the way her penciled-in eyebrows looked before she did them those mornings. Her hairs so sparse and thin its like she connected the dots, or painted her canvas, filling them in before she went out. She always did them right when we woke up leaving a vacancy in our bed the size of the one she left in my heart when she walked out my life. In my half woken slumber I would peek out of the covers and stare at her bare thighs, feeling myself wake up from the anticipation of seeing her ass exposed from the clutches of my t-shirts. I would see her reflection in the mirror and pretend to be sleeping when she looked down on me. Then open them slowly catching a glimpse of her bending over, her floral prints, her thongs, her lacy numbers burnt into my memory. I long for those moments. I long to get out of bed and hold her close while she painted her canvas, running my hands on her skin and feeling her warmth against me. Its funny what you think about when time has gone by and all that remains of the past are the memories and the souvenirs of a relationship that didnt last.
I fucked up In thinking that my love for her could satisfy her every desire. But like everything in life, when things have run their course there is no bringing them back. There is no rewind, there is no playback, there is no start and reset.
Its funny seeing someone you once loved with someone else. You almost see yourself in their mates position, reliving the small things that plagued a relationship, reliving the magical moments that made you fall for the person the first time. I remember running into her on the interweb, her eyebrows tattooed in. Her canvas had one less brush stroke but still as perfect as the moments I stared at her with my longing eyes. She had met another dude, and he wasn’t like me, nothin like me. I thought so much about her and us, and everything we were and I felt the desperation of our memory in me. She was changing and I was drifting far, far into a space that only she could of filled at the time and did not. Her and her tattooed eyebrows, were no longer mine. I did not exist, and because of that I lost a piece of myself in space.
on the middle of the Williamsburg waking me from this momentary peace of a pre work nap. Rubbing the drowsiness from my eyes I look out at the water, a dark oil blue. The scratches on the windows and the cars passing by obstruct my view. “We are all going, living some kind of existence” I think to myself. Turning away from the window, I graze through the faces in the car, all-waiting to continue. Some are sending messages to others, in Spanish, in Chinese, in Hebrew. Others are patiently waiting for the train to start, annoyance visible on their faces.
I close my eyes to regain a piece of sleep that the city took from me. This city always takes and takes. When I was a boy my dad didn’t take me on the trains often, only on weekends when my brother had appointments with the psychiatrist. We would go and talk about our feelings; I cried cause I didn’t want to talk to anyone. We used to go into these private apartments with their fancy doormen; I would push the button if I got lucky in the elevator. The room was cozy, a private home/office of a man I gave two shits about. It was an adventure nonetheless. For me as a child the roar of the train excited me. The tunnels were always filled with monsters, unknown and dangerous. When I saw the light illuminating at the end it was the safe zone, the island in a distance that shipwrecked sailors saw only to be met with new perils once they arrived. Escaping the subways and seeing the giant buildings was a rock concert to your senses. I looked up at those buildings as if they were titans frozen still.
We didn’t go to the city often, but when we did it was for business, never pleasure.
The train starts slowly, the tracks crackle, screech, brakes and accelerations, slows and speeds, the light becomes darkness and the city swallows us whole. Each stop comes, some get off, and more get on. Each face more tired than the one before; this is the city we live in, the city of the slightly living. The train hits Broad Street and the trains’ sighs heavily leaving a ringing in my ear. I walk up the stairs slowly, slightly uncomfortable from being seated for the past hour. My eyes adjust to the light, the titans of the financial district welcomes me, the men in suits past me by with their starbucks and wristwatches. I walk past, hands in pocket wondering how the hell did I get here.
I could see you from afar I would. Not under this lens I call life, but with my own eyes, in the right time, I would. I would replay the moments that we shared walking down streets with names I cant pronounce listening to words I cant understand in their entirety and daydreaming of you in your underwear on top of me.
If I could, I would grab you by the hand and walk down the small alley where they sell Hakata, and hold you against the wall. We would kiss, you would be embarrassed, I would say dont be.
