Well hi folks. Welcome to my first post ever from a smartphone. The purpose of this post is to pimp my newest piece for Sweet Pickles & Corn, the link to which you can find below, which you can click on in case you give a shit.
That is all. See you soon.
It has been seven days since my last post and I refuse to apologize for that. Most bloggers would, but I am not them. So, seven days. I have been busy. I just got back from making a cameo in the homeland. America. Atrocious public transport and crumbling bridge pillars. A third world country that doesn’t know it yet. It was all gray and all slush and Jeb Bush was on CNN. He wants a job that pays only a fraction of what he currently earns.
Fireworks on the homefront. A high school friend is getting divorced because his wife fucked somebody else. It wasn’t me, I was gone. My uncle and his wife have separated. One of my best friends and his wife have also separated. And my parents have split as well and so I spent my time shuttling between both camps engaging in a delicate dance of postwar diplomacy. My one complaint is that it didn’t happen earlier; why couldn’t this have happened when I was 7 so I could have milked it for sympathy from girls in high school. Drama is attractive. Coming from a stable home is a nightmare for virgins.
Someone stole my sweatshirt at the gym. Our bartender one night had a Ph.D. He works at Applebees because there are too many smart people. Now some other would-be bartender is freezing in a sewer somewhere. What hope would I have in this place. And you have to tip waitstaff. What a hellscape. I have PTSD. I understand the veterans now. I did three days on the ground and then pulled a Jesus and came back to Korea.
Back to Korea, to lowered expectations and an arena where I won’t get eaten alive. To playing without a salary cap, essentially. It can be too easy. I got back to my villa Friday night and got my shirts from the dry cleaners. I went out into the neon of Seoul and we burned the place down and I resurfaced two days later.
On Sunday morning I thought about my nephew at home. He is ten months old and inspires vague feelings of hope and goodness within me. Then I had an epiphany about trying to be a better person. Then I remembered I had the same epiphany the Sunday before and I’d forgotten about it.
In San Francisco International and connecting to Boston. White people everywhere, talking about bullshit. Talking about juicing and the fluctuation of the euro. First time in 11 months I can understand everything I hear. I am nervous. I feel like everyone can read my mind.
So how are my dollars doing. The ATM says it will assess a $2.95 fee to tell me my account balance. Assess. I forgot that they use such cunty terminology in the homeland. A banana costs $1.95. Fuck this place.
I flew here in the night. 10 hours across the Pacific from Seoul. The flight had a lot of Korean spinsters going on vacation with their mothers. They frowned at each other and their Samsung backgrounds were pictures of themselves. The endgame of singlehood. I’m sorry. There was a dog on board too; my nerves have been run through a cheese grater. I find a taphouse. There are blue collar guys who look like the American Sniper and there are girls in Berkeley sweatshirts and yoga pants. I forgot that girls like this existed. It’s hard to even look at them. The bartender is the coolest motherfucker alive. He is black. Not Obama black, Will Smith black. Lando black. So he is smooth; he could read selections from a geology textbook and you would still listen. He’s talking about cowtipping with a lady drinking Riesling and the whole bar has angled themselves at him to listen. You have to drop your shoulder when you hit the cows, he says, and make sure you put them down. If you don’t, you gotta run away real quick, because the cow gonna come get you, and then that cow is gonna do some person-tipping. Huh, who knew. This is charm school. Charisma to aspire to. I sip. I’m buzzed. The beer may be $9 but at least there’s black people here. It’s good to be back.
Immortality runs out this morning. I am in the mirror with some crows feet. Nothing major. But if my face were a shirt I would iron it. So it begins. White people go off the cliff before everyone else. That’s the deal, in exchange for being masters and emperors and not getting shot at very often.
I am in the office. My co-worker at the next desk says nothing all day. The clock gears wind the tension in the room forever tighter. We could be hostages and the mood in the room would not change at all. I get it. She is a married Christian and her skirts go all the way down to her ankles. And then, me. There are Bible verses that explicitly condemn me. Townsfolk see me getting home with company at 7 a.m. on Sunday and they tell my co-workers. Thank you. This is the rep I’ve been waiting for since I was 14. Could you also tell the girls from my high school, too. The ones who have ignored me since I was 14. Hint: it is all of them. My reunion is coming up and it will be a massive PR coup for me if they know I am the opposite of a virgin now.
I am on Facebook. People You May Know. A suggested friend—wait. This girl; I know this girl. I thought we were already friends. Wait…shit. Why did you unfriend me. It bothers me when you do that. It bothers me to consider that everybody I have ever met is not thinking about me, all the time. What is the point of the internet if you don’t see me on your News Feed, standing casually in front of a pagoda or cradling a guitar like I didn’t realize someone was aiming a phone at me. My life is not complete unless the force of my greatness gnaws away at you. Now I’m going to be invisible to you forever unless I get on Good Morning America. You’ve really put me in a spot here. This is why that guy shot Reagan. At least he was trying to impress someone famous. Had his priorities in order.
In summary: fuck Caucasian genetics, and Mark Zuckerburg.
Hydrating and upshifting into the weekend. Need to see what kind of damage I’m capable of doing before Monday morning. Check the balance to find an adorable sum of money sitting in my offshore account at Korean Exchange Bank. It’s big enough that I don’t feel desperate yet also small enough that I feel ridiculous for owning a money clip. What is your value as a human. Log in and see your life’s worth as a number. How long the fuse is before your life blows up and you’re dumpster diving behind Whole Foods. How long your leash is. When I blast off from Incheon International next year I’ll be packing about six months of fuck-you money. Gravity and reality will not exist for your boy Fred until around the time of the next presidential election. Hopefully we get another socialist gay Muslim alien gun-grabbing welfare queen as president. Not that I expect to receive any handouts. I just really enjoy how angry leftist presidents make my mom’s friends on Facebook. Overweight white mothers in nightgowns learning how to make memes and abusing the SHARE button. Voting Democrat is the ultimate troll move.
But I digress. Six months of scratch—would have been more but we have taxes here in Korea too. Feed the beast. At least since I fled the homeland my tax money now goes toward barbed wire on the DMZ instead of Hellfire missiles. I like to think a 4th grade Pakistani boys soccer team and at least a camel or two are still alive because of me.
Six months’ worth of paper, with drawings of dead guys on it. It would have been more, maybe seven months. But our planet has imaginary lines drawn all over it and if you want to move your paper across one of these lines you have to pay a fee to turn your paper into slightly different-sized paper, with different dead guys on it. Fucking fees. Banks get to take some of your money just because you want to move it a few miles. The bankers in Davos are laughing at us this week. Picturing us peons counting our small bills of Monopoly money, exchanging them cautiously. They laugh at this and at us. They skim money from me and you and everyone and convert it into heavy coins that look like pirate doubloons. They bag them up and drop in into vaults as deep as an elevator shaft and never touch them again and then they giggle about it. I envision this as being 100% of their interactions when they convene. I am probably right.
Anyway. Have a good weekend, everyone.