Thursday, March 14, 2013


I will get back to my stories eventually. Tonight I sit in front of my computer and think I should be working, but I know that is not going to happen, so instead I sit here and type to you, anonymous readerif you are indeed there, and if you are not just more of me talking to myself (and honestly, I'm okay with that as well).

I am full of history tonight.

I've had a welling depression that has just been creeping up on me all day. I can't shake it. I've tried to shake it, but it is just inside me, deep, insidious, buried, and unwilling to take no for an answer. It's taken root.

It's the...what it is it? I wonder this to myself and then I realize that it is the constant sense of being invalidated. My ego can only take so much. There is this breaking point between being yelled at, underappreciated, undermined, and generally taken for granted. It's not just one offender but many, and all of it adds up. A constant pile onto my unworthiness button until it's not even possible to shut it down anymore and all I can think is I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

I am locked in a room and shaking back and forth and saying over and over again sorry. It is a dark place and I know it well. I've been there since I was a child. Sometimes I can avoid it, but so often I end up locked in there, and feeling it, knowing it and nothing else, and I am just there.

And I let that be who I am.

It is a small tight place, but somehow when I am there I am comforted by it, closed in by it, held by it. On the surface, though, I am nothing. I am gone, I no longer exist, but in it, somehow down there I am safe and I exist and I am okay.

There are a thousand memories tonight, perhaps that is it.

I wonder about that. A thousand days of history.

There are so many memories down that deep dark hole and I am usually pretty good at keeping them down, but sometimes they are surface dwelling and I lose myself to the down deep. A change in position; it's better when the memories are in the hole and I am on top. When it is the other way around I am just a shell of who I want to be and who I am.

And what I keep coming back to, is that I don't have time. I don't have time to be insecure and lost in myself. To much depends on me being that projection of confidence that people buy.

I have too many decisions to  make. I don't want to make any of them.

I am dealing with an overwhelming yawning pit of change and I don't want any change, but I don't know if I will have any choice.

I am haunted by my past and my future, who I have been, who I can be. Do I stay the same or do something radically different? And if I choose change will I like who I become? It's all questions without answers and I without guidance and it's all on me to decide.

And here I sit at this crossroads, robbed of my confidence and counsel, and not knowing what I want or what I will do.

I suppose that is what is really means to be haunted. The ghosts and ghouls that plague me are my reality and my unreality, and I just don't know.

Two men have sat next to me in my beloved Lonely Hearts, which is where I come on a night like this, at a time like this, to be alone. Their accents are so thick I can barely understand them. Scottish, perhaps? I don't know. I find it interesting that they come in and say hello to the Koreans, they look me up and down, but don't acknowledge me. For them I do not exist. That is how I feel at the moment: as if I do not exist, as if I have become nothing, I am nothing, not worthy of acknowledgment or existence. I pay for attention or I get none. And I have so little money to pay. For some reason this is the most comforting thing that has happened to me today.

It continues. It goes on. I go on.

I spent too much money tonight on a dinner for a friend in need that I did not cook. I made an attempt to be there for another that had no time for me. The others are for corners in a universe that seems to be ever expanding and that I cannot for some reasons reconcile. Someday I need to stop trying to please people but it is so hardwired that I cannot imagine in a world in which I don't.

Perhaps that is what haunts me.

At least I have constants. Wine, music...what else does a girl really need?

"I try my best; my best is just not enough."

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Fire Over Daegu

The downstairs bar looked like a dungeon. We ordered martinis. Hers was dirty and mine was pure, which seemed sort of the other way around when you thought about it. 

“I see something,” she said and disappeared. 

I stood and admired the façade. The entire place looked like a dungeon, I could see bringing people there  for just that aspect of the place. The food was good, but much too expensive for many people I know. However, the beautiful, subtle, dungeon-like nature of the bar was awesome. It was purple and blue and changed colors. 

She came back to me eventually. 

“There's a fire.”


“Fire; bring your drink and come with me.”

