I don’t remember a lot of trips taken as a kid. But I know we went to Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls, 1977
We drove up in a car and when we got there I puked in a paper bag. I remember that it was from eating a whole lot of cheese doodles.
I had a feeling when I was young that we didn’t do things that other families did. My friends who were white seemed to be always going on “vacation”. It seemed like only white people could go on vacation. They had the time and the money.
And when I got older, I made it a point to be going somewhere, it was a case of ABV––Always Be Vacationing. But sometimes you end up in places that make no sense.
SUBTERFUGE & DNA
by Jiwon Choi
The whitest girl I ever knew
came from Concord, New Hampshire
she played violin, kept her hair boy short
and wore ear plugs to bed
––the one time my boyfriend came to visit
she really needed them
I went home with her one weekend
and met her family
over baked chicken and green beans I fielded questions
about my parents—what kind of work were they in?
I didn’t answer that their profession was dysfunction
I told my stories instead:
(as my parents’ only child I am good at subterfuge)
they’re in “sales” (not hyper-depressed immigrants moaning
in a dark room)
we vacation in Niagara Falls (one time when I was seven
and I threw up a whole bag of Cheese Doodles when we got there)
and our dishes aren’t all busted up (the Laura Ashley bowls were
the first to go––smashed against the wall)
Before bed while brushing my teeth, I find the diaphragm
on the bathroom sink and the ear plugs make sense.