Sunday, November 25, 2007


It started with a movie. Movies are entertaining and sometimes enjoying a good movie is exactly what is called for. It had been a long long while since I had attended a proper theater and not just skipped the process in favor of DVD bong. So I went to see a new western release at my favorite little theater in Daegu. It was shown on one of the upper level small screens and the audience was fairly small, so I found my seat and dug in for two hours of disconnection and relaxation.

And I listened. And when it was funny I laughed.

The third time I started laughing I realized I was laughing alone. The film was full of subtle jokes, double entendres, made up words, action and reaction, body language, hints at meaning. This was a beautifully constructed game, one that I am familiar with, one that I engage in whenever I can. The carefully constructed play within a play, words within words within words. All of it a set up that in the end tells a different story and means something else.

The Korean audience didn't sense it, because it was outside of the Korean game. It included a subtlety that could not cross a cultural divide. And so when I laughed I laughed alone.

The fifth time I laughed I heard uncomfortable chuckles from behind me. I realized that the laughter was not a response to the film, but to my reaction. Silly and foolish foreigner laughing alone in the theater. That was the when it happened. When the sense of falling out of existence came over me. That was one I disappeared into what I am, foreign, other, outcast, unaccepted, unrepentant, object, thing.

When the film finished the audience scurried out of the theater before the credits started to play, but I stay and watched, curious, reading, enjoying that last few moments of the isolated warp that is watching a film alone. And when I walked out of the room and into the hall thrumming with a new audience and an old, I was still outside of it.

I could feel the shell around me. The space that wraps itself and folds over me and creates the place. Here is Sara and everything else is beyond my graps. I move in Korea but time is still. There is a world here that is not. I move, but not through the world that I am in. I am in another space place. There is a sense of it in those outside the shell, a look, a glance, stepping aside. Suddenly everything opens like an ocean before me and I just move through it, light and my own sense of space and power.

I fixate on this; this space place that I exist in, here where I am untouched. I am merely present. I am no longer wrapped in a hundred memories, I am not longing, I am not desire, I am not young, I am not old, I am not real, I am real, I am present, I have disappeared. I fill the void with all my thingness but I am without thingdom.

The world moves around me like an envelope and I feel like a fish in water swimming through it watching everything else move but stay the same, all the same faces, the same whispers, the same eyes, the same pointing, the sameness. I am not the same, and I am untouched by it.

I walked home that way, inside and outside; the lights were crisper, the air colder, more vibrant. The red ruddy hue that has taken over the once green trees flashes like bright firelight as I pass under. I feel inhuman and beyond.

It lasted until I got to the door of my apartment and then it all crashed, a waving rolling thing that passed out, all the power fleeing with it and I walk in the door, into Sara space and am merely Sara again. Personhood returned.

Later, I craved a return to the disconnect, yet it is never something I have been able to create willingly. Unfortunately that seems true of far too many things.

1 comment:

linda said...

But what film was it? Was it The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford? Or maybe 3:10 to Yuma? I loved both of those, but especially Assass, it is my fave of the year! Also, when I went to that theater at Jungangno they would always turn off the film and not let me watch the credits through, the bastards.