ei·do·lon (-dln)
     n. pl.   Image of an ideal.

Plato believed that we lived in a world of images, three-dimensional shadows of the true one.  What we see with  our eyes is nothing more than a cheap imitation of its true state.  For  example, the chair we see before our eyes is nothing more than a shabby image of the true chair that exists.  We carry on everyday with flawed perceptions of the true ideal form. 


Life After College: Year 3 -  In Transit    

[Saturday, July 31, 2004]

To be or not to be.

I've been having this strange feeling lately that I'm missing my calling somehow. Fisher was the impetus of all this, when he one day told me over the phone, rather off-the-cuff-ly that he can't see me as a doctor. He thinks I should work in PR or writing commentary. And just like that, my faith was shaken. What does that really say about my faith? Or is it just that Fisher touched upon something I had secretly been suspecting anyway? It's pretty clear to me that if I were a Trust Fund Baby, I'd go into journalism. Though I claim science is a close second love. Has this past year been nothing but fluff? True, it was a hard year, and the free time I claimed I never had when I was working for The Firm didn't exactly materialize this past year. In fact, it shrunk even more. But for some reason, it doesn't bother me as much anymore. Perhaps because my lack of free time now feels like it's being sacrificed for a cause.

Is this my soul crying out in a last ditch effort to save me from making the mistake of my life? Or is this nothing but cold feet. It's no secret that I have a fear of commitment. The unfortunate trait pervades all aspects of my life, not just relationships. What I don't like is the finality of it all. The lack of freedom. The erasing of possibility. I have a hard time even committing to an ice cream flavor for a week. So I don't buy any ice cream at all. Unfortunately, I can't just refrain from making a decision on my life. That's a one-way street to becoming Nobody, and if there's anything I've decided on, it's that I want to be Somebody. But could there be any larger commitment than medicine? Seven years of the best years of my life - committed to humanitarian cause and labor within the broken and corrupt healthcare system that insists on believing that doctors are purposely grossly negligent and thus worth of suing at the drop of a hat, or that they're greedy bastards who order unnecessary expensive procedures (usually to cover their ass and avoid being sued). Am I really doing the right thing here? Me? Lover of peace and leisure (though in theory, who isn't a lover of peace and leisure?)? Am I missing my true calling?

The rational side of me argues that PR and journalism sound like all fun and games right now, but remember how consulting seemed so fun too when I signed up for it initially? My inner voice cautions me against making such a leap again. Besides, it says, is it really smart to make something you enjoy into your job? Part of the reason why it's a hobby and why you enjoy it is because it's done at your own leisure. Attaching pressure, deadlines, and your capability to make the rent to it would metamorphosize it into just another job. They say, keep your hobbies to yourself, but take your second love and turn that into a job. In that sense, I suppose I'm doing the right thing. I've always loved to write and I've always loved the written word, but part of it is because I write for myself and no one else. I hated writing papers in history and nothing irks me more than being forced to write a creative story by a certain due date and then having to turn in something I hate. Inspiration is not a chicken who lays eggs on demand. It's more like a finicky menstrual cycle that comes when it pleases. Usually at inconvenient moments when I don't have pen and paper.

I think the true killer of a love though, isn't the pressure and deadlines attached to it, suddenly stripping it of its pleasurable qualities. It's not the forcing of you to write - it's the fact that you can't stop. My level of a personal hell (besides a Starbucks without a bathroom, ahem - Central Square) is of being forced to sit in a cube everyday (the most un-inspiring of places) and try to be creative. Writing isn't like art either where you can doodle and then be inspired. Writing is binary. Like a hernia, you either feel it or you don't. Perhaps that's why all the greatest artists painted and wrote at their leisure - away from the marketplace, besides the occasional religious commission. Would not commentary cease to have bite when you're forced to mass produce weekly on things you may not necessary give a shit about? Am I killing the last of my creative spirit by subjecting it to medical school? But would not subjecting it to structure be just as grisly a death?