And so I did. I walked out with her outside into the very chilly Daegu night, onto a balcony that overlooked the strip. It was pretty and lit up in a flame that provided no warmth but a great deal of décor. 

We indulged ourselves and took pictures. 

“We should come again.”

“With you, always,” I replied. We smiled and stole a kiss on the balcony before heading back in.

I looked almost Egyptian in all our photos. 

Monday, March 04, 2013

Birthday Delights

"I want to come to Daegu and hang out with you on Wednesday. It's my birthday."  My phone buzzed with the text message on a busyish workday.

"Sure. The Irish is going to Cambodia, so it's just me."

The Irish was going to Cambodia and I was going to have the house to myself for a week. Plus I loved the Artist, loved seeing her, was happy to have her come down, and flattered that she wanted to spend her birthday with me.

I decided that I wanted to do something nice for her. I also hadfor no readily apparent reasona real hankering for foie gras. (Yes, I know it's horrible but every now and againonce a year or soit seemed like a thing.) The problem for me seemed to be that she was coming here and we were not planning to go to Seoul. The challenge was finding what I wanted in Daegu.

And, magically, I managed it.

I made plans, made a reservation, and told the Artist to bring a pretty dress. On Wednesday I got a text from the Boy, warning of a taxi strike in part of Korea. It didn't affect my part of Korea, but it did affect her part of Korea. Fortunately, she managed to make it on time and we hopped in a cab where I called the restaurant and handed the driver my phone. He got directions from the restaurant and then we settled in to talk.

She had dressed prettily for the evening, including a very fancy little silver hat. I wore a black kimono-sleeved backless blouse with a necklace she had made for me. The necklace practically glowed.

"So, where are we going?"

"I wanted foie gras."

"How very un-PETA."


"So, where are we going?"

"A French place. I've never been there, but it should be nice. It's French; we will have to go and see."

"Sounds fancy."

And it was. The restaurant was a course-meal place that had a very chic modern feel to it. Very high ceilings, black-and white-decor, very dim lighting. The menu included two different courses as well as entrees and other appetizers. While the courses looked interesting, we decided to order things at random and build our own course menu. What we didn't know was that one of the entrees we ordered came with courses and it took a while to balance it all out with the waitress. Even though I was very clear with her about what I wanted, it took about three tries to get it all worked out. The Artist was getting a free course because of her entree; I was getting different things but not a course menu. We thought we had it all worked out.

Interesting enough we didn't.

Rather than let me sit and wait while she had a course, they just evened it out and gave me free courses. Add that to some awesome wine and we had a very nice dinner indeed.

As we finished we were offered desert options, and the Artist went with the tea, which was brought to her in very nice, very elegant bone china.

However nice the tea, they failed to bring the small plate with the set that would be used to hold the unneeded teabag.

"They really should bring me that plate."

"Maybe they don't have it?"

"Is it wrong for me to judge the entire restaurant for not bringing it to me?"

"Not necessarily wrong..."

"If they don't bring it, I am putting this used tea bag in the middle of the table to establish my displeasure."

"If you must."

"I must," and she did. We giggled some more as we finished the tea and then decided to head downstairs to the lounge attached to the restaurant to see what it would be like.

"Should we?"

"I think we should," she said.

"I feel like a martini."

"I wonder if they have dirty martinis."


"Like the tea bag, if they do not do a good dirty martini I will judge the place."

"I'm wiling to risk that."

"Good, then let's go."

And with that, we finished our birthday dinner and went downstairs to the lounge. 

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Unintended Hiaku

Snow on the mountains,
brown earth and green shoots,
along early sun lit train tracks.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Wine Buffet Aftermath

I couldn't move.

Mostly, I felt like I was stuck. I felt disoriented and very much like I was still a little drunk. Okay, I was probably very muchyes, still drunk.

I'm on a couch, my brain started to compute through the cloud. Right. I'm in Seoul. We had wine buffet last night. Editor. Right, I'm in the kitchen. I'm naked in the kitchen. Where the hell are my clothes?

