Sorry I’ve been out of touch. I’ve been feeling increasingly aloof of late, perhaps because I appear to be dying more rapidly than usual. This could all be a product of my fervid (albeit these days tepid) imagination, or else just a neurotic hypochondriacal spasm spurred by narcissistic personality disorder, at least according to my imaginary shrink, Ernie the Horse.
It’s true that if you’re literally out of touch for too long you stop feeling human. Internet porn, for all its myriad charms, doesn’t cut it. To treat the chronic pain in my right butt-cheek I often have to resort to sexual self-employment–recently up to three or four times a day–even though the pain would probably abate more if I were able to resist this “sinful” duty. If you could examine my few remaining sperm cells swimming in semen under a microscope, they’d probably be jerking off too. At least I’m as consistent as any other god-fearing robot.
I also want to apologize for labeling my wife as a bully in the last blog post. Not to say that she isn’t sometimes, but she’s actually a good woman and a big-hearted person. It would not be amiss to say she’s likewise certifiably insane, but so are a lot of other perfectly decent people, including yours truly. In fact, sometimes I think the reason it’s so hard for us to get along sometimes is that she’s a psychopath and I’m a sociopath. “Potayto, potahto, tomayto, tomahto,” etc.
Let’s call the whole thing off.
The main reason I wanted to include that disclaimer is I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be around. (Who is, right?) Not that I’m going out of my way to be run over by a bus. God already ran me over a week ago when Jina cajoled me into being baptized. The hazing was photographed. My expression in the picture, kneeling with eyes closed, the minister pressing his hand against my head with the gravity of Don Corleone condemning an enemy in the Tataglia (sp?) family, is grave to say the least.
While we’re on the subject of apologies, I’m also sorry to have gone to such detailed lengths to spell out all the various ailments afflicting me. If it’s been tedious for you, I commiserate. And yet, I’m only as sick as the world I’m living in.
The good news is that the air in Seoul has finally gotten cleaner–if only slightly, after a brief burst of rain last Thursday. I hadn’t even realized it was raining, as I was watching a video of the movie The Master. Have you seen it? Despite some good performances by the leads (P. S. Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix), I have to say I was underwhelmed. It seemed to be an extended exercise in pointlessness. Beautifully shot, though.
The bad news is that now on top of the health problems alluded to above, including heightened blood pressure induced by 150 milligrams of saw palmetto ingested every other day, I now have a cold. That means no coffee or alcohol until I get better.
The other day I ran into an old Korean friend who’s special for being a self-imposed outsider. Even though she’s never been abroad (no space between the two syllables), she speaks and writes English almost as well as I do. She told me when she was younger she enjoyed reading English dictionaries the way some people read novels. I asked her about the alarming craze of people walking around immersed in the artificial worlds of their smartphones.
“Did earlier generations of Koreans read books?”
“No, they just watched TV instead.”
(Of course, a lot of people still do that too–only now they get to do it in public. Ah, progress!)
I asked her advice about a dilemma I’ve had with Jina regarding whether or not to have kids. I’ve been dead set against the idea for a long time, and now it’s probably too late anyway, but I do think it might make her happy for a change. It would also force me to grow up, something I’d usually prefer not to do–not unless someone can teach me how to undo the safety pin that’s fastening my diaper.
My friend (she’s Jina’s friend too–and her name is Luka) said Jina seemed lonely to her sometimes, and having a baby might deliver her from her funk. Luka, a devout atheist who says she’s grown to hate all religion, God bless her, added that having a baby in the picture might also wean Jina off the church.
“You really think so?” I asked.
Luka said she did. She said a lot of Koreans think she, Luka, is weird. She admitted that she is, even though I assured her she’s not. She said some foreign friends she knew several years ago said she felt more “normal” than a lot of other Koreans to them (it’s all culturally relative, right?).
“I don’t care,” she said without a trace of bitterness in her voice or on her face. “I’ll never get married and I’ll die alone. That’s okay with me.”
I wish I were so self-contained, not that I could ever stop craving the love of a woman, as long as that love includes a lot of wonderfully sloppy favors.
When I mentioned the conversation to Jina, particularly the part about her being lonely, she shrugged it off. She also laughed lightly at my question about whether having a baby would reduce the extremity of her religious beliefs. (I didn’t say I’d gotten the idea from Luka, not wanting to open a can of worms swimming in a kettle of fish floating in a barrel of monkeys.)
Even though odds are I’ll be dead before long, and the chances of her finding a new husband to help her raise a newborn baby in my wake would be slim to nil, I don’t want to disabuse her of the hope just yet, as I’m no better at predicting the future than anyone else.
I told her: “If you do want to have a baby, you might want to hold off on donating that ten thousand dollars to the church.”
“It’s too late; I already did it.”
She said the words without regret. Faith has a great way of erasing embarrassment.
I laughed incredulously and asked her how she expected us to be able to afford to raise a child if she was willing to make such profligate gestures of cretinously misguided generosity–not that I put it quite that way.
“Don’t worry,” she said. “God will take care of us.”
Yeah, right. Let me make a few phone calls. I’ve got some friends who can take care of God. They’ll start by breaking his legs.
I hope you enjoyed your Easter, by the way. Did you realize that yesterday was Hitler’s birthday? It would have been funnier if it had fallen on Easter instead of the day after. A Nazi salute from the Fuhrer met with a high-five from Jesus. Two thousand-odd years after your murder by crucifixion has been made the centerpiece of your career, you couldn’t survive, even as a deity, without a strong strain of self-parody.
May the farce be with you.