Some moments from the last few weeks:

  • A roomful of giggly young female students respond to my question, “What am I doing?” with the response, in perfect unison, “You is pucking us!” Yeah, they all mean “fucking”, and they are saying that because I’m holding up my splinted finger, which happens to be the middle finger on my right hand. I correct them: “You’re being rude, Gord!” and they chime it back at me.
  • From yesterday afternoon. A pack of freshmen students pass me as I limp distractedly down toward the bus stop. I hold my umbrella aloft, lost in thought, and as they approach they giggle and guffaw. I take it for the sounds of country bumpkins encountering a foreigner, something which seems endlessly amusing to some people’s children. But as they pass me, one girl works up the nerve to declare, “노래인!” I try to puzzle out this unfamiliar Korean word for a second, then realize and look up into the sky. “No Ray Yeen!” means “No Rain!” I holler “Oh, yeah!” with a silly grin on my face, looking back, and they are all laughing much harder now. As I limp off they cheer on the girl who had the guts to point out the obvious to an absentminded foreign professor, in something that, at least to them, is (or sounds like) English.
  • From a few weeks ago: I seen a minivan whiz past me, and from the open window, I hear a high-pitched voice shrieking one syllable: “~~님!” (for the Korean-challenged, “-nim!” I know someone was calling out to me, either “Sunsengnim!” or “Kyosunim!” (teacher-sir or professor-sir, respectively). It puts a grin on my face as I cycle all the way home, though it’s nearly a week till I figure out who it was.
  • Lime keeps laughing at me as I eat the pig-guts sausage. We’re seated across from one another in a little student diner, and every time I raise my hand, chopsticks precariously balancing the sausage, my splinted finger comes into view and I inadvertently flip my girlfriend the bird. (You know, give her the “Fuck you!” sign.) It’s not until later, after I tease her and have her try to use chopsticks without using her middle finger (a task she gives up on) and even later when a friend realizes, slightly shocked, that I can even do that, that I begin to think about the complexity of the human brain. But I’ll post about that tonight.
  • “Go-deu! You are always, ‘Fuck you!'” Seong Hwan laughs, mimicking my splinted finger, and I grab him from behind, of course banging my broken finger to some pain; we’re both laughing which is good for a photo shoot.
  • Peter grins at me and says, “How do you say in English? ‘Once your reputation is ruined… you can finally live in peace’!” He cackles and sips coffee from a huge whiskey bottle he keeps in his desk.
  • Lime and I standing outside in the pouring rain, finally (almost, save for occasional passers-by, blocked out by her umbrella) alone together and thinking the weather wonderful, and talking of so many things.
  • Drinking that first coffee in a week with Lime, after we both went off. I did it to guilt her into staying off it till her stomach got better, and it seemed to have worked. Then we met and she gave me a bunch of nice coffees she’d brought back from Canada. Very sweet girl, she is, and again we talked of so many things. You know how you know you’ve got a good thing? When the most natural thing in the world is to laugh. And we always are.
  • Standing in the doorway of my friend’s apartment and being told to come on in. I do, and look into the face of the young woman in there with him at eight-something in the morning. I know her but I didn’t know they were involved and all I say is, “I was gonna pretend I didn’t see you here but I’m inside the room now so I can’t so good morning and can you believe how I &#$!%ed up my finger?” I say, holding up the purple pre-splinted finger, and suddenly nobody’s feeling quite so awkward anymore. And I know more people I know are having a good spring than I previously imagined.
  • I peel the gauze off the scrape on my knee and it comes off almost without any alcohol being needed to dissolve the seepage and loosen the gauze from the wound. So… the seepage is almost done, I think… unless I am speaking too soon. I’ll see when I get home.
  • A pair of students do all their dialogues not only perfectly, but also entertainingly, and with some crafty additions. I am deeply pleased to award the pair of them A+.
  • In one of our many banters on the subject, it is finally established that Lime is completely and thoroughly her own possession, but also completely and thoroughly my own possession. For my part, I am completely and thoroughly my own possession, but agree to share The Wonder That Is Gord with her sometimes. This reminds me of how John used to say to Koko, “Honey, what’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.” Victory is mine! Well, it was, once, till Lime reversed it and victory became hers. But I did learn a useful phrase out of the discussion “이것이기도해!”: “It’s mine too!”
  • The lines of a new poem begin to gel in my mind. It’s a familiar and wonderful feeling, and I am glad to welcome it back.

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