the project has moved



The Second Post


During the day, I take her to the hospital to get a second opinion on her injury. The first doctor asked her to stay in the infirmary for a week. While we're waiting, a nurse pushes a cart into my toe and doesn't apologize.

"Ouch," I say.

"That's ouch?" Cathreen asks.

"I don't mean it's as bad as yours."

She squeezes my hand between the embedded bones of my thumb and forefinger. "Even that's ouch?" she says.


I met Cathreen over three years ago, when I first came to Korea to teach English. I was born in this country but adopted. So I'm Korean only not. Between us, we're a mixed bag. Willfulness is our biggest similarity, money our biggest difference. We were fighting about money the day of the door-slamming. Cathreen has always told me to be more careful with doors--which, a fact I like, are called "moon" in Korean.


When I finish work, I meet my beleagured love at 2001 Outlet, a Korean shopping site. She's had a haircut and keeps asking if I like it. Her hair has always been long and beautiful; now it's short and makes her look a bit like a doll and a bit like a thirteen-year-old. Her hair surrounds her face in a bell-shape and her new bangs even out above her eyes.

"Do I look cute?" she asks.

"Okay," I say. "I like it."

We watch a Chinese movie about two music students who fall in love, the girl about to die, called Secret. We aren't able to finish it because she feel sick to her stomach--the new medicine is too strong, and she says she is depressed about her hair.


If I rethink the idea of posting this essay online, I suppose I am a little worried. This whole project will test me on the asshole-o-meter, as I've already done so much to hurt her I can't say anything now that could be taken the wrong way. I hope I take time to measure my words.


Now Cathreen makes me catch the cat and hold him while she brushes him, and I say, "Maybe it's time Boise gets a haircut, too."

She doesn't answer.

She gets rid of the day's clothes and goes to bed, and I need to sleep, too.


Matt said...

Okay, I realize now this is going to read a little backwards. Start with The First Post and work your way to the end!

Megann said...

Hi Matt! I'm so glad we can get an idea of your life in Korea....even if it involves slamming hands in doors and asshole meters.

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