Lilygreen

United States

Ridiculously self- pressured, hopelessly (and unsuccessfully) in love for three years, and scared to write the things that matter. And that’s me on a good day . Good luck.

Message from Writer

“Here’s some advice- stay alive.” Haymitch Abernathy
“I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if ... But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”- Marilyn Monroe
“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”- Coco Chanel

The Meaning of Tea

August 31, 2021

FREE WRITING

4
What turns water into tea? I swish the murky flavors of the earth between my teeth and try to taste the difference. Water is a poor man’s drink, nothing more than substance. Survival for the sake of avoiding death. Tea is an entirely different creature. Exotic, it unleashes fire on your taste buds. It is the beating of the drum on New Year’s, a good luck charm blessed with all the magic of a dragon’s dance. Coveted, silver stream, it represents wealth and fortune and health. Tea sets a standard of people. An elitist class that drinks the from the mind of Confucius himself. In their very reins runs privilege and culture. 
They say that Americans bleed red. The Chinese bleed tea. 
Here in America, tea holds nothing for me but dregs. A constant remembrance of all that I have left behind, all the opportunities I have wasted to some to this foreign country. My husband tells me to become more American. To let myself forget where I came from, and embrace a life of blond-haired starlets and fake-tanned imposters. He wants me to be content with a television screen and a WiFi password, telling me that things here are so much better than our homeland. A land where I could talk for hours to my neighbor, all through the paper-thin walls of our home. Where a friend was anyone in the marketplace with the same bargaining style as you, and people were pleasant to each other in even the darkest of times. I could walk down the dirt- paved streets of my hometown with pride in being Chinese. Now, I skulk through endless shopping malls, paved roads with BMWs roaring in the distance. I hide, as if my condensed body can take away from the fact that my skin is copper and my hair is black and silky, rather than a bottled blonde. I do not belong in this country. I am not the model immigrant that my husband is, all smiles and apologies, and humbleness, as if he doesn’t come from the greatest nation in the world. I have lost him… in despair I turned to my children. 
 I let a tea bag settle for hours, but can I get my children to drink it? It is the lifeblood of their culture, the great milk that floods from the suckling breast of China herself. I tell them this in Mandarin, their native tongue, but they stare back at me with blank American eyes. I tell them that it is the tears of their mother, lost in a faraway land. That to drink tea is to reclaim a part of themselves that they may never get back. It means nothing. They cannot understand me. They turn back to their silly distractions, cartoons about careless bunnies and runaway coyotes. I let them go. America has claimed them. Who am I to deny them the birthright that their father and I saved and struggled and suffered to give to them? American entitlement is as ingrained in their nature as loneliness is in mine. I can only hope that they can find it in their hearts to love me, their Chinese mother. A mother that will continue to boil tea, even when no one drinks it. Who sips quietly in the shadows, watching her loved ones learn to live in a country that she will never love. 

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  • August 31, 2021 - 4:03am (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • rosie_

    This is such a beautiful piece of writing!


    about 2 months ago