I am watching Alien vs. Predator. I have watched it 3 times in a row. I have fallen asleep exactly 17 minutes into the film each time. Now it is on in the background as I type. I can hear alien crushing sounds. It is slightly distracting. I will keep typing. I will tell you about today.
Today I went to Hwa Gye Sah Temple. I didn't want to go. A girl called me and said, "I need it," so I said, "Okay," and then I went. I got a cab straight to the Temple. I didn't get out at the main gate to bow. I let him take me right to the front door. I was late. When I got to the meditation room, my friend was there and she was late too.
"I can't believe you're late," she said.
I looked up at the clock. It was 2:03PM. We had missed it by 3 minutes and said so. Then I took her hand and walked her down to the second floor, where they had meditation all in Korean. I figured this was good enough. I sat down and a Korean woman wanted to help me find the English meditation room; upstairs where we just were. That was nice of her, but I wasn't in the mood to be nice back.
"Thank you," I said gruffly. "I am fine."
This made her have a confused look on her face. It made me think I could have been nicer, but then I thought it really didn't matter. I was there to sit. I didn't have to be nice. I just sat and looked at the Buddha statues. There were 3 of them. One had both its hands outstretched over his knees. The other had one hand in an A-OK gesture. The third was too far away for me to see.
I thought about why there were 3 statues and figured maybe somebody at the temple would know, and then I thought I could ask someone later. Then my legs fell asleep, and a half hour had passed, so I got up and nudged to my friend to skedaddle.
"My legs," she said, when we got outside. "They're crazy."
I bent down and picked up her foot. I squeezed her big toe and she yelped. Then I rubbed her calves. I thought about saying, "You're okay now," but I didn't. I figured she would fall if she wasn't. She didn't though. She was okay.
We walked up to the third floor again. They were done meditating. They were going to have a dharma talk. I didn't want to go. I don't like the talks. They are worse than meditating. My friend wanted to go though. She was all jacked up for Hyun Gak Sonim to give his latest-greatest. I just wanted to meditate.
"If you don't want to go, we don't have to," she said.
"I don't want to," I said. "But you do, so I'll go."
We sat down on some cushions. There was a guy I met from New York there too. He sat next to me. He didn't have a cushion, so I gave him mine. Then one of the head monks said we had 10 minutes before the dharma talk. That was good for me. I went into the tea room and made myself instant coffee. When I got back to my cushion a Korean monk was asking people where they were from.
"Where you from?" he asked me.
"Los Angeles," I said.
"Oh, U.S., you mean," he smiled.
"Okay," I said.
He asked my friend from New York and few other foreigners who were there, before he made everyone move the cushions in an order to his pleasing. Then he began his dharma talk by asking a bunch of the foreigners why they study. He picked on me again.
"Why do you study?" he asked.
"Study," I said. "Study what?"
The other Zen guy told me they were talking about studying Zen, but the other Zen guy told him to hold off and let me answer in anyway I wanted.
"I don't want to limit you," he said.
"Okay," I said.
"Why do you study?" he asked again.
"I guess I study most when I do art, but I don't really study. I just do. Then I study when I do. I don't know how it started. When I was a kid -"
"Okay," he said. "That's enough."
He asked some other people. Then he talked for a half hour. I looked at the Buddhas again. These were different. There was an old Buddha, a young one, and a baby one in his mother's arms. I liked the baby one. I also liked the old one. I looked at the carvings of the case holding the statues. Then I stared at the Heart Sutra sing-a-longs they passed out.
"Our world is in a dangerous time," the monk said. "We should take care of it."
He said other things making his point stronger. It was a long talk. His basic point was that he studies Zen to look within to his authentic self. He said books weren't the answer, and other people's answers weren't the answer, and that you had to find it for yourself to really have an answer, and even then "I don't know" would find you in each moment, because as human beings we want lots of things and no one can say what the mind will want in the next moment because it's not here.
I was mad that the guy cut me off, but I got over it. It didn't really matter. He wanted to make his point. Look within. Then he wanted to say that human beings were in trouble and we had to look within to help the world, because by helping yourself and knowing or not knowing you would see that the environment was in trouble and war was a bad thing.
After the lecture (smile), my New York friend, a German, and the friend I helped with her sleeping leg, walked out of the Temple and discussed their reactions to the talk.
"There was a lot lost in translation," the German said.
"Strange talk," my New York friend said.
"You didn't like it?" sleeping foot said.
"Mmmm," I said. "He is a good guy. He isn't a very good talker. He means well though. I don't agree that people "should" do anything. That doesn't sound right to me. That's just me though. It was how he felt though. I don't really know if other people need to do anything about the environment. If I did, I would probably say they needed to just like the monk did, but I don't know if I would say it like he did. I would say, "Maybe, if you look within, you'll want to save the trees. Maybe, not. Maybe, you'll just want to smoke a cigarette and get laid. Beats me."
