The Asian Parody of Lucifer

Version 1: Guy is in love with a girl, or rather Woman, he considers his Trinity. They were momentarily not together for reasons similar to those found in La La Land.  (Guess) Down and out and in Berlin for the weekend, he remembers a girl that liked him 10 years ago. He decides to send a booty call message. Fortunately, girl was not in town.

Version 2: Friend of Guy who has been wanting to get married and have kids since 2006 has secretly been reading girl’s blog and thinks of girl’s age, and assumes girl must be starting to have these ideas too. Although girl wasn’t interested 10 years ago, maybe she would be now. Friend knows girl liked Guy and so enlists Guy to help him ask girl out. Guy and his Trinity agree to help, almost like a bait and switch. Poor girl doesn’t have a clue.

Version 3: Another strange variation of 1 and 2. Guy confesses all he would want is free sex with girl, friend says he would love and marry girl. Guy agrees to help friend get married.

However, turns out girl who loves literature has yet to read Dante’s Divine Comedy so all references to the Inferno or Paradiso are lost on her in the beginning but not anymore. She also has almost no background in religious iconography. Apparently, these people only speak the language of Dante. Trinity gets frustrated and is almost yelling via Instagram my guy doesn’t like you, you’re not his type (double Ds), listen to the lyrics, someone else likes you, while the Guy is saying there is a beautiful red Woo-man that I love, you’re a ugly bat, chopsticks to wood, ice to the sun, asymmetry to symmetry, a car to a bridge. Girl has yet to fully realize the positive to her negative. So there is the girl like a goldfish in a bowl, singing “rainbow connection, your girl for all seasons, take me to church, love, love, love” even girl is starting to find herself cheesy, perhaps she was dishing too much cheese. Those songs helped fool her own mind. Laughing and cringing at the same time upon its reflection. Until finally, girl gets a rude awakening from a Stevie Wonder song.

Girl finally realizes the landscape of the land. Feels tricked into confession (Much ado About Nothing), violated (Steve Wonder’s Superstitious), experiences wrath (Sicily) and wants to punch someone in the face (Venice). Feels even without the sun, this might be giving her wrinkles. Girl doesn’t understand what were these people thinking? How worse would girl have felt if Another Guy hadn’t shown up in the picture, even if as a part of his own circus, to tell her – Guy is the devil. Another Guy is the devil too, but not as mean about it.


Not diplomatic, girl tries to get out of the situation fast. She starts proclaiming she has always loved Another Guy (which then sparks the wrath of his Trinity, his Beatrice and other various gardens) but this doesn’t work. Just creates another parody. No one believes Another Guy likes girl and yes, it was a charade to get me out of the first parody. Then everyone starts mobbing girl for being lustful, unloved spinster, a three-eyed moon, as the Guy’s really spacey love for his Trinity gets rubbed in her face. I wish they could see each other’s social media content as the parallels seem almost coordinated. I’ve stopped looking at the Trinities, can’t communicate with me that way. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But those name-calling slights weren’t even the meanest thing of all, it was rather those backhanded disguised black holes eating my time, those little bones of confused mistaken identity and then to be told the real answer days later. But it never worked after that Stevie Wonder song (mallets and the sound of wood crowd control- Extremely Rude). “Why you gotta be so mean?” Do I have something you want? I’m the old (37-years-old), unloved spinster here remember. I should be the one talking mean shit all day long and according to Chris Rock, I would be allowed to. I can think of some mean things to say. I wish I could but I’m not gonna.

Girl is not sure what exactly is being attacked. Her flat-chestedness or her character? Her foolhardiness or the light-hearted use of the word love to people who think its use for them is ridiculous? The audacity to think either of the Guys would like her. The stupidity of thinking she could be an alternative option to a Trinity or the stupidity of not knowing what three cars in a parking lot could mean. Or is this just the terrorist antics of a lunatic defending his absolute religion? Bullying for your religion is a terrorist attack.

A trilogy, Beatrice, ice, a squeaky saxophone, chopsticks, how is anyone to know what these jumble of red herrings and mixed messaging is actually suppose to mean. I tried to test some of my friends and they thought I was speaking crazy. Friend, “You had me at Beatrice, who is Beatrice?” How was girl suppose to know there was a Trinity involved or that ice represents absence of love when she likes ice and stays clear of the sun. Or the idea of being with her would be like playing a chopstick piano after having played a beautiful baby grand Steinway made of the finest wood (the chopstick piano was also racially offensive but I let it slide because I’ve been living in the Western world with the face of an Asian all my life).

And so after having been thrown all these insults and all this hate, I can’t even post a video in which I am written into another story as the Farmer girl outside the City of God showered with some love, I have to be told I’m the muppet rabbit (fits with the Lucifer thread though). Ironically, that reversal just made your Trinity the Farmer girl from Oklahoma City, OK. You can’t separate the two.


