from the Korean Army to being published

the blog of an "ex-patriot" writer in Korea

Random #49: Not Myself in Jeonju

with 2 comments

It’s seven in the morning and I’m home. I have half a cup of coffee, a Sausage Egg McMuffin, a hash brown, and a packet and a half of ketchup in my belly after over four hours on the road. I put a shot of cheap whiskey in the coffee but only after I got home. It’s good to be home.

I’ll occasionally go out of my way for a close friend and I’ll do almost anything for a lady I have more than a physical interest in, but there’s a limit to how much I’ll give at the expense of my own comfort. It’s different with family. I’ll sacrifice a much needed break from January intensives to make the nightmarish trek through holiday traffic to do absolutely nothing in Jeonju except fix Mom’s computer and set up her printer and buy her two months of groceries and listen to her delusions of grandeur. (It runs in the family.) I’ll wake up early in the morning and drive out to the mountains to have a drink with my deceased Aunt, one poured out along her burial mound and one for me. I’ll go drinking with 50 year olds at a depressing bar for old people, listening to my Uncle talk to his friend about architecture and other old people for hours. I’ll refrain from the only vice I can enjoy while driving—smoking—during the drive up and add on another hour and a half to the trip to drop my cousin off at her friend’s place at the complete other side of a city too large for its own good.

For some people, this doesn’t seem like much, but for a guy who spends the majority of his time alone doing whatever the fuck he wants, it’s draining. After dropping off my cousin, I rolled down the window, lit up a smoke, stopped by McDonald’s, and ate my McMorning as I raced other early morning assholes down the strangely empty streets of Seoul, my foot heavy on the gas and my hand liberal with the horn. The day is on the verge of dawning as I drag my weary ass down into the cave that is my place. I turn on the heater, strip down to my underwear, pour a shot of whiskey into my coffee, turn on the television for some me time, and retreat into sweet oblivion. There’s no place like home.

Happy Lunar New Year. I hope that this, the year of the dragon, is an auspicious year for everyone. As a realist, I believe that people care more about relative gains (having more than the Joneses) as opposed to absolute gains (just having more), but I don’t give a fuck about the Joneses. Everybody be prosperous. I’m going to do my best to prosper this year.


Written by Young

January 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm

2 Responses

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  1. “I don’t give a fuck about the Joneses.” You’re right not to. And me, I’m too poor to be thinking about relative gains. Earning enough money to be firmly in the black every month is my current goal.

    Happy Looney Nude Deer, to you and your family.


    Kevin Kim

    January 25, 2012 at 1:03 am

    • Happy Lunar New Year to you and yours, too, Kevin.

      I make a decent amount of money but always seem to be in the red, too. It’s the topic for a couple posts from now, now just a seed of an idea. Poverty always leads to some stories (in the words of Christopher Wallace, “[N]o money, mo’ problems”), but I’d like to be firmly in the black someday, too. I’d rather have less stories (of this variety, at least) and less worries but life is what it is, I guess.

      Good luck with getting by. No outside work comes my way these days, but if anything pops up, I’ll send it your way.


      January 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm

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