“The Beautiful Distant Afar” by Ricky Tsang

about the author:

Ricky Tsang was a pillar in our Duchenne community for years. From his website DearRicky.com to his Facebook group We Are Dystrophin, to his first book, Ridiculous: The Mindful Nonsense of Ricky’s Brain, Ricky’s priority was helping and advocating for our community – well, that and romancing women.

Shortly before passing in 2016, Ricky shared the manuscript of his second book with me. It was never published, but now we would like to share it with our Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy community.

“The Beautiful Distant Afar”
from Inspirational: My Big Mechanical Derriere
—Chapter 2, Part 5—

Surprisingly, the curriculum only offered E.S.L. two years after attendance. It was a fun class that had many art projects, including one where we made our own kites. My Ninja Turtle flew high in the sky and ended up getting stuck on the rooftop of the school building.

I always enjoyed English as a Second Language. There was a girl named Olivia whom I had a crush on, but that was until I saw her picking her nose during class. I was traumatized, and without knowing the reason for years, developed a phase where I wasn’t attracted to Chinese girls. I eventually got over it when I realized I was being racist towards my own race because of a booger generalization. I love all girls now, even those who call me “Wicky”.

Aunt Deborah felt bad when I lost the kite and suggested the bright idea that we should make one together. I was so excited at first because she made herself sound like an expert, but became reluctant as common sense thought otherwise when she presented dry cleaning plastic and extra floor borders. Unlike the ingenious creations from Art Attack, the construction-grade materials defeated the purpose of “lightweight.” The behemoth was airborne… for one second – almost killing us!

Being an eight year old “ romantico,”  I had an affair with another man’s wife. Kitty paid much attention to me as a young “Auntie” who looked forward to starting a family. When she and her husband came over for dinner and she needed a bathroom break, I took the initiative and followed her in. I sat atop the counter, envious of her crimson lipstick, and had to steal a kiss. At that moment I discovered the true art of seduction. 

My first sexual encounter also happened during this time. The naughty movies I secretly watched must have caught up when I asked a girl to take off her clothes and kiss me. We were just about to make a baby when her grandmother barged in with the evil vacuum cleaner. It was a good thing she didn’t get pregnant since her father was a lawyer.

Did I mention how I gambled and brought a weapon to school? Okay, admittedly there was one bully named Stanley who was bothersome towards me. No wonder I never liked hockey! I was caught red-handed when mother emptied my pockets while undressing me for Dr. Ho, the chiropractor. She found a nail clipper with a filer attached that had a pointy end. I must have wanted to file him down. As for the gambling, I won a smelly and discolored Donatello action figure from playing cards. The deal became unofficially official when Mr. Passell made Eugene keep his promise. 

Indeed. I was a delinquent child, though Jackie wasn’t the greatest of influences. We always liked sharing cuss words learned from school at the back of the car while mom drove us home, only we’d try to hide it from her. Like “fluck” for example, except, she was smart enough to figure us out, it does make me wonder about her English teacher in Hong Kong. What was she teaching my poor mother?? I wasn’t surprised that she took me out of summer school as it was actually where I learned my first Cantonese profanity. 

Get like all mafia stories, there’s a traitor in everyone, and it was none other than yours truly who betrayed his innocent sister. Because my extendable pointer broke, I still hers and took it to show my friends during lunch time. It broke as well, and I returned home, absolutely furious. I yelled at her for possessing such a poor quality toy.

However, that wasn’t an isolated incident. When Jackie and I used to play in the bathtub, there was a moment when a few “meatballs” suddenly emerged from below. She screamed. Then I accidentally spilled milk in the water. Mom reassured me that the milk was good for the skin as Jackie continued the hysteria. It was hilarious, tormenting her.

Whenever I got in trouble, Mom would use the handle of the feather duster, which was made of bamboo and hurt! The last time I was disciplined that way was when I finally fought back with my plastic sword. She laughed so hard that she forgot my punishment. Dad never spanked either of us, neither were we grounded, though he did lock me out of our apartment in Hong Kong for some minutes while I was misbehaving.

Batman, Polka Dot Door, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, milk and cereal, waking up early to catch Alvin and the Chipmunks, Dennis the Menace, Transformers, and Saturday cooking shows on PBS, bicycle training with training wheels, the Voltron Lion Force collection that was made of steel and pinched my fingers every time I played… I wouldn’t give those memories away for anything…

[There] were fun times in the gymnasium, where I even saw my sister with her cooler, older friends. We played group games and sang songs, and sometimes together. Boy, I miss those days!

Leave a Reply