A Short Remembrance of Homely Life

I was born in Dallas to a Vietnamese family where some of the family members are Buddhist (passed down from my maternal grandparents’ families), and my cousin-in-law’s family are full of Cantonese peeps. I would not call Dallas a place I am very familiar with since I was raised in Garland shortly after my birth. Now, what I would say about my life in Garland is mainly being sheltered inside of any house or apartment I have lived in.

I do not have much of a great memory, but here it goes.

For the beginning four to five years of my life, I had been inside this small apartment complex so my parents could raise me. There were only two bedrooms—the master one for my mom and myself, while the other one was for dad, who’s a tad bit shorter than my mother; the two bathrooms had thin doors and were small, just like the kitchen, of course—very uncomfortable, isn’t it? Yet, that’s what it’s like growing up in an apartment from the perspective I had.

All my eyes could see back then were bland qualities of our typical white walls and carpet floor. This was my first home with little to no recollection of being able to go outside, unless someone in my family took me into their arms, carried me out into the external realm that we call “being outdoors”, and even seeing the stairs leading to the parking lot, the playground, streets, etc. Yellow, radiant sunshine and greenery are pretty with all the trees, bushes, grass, and flowers: daisies and violets.

I had moved from one place to another, from that small apartment to a second-story house. I enjoyed hanging on the rails outside, wrapping my arms and legs onto the black rails in front of the house. I moved yet again to other houses, but they weren’t too far from each of the areas I had lived in. Moving from one house to the next until I happened to walk around one day. I met a girl whose name I don’t remember, as I wandered to houses that were nearby my own brick house. The door to this other house was open and I entered it. A girl who was around my age (this was when I was in elementary school) and her barbie dolls were there. We started playing together and quickly became friends, just like that. She was a random person in my life, but she became a friend I had never truly forgotten. The neighborhoods in Garland were rather quiet, though there were even less cars parked outside than in my current residential area.

From time to time, I still think of that girl. I wish I could remember her name. I wonder if she still lives in one of the neighborhoods from my childhood memory. Or, she might have moved somewhere as well. Yet, playing with her was one of the happiest times I ever had as a kid. Her memory makes up a part of the homely life I have, so she ends up being one reason I write. I used to ride my bike nearby her house as well (albeit I had training wheels to help me since my equilibrium is horrid). For a short period, I really could venture out from my house to see her. It was so enjoyable to go outside and have someone who wasn’t part of my family to play with. I don’t know if she remembers me, the Asian girl who would visit her house. The same one who had entered her home without thinking. Still, I’ll always think of her because she was one of the people whose memory reminds me of a home I wish I had.


Annie Tran is an asexual and aspiring writer with a few works published by Route 7 Review, Impermanent Earth, and WinglessDreamer. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a BA in Literary Studies. She also dives into writing some queer works. In her spare time, she listens to J-pop and plays visual novels.