What happened to all my ideas of being a singularly fabulous doctor? What does it say about me when I -enjoy- writing some of the secondary application essays. Only -some- of them mind you. The ones that say simply "Why do you want to come to [schoolnamehere]" leave you with no room for creativity and preclude anything but a kiss-ass paragraph talking about the school's own programs that I'm sure they already are well acquainted with. This of course, leaves me feeling resentful and unfulfilled like a spurned lover. Maybe. That, and I hate doing research on the school. Don't they realize that I'll likely go wherever I get in? Podunk University, here I come! I want to be a doctor. I don't have a particular desire to be a medical student, it's just something I have to go through to get to where I want to be. Don't they realize that medical school is a means to an end? I don't care what school I go to as long as I get to be a doctor at the end of it.

I suppose at the end of the day, writing is a much more risky venture than medicine is. What if I don't make it? Am I willing to settle for being Nobody? Likewise, am I willing to settle for my second love if it guarantees that I will at least be Somebody? I suppose what I'm truly mourning is the loss of possibility. Entering med school has a finality to it. This is what I'm going to be. There will be no turning back or wistful backward glances. There'll be no time for that. Perhaps what I'm really clinging onto is the simultaneous exquisite and torturous unknownness. Torturous, because unknownness leads potentially nowhere. Exquisite because it means you can still be Anybody. Oh the possibilities.... I suppose there comes a time in everyone's life when they must make decisions. Perhaps this is my time. After all, writing - being an old friend of mine, isn't going anywhere. If it can't labor beside me and earn me my rent money, then it can repose beside me and keep me company in my old age. And maybe that's preferable. After all, don't old friends deserve the best?

Posted by ink |  6:44 PM

[Thursday, July 29, 2004]

The impact of media on politics.

"Okay, balloons!  Go balloons!  Hold the confetti!  More balloons!!  I want all the balloons!  ALL the balloons!  More balloons!  What the fuck are you guys doing up there?" 
         -CNN after the Kerry speech

Posted by ink |  11:09 PM

[Thursday, July 22, 2004]

Are you aware that having a felony may preclude you from licensure in some states?

I think I may have mistakenly identified myself as a felon on my secondary application to SUNY Buffalo. 

No essay was required, but I skimmed down the yes or no questions, not needing to change any of the default selections "Are any relatives alumni or faculty at this school? (no)" - that is, until I reached:

"Are you aware that having a felony may preclude you from licensure in some states?"

I hesitated, and then changed it to "yes" before skimming through the rest of it and submitting the application.  After which I suddenly realized that the felony question was the only default answer I had changed.  I started to freak out a bit as I called my friends to assess the situation.

I ended up leaving this ridiculous voicemail for the admissions office. 

"Hi, my name is Ink, and I think I may have mistakenly identified myself as a felon on my secondary application, when indeed - I am NOT a felon.  I'm speaking specifically in reference to question #6 which I feel was misleading and unclear.  I meant 'Yes, I am aware that having a felony may preclude me from licensure in some states,' not that I AM a felon.  Please call me back to clarify this matter."  

Ambiguous.  Obviously, being a felon means you can't do a lot of things in a lot of states.  Who isn't aware of this?   And whoever isn't aware of it obviously would be made aware of it as soon as they read that question.  

They're going to think I'm an idiot.  It's been a week and they haven't called me back.  I suppose this may potentially work in my favor.  They'll look at my application twice, perhaps it will make me more interesting?  I'll show up at the interview - they'll see this 120 pound Asian girl and think "Yup.  That's a felon alright."

Posted by ink |  7:41 AM

[Wednesday, July 21, 2004]


I took advantage of Southwest's fare sales lately and flew home to Philadelphia from Providence for a paltry 60 dollars round trip.  Mistake #1.  I learned quickly to never ever fly from Providence again.  Getting back and forth from Boston is a nightmare as there's only 5 trains a day running between the two.

