We are, all of us, alone
Though not uncommon,
In our singularity.
We become tangent to
Cirles of common experience
Defining of collective tangency
Reciprocal in their subtle
Redefinition of us.
In tangency
We are never less alone,
But no longer
—Gene Mattingly

I’ve been looking for this poem for exactly ten years, after I found it in my geometry book in high school. Wow, has it really been that long? I was fifteen and I practically owned two of the whiteboards in my classroom. Every day I’d write a quote on one of them, and the other one I simply used to draw whenever I pleased. I used to draw cartoons of my friends, from which I planned to make a series called ‘The Zoo’. I don’t know where the name came from, it simply did. One of my friends still talks about it with me.

I was already Olavia Kite back then. When I came up with the name I thought I’d use it for a character in a story, but I liked it so much that I decided to keep it for myself. Olavia Kite. The Beatles reference is obvious. My parents gave me a calligraphy pen with the pseudonym engraved on it for my fifteenth birthday. They knew it would stick forever.

That was the year I travelled out of the country for the first time. Chicago shined with a splendor that made me promise myself I’d go back to see it closely—and I did, three years later. I didn’t realize back then that my dreams tend to come true, so I wished away.

1999 was also the year Clown committed suicide. He had a deep voice, I still can remember it pretty clearly, even though his face has faded. He was one of those online acquaintances who marked my teenage years. I may have been isolated when younger, but I never was completely alone. I guess the same thing applies now that I’ve embraced Tsukuba solitude.

Ten years have passed, and memories flow like water from a broken pipe. I can’t even organize them, all soaked in reminiscence.