDonald’s.

As the graduation ceremonies are over, the school was left in a huge mess, the students were holding each other and crying then, some of the students rushed off to say goodbye to the instructors, or to leave a bad word with an instructor, some took shots with their families in school for photo ops, some were just, wandering the campus, like, they’d forgotten to wander these schoolyards for the past three years they’d been in here.

Forgotten what it was, I was the earliest to arrive, McDonalds before noon, not that many customers, and there were the wide selections of seats.  I’d put down my backpack, my art supply bags, and a few books, to save my classmates a large table, and I’d felt, very, proud of myself then.

As I got the seats, I’d gone to order my own foods.

These gathering at McDonald’s, they’d given me something pleasant to remember, the workers always smiled at you, patient in taking your orders, in explaining the items to you, like they were, your, friends.

I clearly recalled, I’d, ordered a Big Mac Value meal, back then, the value meals were the most pricy, I’d forgotten the exact cost, at least, eighty, or ninety dollars, and back then, we could still purchase a boxed meal for just, forty dollars.

That was, the very first time I’d had, a Big Mac.

When I was younger, every time we’d dined at McDonald’s, I’d always had the happy meals, because of the toys; as I got older, either the cheeseburgers, or the McNuggets, I’d never, thought of, having a Big Mac, felt that it was, too steep for my tastes, a food that’s, inhumane in its cost, which means, that it wasn’t, meant for us to, eat.

But it was, graduation, and how many graduations will we have in life?

I’d sat at the edge of the large table, as I ate my value meal, finished the fries, slurped down the large coke, and yet, none of my classmates showed up.

Back then, I’d thought, this food is amazing, I will, love it, for life.

The grandfather-grandson pair hadn’t decided yet, the two pairs of student couples already ordered, and waited behind me for their orders to get called out.

The technologies weren’t that advanced, these few years, the Self-Serve Order Stations are set up, the large iPad screen, with the vibrant colors, no facial expressions, how you treat it, is how it, treats you.  Maybe I’m just, too old, I’d only tried ordering from the self-serve kiosk once, couldn’t get used to it, and still returned to the counters, where I’d be greeted by the smiling cashier.

I’d listened to the grandfather-grandson pair before me, talking about what they are to order, not known, if one day in the futures, I wouldn’t DARE, open up the front doors to a McDonald’s.

As the classmates arrived, I’d waved at them happily.  As everybody was there, nobody ordered the value meals, only a few servings of large fries, and several cokes.  All of us, put our hands in, dumped the fries onto the trays, then, we’d, shared the foods, I’d not had anything to say, and, nobody could, talk to me then.  Not long thereafter, before the fries are halfway gone, we’d already, decided where we’re headed in the afternoon, and readied to leave, then, the group of us, still, a handful each, grabbed the trash and the leftovers, and, tossed the leftover, the trash into the garbage, back then, there were the strict recycling means of separating the recycled materials yet.

I watched those fries, thought to myself: what a shame! 

The grandfather-grandson pair finally made up their, minds now, it came my turn, I’d, walked up, it’d been, thirty years since my technical high school days, the employee at the McDonald’s still just as kind, like a memory, this world, will, never, age a day!

As I’d ordered the foods my children specified, I’d thought, yeah, I shall have a Big Mac and fries, supersized.

So, this brings back the memories, going to the McDonald’s to order the meals for your children now, because back then, you were, children too, and you’d, shared a lot of wonderful things, and it was, memorable, because it was the last time that you all gathered up together, to share some foods, that one last, final time, before you all go, separate on your own lives.

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