My mom had neck surgery to fix nerve damage due to herniated discs.  She turned and smiled at me when I walked into the room.

"Mom!  You have...  makeup on."
"Well honey, I thought I'd look nice for you."
"...  I know what you look like without makeup.  I'm pretty sure I'd still recognize you."
"It's important to look proper and nice for visitors you know."

She not only looked great (even with a huge neck brace on) but on her nightstand was her Herbal Essences hairspray, that was sitting beside her Estee Lauder nighttime moisturizer.  When I peeped into her bathroom, she'd brought her own special Dove moisturizer as well as her own shampoo.  In fact, she even had her own pillows (with the special gardenia patterned pillowcases) and was wearing her own pajamas.  Fashionable pajamas no less.  Not the sweatpants I likely would've been in.  Little cotton capri pajama pants with light vertical stripes and a bit of eyelet lace at the bottom of each leg.   My mom is funny.

I suppose I know now where I get my occasional spates of girliness from, though I'm on some level relieved that my genes are diluted by my dad's super-practical ones.   She reached up to fix my collar like she always does and reproached me for not fixing my hair.  She apparently never remembers that the part in my hair has been crooked since I was 5.

We brought her home the next day, and as she was largely knocked out from drugs (and generally depressed when she was awake), I spent a lot of time on my own, not studying for the MCAT as I had planned.   I was flipping through some of the old photo albums that my mom seems to work neurotically on.  These were photos I'd looked at for years, but this time, I really saw them.  Perhaps because I'm older and my parents seem more like real people, when I see photos of them as young adults, it no longer is something funny to giggle over, but merely fascinating. 

Seeing your parents as they were back when they were -your- contemporaries is a little shocking.  My mom looked so....  happy.  It was odd to see so many photos of her laughing and grinning and being generally goofy.   She was quite the fashionista, even back then.   Imagine that - my mom, goofy.  Not just that, but a lot of her photos bore an odd resemblance to many of my own photos with my own friends.  And for the first time - I saw what my relatives meant when they say that I'm the spitting image of my third aunt when she was young, but that really - I'm undeniably like my mother.  I used to get mad when they would say that.   I'd glance over at my mother's smooth coifs and her perpetual lipstick and then look down at my own brown knees and college T-shirts and think they were all loony. 

It almost scares me.  To see that my mother really used to be a lot like me back when she was 23, and to see the person that she is now.  I used to think that your personality was largely established by the time you were an adult.  But apparently - a lot of change can still happen.  It makes me frightened that perhaps I won't be quite the "cool" parent that I thought I would be, though the thought of becoming the polished person that my mother is still seems fantastical.  Even more frightening was the fact that my mother would wake up occasionally from the drugs, touch her neck brace and start crying, "How did this happen? How did I become like this?"  which eerily and uncomfortably had a dual set of meanings for me.

But metamorphoses seems to be something that runs in our family.  Not only did my mother morph from what seemed like a carefree laughing young girl to a pseudo-neurotic, emotional adult, but I apparently morphed from a strange frog-like appearance to a normal looking person.  I always joke that I was an especially awkward teenager, but I didn't realize how awkward I truly was until I looked at photos again this past weekend.   As I peered at pictures of me when I was 10, I could feel my face scrunching up.  I was most definitely -not- a beautiful child by any means.  I used to get mad when people would pay attention to my little brother - but really, he was cute.  He was cheeky, had attitude, and had these huge eyes that would get huger when you got him a present.  I was twiggy, very very brown, usually had scabby knees, small small eyes, and if I wasn't looking morose in a picture, I was looking unsure and startled - my 'deer caught in headlights' look was what my dad used to call it.  I'd run to my room and cry when he'd say that.  I was a very serious child. I started out a monster of a baby with 4 chins, hit my cute stage up until the age of 6 or 7, and then I plunged, not emerging from the abyss until I was 19.  I was obviously a person who derived worlds of benefit from the eyebrow wax.  Now, my eyes are larger, my brother's eyes are smaller, and I'm most definitely the cheekier one. 