I would give you my heart, if you would take it. If I could, I would relive the small moments where silence was golden, and goodbyes were dreadful but welcoming. This is life, a series of near misses and heartbreaks. When the sun falls on the morning calm, I, asleep, will hold on to you for dear life.
and as much as I’ll miss this country, these people, these experiences, I cant wait to go home. For some reason, I feel like this wont be the last time I go to Korea. I hope if I return, it’ll still feel the same.
Malaysia, Vietnam, LAX, El Salvador, Mexico City, NYC, Washington DC.
What the fuck.
along the road for what seemed like an eternity only to keep walking. In the sky I saw my reflection, a lowly version of myself. In the horizon I saw the heat of the summer sun smothering the concrete, with its strong grasp on the world I felt its pressure against my chest, my skin. Hands in pocket I walked. I walked over the bridge, over the train tracks, across the rice patties and the girls middle school, across the river that like me, looked like a lowly version of itself, past the bus terminals and hangooks, the buses, and motorbikes, I walked, I walked and I walked.
My feet ached, my eyes squinted, my pores sweated from the sweltering heat, and I, I kept on. I walked past the mounds that reached for the sky, and the neon lights of downtown, the coffee shops, and the clothing shops, and the high school girls in their short skirts, and high school boys with their shirts unbuttoned, I walked.
When I got to the blood daisies I sat and watched as they swayed in the breeze, a sea of yellow moving, flowing, but unmoving. I took shelter under a tree and watched as they moved from left to right, girls and boys, men and women, drowning in the sea of blood daisies. Then I got up, and walked, walked back on my way, past downtown, and the mounds that map the city, past the bus terminals and over the river, past the rice patties and girls middle school back to my lowly home.
it keeps going and going, with or without you.
Ive been thinking about this Korean journey more and more lately. Ive dabbled back and forth with staying or going and the longer I stay here, the more I want to stay. Its okay, cause Im on my way out, ready for the next adventure, the next hit of monotony, the next desire to bubble to the surface.
Ive grown to love Korea, the country, the mountain sides, the towns, the convenience, the awkward orderings of food, and walks along sad rivers. But this restless feeling is unshakeable really. Anywho, I will never see this country the same, even if I return It will never be like this moment.
Times are slow lately, with students and exams Ive back at my table doing much of nothing and lots of reading. I imagine other times, in side lives where I have fallen in love with some tan skinned beauty or live a life on the run as a vagabond, some kind of train traveler. Other times I just remember New York City train rides, the hour long journeys across a city where I barely feel alive; I’m just meeking out my existence. Its funny in a couple of months you can somehow romanticize anything if you try hard enough.
As i grow older it makes a lot more sense. Anything can be romantic in the right light, in the right tone of voice, in the right frame of mind. Im nostalgic already of this Korean adventure, and while a lot of people are renewing, i feel a slight sadness at the decision to pack my bags and head back to “home.” This life is an adventure, I keep telling myself. There is still much to be seen, but that doesnt mean youll need your eyes for all the journeys.
The new years wrapped in each others words. Our lips speaking, our eyes saying another thing.
My hands dragged slowly against your skin, uninspired, a reminder of what used to be so vibrant, but slowly dying like a snail in the midday sun.
When I was younger I used to romanticize everything, but no one ever told me that romance died a long time ago. Died with the countless drinks, and cigarette buds extinguished. It died with all the conversations had in beds that were not mine, temporary shells of comfort. With each passing memory i became colder, a fraction of the man I once was so long ago. I was not even half as good as the boy that once looked upon the world with such curious eyes.
In these moments on new years night I looked at you and tried to recreate some sort of fondness. I tried to picture us at a better time, where we loved deeply, loved with some sort of urgency, as if tomorrow all the gas pipes would explode, destroying us with them.
All I could muster was the memory of her face transplanted on you.
Of reflection will linger. The summer breeze will raise my hairs, the sun soak my pores, the smells fill my nostrils; fill my lungs with moments of triviality.
Its the last three months and i want to stay… but not for my work but because ive grown to love this country so much. The winding mountain scenes, the sad rivers that intersect every city, the farms in between metropolises, the towns between the farms. I will miss that the most i think. The travels across these beautiful lands. I will miss my students.
I wonder how things would be over another bitter winter. More of the same i can imagine. But sometimes its best to continue on. At least these moments will be fond ones.