Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Storm at Night

Two bottles of wine loom on the table and we looked into them pondering how they might get emptied out when the rain and the lightening caught out attention.

“Let’s go to the beach?”

“What time is it?”

“It’s just after 11:30.” I provide. There is some small discussion here, but in the end the end the sound of rain falling down and the thunder in the sky were enough to motivate us off the couch and down the stairs and into the light rain that was flashing.

The sand clings to my toes, the rain to my hair. The sky is loud and dark and the waves a perfect compliment on the beach after hours. There is a quiet solitude about it but the city lights make it bright, not dark night that we wonder into. The night is cool and the sky flashes above us.

The light is purple fantastic with streaks of pale white light, I am fascinated by the streaks, the beam across the sky, too fascinated. Someone grabs my hand and pulls and we walk away, back to a quiet place, covered, slight shelter but still outdoors so we can see the sky and feel the electric charge and cling of the air around us.

The air feels good, that smell of ozone and fresh warm wet feeling. The hair on my arms stands up in it, my head swims with night and wine, and thunder. Lighting shafts again across the sky and makes for a kaleidoscope fantasy. I want to fall into soft sand, to role into it, to feel something different for a while, but am pulled back again. There sleeping in the shelter on the beach and curled up happily safe from the storm is a homeless man.

I feel angry for having to share my moment, then happy he has found shelter, then my head swims again and I feel a hand pushing me, pulling me, leading back towards the quiet inner chaos of apartment and the wine and the Friday night festivities. As we walk back I long to be a part of the lightening, to just streak across the sky for a moment, to live in a flash, burst of light, explosion. To be a flash and then an imprinted memory that for just a moment makes someone’s night beautiful.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Tendrils on the Road

I rode the bus to Seoul at early. I actually had to be at the bus by four am so I could be in Seoul on time for my flight. I left my place at three. The dogs gave me that annoyed look for waking them up from their beauty sleep. The rain is coming down hard, monsoon season at four am. The big bag I pull down the stairs behind me is loud and I worry about waking the entire building at four. I managed to get down to the ground at last. I forgo an umbrella and instead race to the corner mart to buy a drink. Fortune is with me and there is a cab waiting when I exit the store. Unusual in the rain and for the time of day.

I get to the station and the Korean attendant is lively. "I'm from Hawaii, you know, where you going? Oh, Incheon, yes, pretty lady, okay, where you sitting? Like here, this seat solo is good." I answer in Korean and he smiles "Your Korean, good, good." He switches to Korean to ask me how long I've been in country, clearly impressed, and then finally letting me go for the bus.

I climb on, wakeful, I'd actually managed to go to bed and sleep hard from nine to three am and so I was rested and ready to ride. The music from my mp3 sang in my head as I boarded the bus and waited for the departure. For a four a.m. bus it was surprisingly full of people but I still managed to have a seat alone in the back.

The night in Korea is dark and rainy. I watch the rain against the windows lit by the lights of passing traffic in early morning.  A dense spatter that runs rivulets across the windows, little rivers that become tendrils, the tendrils picking softly through the flotsam and jetsam of my memories, touching small pieces here and there and bringing them up from the bottom for a moment to be illuminated by three am strobe-lights.

There are memories of being eight in the back of a pink thunderbird listening to the quiet whispers designed not to wake the children between my mother and my grandmother. There was the fog of mountains at six a.m. so thick I thought was in the clouds and could just kick off and float into air. The rain became driving in Chicago in the storms, the expressways filling with water, flooding the city. Thunder and lightening crackled surprising in the early morning sky, a storm, something rising, pulling me in a cacophony of thoughts rising up, blackening a the bottoms and graying at the top.

I drifted into road dreams of unrest full of passing montages of deserts, dust storms, downpours and droughts, my youth, my life, my living, my now, my death on the threads of spatter against the window pane on foreign roads in far off lands.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chronic Illiness

I've been damn sick. I've been sick for so long I don't remember what it's like to be one hundred percent healthy anymore. Every two weeks I've been back at my doctor and every two weeks I'm back on antibiotics.

It's been like this since March. Since I first got the strep that I that almost killed me. It went away, life was okay, things returned to normal.

Then it came back. Again in March.

So I went to the doctor for round two. And it was gone, and I started to feel better.

Then it came back, again.

And again.

All together it's come back on me six times. I hate it. I can't stand being sick anymore. I hate the swelling in my throat, I hate the pain, the fever. The antibiotics are giving me nausea all the time. I can't sleep with this thing.

It hurts me. It's been carving out a small part of my soul while it kills me slowly. It finally came down to me scheduling a tonsillectomy, which should be noted is a painful and majorly frustrating surgery for adults. That will have to happen as soon as I get back to Korea.

The strep has taken over such a large part of my life that I've failed to talk about anything at all. Anything interesting or exciting has been killed by the now fully entrenched depression brought on by being sick for ever and ever. And there are good things. I just can't remember them anymore. I wish I could.

Leaving to fly to Chicago was horrible. The day began at three a.m. when I realized that just five days after having got over my last round of strep it was back and more painful then ever. So first up that morning was doctor number one. This was followed by finding a doctor number two for a surgery. This was followed by a return to doctor number one because during the day the strep got worse and I was worried about flying.

"Is it possible that flying could make it worse?"

"Well, your brain might fill with puss. Could die. But I can't help you make the decision."

I spent an hour on the phone with a travel agent thinking if I could just change my ticket and fly out a few days later I could save myself the brainpuss option and still get to the city on time for the class this I'd rather be killed by. Of course all things being generally hateful of Sara the conversation went like this...

Agent: "When can you fly?"

"Two days, my doctor says it will be better if I wait that long."

"Okay, if I make the changes you will have to pay a little more for the ticket."

"Okay, how much more."

"Well, it would be another 1,500 to change your ticket to that date." I paid 1,400 for the ticket.
So I end up on the bus to Seoul at five in the morning to take a flight that might kill me. The flight was long. No sleep the pain and the worry kept me up.

Landing felt hard. Throat tender and sore and I was so very tired. My throat continued to worry me for three more days only starting to feel a bit better today. I'm supposed to stop the antibiotics tomorrow. Will this be the magic time when I'm finally free of this fucked up illness for more than a month?

The days are long. I'm in the city but it's not vacation. Classes from eight til eight daily. My friend is remarked "It's like I'm running a hotel." I feel bad I want to see more of the city.

More of everyone.

I want to live the way I used to when I wasn't deal all the time with this stupid thing.

Hardly even 27 days left and a part of me already wishes I was just back in Korea and over with it already.