Hi, reader. It’s Friday night in Korea right now. I’m reporting live from my corner café here in Incheon. Incheon is directly next to Seoul and it’s where McArthur landed. A generation ago this city was scorched earth. Anyway: this cafe, I always write here. 2,000 KRW ($2) gets me unlimited coffee refills and bowl of Reese’s peanut butter cups. If America thinks it’s getting me back to pay $4 for a single pour of Venti Dark Roast, America can go fuck itself. Which it seems to be doing anyway.
The cafe. College students staff the spot and gossip and do their homework at one of the tables like they’re in a 90s sitcom. Which may be a contemporary sitcom trend here in Korea; I don’t know. I am an eccentric background character in their collective narrative. That tall foreigner with the laptop. Wiz Khalifa is on the speakers, choice quote: “I’m the shit, literally.” Headphones.
A 40 year-old Korean man with a wide-brim Yankees hat and the sticker still on sits over by the bathroom. He has never heard of the Yankees. He’s the equivalent of drunk Caucasian males who get improperly-translated Mandarin characters tattooed across a bicep. This one means peace, bro. And this one means be still.
Be still. I am going to try not to go out in Seoul and fuck somebody tonight. I won’t tell you how many weekends in a row I’ve played the same level and won, but it borders on legendary. It’s too many. That’s the new baseline and I can feel my soul rotting. Let’s switch it up. I am going to wear a T-shirt and meet a male friend and engage in sarcastic discourse over brews. It will take a few minutes to shift into gear; these days I’m only fluent in fuck-speak. Hi, yes I know I’m tall, charmed to meet you miss, where are you from. Field-tested joke, banter joke banter joke, I’m going to kiss you now, OK let’s go.
Be still and stay out of Seoul tonight. Leave the blazer on the hanger. If my taxi crashes at 2 A.M I’ll be pissed because then I’ll be wearing a T-shirt in the afterlife.
Quiet night. Bro night. BUT I’m lying to you and to myself because in the back of my mind, I’m still weaseling. I’m texting this girl from two weeks back. She’s local; no Seoul trip needed. Be still—ah, I can’t. I’m messaging and trying to act like I don’t give a fuck. Like she could dematerialize out of existence and I wouldn’t even notice. Not reading the text for 10 minutes after it comes in, not responding for another 10. She’s doing the same thing; you can tell by the timing. So it’s probably going to happen. I’m glad this blog isn’t more popular. It is, but only in certain circles. Hi Mom.