John Tang

Get a Few Word in while I’m Sick

Posted in Sketchbook by Jt's Item Roster on April 5, 2010

A Vegas Question for My Doctor

My doctor remembered I had another trip to Vegas. With a lack of knowledge, I asked her if taking a shot of Vitamin C did something, perhaps “the trick.” “No,” she laughed, “You’re body is only going to take in what it can.” Her friend across the table concurred, a Filipino guy in fat black plastic glass with hair spiked. I just got my tea from Starbucks, and I caught the two studying biology and maybe her on the MCATS.

“What’s your plans?”

“Tao, I heard.” I said. “Still need to walk the strip.”

She knew Tao was club in Vegas.

“Doing it right this time.”

She was referring to my last trip, where I missed the strip because one night I fell asleep in the hotel, and that Saturday I went to club in our hotel. I sipped the lid, as the tea felt too hot.


“Are you worried?”

“Well I know AIDS isn’t airborne…” I counted with each finger. “Clemidia isn’t airborne…”

She laughed. I was surprised an AIDS joke hit with my doctor.

“Are you at work?”

“Just got off because of this.”

Her lips curled to one side which read as eww.

“So no shot.”

“Get plenty of liquid.” Her friend said, his face attached to the textbook. “That’ll do it.”

“He’s right.” She said. “You’ll be fine with a carton of orange.”

“Hopefully I can pee it all out before I get there.”

“When do you get there?”

“This Thursday.”

“I hope you get better, then, John.”

Before I left, I was introduced to her friend.  I turned and waved goodbye, pushing the glass door open, where I found Vanessa sitting outside on the green table. My body was still a bit warm from the flu. Walking slowly, I smiled down, “I can’t believe I forgot to compliment her haircut.”

[There’s more to the story, but I like how the movement ends.]


Midnight Writing in Hart Hall

During my years in Davis, I would burn the midnight oil writing essays. Coffee on the left. Laptop in front. A book open on my lap. Davis had a twenty-four hour library open, but usually it was full of students, as you saw them taking their break under a street lamp, smoking and conversing. So I would search for a remote building. The Hart Hall, across the street from the library, was open. Many of the rooms were locked, the first and second floor, as I found myself in the middle of the first floor looking down three the white corridors. I pulled a seat to the middle of the room, and I realized there was a long table against the wall with an electric outlet.

The first floor had a small museum, glass display cases on every wall except mine. The theme this year was preserving Native American past: Should scientist have the rights to preserving Native American culture? On the stand-up cases there was a Native American motif, tattered clothes, red and greed, feathers on the floor, with a cardboard sign which read: No. Natives inherit the land. A student must’ve done this assemblage. The wide and shorter display cases had more anthropological stance. There were brown photos of white men in Davis, perhaps in the early 1900s, holding Native American equipment, the stone end of a spear, while the other man gripped a beaded necklace which wrapped down the wrist. Both men were smiling on the fertile soil. The plow-field was riddled with their equipment.

I sat down and tipped the seat to the wall. Coffee in hand. Book on lap. Laptop beaming with white light from the document page. Because no one was around, I played music from the computer. The sounds weren’t produced with the best quality, but there a nice balance in the static, poor quality, when in contrasts to reading, a skill which required concentration, especially explicating a poem. Normally, how I look essays was with bulk, speed, and purging—as long words were produced because voice and discovery depended on the flame of persistence, an appendage to faith (seven hundred students would hate to make this debate in Davis).

There was a tune I sung only two measures, repeating until the music affected the essay. Online no one had posted the song. Youtube and Facebook were still young in their development, and I didn’t have an account on either. I was also unsure the title—something bossa—and the musician—Durant the trumpeter. So I would research the song on Google, spending time away from the essay. The flame would sure burn by two o’clock in the morning. On Youtube I typed: Bossa Durant. I went through four pages and listened a minute each (maybe I only was humming the body).


Emails for a Home in SF


My name is John, and I am writing in response to your ad on I was admitted into SF state for Fall Semester in their MA program, and I am now looking for a place close to school. May I schedule a time to visit?

You can contact me via this email address or my home phone, ———-. Currently I’m working, so the best times are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the weekends, usually late morning.

Thank you for your consideration




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