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April 27, 2006

ol 55 part II

"so, are you disappointed?"
oh shit. think. "in what?"
"in what i am like. am i what you expected?"
"er, yeah. i mean, i knew your interests and stuff from the profile. i guess, though, in terms of appearance, i thought you might have been a bit more, i don't know, indie, rather than..."
"...than what?"
oh shit.
"go on. than what."
"i don't know. i don't know how to describe it."
"yes you do."

yes i did. 'slapper' was in fact the word i used the following day when recounting this story.

we met at starbucks. i got there early to take down an espresso and up my energy. perhaps it was the strong lighting, perhaps the hot coffee, perhaps the radiance of dampened dreams, but either way my red face was ambiguous enough to count on the blunder roll. as may have been my opening line, "this feel like somewhere between a blind date and meeting an old friend." neither could have been farther from the truth.

in the bar, they knew her like i knew the smell of sewerage. familiarity and distance. had i expected a group of friends to slot into? perhaps. had i wanted it? perhaps not, when i was squashing into my skinny jeans and evaluating my stubble and whether or not to bring condoms. but did i ever want them as i kept a steady 11 o'clock on her intended-to-seduce gaze. pitt knowledge against prejudice i told myself. she likes clap your hands say yeah. check. she is opening an art space. cool. she is lobbying for a filipino consulate. wow. she has a korean boyfriend of one and half years. phwshh. the pressure valve opens.

yet on the street, as she forwards the options of a drink in her man's bar vs. a cab ride to heundae, she links her arm in mine. no, i am not your friend. no, i am not your man. no, i am not at all comfortable. i slink out of her 5'10" penchant-for-red-hat-wearing grasp and find "reserved" as an explanation for the ground between fucking awkward and fucking rude.

"what are you talking about? you already told me you had a boyfriend."
"i already told you...it was on the way out."

the next bar boasted a stage with connery era bond style alfoil rock formations and extractor fans. and tequila. and san diego craigo, a man seemingly so entrenched in his own dancing vision it took me minutes to recover from his confession of just wanting someone to dance with. not even the four shots of tequila could scrabble the letters in my sobriety as i attempted find a happy place between succumbing to my seductress and remembering this nightmare.

"...and i know you are attracted to me."
"er, i'm not actually."
"what? not even a little bit?"
"no, sorry."

outside the sun is rising and my "date" is flat on her face on the concrete. then she is knee deep in ocean water, begging me to come in. then she is in the cab with me, spreading sand all over the seat. then she is not getting out of the cab. then she is telling me if i go home i will miss out on something. then she is gone.

in the cab across town i drift in and out of consciousness, and my new found peace is mirrored in the quiet streets. when the 'net turns bad.

April 16, 2006

ol 55

the smell of sewerage followed us down from the street and into the bar. i didn't expect it to linger. i didn't expect it to be the most tolerable thing about the place.

perhaps i knew it was coming. at the subway with my companions i plugged myself into my earphones. i might have felt rude if it wasn't for two minutes later when i was forced into taking a photo of them posing with door girls dressed in gold lycra shorts and matching boot style socks. singing and dancing, my companions were celebrities, obviously.

okkervil river sang 'for real'. i added the question mark.

for a while, the pool table served as a distraction. my partner, a tiny american girl with a fluid stroke and a competitive streak, and i managed to hold the table for a few games. victory was especially sweet against two large men in large t-shirts and short haircuts. frustration boiled over for one man as he began dry humping the corner of the table, the cry of 'aussie, aussie, aussie, oi, oi, oi' audible amongst the unintelligible rumblings of an ogre. these men were here to play pool and win only, and i didn't feel remorse for their loss.

the cover band pumped up their egos and out their mainstream alternative rock set. i drank the six dollar coronas. it was only fair to let at least one my senses experience something other than a raping.

while my companions got drunker i tried to sail a steady ship. but that was a bad idea in a place like this. take your shirt off. take your pants down. fight me. fuck me. bore me. i had a question for the koreans: why are you here? one said, 'i am that man's small-rumped meat. he holds his unopened hand against my back to show i am his.' uncertain, unexperienced. how lucky to be somewhere a man like me can get a girl like that. another said, 'i think this place is cool.' i could not look him in the eye. someone said, 'what's wrong with a good time?'. i pretended not to hear.

a girl tells me she has smelled me in the elevator. a girl tells me i remind her of her gay not gay friend from england. i tell myself not another minute in this place. but i wait.... its a long way home in a cab by yourself.

in the cab on the way home my companion falls asleep on my shoulder while his girlfriend and i sing badly to the U2 hitlist on the radio and i feel comforted by the fact that at least i will not spew tomorrow.

