I continue to wait for a verdict on my visa application, so I thought this would be an appropriate time for me to recount the day when I first arrived into the United States. It is a story that began, like most fairy tales, on the US-Mexico border.

“I’m afraid I can’t let you through, sir.”

The federal agent was about the same height as me, but in my mind, he towered over me entirely, blocking out the sun so that I could stand only in his shadow. His voice was a deep growl, and his eyes seemed to glow with a mystical flame.

“But look at me,” I said, “I’m small and scrawny, with hardly a meat on my bones. My older brother will be passing here soon. He is obese and would make a fuller meal. I think you should wait for him instead.”

I watched his expression, carefully gauging to see if he would believe me. He, in turn, studied my face, cautious in conjuring up a response.

“Uh,” he finally said. “I’m not a troll.”

I looked around, and I realized he was telling the truth. The cave I had imagined was only a tiny guard post flanked by fences, and his greasy, tangly hair was a smooth, silky blonde. You could even say he looked like Brad Pitt, but I wouldn’t know. White people all looked the same to me.

This was, of course, an unexpected turn of events. Most of my border-crossing strategies were made in the assumption that I would be confronted by a troll. Especially demoralizing was having to accept that, in coming this far, much of my energy had been spent on carrying my Level 17 Mace of Troll Bashing. Now it only hung down from my waist, a Level 1 Hammer of Whimpering Impotence.

I scurried to come up with a solution. “Then perhaps,” I said, “there is something else I could offer. Maybe some pesos are in order? I can give you three.”

“I cannot be bribed with money, sir. You will have to leave and come back through other means.”

“You know, this is really disappointing. I think you have thoroughly ruined my day.”

As I turned around and started walking back into Mexico, I could not shake off the feeling that this had been a monumental waste of my time. And to think I left Enrique Gonzales at home for this. That was my chihuahua.

“Wait,” the agent said. “I said you could not bribe me with money. But let’s talk about, you know, food. How about you bring back some nachos, salsa, and children, and we’ll go from there?”

“Wait, what did you say?” I said.

“Bring back some nachos and salsa.”

“No, that last bit. I’m pretty sure I heard you say children.”

He hesitated. “You sure I didn’t say.. churro?”

I knew it! I whipped out my Level 17 Mace of Troll Bashing, and at once, he screamed so loudly that nearby coyotes joined in the howl. He cowered in the corner, begging me not to hurt him, crying that he had little troll children to feed. Watching him from that angle, I felt sorry for the guy: I was pretty sure he had to put up with a troll wife too. I sighed, tied my mace back onto my belt, and continued on my journey.

I took a deep breath, and the American Dream filled my lungs. A bald eagle soared in the distant sky, as if to welcome me into his domain. I could already smell the beautiful women of Santa Monica.

And as I walked towards the Promised Land, or at least the bus stop that would take me there, I was occupied with only one thought: man, this would be the life, if only I could get my work visa approved.

Heyy. The Gentleman Sir Kevin Kao, Ph.D. here. I know updates have been sparse this month, and no doubt some of you are wondering if you can go on living without my blog, but please let me explain (and no, you can’t).

The black and white photograph of a boy on the milk carton stares back at me. The text beneath it tells me he was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and holding onto a Hollywood dream. I know I’ve seen him. The boy was me.

I am not at all embarrassed to say I have yet to experience my first kiss. This was something I decided on long ago when I was pressured to save sex until after marriage. My thought process concluded that if sex could be made more special by waiting, then surely everything else would be too. The first time I eat spaghetti will be fucking awesome.

I would like to publicly apologize to the host of our home game last week for my inexplicable behavior. I swear it was not my previous understanding that my Poker Face and my O Face completely switched places.

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