Tongueless in Jeonbuk

Well, I’m not tongueless but it feels like I have no tongue. This medicated mouthwash I’m using is making it feel as if my tongue is just not there, at least for nine of the first ten or so minutes after I use it. (The first minute, it feels as if it’s haloed in burning light, perhaps transfigured, so to speak.)

Last night we played an okay show to a rather big crowd, big considering the venue. I should have brought my mic, but I thought we’d be playing “unplugged”, ie. with an acoustic guitar and minimal mics. Turned out we were about as loud as in the practice room, and after haf the show, I was tired of blowing hard and playing as loudly as I could in the loud bits, so I angled my vocal mic down, got Min Gyu to turn it down, and used it for the rest of the show.

It was an alright enough show, no big blunders except one badly cacked high-F# in the climax of my first solo, and one line of backing vocals screwed up—also in a somewhat exposed point, as I am singing in falsetto at that point, but I think the latter wasn’t noticeable.

I am a tiny bit worried about reeds for today’s show. One local artist begged me to try my saxophone. He kept pointing at my reed, and though he has a little English, I couldn’t understand him in the noise of the bar. He wanted to try it really badly, but I didn’t want him to for two reasons. The first was that I don’t like letting other people try my saxophone. It’s this thing I put into my mouth, and I don’t need everyone else’s mouth touching it too.

The second reason, though, was the one I explained to him. I handed him the reed, as I thought he was asking about what it was made of and thought he could have a look. He blowed on it, as if it might make a sound, and I told him several times not to put it into his mouth. I told him I had a bad case of tonsilitis that doesn’t seem to want to go away, and he just insisted he was not susceptible, and kept asking to try the sax. I told him no, I didn’t want him to get sick and that he certainly would if he tried it. Then I turned to put my horn away. When I turned back to retrieve the reed and put it into the reed case, I saw that he had made a move of pure genius; he had it in his mouth.

I didn’t bother to ask for it back.

Anyway, the interesting moment of the night was afterward, just before I beat a hasty retreat to go home and sleep as early as possible; there was a gang of Nepali students in the back of the club, hanging out and having a very good time. I had a short chat with a couple of them and with an eccentric-seeming older Korean man who claimed to be in charge of “the gymnasium” at the University where I work. The Nepali guys seemed alright, and I exchanged phone numbers with one of them; though I am exceedingly busy, I still may have a chance to socialize with them once, especially now that Lime’s so busy in the hospital, and the end of my novel is looming closer.

Now, while I wait for Myoung to come by (we’re going to Kwangju where we’ll play at the Bienniale Art Festival), I’ll do some more research about Kosovo for the background for the newest character in my novel. Always more to know, isn’t there?

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