Where the Heart Is
What started off as any innocent Sunday afternoon barbecue gradually turned into a night at
the dark carnival devoid of moral integrity and responsibility. My freakshow of a Sunday night culminated in yet another noray-bong (kareoke)experience of mayhem and tossed cookies. On Monday morning, I realized it was a noray-bong for the records as I came across a tambourine that somehow found its way into my backpack that I did not put there. Sanity shortages and dark carnivals aside, it was still a kick ass time. On a calm and sunny day that felt as smooth as J. Cash vocals, older friends and newer friends met to celebrate life in Korea over barbecued food and mekju (beer).
It never ceases to amaze me just how amazing BBQs really are. They are definitely on my top 15 list of coolest things ever, somewhere in between pirate ships and public nudity. I am going to stop talking about BBQs very soon, just a few more things: 1. they bring on feelings in people not unlike certain drugs that induce euphoric yet sedated affects simply due to the all around mirth
that is had 2. I honestly propose George W. include a bbq plan in the Iraq efforts at present, because all insurgency would cease to exist in the presence of friends, delicious meat, cold beer, and perhaps a few attractive females. Okay, I am finished with that.
It was a day that hit very close to home. It felt like home. The curious thing was that even though it was so remeniscent of a beautiful Seattle afternoon I never longed for home. As much as I kid myself about missing the city where my roots are, I realize more and more its just an act for attention. The longer I am here.....independence, self suffiency, and simply just being away, gets easier and more appealing. Its a lesson that everyone learns sooner or later, and my lesson has been overdue.
Unfortunately, I am also discovering that nothing fills the void left by friends and fam....especially the fam; the people who know you
inside and out, know your every gift and every flaw, who completely and unconditionally accept you. They are the same people who are familiar with every skeleton in the closet and who routinely pull them out to mock you for the viewing and listening pleasure of everyone else. Its a necessary act with both adult and adolescent males who get to big for their britches, making them humble when their narcissistic, arrogant asses need to get checked.
I think the most effective way in dealing with that void is simply surrounding yourself with a second family and truly living in the extreme. This works so that
your mind is always busy and full of ridiculous and insatiable memories that upon recollection cause you to burst out in laughter at inopportune times making you look insane. These memories include but are not limited to carrying around a rat dog (that bore a striking resemblance to Splinter from T.M.N.T.) for an extended period of time looking like Paris Hilton; or noribangin in a small room with non-English speaking Korean soldiers while a friend had her head shoved in a garbage can getting her ralph on....all appropriately to the Scorpions tune "rock you like a hurricane"; or watching friends (at a Disney like amusement park called Everland)
ride an animatronic green dragon which moved at approximately 1 mph, that you could not dismount until the very end of its lengthy joy ride for fear that it would end up in a pond or in the middle of a roller coaster; and lastly, waiting in hour plus lines for rides in sweltering heat and stifling humidity that not even the coldest beer could cure, surrounded and all but being consumed by an ungulating mass of Korean faces.
A friend here asked me recently if I have felt changed by this experience yet, and at the time I couldn't effectively communicate one thing or way in which I have. I think my lack of words stemmed from the fact that in just 3.5 months there really hasn't been a way that I haven't changed or grown. I am still the same socially acceptable nutcase who abuses the word "awesome" and thinks hes hardwired to be a rockstar, but those are about the only things that have stayed consistent. Some of the more tangible changes I can offer have been more or less described above; just how much of a growing experience it is, putting over 5,000 miles of distance between you and the world you have known your entire life, or paying my own bills for
the first time (do not laugh, judge, or mock cuz I will find you), and challenging myself by jumping into the most volatile of mixes that include a foreign country, starting a job I was not ready or prepared for, a brand new circle of social stimulation, overwhelming sexual tension, and having shit being talked about you in Korean by 13 year olds and not knowing it.
Such insane times. So surreal they almost seem dreamlike. My rock, or emotional and mental grounding of late, has simply been the rain. We are in the monsoon season and water drops from the sky frequently and heavily. I have always been seduced by the sound of its eerie yet cleansing tempo. Listening to the rhythm of it falling reminds me there is always a brand new day around the corner, full of opportunities to seize. Cheers