Eating Well in Frankfurt

As my friend saw me off on the train back to Berlin, she wistfully said, ” I hope your train ride is like Before Sunrise.” To which I replied, “You haven’t seen the people who sit next to me on trains.” Instead, my Deutsche Bahn train got delayed almost until sunrise and so I got a 9 EUR refund.

I had spent part of the weekend in Frankfurt asking her to help me deconstruct a music video in which a wolf was following a lady in a blue dress. Then I threw in an extra variable of Phrygian mythology into the mix in which a man becomes like a woman or dresses like a woman. Listening to myself, I realized this is really hard to explain. I had the feeling I must be the wolf scared off by the sound of music and then left on the road as the car drives off. And if one wolf wasn’t enough, I saw another one looking straight into my eyes, telling me sweetie pie, you’re the wolf honey bun. The second she-wolf was this pseudo-cinematic poster for Ed Aktins’ Corpsing exhibition at MMK.

When we walked into the exhibition, my friend noticed the artist was born in 1982 and said, “He was born in 1982 and already in a museum. Johanna, we’re losers.” I replied, “He’s ‘one of the greatest artists of our generation.’ ” I told her it might be difficult in the beginning to understand but after about 20 minutes, it will start making sense. Every 5 minutes, I checked in to see how bored she was, “Are you okay?” She said, “This guy is the king of depression but I like the song.” Song went something like this,” I didn’t know… I didn’t know how deep I had gone…” The avatar sang this as he sank deeper and deeper into acts of depression while his body started to decompose until finally a sinkhole (that was unknowingly present the whole time) opens up during an earthquake and swallows him and his world whole. The next day while we were driving through the city, I heard my friend humming a tune and realized it was the depressed avatar song.

Her son was now 3-years-old, so after I bought him some coloring wall stickers and a coloring poster I asked her, “Does your son like to color?” “I’ve never seen him coloring.” “Oh, what does he like?” “He wants to be Darth Vader.” So when my wonderful coloring gifts were revealed, all three of us (Friend, Dad, and Me) made an effort to get him to start coloring. He made like three rough up and down motions with a green marker outside the coloring lines and then started yelling, “Badminton, badminton!” However, I didn’t want to stop coloring but felt I had too. Then, the dad got out the badminton rackets, but the boy kept missing the birdie. My friend then turned to me and said “See, can’t color or play badminton.” “So much energy…” “This is nothing.” Then, the son started yelling, “Darth Vader, Darth Vader!” So the dad got his black cape, mask and lightsaber, fastened the cape, handed him the mask and the lightsaber, and then he presented himself to me as Darth Vader.

The next day the whole family and I went to brunch at a Japanese/ French cafe. After a few bites of peaceful eating, the son’s head erupts. He starts coughing, then his nose starts running, then tears start streaming down his cheeks and then he vomits. His dad catches the vomit in his hands as I quickly pick up a plate for it to be disposed. The two of them immediately head home but my friend barely even freaks out. “Your son’s head just erupted!” “Happens all the time,” and she goes back to eating. Just the two of us now, I start telling her of this video I posted on Facebook and got a Durex condom advertisement in my newsfeed. But right as I start telling this, my friend calls which I ignore because I specifically told him I would be busy visiting a friend but accidentally took the call so he hears the first half of the story. Astonishing how much I was able to communicate in just under a minute.


The Triple Mirage: A Turn of a Trick


What seemed so harmless in the beginning, just a video with a bad status update posted on Facebook, truly took me to hell. I was in Sicily fuming that I had been tricked just like Francesca da Rimini in Dante’s Inferno. Tricked into confessing ‘love’ by the song “Beatrice.” Who knew there was a Trinity involved, and I’m the one dreaming?

That is the memory of YOUR 11-year-old heart (not mine).

Tricked into turning myself into Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing, thinking I knew the identity of Benedikt when in fact, I didn’t but I could guess. I tried to take my leave so early in the game, but no, there was a protest and an allusion to my blog post “The Game of Life.” I knew this can’t be real love, why all this talk about marriage? I played along in theory, but in practice you were also hard to conceive. I didn’t even know Much Ado About Nothing took place in Messina. I wasn’t trying to go to that beach in Naples, I got on the wrong bus that was suppose to head to Cuma.

Not only did you try to weave these three love stories, you pulled in another love story from the Phrygian myths too. I was literally trying to observe the rites of Attis thinking I was the daughter of King Midas left at the altar after the Great Mother came back, when all of a sudden, I was now playing the role of Paolo Malatesta killed by my brother. You had to bring in Francesca da Rimini. I still feel anger. Same chain of being from 11-years ago – friend liked me, I liked English, English liked Greek girl with big tits. Same old same old, why couldn’t you Samo.

Who’s brilliant idea was this? What was the logic behind this madness that took two months to unfold? And the land swan was watching the whole time, a vacuous personification of God and one woman chorus on Instagram trying to point out the obvious (I’m an Earthling with no tits… yes Earthling knows this). I could say something but I’m not gonna. And somehow I am the one that ends up in Hell? Not only am I placed in Hell, but now I am told who is right love and who is a pipe dream.