My mother was awake before I left for the airport to go back to Boston.  I showed up at her bedside wearing her spare neckbrace. 

"Look mom!!  Let's take a photo!  We match!"

Bad joke to make.  She teared up and started crying.  Was it something I said?  She waved the camera away, "No no.  I'm not wearing makeup."

Posted by ink |  7:08 AM

[Wednesday, July 14, 2004]

Fashion, how much does it cost you?

Everyone knows that being in the latest styles can be a weight on your wallet. But can NOT being in fashion cost you in other ways?

According to last night - it can. I had my second date with Doogie. He called me yesterday at 1 pm to set up dinner for later that same night. Whereas normally I'd frostily refuse (I am not at your beck and call), I felt that slamming a doctor for not giving advance notice was unnecessary considering that he was likely saving lives.

At 7:30 pm, I stepped out in my carefully casual-but-nice outfit. In case Doogie is gay and just looking for a friend since he's new to the city. There were moments during our last date when he was talking, and it suddenly crossed my mind that he might not be hetero. When I met up with him, I was suddenly thankful I'd left my stilettos at home and was wearing flats. He was dressed in less than just casual. In fact, he looked like he'd rolled out of bed and grabbed whatever was closest at hand, especially since everything he had on was wrinkled. He was wearing a huge ill-fitting sweater with a discolored tshirt underneath and tapered jeans. With black sneakers. With the frequency with which I see the same black sneakers on homeless men, I imagine they must be donated to the Salvation Army pretty often, but there they were - on Doogie's feet. Obviously, he doesn't have any older sisters, nor did he apparently even care about looking his best last night. Even despite my flats, I felt suddenly self conscious as if I was somehow overdressed in my jeans and black baby-T.

But then as dinner progressed, I found that we talked well, as we always do, and he insisted on paying for dinner - as he always does. We moved on to dessert at a little cafe in Harvard Square where we discussed everything from the role of women in medicine, to having immigrant parents, to the rising cost of healthcare and the pros and cons of a national health system. He missed the last train home so he had to cab it. As I was walking back to my own home, I couldn't help but find myself reflecting on the whole night.

Exactly what is going on? True, I have some slight issues with dating a guy thinner than me, but he's obviously highly intelligent and we converse very well. So is this lack of attraction really due to something as frivolous as a lack of fashion sense? Can your clothes really make or break you?

In the business world - the answer would be yes. Your appearance is directly linked to your credibility and to the confidence you inspire. But what about in the dating world? What we're talking about here is not merely lack of fashion. Not everyone has to have fabulous style. Gap has made an entire business out of dressing nicely but with lack of style. Pleasant but really - nothing to catch the eye. It wasn't merely that Doogie didn't have style - he had really bad style, which is even worse. Could it be that I'm accustomed to dating New York guys, who all walk that fashionable fine line of being metrosexual? Could it just be that all of my male friends are corporate and thus dress extraordinarily well? Perhaps it's not that Doogie has bad style. Maybe he's normal and I've just been living in a sub-population of particularly good dressers. After all, fashion is changeable. In fact, that's often a girlfriend's most positive influence on a guy.

It's amazing how much the wrapping makes or unmakes the man. It's crazy how much your fashion sense says and doesn't say about you. I never thought how a guy dressed would matter to me - until I dated someone who really didn't dress well. Doogie made no attempt to kiss me after our second date. Just the same awkwardly bony hug. Either he's a prime gentleman, or the gentle nudging of my gay-dar was right. Regardless, I can see myself switching gears. My friends call it fear-of-intimacy. I call it going into super-critical mode. All men must pass the super-critical phase before I make a decision as to whether I want to carry on or not. Not many make it. So far, only one has - my ex from four years ago, who's not only shorter than me but also failed out of college a few times. Funny huh. Women make no sense.

