On my Tumblr, I recently made an asklist of 20 unusual questions, and I thought that I would take the time to post all of my own answers to my blog, as I think it would serve as a nice snapshot of who I am at this moment in time.
1. If your favorite memory were turned into a liquid, what texture would it have?
Even though this was the first question I invented for the list, it’s the last one that I had an answer for. It’s just such a bizarre question, and to answer it, I first need to determine what my favorite memory is!
So my answer will probably change tomorrow, but right now, I think it would have the texture of whipped cream foam at the top of a mug of hot chocolate, but it wouldn’t have the heavy, lingering quality that dairy has. It would be light and airy, soft and gentling, but leave a clean, cool taste to the mouth.
2. What is your favorite word that sounds the way it means?
Vicious. It’s such a nice word. When you enunciate it slowly, you bare your teeth to say it, and there’s that predatory hiss to the words. It’s not like the word ‘violence’ which has been overused to the point of semantic saturation. If you describe someone as vicious, you can feel the ruthlessness in them, and I adore it.
3. If there was no social judgment at all, what clothes would you wear together?
I would wear the traditional Korean men’s hat for scholars (gat) with my everyday westernized outfits, because I feel like that would be an aesthetic. Just more hanboks in my everyday life. A button-down with a hanbok robe over it, yes.
4. Would you rather eat one absolutely delicious meal for the rest of your life or a wide variety of mediocre meals?
I am the type that if I love something, I would never get sick of it. Give me a meal of freshly cooked white rice, beef, grilled mackerel, and a plate of strawberries for the rest of my life, and I will be happy.
5. What is a childhood ‘phase’ that you never really outgrew?
Quoting a previous Tumblr post of mine, “Is it really a wolf phase if I never outgrew it?”
6. If you could invent a color, what things would be that new color?
Charred wood, clouds right before lightning strikes, sunlight on black hair, black ink on paper before it dries, blood when it is freshest on a knife.
7. If you were a plant, under what conditions would you grow? Would you be a flowering plant? A fruiting plant?
I would be a flowering plant, probably a trellis, that weaves around other plants. A benevolent parasite that helps its host live longer. I would bloom at night, and prefer cooler, airier sites.
8. Whisper any word right now. What word was it? Why do you think that was?
It was wisteria, probably because it sounds like a whisper. It’s a lovely whispered word.
9. What is the pettiest curse you can think of? One that will not cause any true harm but will be loathed anyway?
Every day, non-stop, they have to live with the underlying background music of “All Star” sounding like it is being sung by an otomatone choir. In the Holiday season, it switches to “12 Days of Christmas.”
10. Design your perfect socks.
They would be terrycloth and look like sleeping foxes. I would wear them only indoors, and they would never get damp.
11. If the police claimed your internet search history would help catch a notorious serial killer, but they won’t force you to hand it over, would you do it?
There are things I would regret in the history, but my morals would win over. I would tell them not to judge me before I do, though, and demand to be credited as part of this process. I would also want to know what the hell they could possibly use my internet search history for because, I swear, looking up how much bone marrow sells for on the black market was just for fun.
12. What is the warmest thing you have ever held in your arms?
My 2-year-old baby foster brother. He always ran a little hot, but when he giggled and wrapped his arms around my neck and clung to me with his legs, I feel like I had never held anything warmer and as precious.
13. Grab your nearest book. Turn to the 18th page. Find the 4th sentence. What is it? What does it make you think of?
From Unwind by Neal Shusterman, “He doesn’t look behind him.” It makes me think of my own novel that I am writing and how my protagonists in general tend to be running away from their regrets.
14. Go find a famous quote you had never heard before but love. What is it, and why do you love it?
“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” – Thomas Merton
I have never heard this before, but I believe it to be true. Every single moment of living is an act of change. To live is to change. And the only way to live is to be aware of that and embrace every experience, every joy, and every hardship for what it is: change. That is all living is. And the incredible thing is, things can always change for the better.
15. What grammar convention (in any language you speak) would you gleefully get rid of if you could?
Hey, English. When someone asks you, “Do you not like this thing?” the correct answer should be “Yes, I don’t like this thing.” You are saying, “Yes, you are correct. Your negative assessment is correct. I do not like this thing.” So why the heck is the normalized response, “No, I don’t” ???
16. What is the most precise, most specific emotion you can think of? Can you describe it?
To me, there is no emotion as precise as those first few moments when I share a new story with someone who loves to read. There’s the trepidation, the excitement, the thirst for praise and even more so, the hunger for critique. The butterflies I feel inside are many, and sometimes I wonder if that’s what love feels like, that craving for attention, affection, and direction. And all throughout that, an underlying desperation begging, “Please don’t let my writing make you think worse of me.”
17. Describe either your handwriting or a creative skill of yours in the most positive way you can manage. Make it sound like a breathtaking, enviable ability, as if you were a legend.
The script is a malleable thing. In letters to strangers, acquaintances, neighbors, every letter is a calculation – looped just right, angled precisely. A best foot forward. A presentation. Absolutely mundane. But the scrawl found in journals, in notes to friends, brusque and bare – what a delight that can be. Emotions unfiltered, thoughts too quick for a human hand. A capture of a moment of the broadness of the mind, crammed into a paper too small.
18. What is one thing that absolutely does not belong in tupperware (but could easily be stored in it?)
My first immediate thought was human ears, and now I have to live with that image in my head…
19. If you were a person of great power in some fantasy setting, and someone were to swear allegiance to you, how would you have them pledge their loyalty?
I’m a traditionalist. I would want them to take a knee and swear an oath, but not one they recite – something honest that they speak from the heart. If I owned an artifact that compelled them to speak truth, I would have it offered so that they can use it to convince me of their loyalty if they so choose, but I would not force it upon them.
20. If you could speak to a natural phenomenon, what would you speak to?
This may be a cliche and simple answer, but I would talk to tempests, thunderstorms – I would ask them how it feels to be so grand, to command such attention. Those who cannot see it will hear it, and those who cannot hear it will see it, and those who can do neither will feel the wind, the rain on their skin. The presence of a thunderstorm is something I envy and admire. I would love to learn one’s secrets.