My eyes finally managed to open and in the dim streetlight-illuminated kitchen I saw my clothes in a pile. There was a bottle of water next to me. I took a drink. Sweet merciful ambrosia. I located the bathroom and stumbled toward it from the kitchen, still naked. Years on the road living in other people's houses have made me worry less about this than I probably should. I saw a dim clock shining in the corner. Before 5:30 a.m. I came out of the bathroom and grabbed my clothes, slipping back into things and getting back on the leather couch.

I should go back to sleep, I thought.


I closed my eyes.

Not happening.

I guess I"ll get the early train, I have a meeting anyway.

So I packed up, put on anything I was missing, got myself into some more clothing, and headed out the door. Just as I was getting ready to leave, I heard a strained "Sara?"

"Yeah, I'm here."

"Where are you going?" the Editor sounded about as groggy as I felt.

"I figured I was going to go and take the train out. Can't sleep and I have to work today anyway."

"I have to work, too. I think I'm still drunk!"

"Yeah, I know."

"What happened last night?"

"We had a good time."

"I woke up on the floor. What happened?"

"When you left you went to bed. You were definitely in bed."

"No, I woke up on the floor. My boy was in bed and he was curled up with the puppy."

We both started giggling.

"I'm still wearing my clothes from yesterday."

We giggled some more. The puppy came out to say goodbye and then I took off for the trains. We continued to send messages at each other as we were going.

"Oh, I am never going to drink again. Worst hangover ever!"

"You slept on the floor! It was awesome."

"Never again."

"We'll do this again, soon."


Friday, March 01, 2013

Wine Buffett

"Wine buffett tonight."


"So excited."

"I'm excited, too!"

"See you then."

This was my conversation with the Editor, who I was meeting for wine buffet at the French restaurant in Seoul. I was really excited and looking forward to it. We had planned for the entire week going to wine buffet. Part of this was to celebrate her leaving her job and starting a new business. Exciting times. I was happy for her and wanted to be there to celebrate. I made plans.

At first, it was only going to be the two of us in Seoul, but then I had a meeting scheduled for earlier.

"I got stuck in this meeting! I'll be there as soon as I can."

"I'll get a table."


Some messaging back and forth happened until finally I walked out from the ending of the business meeting, grabbed a cab, and worked my way across Seoul. I was happy to finally get away. I sent a flurry of additional messages as I made my way in. When I arrived, I found the Editor, looking adorable and happy with a glass of wine already in front of her.

"Now, let us order food!"

Which we did. Most of this meeting included a great deal of business, an amusing number of stories about contacts, and how we were going to get the Irish elected for things we wanted him to get elected for. The wine buffet, though, made it all worthwhile.

The restaurant had set up a small table. On it were several different wines. We had a selection of five different reds and four different whites. The whites were nicely iced, and the reds were at the perfect temperature. The Editor was having white and I was having red.

"What time does this thing end again?"


"Then we better drink up."

"They don't look like they are putting it away."

"Well then."

"We will refill at right around 8:37," the Editor suggested.

"Good, good."

And we did. Of course, when 9:00 rolled around we were finished.

"They haven't put it away; do you think we should get more?"

"You do it; they seem to like you more," said the Editor.

"You think I can give it a shot?"

And so I smiled and walked over happily and filled up the glasses without thinking about it, and then wandered back over and sat down. We drank up, and decided to try it one more time. And we did. At this point, with an open wine buffet we were feeling very good. 

"Let's go back to my place and drink some more," the Editor expressed with great enthusiasm.

"I was going to take a train back to Daegu."


"I really don't mind."

"Nope; you are coming back to my place!"

"Well, I need to go to the foreign-food mart and get some cheese."

"Excellent, yes, we can do that. And I can get some chips."

So we walked, in our happy and very inebriated state to the foreign-food mart, where I got cheese and she got hummus. From there we walked back to her place, where more wine was opened, a small puppy was met, and eventuallyafter much more drinkingwe both passed out in separate disorderly states: her in her room and me on the leather couch in the kitchen.