My friend laughed. We were in a taxi. We had left New York and German friend behind. We were on our way to dinner. She was hungry. I got the cabbie to drop us off for galbi. It was hot, but we sat there and ate. She kept cooking the meat for me and putting it on my plate. I told her she was a good cook.
"No," she said. "I'm not."
"Mmmm," I said. "Maybe, I could teach you how to cook."
"That would be nice," she smiled.
Then we went back to my house. We massaged each other's feet. Then we lied down together. I almost fell asleep. Then she started moving her fingers along my side. That was nice. I got up and got undressed. I said it was time.
Then we made love in different positions for a half hour or so. I was real present and relaxed. It was nice.
Then we took a shower. I washed her and she washed me. She asked me some questions about things. I don't remember them now.
Then we went over a friend's house and had pizza.
Now Alien Versus Predator is almost done. I can tell from the music. It's getting triumphant. I might turn it back to the beginning. I want to see what happens after the 17th minute. I might just finish reading Noah Cicero's "The Human War" though. It's a real good book so far. It reminds me of Quentin Tarentino in a way. There are a lot of conversations, but instead of talking about Le Royales with Cheese, the characters talk about love, war, and Denny's.
I like Denny's. I miss it out here in Korea. I like breakfast food more than any other food. If there was a Denny's in Korea I would go there all the time.
I will write a review of Noah's book soon. I am halfway through and going slow with it. There is a lot going on. It's probably one of the best books I've ever read though. I don't know. I can't explain it well yet. I will have to keep reading. I will make it clear soon.
I am going to watch the Predator now. Maybe. I might just read again. I don't know. I might just fall asleep again.
I really love my brother, Paiman. I miss him. I would like us to hang out in Seoul together. I'm real proud of him for running his marathon. Sometimes I think I'll get back to Hollywood soon. Then I realize it'll probably be September or longer. I just have no reason to rush back there at the moment. Maybe, if I had a book to plug or something. Who knows?
Anyway, this girl with the sleeping foot is pretty nice. I have no idea where it will go. We are pretty different. I told her that we might as well take it slow.
"We're different," I said.
"Yeah," she said.
"Who knows?" I said.
"Yeah," she said. "Who knows?"
I wonder if relationships ever work out. I haven't had one yet. C. Dale says it's because I might be cyclothymic. I have no idea. I had to look that word up. I have no idea. I could be. I don't think so though. I think I'm just me.
"Yeah," sleeping foot said. "You're just Pirooz."
"Mmmm," I said. "Maybe, I am."
I don't really know. I can say that sitting meditation is a good thing for me. I've been working out like crazy too. That's a good thing. I bought a soccer ball and hit this field on campus. I take myself through dribbling drills. I even take the ball up these stairs to the stadium seating for the soccer field. I laugh when I do this, because I envision a montage sequence of me working out. I think of The Karate Kid. Then it makes working out even more fun. I wonder if my reality is just me making up stories about what I think I am. I wonder what life would be like if I didn't make up stories all the time.
Of course, that gets me scared, because then I think I would never write again, and that would be bad, because then I would have no reason for living. I'm a writer. But, at the same time, I already know this is not true, because I am a lot of things, so it doesn't really matter. I might as well have fun with my montage sequence. It's not that bad to think. I know Zen folks would probably say, "don't think," and "no making," but I think they're talking about another kind of thinking. Thinking that slows you down, or moves you away from what you are.
I don't feel bad about thinking in montages. I would say that's some good thinking. I don't really have to do it. I could just workout. I guess I have to make-up stories to motivate myself sometimes. Working out can be hard. It's nice to think of yourself in a bad movie. It also helps me take things less seriously.
I don't know. My whole life seems like a strange B movie. I was seeing it play out earlier today. Reb asked me to write something about being in No Tell later this month, and I started writing all this stuff about where I was when I wrote certain poems. Then I was like, "Wow, this is like a really awful movie." It just sounded so crazy and stupid. "I break up with a rock band. Go back to school. Get a Master's. Get a divorce. Move to Hollywood. Produce reality TV. Then I head to Korea to sit Zen and write books." That's pitiful, if you ask me.
It's not pitiful like, "Oh, my God! I don't deserve to live," but it definitely makes me humble. I mean, it's not a boring life, but it's definitely a wacky one. At least with the way I think about things sometimes.
Like even this post, people might even think this is some kind of Jerry Maguire thing, but it's just a normal writing day. I'm just writing, because why not. I just felt like it.
I don't know about the whole looking within or Zen or anything. I just figure it's about waking up and doing things. I don't really even think life is all that complicated. I guess that's what I'm saying ultimately. I don't really know. Maybe, I'm just finding words that tell me I might be okay, and then I can go back to watching Predator, and you can get back to not reading this.
It's no big thing. I dig that sleeping foot girl though. I'm not counting on anything. I'm just okay with how today went. Not that I really had any choice in the matter. Just that it's being what it is, and for some reason, I've had the good sense to not get in the way.
My eyes are tired. I will have an interview with Jeffrey Brown up soon. I will review Noah's book soon after.