Crying, Packing, Texts


Wednesday night in taekwondo class I did finally cry. “가고 싶어요. 가고 싶지 읺아요. 반반씩.” I want to go. I won’t want to go. Half and half. I said, “In Korea, I’ve had three jobs, one taekwondo studio, one taekwondo family. And one boyfriend. But boyfriend is going with.”

Master nodded, understandingly, and said we had email and Cyworld.

“I know,” I said, “But it’s not the same.”

Meanwhile, Master’s Son was digging around in my pockets for lip gloss and Master’s Daughter was feeding me cream buns and asking why I was sad.

I ended up doing 1,750 turns of the jump rope in class. Sabumnim the Man came over to see how I was doing. “It’s hard?”

I knew he wasn’t talking about the jumping rope. I nodded.


Tonight Jennifer came over and helped me pack. By “help” I mean that she sat on the couch and surfed and we chatted while I packed. I needed someone there to help keep me on track (as evident by the fact that I’m writing instead of packing now).

She ended up taking away some hangers, a few photos, some collapsible fabric boxes, a shirt, my cork board, a standing lamp, some books, and my bookshelf.

I’ve taken down my lantern from last year’s Lantern parade. My belts are packed up. Soon, I’ll tear down the photos and clean out my medicine cabinet.

I’m actually going home.

Without a job, without an apartment.

Recent Text Messages That Have Made Me Laugh Out Loud


oh good but still smack her ass

One thought on “Crying, Packing, Texts

  1. Comment from: Julian W [Visitor] Email ·
    Dalbongi was the oil delivery guy for Julie and the Wonderland girls who lived around the corner and over the hill a bit. He delivered their oil in the winter time, and one day noticed a baseball poster on a wall as he was walking past. Being a smart young guy he struck up a double-broken-language conversation on baseball, which was even more impressive as the girls were from Canada and weren’t actually much interested in baseball; but a friend of theirs was, and before long Dalbongi was an intergral part of their down town evenings drinking, chatting, taking smiley-face photos and generally socialising.

    I worked at a different school and was a bit older than the group, but had a motorbike like some of them, and lived nearby and played guitar with Julie, and enjoyed some evenings with them all, so of course got to meet Dalbongi too, who was more their age, and who became a major part of the group.

    Many long months later I realised it was time for me to head home for more study, and to take stock of the intensity of a few year’s worth of life within this greatly challenging, richly rewarding and vastly different culture. I had a bit of a fairwell do down town, a happy mixture of Koreans and foreigners, with a few of my friends who were still around since my first year, and a few from more recent times. We went to my favourite local Italian, then the standard loudNnoisyrock foreigners bar, then finally the few of us left rolled on to a quieter bar.

    Eventually, later on, we were down to just a couple of others and me, who circuited back to the foreigners hangout again. Coming out afterwards, as I said goodnight to the last guy standing, I turned around and found Dalbongi coming down the road towards the bar and me. It was a lovely surprise to see him again, and we happily hailed each other, stood around and caught up.

    I asked him what he was up to, and he said how it was late summer, not yet winter, so not so much call for him and his oil truck, so he was doing other odd jobs and keeping happy following baseball and mostly laying low. He asked if I’d seen any of the others from his group around, and we talked about those from that group who were still left and who had gone. It was unusual seeing him alone. He got kinda quiet.

    Then he asked me what I’d been doing that night.

    Standing on a messy, deserted, late night down town street I was surprised to also be suddenly, openly, and for me finally, crying. He told me between bursts of tears all the group had gone; all his friends had dissappeared in different directions, leaving him alone again, in his city, oil truck, and baseball shirt.
    05/25/08 @ 21:27

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