April 15, 2006

homage to ceylon tea


look closer...

Ceylon Tea.
Now dream of Tea is distilled each pure drop
a tear of joy
A vision of paradise for men
lost in their dreams
Sailing the Indian Ocean towards new horizons
Ceylon Tea.

April 10, 2006

the weekend in seoul: yellow dust, cherry blossom, matchy-match, and alex cullen.

yellow dust
cherry blossom
tandem lovers

13 things to remember about 31 hours in japan

1. sleeping the slow ferry. economy class means a room full of men with only a place to call your head your own. asahi from the vending machine. mmm.

2. cabbing to the korean embassy. my fare-sharer joy asks "are you christian?" "no" "why not!? god loves you so much!"

3. "talking" religion with british born-again david and his side-kick korean joy. his miracles-a-minute and new york nuke conspiracies were all too convincing for my logical mind and so i am now christian. jesus really does love me.

4. loitering in the korean embassy. head-hunting foreigners to spend my one night in town with. i struck out on jo, a nice guy but leaving than night. a double play in hard rock cafe with leah and michael, who were to be my campadres for the remaining stay.

5. japanese western(es)s. starbucks, hardrock, chains a blah blah. i did appreciate the strong coffee though.

6. clean.

7. japanese girls. propped up by high heels, shuffling forward in tiny steps, an agonising posture of perpetual forward motion.

8. reading david mitchell's ghostwritten. how's the syncronisity?

9. hotel rooms with button toilets, button bedheads, and a damn fine print robe.

10. cherry blossom.

11. looking for magic (a bar) in canal city. stumbling upon the sex district with XXX and butcher shops. the tiny empty trombone bar with a manager who refused to serve us unless we all drank. michael settled for a 6 dollar coke.

12. leah's local connection. hiro and friend played host to road-side ramen noodles (if they can't hear you eat it, you aint tastin it), and a road-trip to a coastal rastafarian bar (drinking asahi, eating sufers lunch bowls, and hearing the waves crash outside). a blissfilled evening.

13. the fast ferry home. the feeling of travelling rising in me like the swell of the ocean. the larger goals punctuated by surface tension, patterns on patterns. i think of you and my heart searches for land like an anchor. i really am out to sea.

April 7, 2006

my korean apartment

forgive me. its a little late on a friday night and i have just popped my korean version karaoke cherry. i warmed up with the kinks 'you got me going', moved slyly to the strokes 'is this it' then i did myself in with neil young's 'heart of gold' but i think all in all it was more of a success than i could have hoped, especially considering i have a cold. the receptionists at my work were big fans.

but i have been meaning to tell you about my korean apartment. i can pick it from across the street. its the one with no curtains and a cleaned dirt mark. through the swipe of cleaned dirt i can see a love motel opposite, with its circular red sign 'love letter', flanked by two buildings being built. i am yet to obatin more furniture than a bed and a tv, who i let call the dance floor its own, especially when i want to watch tv and lay in bed, watch tv and sit against my bed, watch tv and cook omelette, watch tv and.... i dont think i will buy any furniture. i will buy speakers for my iPod, then i will dance, with my tv, all over the dance floor. depicted (above) is me mid to end slide. i discovered this because i wear socks always because there is a place to take your shoes off when you first come in. takingmyshoesoff is up 10-4 vs. meremembering by the way. my korean apt has a heated floor, which i was initially scared to operate because the first time i tried what i thought (correctly) was the floor heater i was spoken to through my korean apartment's intercom by a man speaking korean and so i turned it off. i was spoken to two more times and thankfully before my conspiracy theories kicked in i worked out it was because my power was being turned off fro a couple of hours. my korean apartment has a washing machine with instructions in korean. i am on my last pair of jocks and cathay pacific socks. the best thing about my korean apartment is the feeling i get when i get out of my boss' car at night and look up my street at the buildings pasted in colourful neon and i feel alive and alone in a single beat.