Thursday, April 07, 2005

What am I doing here?

It's 4 a.m. My eyelids are getting heavier and heavier. Nearby, I hear janitors getting their swerve on (have you checked out the size of those floor cleaners?!). Where am I?

Give yourself a pat on the back (and a nose job while you're at it) if you correctly answered: school.

I'm at the downtown campus, typing up my final JOUR 201, 1200-word article on Wacko Spaz. 5 hours later (and an encounter with a desperate loser who cornered me into giving him my number, pushing me passive-aggresively) and I'm only half-way where I want to be.

The jerk was obviously an Asian fetishist who prided himself for being a specialist on CBCs: Canadian-born Chinese. I wasn't even born here! "But you speak English, think in English, write in English," he shot back in an accusatory tone.

He kept hovering around me, asking me what languages I spoke ("Mandarin? Cantonese? Ooh! ... oh, and French," he said, practically smacking his lips in creepy delight, purposely ignoring his previous contempt for my assimilation into white man's culture). I felt like a zoo animal, being examined by this weirdo with a mental checklist ("Where are you from? Where's your family from? No, originally from?"). He kept making passing references about my eyes (as he salaciously scanned the rest of my body), telling me I looked Japanese, followed by blatantly presumptuous statements like, "You must've got them from your grandma."

Okay, I know I have chinky eyes. I've accepted it. It took awhile, but I've dealt with it (children can be so cruel). M. Biologique and I even joke about him "turning Japanese" to con people into thinking we were actual siblings. (Nevermind the fact that he's Dutch.) But knowing there are men out there who'd fuck my eye socket before laying a finger on me doesn't make me feel any less degenerative. I could feel him painting a crueler, more sexually-exploitive portrait of me in his mind as the clocked ticked and time dragged on. And I hated him for it. I grew to despise a stranger faster than it took to ring up a hammer at the Home Depot.

The worst part - the single, WORST part - was the way he kept telling me, re-assuring me, how well I spoke English even after discovering I was a student in journalism and communication studies. ("Oh, then you must be good at English," he chuckled. I grew up in Canada, you dumb motherfucker!) I felt utterly humiliated! I was disappointing this man because I was articulate?! For shame, for shame! Within a period of 5 minutes, this asshole brought back every insecurity that ever poisoned me.

It's like, I know I'm in denial of being mistreated some times, but I just tell myself I shouldn't be over-reacting over isolated incidents. I truly believe that and everything grows to be dandy again ... until someone like him reminds me of my place.

I'm Made in China, imported goods. Isn't it about time I'm offered a place on your mantle, too?

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