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The Thirteenth Post


Now she says, "Describe me as wise and sweet and kind." I promise I will. This is the truth: Cathreen is wise and sweet and kind.


I clean up after the dogs but it is never enough. Before Cathreen was hurt she used to do this. I can appreciate, after all this work, how much she loves those dogs. They aren't my dogs, though. We've only just met.


I teach her students how to cut paper snowflakes. At first the littler one doesn't get how if you snip the edges everything falls apart. I tell him he has to cut out the parts where the paper can support the loss.

His first failed attempt looks like a bunch of hearts with hollow centers. He brings these into the other room with his snowflake to show Cathreen.

When I enter the room she is looking at a flyer for a movie already out of theaters in the States, about a dog that looks like it shoots lightning from its eyes. "Cute," she says. I wonder, the snowflake, the heart, or the movie?


Last night her hand buzzed with pain but I had a headache and couldn't be sympathetic.

This morning I woke up with the headache still. Usually the pain goes away after sleep.


Cathreen's mom and sister are coming back January 14th. (We're living in their apartment.) They've been away in America while we've been here in Korea--the mess we've made must completely disappear by the time they get back.

It's going to be a lot of work.


I keep thinking back to that movie, Secret. There are things that didn't make sense, things that do not add up. The shock of reconfiguring what kind of movie I was watching made these things seem as if they didn't matter, but they do.

I'm thinking about writing a second screenplay. My first was about a POW who comes home from the Korean War and then is charged as a traitor. I've asked Cathreen to suggest a few plots. I need something that is not too ridiculous and not too normal.


Meanwhile I try not to think about what the doctor will say when she visits today, how long he will say she has to stay in her cast, how long he will say before our life can go back to the way it was.

Cathreen is wise and sweet and kind.

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