Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Mysterious, Never?

I wander into the Lonely Hearts Club well past midnight. I figure it will be a nice change of pace from the other bar and mostly I just want to go and see Hyun and listen to good music.

The bar is crowded tonight, being Saturday not that unusual. I pick a piece of bar and sit down, wondering about the wisdom of coming to the bar by myself. Hyun and I have a shot together and he pours me another before handing me a pen and paper to make my musical playlist for 12:30 am.

"You're name is Sara, right?" Asks the drunken redhead next to me. He looks like Richie Cunningham and even has a standing sidekick who could be a taller, somewhat pudgier version of the Fonz.

"Yes, it is," I answer warily, both trying to project an air of disdain, annoyance, politeness and an "I'm really just hear for the booze and music" vibe at the drunken Richie.

"I remember that, we've met before, but you don't remember me do you?" I hear this so often my head wants to explode. Of course, I have probably met you before. More likely than not I met you in some sort of official capacity where I was required to do my job, which includes less tequila drinking than I generally like. I smile and apologize and turn back to my drink.

"It's just I remember your name because it's my mother's name. You and my mother have the same name." Yes, I think, worst pick-up line ever.

"So how long have you been here?"

And I answer, and I answer honestly that I've been here for going on eight years. It is a long time, I know it is a long time, I realize that constantly without needing to be told, but as with so many other things the obvious is stated. I smile politely and try, again, to turn back to my drink.

"So, why are you here?"

"Why not?" I answer.

"You have to have a reason."

"Not really."

"But you have to; you're here for the money, or something, but you have to have a reason for being here."


"So why are you here?"

"Mostly, right now, for drinking."

"So, yeah, but why in Korea? Is it to meet people?" And it goes on like this for the next ten minutes. I am poked and prodded over and over again for my REASON, for the capitol R response that will finally placate Richie by providing him with concrete proof that the universe is orderly and that I MUST HAVE A REASON for everything I do.

He tells me why I must be in Korea over and over again. I try to agree with him, thinking that it will somehow get me out of the conversation, but I would be wrong.

"Look," I say finally in frustration, "you've stated several perfectly valid reasons why I'm probably here. Congratulations, you've figured it out." I turn back to my drink.

"You're just mysterious, maybe you are here because you like to be mysterious." I sigh realizing this is not going to end. I turn pleading eyes on Hyun but the bar is too busy for him to chat me up. There are no tables I can join with ease, and at this time of night I don't want to be forced to it anyway.

"Why do you want to be mysterious?"

I just look at him, giving him the full on disdain of the look I reserve only for the most obnoxious of my students in class. He just stares at me, back at his drink, back at me. 

"Stop being mysterious."

I finish my drink quietly and go home.

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