In the strange hours of the morning, I dreamt that I was attending a lecture in a My Chemist shop that sold Jane Austen fragrances for fifty bucks. Bigwigs from the Pharmaceutical Society were badmouthing me and my blog. ‘We are very angry at Thuy Linh Nguyen for writing all of these terrible things about pharmacy,’ they declared, and gave a list of quotes as examples. I sat, stunned. I was sure I hadn’t written those things. Or had I? I wasn’t sure.
The big wigs continued: ‘We have a pretty good idea of who this Thuy Linh Nguyen is. She’s Indonesian Malaysian Chinese, possibly Cambodian…’
I got angry. I wasn’t Indonesian Malaysian Chinese. I wasn’t Cambodian. I wanted to stick my hand up, get up in front of all of these pharmacists. I wanted to yell at them that I was Thuy Linh and that they were all being racist. But my dream self decided that this was a bad career move, so it slunk away with the rest of the crowds.
I drifted home. I checked my first blog entry, and discovered the damning words. Something about atheism. It was a bit violent. But I couldn’t remember writing any of it. An email popped up in my inbox. It was from the bigwigs. ‘RE: Blog.’ Someone had ratted me out.
Later on, at work, patients asked me questions that I didn’t have answers for. And then my teeth fell out.