Fantasy, romance, fiction author.
"Why doesn't she just leave?" Domestic Violence and Hmong Women.
This is not going to be as eloquent as my other pieces. Instead, it's going to be straight to the point. After the Kungsheng Maxwell Thao domestic violence episode that circulated through Hmong social media a few days ago, the inevitable comments came to the forefront. They're the same ones each and every time a domestic violence story comes out.
It was a bittersweet, melancholy note, the distance that had grown between them, stretching echo-soft into some unknown void until the masked loneliness could no longer be denied. Amber’s heart ached at the pull. She had to turn away. To look at him now was a blade sliding into an already gaping wound.
The Birth of the Street Gang, MOD (Menace of Destruction)
It was a scorching hot afternoon here in California when I picked up my cellphone and dialed the unfamiliar number. On the other end, a gruff but friendly voice answered, his Hmong accent thick but still had a touch of central-California mixed in, a throw-back to the state where he’d grown up. He’d been expecting my call, and though this was the first time we’d ever talked, he was warm and easily opened up. Under any other circumstances, this would have been a normal conversation, reliving experiences of his childhood past and detailing for me the journey of his life, but this was no ordinary man. On the other end of the phone was none other than one of the founding members of Menace Of Destruction (MOD).
My grandfather survived the Secret War only to die to an invisible enemy.
My grandfather was a medic in the Secret War. It ran from 1961 to 1975, mostly in parallel with the Vietnam War. At one point, he’d been lost down the Mekong River, swept by the dark currents as he was ferrying others across. My uncles searched for him for days downriver, dodging the Pathet Lao the entire time. After a week, they took grandpa for dead, but miraculously, a few months later, he found his way back to their village. He’d washed ashore several dozen miles away and without any way to communicate, he’d had to hike his way back.
My father is a killer and it's America's fault
My dad passed away a few years ago, but if you’d had met him, you’d have not thought that he was very threatening. Even in his later years, he still had a full head of dark hair sprinkled with grays. He was still handsome with a charming lopsided grin that had caused my mom a lot of stress in their younger years. He was quite the talker, after all. Time and genetics had been kind to his face despite the fact that he’d been a farmer for the last 30 years of his life, more or less. Even as cancer took its toll on him in the last few months of his life, it was still evident that my dad had been a heartbreaker in his youth. He’d shrunk a bit in the last few years, standing at barely 5' 3". Or maybe I’d had just grown taller in my adulthood and remembered him as taller from my youth. I’m sure it’s a mix of the two.