Posted by ink |  4:45 PM

[Monday, July 12, 2004]

There's a whiff of books about you.

That's what my mother used to say she loved most about me. That despite all my chatterbox ways and my constant yammering about this or that, once she sat me down with a book, I'd be silent for hours, engrossed.

I suppose books are the refuge for every child who grew up isolated for whatever reasons - by choice or by circumstance. Mine was always a mixture of both. I've always preferred the company of books and characters to the company of people, and my constant role as the "new girl" only reinforced the isolationist tendencies I already had. Every summer, my mother would bring me to the library on Sunday afternoon. She worked full-time as a nurse, so I'd spend my summer days curled up on the couch all day with my nose buried between pages. Or sometimes I'd go to the backyard and climb into my favorite tree, sit in my favorite spot where the branches fit just right under my shoulder blades (until I grew), and I'd haul two or three books up, along with a drink and some snacks in a pulley system my dad had made me. Every Sunday, I'd walk ahead of my mom, body leaning forward at a 45 degree angle as my head led my anxious feet into the library. And once I got in there, the excitement was unbearable. The wonderful smell of wood and books and musty pages. I could never quite believe that all the treasures of the stacks and shelves were mine for the borrowing, and I always resented my mother for telling me reproachfully, "Now, you can only borrow TEN books." I used to sniff at her in disdain. She obviously had no idea what it's like.

I'd stagger out always with more than 10. Sometimes she'd pretend she didn't notice, other times, she'd give me The Look. And I'd know. I'd spread them out on the floor around me and try to anxiously decide - which are the ten best books. And there was always a strategy to it. Which book was likely to be checked out next time I came. Which book was part of a trilogy. I always had to get the book and the sequel together if one existed. I read in 'author phases'. I read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Then all the Roald Dahl ones. Zilpha Keatley Snyder. C.S. Lewis. Piers Anthony. Anne McCaffrey. Diana Wynne Jones. Terry Brooks. Marion Zimmer Bradley. Barbara Kingsolver. Asimov. I'd check out entire shelves at a time, until the library put in a rule that you can only take out 3 books from any one author at a time. I was quite put out.

The thrill of having new books has never worn off for me. I always have to read a book RIGHT AWAY when I bring it home from the bookstore. And then I have to carry it with me and read it at every chance possible. While eating, while on the subway, while waiting for the elevator. Ordering books specifically had a special sort of magic to it. Remember those Scholastic book order forms at school? They came with the free posters of puppies if you ordered more than 5 books. I used to pore over those and look at my mom pleadingly, "Please mom, can I buy a book? Please?" Obviously, my parents didn't really have it that hard with raising me.

Scholastic book order has been replaced with barnesandnoble.com these days. I can spend hours browsing the website and the free shipping for orders over $25 is so damn tempting. I easily go over $25. And the excitement of having a box waiting for you when you get home is a whole 'nother story. The best gift I've ever gotten was a B&N Membership from my brother. He's faithfully renewed it for me every year, which is great for both of us because he no longer has to think of a Christmas gift (and I share the membership with him), and I'm thrilled all the time.

Book-spending is something I've had to seriously curb with my new student budget. But based on my most recent BarnesandNoble.com browsing session, this is the latest version of Ink's Drool List of Books To Crave.

Living History - Hilary Rodham Clinton (no interest in Bill's version)
100 Selected Poems - e.e. cummings (Fisher's influence)
Age of Spiritual Machines - Kurzweil
How Sex Changed - Meyerowitz

Posted by ink |  10:00 PM

[Sunday, July 11, 2004]

The City.

