Frozen

I’ve seen this neighbor’s dog in the neighborhood for quite a while, but I can never tell if his barking is a gesture of friendship or aggression. Thus I don’t know if I should stop to pet him or to flee. His language, let’s call it Doglish, is frozen at the point of not conveying his meaning clearly. It seems to me that he barks louder, his legs more jumpy against the restraining leash, since the pandemic began a year ago. Probably his owners have stayed at home more, which in the dog’s view is a sign of more love, more companionship. Translated into Doglish, the dog thinks he needs to yap more to reciprocate the change.

Now I think of it, I am just like this dog and my English is like his Doglish–frozen at certain point. My accent is set in stone and I can never improve it, let alone making it sound remotely like native speakers. After trying several accent reduction software, I had to admit defeat and give up. After that, I tried to convince myself that my accent is beautiful, but not successfully.

At certain point, some of us will feel that our love is frozen at a certain point and on certain person. Your life, career, writing, age, waistline, social media presence is moving on, but your heart is frozen at a prior time. It could be your yearning for him, your grudge against him, your love of him, or your hatred of him. That’s your love frozen in time. Whenever you think about love, you think about him.

Remember Dickens’ “Great Expectations”? When I watched the movie as a kid, I thought the crazy old lady Miss Havisham is totally unreal. How could anybody wear a wedding dress all the time and live among the ruins of a wedding for more than twenty years without even changing a thing? As I grow and age, I realize many people, including me, are like Miss Havisham, in our emotional life, though we treat our emotion in quiet and inconspicuous ways. We know if it is ever manifested, it will be as crazy as what Miss Havisham has done.

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