All in the Family
<<<previous <<<free falling

June 15, 1998

Ha showed me around town, showed me her very first house, and her high school. Then, after a little search we surprised her brother, Long. She said he was a genius, and an introvert. Ha said that when we met, Long won't smile or shake hands, "so don't think he's mad because he's just like that". She said they usually just said 'hi' (although it had been five years since they'd seen each other). I asked her,"What do I do if he's changed and wants to shake hands?" She said,"It WON'T happen".
We walked in and he didn't smile. Quietly he said "Hi Ha" and they talked for 30 seconds. Then he smiled and said,"So Ha...aren't you going to introduce me to your friend?!" He shook my hand and Ha almost had a heart attack.

Moo?  Did you just call me Moo?  Who is she?>>>

The three of us sat talking as Ha tried to convince Long get food and see a movie with us. He seemed very intelligent and kept making me laugh with excuses he gave Ha to not go with us. Eventually he relented and came along. We never did see a movie though because Ha and Long couldn't agree on anything, and I was amused watching the siblings argue. I liked Long and I think he liked me too. We found each other entertaining.

The next day Ha and I returned to Long's place to see if we could borrow some bicycles to ride. That didn't work so we tried to go boat rowing. Long wouldn't come with us. Ha tried and tried and I got bored so I did sit-ups to pass the time. Eventually Long was giving his long explanation on why he needed to stay at home and Ha and I traded off making fun of his theory until we both got the giggles. The thunderstorm from hell soon showed up so we found Ha's other brother Tuyen's work and visited him. Then we went to another mall, played chess on the floor in a chess store and saw another movie.
We hooked up with her brother again and the three of us went to her uncle's house.

Tickets are $7...moose get in for free>>>

I met him and her two cousins. We all went to a karaoke bar and drank coffee and played pool and ping pong until 3am. Every time we'd meet someone they'd ask,"so how long are you staying? When are you going back? Where are you staying?" Ha and I would look at each other confused, slightly scared and say,"We don't know"
We found a motel at 4am, and I was so tired I asked for a double bed instead of two beds. When we got to the room we looked at each other and said,"Oops". She said she'd sleep on the couch and I said I'd sleep on the couch but eventually we decided it was silly because the bed was enormous. We had another of our famous heart-to-heart talks. I told her how hurt I was about her and Brent and didn't know how I was holding up so well. I thought I was falling in love and she said,"Please don't fall in love with me!"
Ha told me her brother Long and I were the only people she knew who were good "down to the core" (she didn't know me well). Then she said,"You know how when you get to the end, and the big tidal wave is coming to get you, and you are standing there and your whole life passes before your eyes? And flashing in front of you are all the people you've known in your life--and for some people, you pause and think about them for a while. I'll pause for you".

One of the silliest things I remember was when we went to a Vietnamese restaurant the next morning and I was parked at the far end of the parking lot, illegally.
We finished eating and Ha said,"Let's skip across the parking lot!" I said,"Ummm...okay sure..." so we skipped across this huge parking lot. I could just see the cop writing me a ticket and here we come skipping along. I would've probably told him I was running very late and asked him if he'd seen my basket of Easter Eggs.
We finally went boat rowing. I messed it up because I'd never been rowing before so she took over saying, "You've been doing all the driving these past days so let me drive you around". I laid in the boat and watched her row. She kept talking to herself and pretending she was Captain Kirk and I wanted to laugh. She got us hung up in the sand and then she'd struggle to get us out. We stopped on the far, far end of the lake where we were completely alone and laid down in the boat, watching the birds, frogs and fish. It was so quiet and serene. We both said we wished we'd done it earlier.
The moose was with us always. We'd sit him in the cup-holder of my car and talk to him, and sometimes throw things at him (picture). I think we knocked one of his eyes out too...hehehe.