Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Girls at Play

We met in a bar. I was there first, having come from an earlier vodka party. I was dark, and mysterious, dressed in black silk knit and chainmail.

“You’re wearing that out?” he asked.

“It adds to my allure.” I respond when getting ready for the evening. And why not? Flavored vodka house parties can be fun, but while the consensus was if you were to flavor vodka you should use cheap vodka, I disagree. If you are going to do anything do it well. Including dressing up for a vodka party on my last full weekend in my home city in Daegu. So I was dressing to kill for a party full of married people, pregnant women, and virgins, but dammit I would impress.

So in chainmail and black silk I go to a vodka party. At said party I proceed to drink a quarter of a bottle of tequila. I gave up the vodka when I found out I couldn’t have the sugars, and tequila or wine are the only beverages that don’t give me blinding headaches the next day. The couples drank shots with the virigins, and the pregnant women sucked on toothpicks dipped in vodka for at least a sampling of the party. I tossed back my tequila until I felt warm and fuzzy enough to be out and about.

My phone was being terminally annoying at the party. So much terminally that before the end of the night it took a dip in a bath and was fried completely, which freed me up to enjoy the rest of my evening. I conversed with various peoples about various things, but my mind was not in it. Finally it was suggested we moved to a bar. Always an excellent idea.

I walk in feeling every inch the black silk and chainmail. I order shots for myself and the closer friends. I turn around and there she is, coming in the door. I want to make a beeline for her, but I hold back; the part of me that can’t help thinking that it is always better if a girl comes to me first. She is blonde hair and dark brown eyes, she is pretty and petite. She is a Tasmanian Devil and it suits me. I lock eyes with her across the bar and she moves with people to stand in front of me. I smile at her, a flash of teeth, wide, and biting. She says nothing, just stares at me her eyes on my eyes, and her eyes lower.

“I’m sitting over there,” I point. “What are you drinking?”

I take her order and hand her my coat, while going to get another drink at the bar and sit next to her.

She moves close to say hello. I can smell her breath, the warmth of her mouth close to mine. I move forward toward her and then turn away. Engaging someone else in conversation. I talk, my mouth moves, words come out, but all I think about is her pale skin and how it will look in the soft incandescent glow of the neon moonlight that always shines in Korea. I feel her watching me, not talking, she presses close, her hand on my thigh.

I hold her hand, keep it still. I can feel her pulse beating under my fingers. I stroke her finger against my thighs, distracted.

A girl in red dances at the front of the room, drunk on the evening and soju. I watch her while the Tasmanian Devil persists against my leg. She says in my ear, “I want to dance with her.”

“Go dance.”

I sit the table and engage people in random conversation, but my attention is on the Devil pressed hard against the girl in red, gyrating in time with the music in the small envelope of space in front of the band for dancing. She looks at me while she dances. I sip my drink and wonder what her mouth will look like open and wet and touching some part of my flesh.

I got to the bathroom. Move to close the door, but small hands interceded, tiny fingernails it seems to me, skin so smooth, the Tasmanian Devil pushes the door open and closed behind her. I smell her, I smell her neck, pressing my nose to her flesh, my lips, follow. Her hands in my hair, my hands in hers. A moment of warm breathing as I kiss her and then move her out of the way to go back to the bar. Thus begins an evening of girls in the bathroom.

The second time we exit the bathroom we trail the girl in red with us, a boy asks as we pass “what is it I don’t have?” We smile, we giggle like girls do, knowing amongst ourselves that what they imagines is both more than we have been up to and less interesting that we have done. We smile and return to drinks. I sit again with the Devil pressed close, her hands on my hands, trying to direct them. It becomes unbearable. I think about her pale skin, her legs, seeing them exposed and shining in soft lights. I grab her hand and tell her we are leaving.

She says nothing and we walk out the door.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Working Working Working

On the weekend in the bar it was very much a girls' night out. Or at least a girls' night out in the way that all the girls in the bar seemed to keep ending up in the bathroom together and what exactly we were doing in the bathroom was very much on the minds of all the boys in the bar. Granted, we shall never really let anyone in on whatever it was we were up to, aside from maybe somewhere there is photographic evidence. This is all fun and games. This is life, in some ways, being lived for the sake of living, and I approve.

It had, however, gotten to the point in the evening where I definitely was getting too old and was going to have to retire early. It was also getting to that point for others that are older, and more married, and with more children, then me. One, a nice gentleman I had not met before, steps up to me as he is working his way to the door. We talk for a few seconds and he tries to impress me with his CV, not knowing how impressive mine is. After five minutes of back and forth where we independently stroke our egos he asks me what my plans are. I tell him.

"I'm leaving."

"The bar?"

"No, Korea. I'm on my way home."

"You want my advice? My honest opinion?"

I'm wondering what part of the honest opinion will involve getting in my pants. As Buddy Guy would caution me, you can't just give that away...

"All right, what is your honest opinion?"

"Look, you are obviously as qualified, if not more qualified, than I am. And I went home last year. I looked for a job for five months, and finally found one. And what I figured out really quickly was that it was not a job I could ever like. And here I am. You want my advice, stay here another year because it's not getting any better back home."

He leaves on that note, to his apartment, and I finish my drink in a shot and try not to think about the future. The girls drag me back into the bathroom, and we have life, and living, and the silly things girls do in bathrooms which will always make the boys jealous. And I wonder about next year, I wonder...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Meanwhile, back In Korea

Certainly one would think after moving everything that they own to another country that the intention is to stay in the country where all the stuff is at for a while. Sadly, I've never been one fore the easy out, so a little less then two weeks after I unpacked all my things from boxes I was back on a plane for South Korea for a training session that I had been booked for, and basically to float about the country doing the things I do that I will hopefully be doing more of to make money.

The Irish, for his part, has been an accommodating host since I have basically been living in his den on and off since December. Fortunately I've managed to not make him feel like choking me to death yet, though I do think it may have been close a few times. Luckily before anything came to a real head in his apartment I had my own place sorta opening up.

Now here is the thing, I think as I sit and type from my new place in Daejon, I'd really rather be sleeping on a couch at the Irish's casa than sleeping in a city I'm unfamiliar with. I think part of my issue with Korea at the moment is just that I'm really quite happy with my fair city of Daegu and could easily see living there another year or seven before I got thoroughly sick of it. This however is not a tenable plan for the future and I have to think about the future, at some point, and how all this overseas living is going to work out for when I'm fifty. I'm not the elder North American gentleman on the Asian Bar Girl Retirement Program. While I may not have much to hold me to the U.S. I do have something. And while the ABGRP may offer several nice amenities, a visa for the country, a family, someone completely committed to you as long as you bring home money, a bar, alcohol, I'm pretty sure the marriage laws in South Korea or beyond will keep me from being able to apply anyway.

With this in mind I've started to plot and plan. The major plot and plan for this year is that at least through August I have no firm plans. Around the time of August I will begin to consider potential plans that may be feasible for me which may include another short stint in Korea. Right now that major plan is finishing up a license I started, writing several books, and getting my name on my publications for the first time. This seems like a good plan. This is also a plan that may have me living out of the suitcase a while longer.

I sat down and thought about it last night and I realized I've been living out of a suitcase since December 15th. Oddly, I'm not upset about it yet, but there is a personal affect, perhaps from so much packed up living. I am less material, I miss my things more. I am more self reliant, I hate having to buy anything. I don't mind being holed up in a room in a no name place, I miss my bar.

It's all conflict, but then, really, there is little conflict and mostly resolution. At least I have to much traveling around to do to actually get bored with anything. That's something that will keep me solidly grounded in the now.