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Nuts, Grandparents & Gnawing Nuts

Today I was told I won an award at school. I don't know what award it is, or what I won it for. My parents are dreadfully excited. It's been a while since I've won an award. I used to win awards, sporadically, very sparsely. I don't remember what for. I was really young. Those are the awards you get for being best in a subject in a form and such. My father wants to see me graduate. I didn't have a graduation ceremony the first time around, you see. I was meant to go to New York for it, but we finally nailed it down to too expensive, too much bloody trouble, too soon after the World Trade Center bombings. Dad was the one who picked up my degree from the college in Kuala Lumpur, since I was already here. I don't even know what the entire ceremony, if there is one, for Grad. Dip. students is like. Frankly, I think it's a waste of time, and a waste of money. But my father wants to see it. I'd argue it's really my graduation ceremony, and I can choose not to go, but they'd most likely argue they paid for my education, so they deserve a show. If I seem grumpy about it, it's not like they're genuinely proud of the fact I write and oh, yeah, I finally have this piece of paper that says I kind of studied the subject, but because they'll have photos of me in a gown and they can show it off to everyone.

Except at every gathering imaginable, they'd still introduce me as their daughter who "studied her hobby" and "wants to be a professional student."

My mother has a pipe dream I'd pick up her life story or the life story of one of her grandmothers and make a story out of that, because it's historical, and quite dramatic. She thinks I should be writing a love story. And she thinks having a daughter who writes is a good enough excuse to have one of those family love stories cobbled up. She keeps telling me these tales which were kind of interesting the first time around, but you know, I never met my great grandmother from the paternal side. I barely knew my great grandmother from the maternal side, even though she lived to be ninety nine and quite lively for a lot of those years. I don't exactly have ties with most of my extended family because I never had a reason to have them. I don't even see my grandparents beyond festivals, and I'm actually kind of glad one of them's finally gone.

My point is graduation ceremonies are people. They involve people who are like extended families, these other people from your department who might've been classmates or might've been teachers, and you've stuck with them for a long time, but then you don't want to see them after that, or at least I don't. I have a sickening (to other people) fear of people. They enter my space. They talk. They move. They do people things. And I learnt, over this over-vast amount of time, that I didn't like this very much. Under very certain Afi-based paranoia, the more I get in contact with other people is the more I learn more stuff about me I don't like. It's also the more I am able to be manipulated by other people, which I also don't like. It also gives me a headache, because people movement-talking-things makes me nervous. THOSE NUTS ARE MINE! *headglomp* *chew* *chew* *gnaw*

With... less gnawing.

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