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.
the project has moved
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