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The Twelfth Post


In the afternoon, Cathreen sits down and reads what I have written since the seventh post. She asks, "Why didn't you writing about our Christmas?"

"Okay," I say, "I will. But you told me not to." I should have stopped with "I will."

Here's what happened on Christmas:

We had a spat on the way over to her sister's house, but I figured the baby would cheer her up. "Uri Ji-hwan," she calls him, "our Ji-hwan," though he is only our nephew.

She decorated a cake and made cookies and I tried to make eggnog but failed. Korea doesn't have nutmeg. As I looked for this rare spice I thought about how I was raised in the nutmeg state.

After eating sweets we went to a Christian university high on an island mountain. Lights were strung up everywhere and people filled the streets and you could see the city below. The only problem was a lack of parking, so Cathreen's sister and brother-in-law were left in the car with the baby. We took pictures for them.

"Do you feel like it's Christmas now?" Cathreen asked as we walked through a candy-cane forest.

I said I did. All week I had been complaining it didn't feel like the holidays, though I have said this in Boston, as well, like when they throw the strings of lights over the trees in the Common and pretend this counts as decoration.

"Was it worth it?" she asked. I said it was.

We walked to the car, and I felt my tenderness for her and hers for me like a thinning of air, making it hard to breathe.

For dinner we ate raw fish and fried chicken and drank failed eggnog and soju and beer.


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