This is the product of a strange idea I have had for a few days about a love story meant to capture some of my ideals and messages in the context of my life in 2006. It probably will not continue and will most likely die after this post, as most things go, but I would like to chronicle it amongst the ruins of my other literary ambitions.
It is fictional and currently ambiguous. But I will put it up because I do not care if you do not understand, and if I cannot share these things with others I would just be another self-conscious person bottled up and repressed, stamping out any spark that might grow within myself out of a bizarre sense of shame.
I make things public because I never want to be alone.
I looked in her sad eyes, but my eyes were bright. I was thrilled for once to see somebody feel with all of their heart. Cold is cold and it makes me feel alone. Hot is hot and it makes me feel close. Tears were passing down her cheeks. My eyes were bright.
“But isn’t that what it is all about?” I asked in a voice that was loud with alcohol.
“What? It’s about this?”
“Yeah. Isn’t life about yourself, your own way, your own path? Isn’t this what you want?”
“But I do not want to be alone and lonely and…” Her voice choked for a second, a whimpering sound of overcoming sadness, vocalized strongly. The pain sounded amplified beyond reason. “I want to be happy.” She broke into the sad sobbing that only drunks and bereaved women are capable of. She was both.
“You will always be happy if you…” I lost my words and waited for a long time. Maybe it was twenty seconds. But who is counting? “You’ll always be happy if you…” I realized I was not lost for words. I was just lost. I guess no one has the answer to, ‘You will always be happy if…’ It’d be the best jeopardy question since the ones that are about obscure details of Roman history.
She put my head on my shoulder and I worried about her, and I worried about the potential of snot smearing my jacket.
She was short and had chubby legs, black hair, full lips, a stomach that went a bit over her belt line and hands that felt like cobwebs.
“Genyang jookgo shippo.” It sounds better in Korean to say ‘I just want to die.’ She grabbed at my collar and it felt strange to me. Part of me thought about her desperation and sadness, her eternal despair, and part of me felt like falling in love again.
“No, you don’t want to die. There are a lot of good bands you haven’t heard. A lot of good movies you haven’t watched. You still haven’t even eaten Indian food and, my God, you’ll never be the same after that.” She laughed slightly, against her will, at my words meant for cheering up. She grabbed me tighter and blubbered longer. We sat in silence for a while.
“You’re OK, now, it’s OK. We got punk shows to go to. We got music to make and to hear. We got everything.” She shuttered at my words and wept louder.
“Nobody likes me.” She.
“I like you.” I.
“No one else likes me.” She.
“Jesus likes you.” I.
“Jesus is dead.” Her.
“I like you.” I guess that’s what you say in these times. She cried harder. I guess I am not as good as Jesus. Or. Something. Else.
“Why, why?” The words were separated and short and they struck hard at the very soul, in that voice punctuated by sorrowful sobs and the terror of despair.
“It’s not your fault. It’s just life.” She was silent at this. I guessed I should add more. “Sometimes you feel confused about… The… People around you.” More sobs. “You loved him, and you hated him, and now he is gone, and… That’s life.”
“I loved my father.”
“I hated my father.”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
“I want my father.”
I let her weep until her breathing slowed and her eyes dried, until her heaving body became docile. Then I didn’t know what to do for a while. I contemplated what to say. I felt her cold fingers clutching at my collar, brushing my neck, my skin turning to goose bumps. The most confusing moment in your life is when you mix someone else’s sadness and despair with your empathy and romance.
Desperation breeds a sense of hope. Hope breeds a sense of Romance. Romance breeds a sense of Love. Love eventually gives birth to a variety of emotions that are so much like love, but so much unlike love, and so much like pain and so much like happiness and so much like a person who gets joy out of cutting themselves. It hurts to put knife to skin, but it thrills you and the pain is a release and the sight of blood, your own blood, dripping down an arm is like art in a museum. It produces a cold thrill, but a real thrill. The body is relaxed and, I don’t know, pained? Hurt? But relaxed.
I thought a while, and then I said:
“Let’s go to my house.” I figured an invite was in order. No one wants to keep drinking in a park when everyone has seen them weep like an infant.
The cab ride was odd. I kept an arm around her, her head lowered so no one could see her face or her heart pouring out through crocodile tears. The cab driver had a cassette sticking out of the player, which I knew must be the happy sounds of Bbongjjak music,
“What singer is that?” I asked.
“Kim Yongyim.” I smiled. She is a pretty good singer. God bless 50 year old men who know their Golden Oldies.
“Play it, please, sir.” And so he played it. We had small talk for 30 minutes about old singers and old songs, and old times and old things and old everything and families and politics and history and we became friends and he turned off the Taxi meter when it hit 20,000 Won and said ‘the rest is on me.’
And the rest was on him when I handed him two 10,000 won notes with Saejong’s stoic pose on them. As we stood in front of the Burger King that pollutes my neighborhood her bloodshod eyes found mine.
“Are we here?”
“Yes, we’ve arrived.” I said, with an impudent smile. She looked me in the eyes like she wanted to kiss me and I looked away.
I thought about giant buildings and open fields and eternal love and what if Star Trek was the future? while we walked to my house.
When we got there I was abruptly aware of the fact that I am 5 years older and she is 5 years younger, and that my house is dirty, and that I am too old for this, and she is too young for this, and that YouTube tends to load really fast at 2 AM so it’d be cool to watch a video of men fighting each other or punks playing music.
It took us a good 3 minutes to remove our boots, mine 12 eyelets high and hers 15; when she was done taking them off she grabbed my collar and tried to kiss me and then started crying with her wet face pressed against my neck.
“Let’s watch a movie.” I said. I borrowed the film Alexander from a friend. Fuck YouTube.
We watched Alexander. She fell asleep when Alexander fought the big battle against the Persians. I fell asleep after he fought the Indians with the giant elephants that struck terror into my soul.
We woke up and ate Ramyeon from the same pot while watching fight videos on YouTube in an unkempt house, and it felt like it was an awkward night but with a fresh start in the morning. She looked in my eyes a lot, and her eyes were full of the emotions I dread most — caring, hoping, loving emotions that spell “PAIN” if you put them all together, and spell “DISASTER” if you look at them from afar.
Her eyes were like a winter afternoon, just like every hopeful girl in her youth.
She didn’t know that it gets dark and even colder by 6 PM on a winter evening.