Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where my Trauma is not Reality

It still hurts. Through a bottle of wine and some friendly pills it still hurts.

I went yesterday to the gym and lifted my weight. I topped out a 100lbs on my bench press, weeping through the entire thing.

The trainer kept looking across the gym at me, at the sounds I was making, the grimace on my face.

I keep lifting as much as I can. I move to the arm presses and do up to seventy pounds before stopping. I do my triceps presses up to 115 pounds. My eyes are burning and I want to cry but I keep pushing through the pain.

The regulars in the gym cast glances my way. They watch me, they watch the pain on my face. They watch my reaction but they don't say anything.

It was the high flys that finally got me. I couldn't pull more then forty pounds. I almost dropped the bar during the down stroke.

The trainer walks near, passes me by but doesn't say anything.

It's not that they don't want to help.

There is a wall. A wall between me and the Koreans. In Korea if you are in that much pain you go to the hospital, there is just no question. Otherwise you stay in that much pain and you don't show it. You just let the pain happen but you don't let out a sound that there is pain, you don't break under it. If you aren't going to go to a hospital then you aren't in pain.

It's not just the physical. It's the emotional.

I live in a country of automaton droids who function in two modes. Happy and unreadable. Unreadable could be anything. Maybe sad, maybe sick, but you never know. In Korea you are one or the other.

My western emotions are much like me. To big for this place, to different, to strange, to foreign. Unacceptable, out of place.

It doesn't matter that they build up, and no amount of wine or pills will make them go away.

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