justin h min

Curious? Ask.

a spoonful of rice

It was as if he was looking at her for the first time. Obviously, he had seen her before; he had been seeing her for the past 25 years. But he hadn’t really seen her for quite some time. He had a picture of how she looked, a photograph developed in the darkrooms of his mind when he was six or seven. Probably seven. And then the image just kind of stuck. So whenever she would speak to him or play with him or tuck him into bed, he never looked at her. Not once. He already knew what she looked like anyways.

But today, over lunch, he looked up from a spoonful of rice and noticed something. It was late in the afternoon with a bit of sunshine coming in from a nearby window, and his eyes followed some light until it came upon a single strand of hair on her head. Illuminated, it wasn’t black; on the contrary, it was the complete absence of blackness. He looked again and assured himself he wasn’t staring at some peculiar optical illusion. All this time and all these years, he had assumed (more than assumed) that her hair was black: all black, always black. But here stood this single strand that was now glaringly and utterly white.

He couldn’t help but stare at this strand of white hair on her scalp. And the more he stared, the more he realized it wasn’t just one strand, but multiple, maybe hundreds (it’s often difficult to gauge these things). So he looked at her - really looked at her - and came to the sudden and immediate realization that he did not know the person sitting before him. She had hollow cheeks, dark circles and crow’s feet, calloused hands, thinning hair, and frail bones (he could not actually see her bones, but he felt they were frail). And the more he looked at her, the sadder she seemed. Maybe she didn’t seem sad, maybe she was sad.  

He did not know this woman. This woman was not his mother. He already knew what she looked like anyways.

A few years in the “real world” post-graduation, I’ve become really good at not wanting things. I don’t know if I ever made the conscious decision to become apt at this particular skill, but it’s become sort of second nature. Maybe my body just realized one day that it needed to evolve emotionally in order to cope with the pain of failure – a mechanism for survival.  

But sometimes, I’ll admit that I slip. My body forgets. And I suddenly find myself wanting something: desperately, with every bone in my body, and with every ounce of my being. It quickly escalates, and the once elusive barrier between fantasy and reality becomes breached. Everything, including my deepest desires, hopes, and ambitions, now abruptly lies within the realm of possibility. I’m in a dream, I know that I’m in a dream, I know that I know that I’m in a dream, yet I refuse to admit that I’m in a dream.        

Then, all at once - in a flash – it’s all taken away. Fades into oblivion. And you wonder why in God’s name you let yourself slip again, why you let yourself believe that this was the one, the one that would finally prove you wrong. God you’ve never wanted to be more wrong in your entire life. Instead, you’re left with a hefty but manageable pain because, hey, you’ve been here before, right? And after some time and just when you think you’re going to be all right, the pain comes back so fast and so hard you’re left wondering if you’ll ever survive this.  

They say that pain is just part of the process. That it’s necessary. But at what point do we ask if the pain is worth the pleasure? Do we ever?   

Anonymous said: so i've been secretly following you for awhile now (actually around the time you started the blog…does that make me a creeper? haha) anyways, i just wanted to let you know that you inspire me so much. you have grown so much as a photographer/writer/person over the years. thank you for sharing your life with us :)

According to Tumblr, I’ve been writing and posting pictures on this thing for a little over five years. Five years ago, 

I wrote like this:

it’s war.

I’ve been sitting here for the last 15 minutes thinking, and I had an epiphany. It’s all so clear now. Girls refer to guys as cute in order to exert their superiority over the target male within the confines of that relationship. They’re basically saying, “I’m more mature than you, more cultured than you, more intelligent than you.” Hence, when I observe and describe you, I refer to you as cute – like a little baby.

Solution: Refer to the target female as ‘cute/adorable’ before she refers to you as such.

It’s war, folks. And I hate losing.

I edited photos like this:


And my hair looked like this:


All I can say is thank you for enduring that – all of that. These past five years have been filled with immense joys, painful heartaches, and many many laughs. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

PS. I hope this post can serve as a tangible reminder that anyone can get better at anything. You just need to practice.

Anonymous said: I have a crush on you and you AREN'T a decade older than me ;)

I can die happy now. Thank you.

Anonymous said: What are some of your favorite books??

Too many to name, but I’m currently enjoying The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. She’ll take you through an entire story with just one or two sentences. She’s hilarious, too.

I have this nagging idea of who I should be in my head; and I think about him often. He’s incredibly articulate, richly cultured, takes his coffee black. He watches thoughtful films (they’re always films, never movies), listens to the finest music, and says the right things at precisely the right times. He travels. And reads.

I often wonder, though, if this idea of myself is actually who I am. Is that person real? Or have I just been fooling myself for far too long? “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Maybe that applies here. Maybe there’s a part of me that naively believes that if I try long enough to be this other person that, sooner or later, I will be.

So inevitably, I spend more time trying to be that person than being myself. Say the things he’d say, do the things he’d do. And sometimes, on days like these, I love that other person more than I love myself.

"Were we, in fact, really still friends - like we said we were, and thought we were, and which comforted us as we each staked out new lives in cities where we didn’t really know anyone at all? Or, I wondered, were we just slowly transforming into simpler and more easily digestible fictional characters to one another - in other words, becoming our profile pictures…" 

Kids are pretty darn cute. Especially when they want to go to college.  

Spelling Bee Champion. 

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Let’s Get Started | Dylan Gardner

He’d stopped trying to bring her back.

She only came back when she felt like it, anyway, in dreams and lies and broken-down déjà vu.

Like, Park would be driving to work and he’d see a girl with red hair standing on the street, and he’d swear for half an airless moment that it was her.

Or he’d wake up when it was still dark, sure that she was waiting for him outside. Sure that she needed him.

But he couldn’t summon her. Sometimes he couldn’t even remember what she looked like, even when he was looking at her picture. (Maybe he’d looked at it too much.)

He’d stopped trying to bring her back. 

-Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park 

Big Sur, CA. 

A Memorial Day weekend well spent. 

From today's court proceeding...(actual conversation)

Your Honor, I’d like to request dismissal of this ticket, as there isn’t enough proof beyond a reasonable doubt that I was driving the vehicle. The photo of the driver at the red light is blurry and could’ve been my brother or any one of our Asian male friends who’ve driven the car in the past.
You’re right. It is a bit blurry. But your mother is the registered owner of the vehicle, yes?
Yes, Your Honor.
You realize that the ticket was originally issued to her, and she filled out an affidavit that identified you as the actual driver?
Your Honor, my mom can barely remember my name, let alone distinguish between my brother and me (laughing).
(Not laughing) Are you calling your mother a liar? Boy (actual word used), Mother’s Day was a few days ago. Go home. GUILTY.
Courtroom bursts into laughter. I try to laugh too – to hide my tears.
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