When I used to come back to New York City, it felt of home. Arriving into the busy streets gave me a sense of euphoria and energy. This, I felt, was where I belonged. This past weekend though, as I sat on my friend's bed watching him get ready for going out, I heard the familiar sounds of a Friday night in New York City. Phone calls going on to find out where people are going to be. Questions about dress code. And all of a sudden, it felt jarringly familiar and foreign. I felt like I was an outsider looking in on something I used to be intimate with. Like when you first see your ex-boyfriend with someone else. Or when you return to your high school for the first time after you've gone to college.

Though the life still felt familiar to me, it felt familiar to me in a different way - in a way that smacked of the past, of a chapter closed in my life, of something I've left behind. I felt like an outsider - largely because I'm not the person I was last year when I lived in New York anymore, and I was having trouble reconciling the new me with my old life. It made me sad on one level - that something that used to mean so much to me has become -this-. But I also felt relieved on another level that I have grown and developed despite the sudden halt of my career and the current waiting period my life is dwelling in.

The main change that I've seen is that I've lost the hunger and drive that marks New York City and makes it the place to be. In a nutshell - New York is for ballers. People come to New York to make it. Businessmen, Wall Street, aspiring actors and models. Everyone is here to be someone, and unlike L.A., there are no pretensions or attempts to mask it. I'm no longer a baller, although admittedly - I used to be. I can admit it now though I strongly denied it back then. I came to New York because I was an Ivy League grad and that's what Ivy League grads do. We come to New York and we make big money and we lead flashy lives that no 21-year-old should have. I was hungry back then to prove myself, to make myself legitimate, to make my education count for something. And now - I simply don't care anymore. I suppose on some level, I've become much more selfish. Now I care only about myself. I care only about whether I'm happy and what I want to do, and not a whit about my reputation or my finances or what my parents might think. I don't care if my friends are proud of me or whether they whisper behind my back. Instead of flushing my career down the drain guiltily as I did last year, I do it now with an odd sort of childish glee, like a madman who rocks back and forth hugging her knees and giggling to herself.

I no longer belong in New York like I used to. Or, more specifically, I no longer belong in the slice of New York that I used to live in. Perhaps I will come back here someday and find a new slice. After all, that's what's special about New York, that there's a place for almost anybody. And I'll perhaps drop into my old slice once in a while to pick up a rich professional husband who will be willing to fund all my future shoe purchases.

Posted by ink |  11:35 AM

[Wednesday, July 07, 2004]

Why am I such a bitch on the internet?

So Kenmore invited me to join Orkut, telling me that it's the new Friendster, but cooler. Part me wanted to clap my hands in false glee, "Ooo! Yet another seemingly elitist online community!" and roll my eyes. But I sighed, and signed up anyways, just to see what it is.

As Kenmore puts it, "I handed you a gold mine!" I received 4 messages within 24 hours of creating a skeleton of a profile, none of which I responded to. But one individual was a bit more persistent, so today as I sat in lab waiting for my gel to run, I composed the following response to my would-be suitor, quoting portions of his own message back to him:

to: E.B.
subject: oh alright.
So, you've sent me two messages in a one month period, despite my lack of response. I suppose persistence does have its virtues as I am now sufficiently roused enough to write back. I must say, despite your professed lack of finesse with teasers, I especially admired your modesty ("I also look cute but am looking to date women"), your glibness ("you look cute", nice assumption considering my picture shows nothing of my face), and your empty promises ("I promise I am not a psycho"). Because of course - every gal should take a man's word for it when he says he won't chop her up into pieces and eat her, Jeffrey Dahmer style. But yet, I am writing back to commend you for your assertiveness via orkut, and because I am intrigued at the thought of speaking to a persistent guy who has a name that sounds like it'd belong to a hobbit. I'd be up for some email chatter for now. And maybe if you're really lucky - a date later.

