a feeling of alarm or dread
I like that she understands my
trepidation without me even having to explain it.
get over an illness or shock
I’ve never seen him frail before, and a vision of him
convalescing in old age flashes in my mind.
a difficult problem
Q opens his hands. There is the
a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses
“It’s a false
dichotomy. White is an artificial construct.”
a person who is voluntarily absent from home or country
Here’s what I found: Koreans originate from North or South Korea, with 7.4 million
expatriates living mostly in the United States, Vietnam, China, Japan, the Philippines, Russia, Uzbekistan, Australia, and Canada.
do something that one considers to be below one's dignity
9. Every generation has challenges it must face on its own terms. Therefore humanity is ______ to repeat its mistakes even as it slowly evolves forward.
confection made of sugar, almond paste, and egg whites
“What is it?” she says.
marzipan. Someone brought a bunch to The Store yesterday for Dad.”
characterized by repetition
I lock eyes with her and see infinite
recursive reflections of the two of us.
containing seeds of later development
The Mocha-Dick, named after the article that inspired Melville’s
seminal novel Moby-Dick, had long been an institution ever since Playa Embarcadero Beach Pier was erected.
noisily and stubbornly defiant
So after school I take Brit in the
obstreperous Consta over to Just a Formality, where we wander through aisles of seemingly identical attire.
piece of music in which a melody is imitated in other parts
Suddenly a string quartet breaks into song—good old Pachelbel’s
canon—and the wedding party assembles.
a prayer asking God's help as part of a religious service
invocations in Korean: “Marriage is work” and “Joining of the families” and blablabla according to Dad’s whispers.
be lively or brilliant or exhibit virtuosity
Joy is _____.
E) freaking gorgeous
emit or reflect light in a flickering manner
Joy is _____.
E) freaking gorgeous
rich and superior in quality
There’s a parade of
sumptuous flower wreaths on tall stands, gifts from families and local businesses, all flanking a sliding pile of impeccable gift envelopes—probably tens of thousands in cash, just sitting there.
characterized by opposite extremes; completely opposed
“You’re implying that a bro is
diametrically opposed to a kickass spy.”
a ghostly double that haunts its living counterpart
The newlyweds move on to the next table: another kids’ table, with three boys and two girls sitting in mirror-image arrangement to ours like
doppelgangers from an alternate dimension.
a relaxed comfortable feeling
They rise from their
languor to greet the bride and groom. They bow in this hip, fluid manner that demonstrates how much they really own bowing.
seeming unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive
John Lim had a drink too many, liquid courage gone wrong, and wound up crying with his head in Ella Chang’s lap while she sat erect and
stoic and unmoved.
in an unambiguous manner
I was in love—
unequivocally, uncontrollably in love. Cleaved to Joy for all the world to see.
stick or hold together and resist separation
I was in love—unequivocally, uncontrollably in love.
Cleaved to Joy for all the world to see.
tear or be torn violently
She clutches her fist again and
rends the poor flowers in two and flings them at my face.
cause or allow to flow or run out or over
The bell rings, and students
disgorge into the hallway.
relating to the metaphysical study of existence
The next few weeks before winter break are an
ontological free-for-all. It’s like someone accidentally bumped the settings of reality, fumbled to fix them, and wound up only making things worse.
straying from the right course or from accepted standards
As a final precaution, we set up email filters to quarantine any
errant messages from schools.
I guide the
lugubrious Consta on to the freeway, where it propels us northward.
having or showing keen interest or intense desire
agog at the throngs of people.
sublime. I capture it all with my Tascam.
decorate, adorn, or inscribe with a design
He gestures toward a red food truck
emblazoned with the words ALL DAE EVERY DAY.
stubbornly resistant to authority or control
She takes my phone and engages the parental management protocols, and once we receive the Have a fun confirmation, I guide the
recalcitrant Consta to the one place I know we can be alone and free and private.
bent outward with the joint away from the body
Me and Joy step out of the fountain and run like hobbits with legs
akimbo back up the length of the dogleg.
a region of light shadow around the darkest part of a shadow
“Please be aware that all sectors are ours to patrol this evening except parking structure Europa top level, northeast corner, and we will attempt no patrol there. That area remains in perpetual
penumbra because of a malfunctioning lamp.”
on the side away from the wind
It makes me think of the windward and
leeward slopes of a mountain. The windward side will trap precious moisture, and the
leeward side will be forever deprived of it, creating a lush green slope on one side and a barren gray one on the other, separated only by a thin, sharp ridge. Bugs born on the
leeward side know only struggle. Bugs born on the windward side, only bounty.
relating to unskilled work, especially domestic work
“Yeah, I’m scare long time. We first coming, no nothing. English? Only so-so. Only
menial job we can getting. Money? Aigu. Three hundred dollars only we having. Almost two years we staying—”
“John,” says Ella, and throws a
morally objectionable behavior
“He reveal true nature, shedding skin like serpent,” says Dad. “Bible say, ‘Woe to those who scheme
a person who is awkward, uncultured, or unsophisticated
I see them as twangy
bumpkins in some rural high school.
a jaunty rhythm in music or speech
“So you’re going to say you’re sorry, right?” I say to Dad, with a
lilt of hope.
lie adjacent to another or share a boundary
We arrive at our house. It
abuts a cinder-block wall separating it from the nearby freeway.
be confusing or perplexing to
“Frankie. We protecting your future. You understand me, right?”
I do and don’t at the same time. It
confounds me how they managed to hide all this. They’ve been faking it for weeks.