Did you ever have those sparkling juices from costco as a kid? The ones that would come as a set of 3 (pear, apple, pomegranate), their glass bottlenecks wrapped in vibrant wrinkled tinfoil like a gift.

I always felt so fancy when I would drink those. Outside, I was a 12 year old, but inside, I felt like a grown-up sipping away at bubbly champagne. I guess I, like most kids, wanted to grow up quickly and feel free. Now that I’m here, it doesn’t feel all that special.

I’d pour myself a glass, watching the bubbles slide down their coloured waterslide into my cup. I’d be hypnotized by their iridescent shimmying until they fizzled out. Cautious of staring too hard, as if my line of vision would pop them prematurely like cartoon laser eyes. It’s the same way that thinking too hard about living in the moment defeats the purpose.

Lately, I’ve been feeling as though life has been slipping through my fingers all too fast. In the moment, I’m enjoying the bubbles but it feels as though they’re slipping away from me in seconds, milliseconds, even. It’s hard to hold onto them. I know I’m only 20 but I simultaneously feel so old and so young.

Here, I’m at home at the dining table with a plate of leftover dumplings and a sauce-painted bowl (The Last Home Lunch, 20230108, medium: soy-sauce and chinkiang vinegar) by my side. Mom is watching her reality tv shows. It feels like any normal afternoon at home.

In t-7 hours, I’ll be back in Vancouver. I know that looking back on this day in a year’s time, it’ll probably feel like a small ripple in the ocean. A bubble that once arose to the surface and fizzled away.

So yes, life is like a box of chocolates. But isn’t life more like that costco sparkling juice? We pour it fast, excited for the taste, and watch the bubbles fizzle away as quickly as they appeared — effervescent.

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