Anyway, although there’s something to be said for not running to a doctor every time you get a paper cut or a sniffle, there’s also a point where seeking medical attention is advisable (especially if you’re batshit crazy).
It’s hard to argue with someone who can’t get throughout a sentence without mentioning God or Jesus, especially when those words (or at least the G word) have become officially meaningless to you. As Shakespeare said, familiarity breeds contempt. (Did you know that he was the first person to say a lot of the idioms we take for granted today. Supposedly he made up about 2,000 words from scratch. What kind of bird did that feather he wrote with come from, and what was in the ink?)
And someone who conducts her life with such a grave level of second-hand certainty can’t allow alternative interpretations of the cosmic detective story, or even other ways to live besides the one she insists on. It’s a shame, because in spite of it all, and apart from my having written in my last post that my wife Jina is not mentally unhinged but downright evil, I don’t really believe that’s true, even though her dark side is such that a flashlight won’t help you find your way through it; it’s enough to make a black hole blush.
Who knows? Maybe it’s not her wackily religious family’s fault but mine–maybe I’m the one who’s made her that way. That’s her argument and she’s sticking to it.
Yesterday I wanted to go home after she made me tag along to the school where we teach kids during the week, since she had to manage a group of high schoolers for the better part of the afternoon. I played with myself–Scrabble, that is–in the teachers’ office, then went with a couple of her students to buy cheap, ready-made ice cream cones for everyone in the class at Jina’s behest. I had trouble focusing on the book I’d brought along, Philip Roth’s Operation Shylock, as I’ve been reading more than usual lately and my left brain was constipated with verbiage. (If you haven’t read it, it’s a great book–or even if you have; I recommend Roth if you like long, rambling sentences and paragraphs that go on forever; sorry to hear he’s retired, but he’s donated quite a load to the bank of literature.)
Earlier in the day, I’d met with my own private student and his aunt, a friend of mine, and went over his English translation of a Korean children’s story with a red pen, while she helped interpret certain grammar points I made for her gifted nephew’s benefit. Then his mom appeared and I thought she was going to pay me, but it turned out I’m not getting paid until next week, so I had to borrow thirty bucks from the two sisters. I’d been relying on that money to help me get through the week; I guess I’ll have to go sell some books at the local bookstore, not that I’ll get much for them. How much could I get for a kidney? If bin Laden were still alive he might have paid me a fortune for one. For those who express outrage at the thought of keeping alive that simpering psychopath, I don’t see anyone dancing on the grave of the person who donated his (her?) heart to Dick Cheney. (That’s one heart I feel sorry for.)
Speaking of people who don’t have hearts, I saw a funny picture on the truthdig website about Margaret Thatcher, the so-called Iron Lady, in which one of her non-admirers had spray painted on a wall “Rust in Peace.” Apparently, a lot of English people these days are singing “Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead.” I’m a little apprehensive that new Korean female president Park Geun-hye considers Thatcher her role model, although everything I’ve read and heard about Maggie can only lead me to conclude that she was an unspeakable tyrant.
And I’m married to Margaret Thatcher in drag.
Sorry I can’t give you more specific examples of my wife’s barbarity right now; I’m a little numb from the relentless onslaught of her naggadoccio.
Isn’t it funny that Mouseketeer Annette Funicello died on the same day as Thatcher? M-A-G-G-I-E T-H-A-T-C. Sorry, doesn’t quite work since her name had more letters than Mickey Mouse, may he rest in piece. I saw the mousetrap on which he was crucified and was indeed horrified. What a senseless waste of rodential life.
On a sadder note, it’s hard to finally say goodbye to Jonathan Winters, one of my favorite comics, a man with an endlessly brilliant mind. Endlessly, that is, until yesterday, when he passed away. I don’t normally like to use euphemisms, but when it comes to the death of someone good, I guess they can be called for, or at least texted for.
Back to yesterday’s ordeal: most of the day transpired uneventfully. After teaching my private student, I went to the church library to help Gina manage a group of kindergarteners, something we’ve been doing as volunteers for well over a year. One little girl had a breathing mask with a picture of Barbie on it (the doll, not the Nazi Klaus). To me, that said it all. It was almost as absurd as the little restaurant I’d walked by on my way there, a place called Bunny Chicken. What kind of meet are they serving there? How many species are they laying waste to? Do they serve turducken (that’s an actual item consisting of a turkey, a duck, and a chicken–Dick Cheney’s favorite. I’m not sure how appetizing it would be to eat something with the word “turd” built into the name)?
Since I had a pork dish for lunch with my wife and the high school kids, I was a little sleepy later on after the solitary Scrabble competitions, which I both won and lost (refer to the incantation by the three witches at the beginning of Macbeth–“when the battle’s lost and won”). The weather was nice for a change, so I went to a playground, sat down on a bench, and read my book for awhile as children and their parents ran around shouting and laughing.
Then I retired to the church library to attempt a nap. Finished with her class, Jina called me, and showed up ten minutes later. She let me rest, not that I was able to accomplish much sleep.
We were going to go home after that, but I needed to pick up a textbook for a class of adults I start teaching tomorrow; I told her I could go get it today, but she insisted we go and get it together. I said okay and we took the bus downtown to the bookstore. It was crowded. I had drunk several cups of coffee and my bladder was like a satanic alarm clock that kept going off. I was also dehydrated so I drank some water too.
Half an hour or so later we were both ready to leave, textbook in tow, but Jina suddenly felt like shit. She told me she’d been unwell for the past twenty-four hours (usually she says she’s able to overcome pain and suffering with “Jesus insurance”), and I knew that getting home was going to be a major production as she lapsed into drama queen phase.
Outside and up above on the sidewalk, she trudged along and I tried to placate her, but she got grumpy. I suggested we go underground and take the pedestrian labyrinth beneath the statues of Korean heroes Lee Soon Shin (might be a misspelling) and King Sejong at Gwanghwamun, but she insisted on going above ground, even though it would take longer.
I also had to piss again, but she wouldn’t let me retreat into a coffee shop and use the toilet. Instead, she dragged us down a side street, looking for a place to eat, but the place we sought had been replaced and she refused to go with any substitutes.
So it was back home on the bus, but when we got to the bus stop she surprised me by leading us to a restaurant for some porridge. The place didn’t have a toilet, so I went to a nearby gym, which was closed, so I had to shlep back up the hill we’d come down, wait for the light to change, and cross the street to use the public facilities in the park. Meanwhile I intoned a mantra of hatred and contempt for my wife, hoping she’d drown in her bowl of porridge by the time I got back so I wouldn’t have to deal with her shit anymore. I have health problems of my own and sometimes long for death as a relief from the torture of our marriage.
“At least one of us should die,” I told myself. That way the other might have a chance to be happy.
I refused to let myself feel guilty for my evil fantasy, but I do have to admit it was a little cruel. Suffice it to say that marriage isn’t easy; if you’re still single, consider staying that way for as long as possible, unless you want to have kids, or have the sense to marry someone you get along with really, really well. I think it’s funny how gay people are so eager to get married. I guess as long as they have the attendant right to get divorced, the coast is clear.
Still, watch out what you wish for. Nightmares are best confronted alone.
May the farce be with you.