“Higher” was none of my business and I regret trying to tell a man to lose his religion for nothing. Don’t mess with a man in love.

To the Sound of Horns at Crescendo

I discovered a song with my name in it while watching Us Dead Talk Love by Ed Atkins. Walking into the room, I was first attracted to the sweet voice of the speaking cadaver and a recurring slightly curved black line, cutting midway through the images like the first stroke of calligraphy writing, the focal point and the leitmotif to a love story. The slash rendered as eyelash took on the dimensions of an objet petit a. Two wide screens were alternating images of the cadaver’s severed head complete with high definition zits (the head kept making me want to leave but I stayed for the voice) and the iconography of romantic and erotic symbolism depicting falling apples and reclining marble statues.

Later, as the rambling narrative mentioned an eyelash and foreskin along with the meandering stream of words evoking fossilized time, the understanding of “I,” the metaphysics of representation, and the human body in biological terms, there it was, the obvious confession by the cadaver “as in, I love you.” As the images flashed binding the eyelash to a dream world and the melody of the voice feeling like love’s own caresses, the instrumental sampling from the musical Todd Sweeney comprised of horns and percussion rose to a climactic crescendo as I was lulled into my own reverie of eyelashes and eyebrows.

Ed Atkins Us Dead Talk Love, 2012


A Love Affair with Myself

A Palermo lady upgraded my room to one with a view of Teatro Massimo. Teenage kids party, socialize, dance, drink wine, and make out all around it. I fed a homeless cat a hot dog in front of a cafe on one of its side streets.

Inside the theater, there is a room originally only for nobles called Pompeian Hall or the Echo Room with frescos from Pompeii circling it. If you stand in the center of the room and speak, your voice echoes and everyone can here you. But if you stand anywhere else, your conversations will be drowned out by other conversations, keeping all conversations private.

When this lady found out I would be spending two nights in Messina, she grimaced and said, “Messina is not worth the trouble. Just sleep there.”

I told another Milanese lady I’d be going to Messina and her eyes went wide and asked, “Why?”

Then in a long-winded fashion I tried to explain, “I saw these paintings in the Risorgimento museum in Turin and…” and before I could finish she said, “You’re going because of Garibaldi ?!” and then she laughed for a good 2 minutes.

I blame the tempera paintings of Carlo Bossoli found in the National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento Turin. I saw Messina and decided to go. His little room of paintings showed the Piedmontese conquering and yet also admiring the view.

Attack on Messina by Carlo Bossoli


I blame Filippo Juvarra for being born there and Caravaggio for being on the run. But it wasn’t as ugly as everyone said it would be. Although everything was destroyed in an earthquake, the so-called ugliest city in Sicily still had its charms. I saw the Strait of Messina and its like the width of the Rhine in Cologne. In the distance, you can see the white buildings of Reggio Calabria. I had a Bronte pistachio gelato twice. I saw a boat called “Tourist & Carton” and found my little poseur dog from the Boudin painting I loved so much. He is a little bigger in real life.

The Beach at Trouville, 1865. E. Boudin
“Tourist & Carton” ship off in the distance and the Boudin dog

So I asked this Palermo lady the places she liked the best in Sicily and she said, “Agrigento in the south. It has 5 Greek temples and Erice with over 100 churches. And the most beautiful in the sunset, the salt dunes in Marsala.”

“Marsala, like the wine?”

“Yes, they also make salt.”

I thought damn, my love story did not take me there.

Noto In the Cold November Rain


In Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s “The Leopard,” the nephew Trancredi arrives unexpectedly one cold November evening to the Salina family home in Donnafugata soaking wet from a thunderstorm. Trancredi exclaims, “Careful, Nuncle; don’t touch me, I’m a sponge!”

It happens quickly, becoming a sponge. When I walked out of the train station in Noto, the pavement was dry but within 10 minutes, about halfway up to the city center, which gradually climbed uphill, small streams of water were diverging at the tip of my shoes with each step I took and I had to leap over larger puddles created in-between worn tracks in the road. The raindrops came down holding hands, hitting my glasses together in a splash. I cursed myself and got stares of curious pity from the drivers.


After the rainstorm drenched everything, within another ten minutes, I was climbing up the stairs of this church soaking wet. I’ve never seen one placed so high. Then, walking down the main street in front of Noto Cathedral, an image familiar and strange appeared, Andy Warhol in a black turtleneck against a yellow background in a show entitled “Warhol è Noto.” The poster hung like a banner down every lamppost and he was dressed in style even though that image must have been taken at least 30 years ago. But the exhibition had closed, I was too late. Walking back in the other direction, I saw the moon, not above the cathedral but below.


And then, as I was walking back toward the train station, this gigantic, perfectly in bloom red rose with tiny raindrops all over it peered down at me from above a fence.