"You need to leave your family behind," the government official said. "It's time to make your own family."
"In Korea?" I asked.
"Get married!" he said again.
"Okay," I smiled.
It seems like I've been getting advice non-stop lately. I have no idea why. One of my good friends says I should take this all as a welcome gift. I am not so open. I have a nice caution against unsolicited advice. I am not against hearing it, but I have a hard time taking anyone more seriously than myself. No one can possibly know what's best for someone else. That's the funny thing. So many people think they know what the exact right move is for someone else, but it's not always that simple.
Take my friend who told me take the unsolicited advice as a welcome occurrence. He could do anything in the world. Recently, he told me he wold be moving out of America for his homeland. I can't say I wasn't disappointed to hear this news. He was the best friend I ever had. Now exchanges will be less frequent, and my life will be forever changed. "Don't go!" I could shout. "Start a band. Do something else," I could plead. But I don't. My friend. Advice. I have none. I just sit quiet on the phone. I wait for the moment to pass. I wait until I put the phone down to cry into my hands. I look at my bloodshot eyes. So red, I think. Then I wake up staring at my finger.
My father used to hold up his finger when I looked perturbed. He would quote Jack Palance from "City Slickers": "There is one thing," he would say. "We have to find this one thing."
"Take all this blog energy and start soliciting freelance work," Stacy advises me on instant messenger. "You have a website now."
"You need a small town," my brother says on an video chat. "You're a leader. You tried starting communities in Los Angeles, but it's not like Delaware. Everyone's an alpha type. You'll just end up being washed over. You need a place like Seattle or Austin."
"Go to Hawaii," my father says on Skype. "Life is short, man. Marry So Gee and go live your life."
"Put your book out as animated shorts," Moksha says over the phone. "That's what you need to do. Just hire someone to do it."
I listen to all the advice. I have no path though. I know what works for someone else is not necessarily for me. I can see that people have stories for how I should be or live. I am honored by them. So much love and care for who I am. None of it rings true though.
I stare back at my finger. I put on some Sublime. I dance by myself. My legs moving in an unexpected way; they cross and and shoot above the hardwood floor. I am Barishnokov. I am Gregory Hines. I am the greatest dancer of all time. I am just like you. I hold my finger up to the reflection in the window. The advice I have yet to find is silhouetted by the Seoul skyline. I can barely make out the shapes: a fire shaped like a crown; a dinosaur, a glass of water - I paint them together to see the truth.