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January 31, 2004

Posted by anoddphrase in Uncategorized.

yeah, ok, so i’ve decided (on a whim) to post the rest of my fun daily themes. rn’t u all overjoyed? (if there is an all–which i highly doubt :P) at any rate, enjoy… (this one is one of my favorites and best, quite possibly–and yes almost all of these posted here r on my insane family :P)


            Daily Theme #4

Mr. Frankenbach

English 250

January 17, 2002


Flushing New York



            My breath came in quick, shallow paces, the heat and humidity in the air forbidding me to slow it down any more.  Lying flat on my stomach, stretched out over the gaudy, black leather couch, was the only way I could stay still without overheating.  The smooth, shiny fabric of the sofa soothed the sweaty skin of my arms and legs, though every time I fidgeted into a different position, the fake leather stuck unpleasantly to my skin.  Sighing, I rolled my eyes away from the low droning of the television, where a Tiger-less tournament of golf was playing, only an occasional mild golf-clap to be heard, aside from the monotonous tones of the announcers.  My gaze roamed around the tiny, but unremarkable apartment.

            Faded black and white photographs of my father when he was young rested, framed in time on the shelf above the TV, beside other similar pictures of my aunts and uncles.  Above them hung still more framed pictures of my various cousins and relatives, including the snapshots of my brothers and me.  A metal-legged desk that had been once very popular in the mid-sixties lay to the left of the cabinet, not a paper to be seen on the flat, wood-painted-plastic surface.  Beeps and squeaks sounded from the small Gameboy my little brother, Matthew, was playing as he spun idly on the long-backed leather computer chair beside the desk.  A small snore was emitted from my older brother, David, as he dozed on another couch, directly across from the television cabinet, about two feet away from me.  My mother was curled up on an easy chair, on the other side of the TV cabinet, reading one of her romance books, her silly, dangly earrings sparkling in the bright afternoon sunlight every time she turned a page.

            A sudden shot arose from a table across the room and my gaze focused in on my Uncle Alfred as he jumped up, pumping his fist into the air, crying, “Jeemaaaw!”.  My dad slammed a fist into the mah-jonng table, setting off little missiles of green and white glass blocks to soar through the air, skidding to a halt on the varnished wooden floor, as he stomped away, Uncle Alfred obliviously continuing on with his little victory dance.  Ma-ma, my father’s mother, scowled, her eternally frowning face creasing even more to form wrinkles that would surely stick if she didn’t let go of the expression soon.  My goujie, my father’s youngest sister, laughed and began babbling in a stream of unintelligible words, which I immediately identified as Cantonese.  Auntie Heidi’s cheerful voice replied heartily in kind over the sizzle of a stir-fry pan.  The delicious smells of cooking soy sauce and beef drifted through the air accompanied by the clashing clamor of pots and metal scraping against metal.

            One of my older cousins wandered out from one of the bedrooms where the rest of my cousins had gathered to huddle over the computer and/or read Chinese comic strips together.  She shrugged and sat down at my father’s vacated place as the players began to shuffle loudly, a rain of low rumbling thunder, starting the game over again.

            My gaze shifted over to the windowsill crowded with rampaging plant life and a handful of scattered Chinese horse knick-knacks.  The bulky air conditioner was puttering and dying, gasping for its’ last breath, over the snatches of music caught from the passing cars.  Beyond the glass, layered with the scant drops of perspiration from the air conditioner and a few greasy fingerprint smudges, heat rose in hazy waves off of the still bustling Kissena Avenue of Flushing, New York. 

            This is where I’d spent the first Sunday of every month after and before ski season for almost my entire life.  New York, New York.  However, I failed to see the dazzling, fascinating scenes that were depicted in Frank Sinatra’s famous ode to the city that never slept.  Spending lazy, uneventful Sunday afternoons in the hot, humid and cramped apartment of my grandmother.  So much for flushing New York, I thought half-heartedly as I reached behind my head for the remote to change the channel.




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