It caused a great stir and made me into the recipient of a flaming email response. In a nutshell, it accused me of being an ice queen that "textually assaults unsuspecting men". Ha. I'm an internet felon. Among other things, I was called "callous". He took particular offense to the hobbit comment, which kinda surprised me. Being a Tolkien fan myself, I'd LOVE to have a name that sounded like it came straight out of one of his books. It wasn't like I said he LOOKED like a hobbit. And lastly, he was insulted that I made no effort to ask about his interests so he could prove that he wasn't psycho. Part of me grinned when I saw his response. Who would've thought my little message would've been taken so seriously? I wrote back a very nice careful email, and asked him the most unoffensive question I could think of: "So, what do you do for a living?" Then I couldn't resist and tacked on a "P.S. I hope that's a safe thing to say". Man, I'm gonna burn in hell.

Posted by ink |  1:04 AM

[Tuesday, July 06, 2004]


Now that they've lowered my dosage of spironolactone, things are back to normal - with a vengeance. Ever since my dermatologist put me on spironolactone to help cure my chronic hives and my supersensitive skin - my skin has gotten better, and my libido has taken a dive. It's a weak androgen blocker, which means that it lowers the levels of testosterone in my body.

According to my endocrinology book:
testosterone: effects in adults - sex drive (libido in both sexes), muscle growth and maintenance, increased erythropoiesis (hence higher male hematocrit), increased male pattern baldness (via DHT), increased cholesterol (with negative cardiovascular consequences)

All in all, it seemed like testosterone is pretty bad for you, so I wasn't too upset to see it go. But the sex drive thing concerned me. I lost all interest in men. And I mean absolutely all interest. Not just that, but I began developing stronger bonds with women and an interest in women. In a panic, I called my best friend Kenmore to tell him about my potential bisexuality. After an initial pause, he said "Wow. That's kinda hot", which of course, was exactly what I was looking for in terms of support about something that could drastically affect my life and my family's life.

I was worried for a lot of reasons. First of all - was this even a valid worry? I'd lived with a lesbian for a year, and like all single girls - on the weekends we'd go to the park and check out potential mates. She'd point out cute guys for me, and I'd help pick out girls for her. As such, I learned what her "type" was, and I also learned how to pick out a nice ass on a girl. Is this how guys do it? The one thing that still eludes me is how to spot a nice rack. I can't for the life of me differentiate between nice boobs and not-so-nice ones (how can you tell if it's the boob or the bra?), though my roommate could see through baggy shirts and assess "Nah, she's got droopy boobs" right off the bat. Perhaps my checking-out of women was merely an artifact of that. Kinda like how once someone points something out that you've never noticed before, you suddenly start noticing it everywhere.

Another part of me spun the story a different way. Maybe living with a lesbian made me see that they're really not that different from the rest of us. After all, my roommate always claimed that I was the younger version of her - except I liked men. Perhaps living in that sort of environment made it possible for a part of me to come out that would have otherwise stayed hidden in a less supportive moment. So what does this mean? Am I potentially bisexual? This could have huge repercussions.

As it turns out - I really had nothing to worry about. My dermatologist turned the dosage down on my spironolactone because it was giving me dehydration headaches, and just like a switch, my libido returned and started raging like it was making up for lost time. And just as quickly, my nascent interest in women died. A week after I went onto the lower dosage, I had a dream that I was having sex with a classmate of mine - CuteButGay. See, there's a difference between dreaming that I HAD sex with a boy (I dream about the morning-after) and dreaming that I'm HAVING sex with a boy (I actually dream about the sex part). I dreamt about HAVING sex with CuteButGay. His boyfriend, AlsoVeryCute, wasn't in my dream. Although now that I think about it - it probably would've been hotter if he was. But what does it mean if I dream about having sex with gay guys?

Last night, I dreamed I HAD sex with my best friend Kenmore. I dreamed I woke up beside him, and it was completely evident that we'd slept together, even though I couldn't remember having sex. And somehow - I knew that he'd slept with another girl a few hours before. I looked over at him and said rather calmly, "Wow. You got play from 2 girls tonight." He smirked at me and said "Yeah. I rock." Just as I was quietly starting to panic about needing to get HIV-tested, I woke up, feeling strangely stress-free for the first time in weeks since I realized I may not finish my thesis in time for graduation. In fact, I felt all fuzzy and relaxed and happy. I stretched and made little "Mmmmmm" noises and generally felt cuddly and good. Is it possible to feel post-coital satisfaction without the actual coitus?

