Sunday, September 07, 2008

Friday Nights

Here it comes around again and I realize that as I have been working madly and almost non-stop for a month that I have barely noticed the passing of time except that it is now Friday night and I want to go to dinner with a friend.

And as it happens that time of year has come again when those friends I've made and gotten to know and gotten close to in the last year and a half have gone again. Most notably my infrequent but fun Friday night date who spent a lot of time volunteering the Daegu Animal Shelter.

The Volunteer, as it were, has left Korea with the hopes of journeying to China, then home to England, and the finally to stop in Italy for a year of teaching in Milan. An excellent idea and one I will have to try myself at some point.

During the month I was in front of a lot of people trying to do my helpful part in introducing others to Korea. So Friday night I go by myself, realizing that my dinner plans are moot and I will simply have to find someplace nice to eat by myself. The one restaurant I wanted to go to would not seat me.

"Moya?"

"Chay-sung-ham-ni-da. Jiggun-um, du-saram....chany-sung-ham-ni-da."

Tonight we can only serve two people at a table. We don't have enough tables for you to eat alone. I'm not thrilled about eating alone. I'm less thrilled about being turned out of one of my favorite places because I am alone.

I stumble until the cool but somehow muggy streets and I think of all the friends I've said goodbye to as I work my way to the Lonely Hearts Club. On my way down the stairs I run into teachers who were in one of my lectures. They say hello and I'm polite.

I head into the bar which has roughly twenty people sitting around a bunch of tables gathered up. They each separately find a second to come up and introduce themselves, attendees at one of my lectures, happy to see me again, thank you.

Each walks away and I'm left at the bar alone.

The Lonely Hearts is crowded with people who know me and still I sit isolated with them all. Even more so because of my erstwhile fame.

I say goodnight to Hyun and go home early.

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