On the lunar new year, Cathreen and I bow to her mother and give her money. Her sister bows and gives money as well. She bends the baby into a bow and the baby gets money from his grandmother. Then Cathreen has the baby bow to us and we give it money, too. There is this exchange and later an exchange with the other baby, when Cathreen's other sister arrives. We pass the babies off and everything changes hands.
A sort of baby envy, the desire for love, crops up. It's like we're competing for their attention. The two mothers are glad to get the babies out of their hands, and we're desperate for them to grab our fingers and try to eat them like their own.
Or maybe I just think this because Ji-hwan, the older baby, has forgotten me and refuses to remember. It bothers me that my existence can be so thorougly erased.
For dinner we eat the whole spread, which we also ate for breakfast. We watch Kung-fu Panda with the dogs on our feet.
The next morning, we go to Cathreen's grandmother's. On the way I start Saramago's Blindness for the third time. I can't get into it. The narrator is a talkative, distracting bastard.
Awkwardness and lunar new year food ensues. Then I'm on the couch reading, and something happens. I forget that we're not all blind. For a moment, I'd thought we were. I don't know how this happened, but I am ensnared by the book.
And as I'm reading, Ji-hwan turns to me and remembers. How strange.
Later we leave Cathreen's mom there with her mom and return home. I fall asleep in the car, thinking I've got as much control over communication as the babies. Exhausting, trying to let people know what they can't understand.
I write for a few hours and am somewhat productive. Cathreen calls to say she's going to bed. She says Isul had two seizures--she's epileptic--and Jangoon kept attacking her and stressing her out. Cathreen says her mom said if it happened one more time, Jangoon was out. Boise patrolled the area and slept next to Isul, watching over her health. Poor dog: surgery, seizures. She's 77 in dog years. She's probably already losing her mind.
When I get home I eat more lunar new year food and sleep beside Cathreen on the electric blanket and try not to make too much noise and ask myself what I want and answer with a greedy amount of things and feel bad for animals.
I tutor in the morning and we go to Cathreen's second sister's house, reuinted wth the babies. I didn't know we were here for her birthday, and then there's a cake and we're singing, and in the middle of eating, Ji-hwan slaps his head against the table and we're stunned.
the project has moved
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Read the Essays from the Beginning
- Promises, Post 1
- Promises, Post 2
- Promises, Post 3
- Promises, Post 4
- Promises, Post 5
- Promises, Post 6
- Promises, Last Post
- Two In-Laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#1)
- Two In-laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#2)
- Two In-Laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#3)
- Two In-Laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#4)
- Two In-Laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#5)
- Two In-Laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#6)
- Two In-Laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#7)
- Two In-Laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#8)
- Two In-Laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#9)
- Two In-Laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#10)
- Two In-Laws, a Baby, Three Dogs, and a Cat (#11)
- ▼ Jan (18)