This week I gave birth to a baby boy. I named him Andromeda. We were together for about 17 seconds. Then I disowned him. I decided babies are not cute anymore. I don't want one. I would rather go and get plastered with So Gee. So I did. I drank an ecstatic mix of endorphins and chocolate and ran off to Itaehwon, where dreams come true.
First, we watched some little girls performing at a local festival. This only affirmed my aversion for children and their disgusting nature.
"A blaspheme upon you!" I cried in a fashion one might have cried during the original Continental Congress. "A pox upon you, you young malcontents! You rapscallions! I shall be drunk and wear you as a dress..."
So my speech continued into the night. I don't think I stopped talking like one of the founding fathers, until we breached the walls of the Hard Rock Cafe, and I felt a bit of Elvis-snarl curl under my lips.
I had never been to the Hard Rock Cafe with So Gee. In fact, I don't think we had been out for a night of drinking since last December.
"I like doing this with you," So Gee told me.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"This," she said. "Going out."
"I like going out," I said.
"You do?" she asked.
"Yeah," I said.
We had a margarita, apple crisp, and lemon drops, while we watched a Korean rock act mangle Radiohead and The Pixies.
"They're pretty good," I said. "They just need to turn up those guitars. And that singer. I can't tell what language he is singing in. Is it Korean?"
"No," So Gee listened for a moment. "Is it English?"
"No," I said. "He must be Martian."
"I drank too much," So Gee said, as she looked at the assortment of food and drinks in front of her. "Oh, I am so drunk. I am drunk. Oh my God! I drank so much."
"Okay," I said. "Let's go then."
"Oh, where do you want to go? What do you want to do? You want to dance? We can go to J.J.'s!"
"It's at the Grand Hyatt-"
"No, that's too far. I'm tired. What time is it?"
"Yeah," So Gee laughed. "We're getting old."
"You're getting old," I grimaced. "I'm just getting started."
I walked five steps in a brave and resolute way. Then I stopped abruptly.
"I'm tired," I said. "Let's go home."
"Okay," So Gee said.
She held my hand. We walked for a half a mile. Then a cab picked us up.
The next day we met at a U.S. Military Base in Seoul for a cookout. It was like a fourth of July back home. So Gee and I even wore matching cowboy outfits. We hadn't planned on doing that, but everyone thought we did.
"Oh, you're so matchie!" So Gee's Korean friends said.
"Yes," So Gee smiled. "We planned it telepathically."
I didn't do much at the event. It was nice to talk to Americans. Some had just gotten off commissions in Ethiopia or Brazil. One was going to work for the United Nations. Their lives seemed interesting and fulfilled. I even felt pleasant enough to let those who were enamored with the hair on my arms to pet me like a chihuahua - a popular pastime among Koreans who haven't ever seen foreigners. I think it was more of a joke in this case. Who knows? It doesn't really matter. I like petting zoos too. You should have seen what happened when it was my turn.
On Sunday, we had a nice tennis adventure, brunch, and luxuriant Chinese massage. My brother and sister-in-law came down for the occasion. It was a nice experience. We played tennis for an hour, got in a taxi that went over 3,000 miles an hour, and chatted about So Gee's wiping adventures as a youngster.
"When I was little," So Gee said. "My mother used to wipe me."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I was like a baby. My mom helped me after poo."
"Okay," I said.
"Once, I was in the bathroom, and I needed someone to wipe me and my mom wasn't there. 'Dong!' I yelled in Korean. That's Korean for poo. 'Dong!' My cousin came running into the bathroom. He looked around and didn't know what to do. I explained to him that I needed him to wipe me. And he did it. But it was not a good wipe. It was not like this."
So Gee held her hand outstretched as if she had some imaginary TP and scraped it across my forearm in a vigorous sandpaper-like motion.
"Ow!" I yelped. "Jeez!"
"Sorry," So Gee laughed. "But he didn't wipe me that good. It was like this."
So Gee barely touched my stomach in a up-wipe motion.
"When I get together with my cousin, we always laugh about how I screamed dong at him and he didn't know what to do."
Ken and Jin enjoyed the story immensely.
"We have not heard a story like that in quite sometime," they said in unison. "We must reciprocate with a story of our own."
"Hear, hear!" we all said in response.
Then it was on. They told us a tale about the three dragons who were blind and made cheese for a living. I had heard it once before, but it was still a tale that filled me with joy and merriment. It was the perfect precursor to a Chinese massage. That's right! Nothing says beat and knead me to death like a Lorenzo & Sons pizza on South Street than a story about three dragons making cheese.
I think everyone liked the massage. They were all sleeping as I sat there wide awake in pain. Those Chinese masseuses sure know how to pretzel the body into various contortions. My legs were literally lifted and stretched as if I was a child, and then - to my amazement - one of the masseuses got on my back and used their feet to activate pressure points. It was like getting a massage from a gymnast. I waited for the time when the masseuse was going to do a one and a half for his perfect landing. Thankfully, no one was killed during the making of this blog post.
The owner was convinced I was an actor from a Kung Fu film. He asked for my picture. I told him I would give it to him if we could get massages for free. Miraculously, he agreed.
It's amazing what a person can accomplish with a little gusto.