My interest in women has most definitely diminished, and I now play the "What Man On This Bus Would I Have Sex With If This Bus Was Taken Over By Terrorists And I Was Forced To Sleep With One Of The Other Passengers To Save Everyone's Life" game again. Granted, I don't know if dreaming about sex with a gay man and my best-friend-of-5-years counts, but it's definitely a relief to be having the normal dreams linked to my normal menstrual cycle again.

In fact, I even had a date today. With a first-year Pediatrics resident. I'm moving on up in life! My ex is a college dropout, and I'm now seeing doctors. Kenmore congratulated me for finally dating someone who's older than I am. I patted myself on the back as well. That is, until halfway through the date, when he revealed that he went to college at the age of 14, got into med school at the age of 18, and is currently 1.5 years younger than I am. I am dating Doogie Howser. What are the chances? The date went extraordinarily well, though all I could think of the entire time was that he could really benefit from having his eyebrows waxed. And for some reason - he didn't seem as cute today as he did when I first met him in the hospital. I don't know if it's because I got a better look at him this time - or whether he ceased to be cute because now I know I can have him.

Posted by ink |  12:03 AM

[Monday, July 05, 2004]

And the rockets' red glare.

Ever since 9/11, the national anthem has had a special effect on me. It makes me tear up uncontrollably to the point where I can't breathe I have such a huge lump in my throat. This is no show of patriotism though. This is deep regret and disappointment.

At church yesterday, the priest gave a moving sermon about that. He talked about how in today's reading, we are descended from one of God's chosen people. One of God's chosen people. The next verse, which is often ignored, states that God chose 72 others and sent them out in the world. This, the priest says, means that just as we are special, there are others who are special also to God. Much like how a parent may make every child feel special, but not compare them to each other. Special, and different. And we must welcome everyone into our hearts the way Jesus would have.

Part of me is skeptical at my regurgitation of the sermon. Am I turning into one of those Jesus kids? My move back to Catholicism though, coincides with 9/11, which also coincides with 2001 - the year I graduated from college and moved into the real world. So, why is it that older people tend to attend religious services more often than younger people? What do they know that we don't? We know now that much of the world is not under our control. We know we are not invincible. We've not just seen more ugly, but we understand it. And the ugly is what makes me tear up and my voice quaver when I sing the national anthem.

The national anthem reminds me of the men and women who fought and died for the ideals our country was founded on. It reminds me of the original vision for what this country was supposed to be. And to see it now, a warped version of an ideal, makes me want to sob the same way seeing a beautiful child marred by a scarring accident would. It makes me want to cry for the original, to cry for what could've been, and to cry for the wonderfulness that has been lost. It makes me want to rail against Bush and everything he stands for. It makes me want to hurl my things into the sky in silent rage.

The fireworks last night were splendid. But everytime I heard the cracks and bangs and rat-tat-tats, I couldn't help but be reminded of the war in Iraq. Everytime I saw the explosions in the sky, I couldn't help but think of gunshots. Last night, I sang the national anthem but could no longer speak the words because they choked as sobs inside my throat. I could no longer sing the words because they had lost their meaning.

Posted by ink |  9:21 AM



 about a 25  year old girl, ex-consultant, ex New York City inhabitant, newly minted med student, (still) largely single.

  about big change, the choices we make in life, gut instincts, on-the-whim hairpin turns, the search for truth, the desire to be happy, the journey to finding out what makes us happy.  

  about being young and clueless, hoping that we're not blindly leading ourselves to our own demise with every tentative step we take, the pitfalls of dating, the trials and travails of being a young woman in the post-feminist era.

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