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The Ninth Post


At work I pull a girl out of class and tell her to talk to a Korean teacher about her behavior. She comes back embittered and straightened out. I'm surprised how well this has worked. Though she'll forget it by the next class.

Both of us hate the material.


I rush out and back home to pick Cathreen up for dinner. I've planned an expensive place on a hill that overlooks the ocean.

"Someone's blocking us," she says as I help her with her clothes, fitting them carefully around the cast. I ask her to wear the boots I bought for her. "A truck," she says. "More bad luck."

"I didn't see anything when I got home," I say. "Maybe it's moved."

We take the elevator down and a produce truck is blocking three cars, one of which is ours. This is at 10:40 at night and the restaurant closes at 11:00.

The security guard calls the guy, goes up to his apartment, talks to the wife, the wife promises to call the guy. We see the guy walk back and up toward us, but he doesn't stop. He hurries for the elevator as we call at him.

We go back to the security guard. I am ready to key this guy's truck.

The security guard calls the guy, the guy comes down, says some ridiculous lies, finally moves his truck out for us, then drives it back in to block the other cars again.

This almost ruins our night.


We get to the restaurant a little past 11:00, but they let us eat in the cafe. Cathreen is furious at the guy and I'm tired from work and drove like an idiot to get here, stopping in the middle of the street at a red light. But the food is delicious.


I think I can keep her happy.


It's Christmas Eve, and I can't remember why this is supposed to be my favorite day of the year. I think maybe we get locked into answers. We lose the reasons.


Cathreen wasn't able to convince my boss to let me have Christmas off. We talk about whether I'd be willing to threaten to walk away.

I might, but I'm scared for the future.

We need the money for when we go to America, which we will in March, if we get the visa, to get married. Then we will live in Boston. I will finish my novel. Everything will work out.

You see, we have plans.


After the restaurant, my responsibilities as heavy a drowning body I can either leave or rescue, I say, "Life is a bitch."

"No, it's not," says my love.

"It's an expression," I tell her. "You know it."

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