It’s something that happened a lot in Squaresoft games– if you were poisoned, you could take HP damage every turn, even if you did nothing. It just hurt to exist, and that was that– you’d spend so much upkeep just trying to counter the effects of the damage that you didn’t really have much time for anything else.
Of course, if you had Esauna or an Antidote or something like that, you’d be fine. I find that in real life it’s not so simple though.
Chocolate soup poisoning is one thing. But the reason it happened was because I was down. I’ll admit it– I was as low as I’ve ever been in a long time. And it wasn’t just low, like when I was worried about Billy, or when I worried about not being able to handle my job. I was feeling low, like, rock bottom, because I was lost.
On Saturday, I had a great time– from the time I woke up, I started cleaning my apartment in anticipation of a potluck I was hosting. My apartment was filthy– it hadn’t been really swept since I broke up with T months ago. The washroom had mold all over the place, the sink was just stained with all sorts of things and the stove was just disgusting. Nevermind the fridge.
I spent four hours cleaning my apartment, and the evening did not dissappoint– it was great fun. Cooking was fun. The short drive to pick up EL was fun. Getting to see some of my closest friends in one room was great.
That night, Sam stayed over. He and I had a talk– a long talk– about until 4 in the morning. We were just talking about life.
I think that talking to someone who you don’t know all that well, I mean, the process of getting to know that person, is interesting. Depending on where in your life you meet people, you introduce yourselves differently. When I was younger for example, there might’ve been different events that were more in the foreground. These days, different things are on my mind. And thus, how I present my history depends on what’s the current theme of my life.
And yeah, I say current because things change– we grow a little here and there, we die a little here and there– it’s push and pull between who we are and who we want to be. And of course, there’s that strong tug from who we were that doesn’t want to die off.
This past Sunday, I hit as close as I’ve been to rock bottom in a while. I’m feeling better now, but man– there are still lingering tendrils of poison damage that are slowing me down during my work week.
I went to taekwondo yesterday. Last thursday, for the first time since I started trying to learn it on my own 3 months ago, I managed to pull off “necksprings”. It’s what you do when you’re lying on the floor, and then you just whip your feet around and end up on your feet. I’d never been able to do them before until the Gwanjangnim showed me the technique for it on thursday– however, when I tried the same technique again this monday, I wasn’t able to do it. I think I just need more rest– body is pretty exhausted.
The feeling really sucks when it’s something that you know you can do but you can’t quite get back to who you were when you could do it.
On saturday night, Sam stayed over and we had our chat. He’s about five years older than me, so he has a lot to say about life in general. That was nice. But the main issue was that after we decided to call it a night, he went to sleep– and started snoring like a freight train. I mean, from 4pm until 7, I just lay there on the floor, tossing and turning, unable to get to sleep. I finally fell asleep around 7pm but then was woken up at a quarter to 9 because Sam had to get going.
I went back to sleep, caught another 2 hours. Woke up 15 minutes before mass was supposed to finish, so I hightailed it to the Church just in time to see everyone walking out.
I did manage to catch everyone so we went to lunch. I was yawning all the way through it, but I don’t have more than my weekends to see friends, so I wasn’t going to waste them sleeping.
I had the lunch, went out for coffee afterwards– then split up with the group. I intended to go to sleep but I changed my mind since I hadn’t played badminton for 2 weeks. So I drove home, picked up my gear and went to play.
I played 12 games– all really tough fights– and lost 11 of them.
Usuually, I win almost all of my games. But it just wasn’t working out on sunday– my shots were as much as an entire foot out of bounds, my smashes would go into the net, and my feet were sluggish.
Do you know that feeling, when you want to just do something fun to get your mind off things and then even that fun thing turns out not to be so fun?
Well, the potluck the night before was great… JC, Sarah, Sam, Young Joo, Euilim and Roger came over and despite a few failed recipes, it turned out quite well I think. I didn’t get as much time to talk to people as I had hoped to because I was busy boiling tea and serving things and whatnot, but it was fun. And before I knew it, the night was over and people were heading home.
After badminton on sunday, I rejoined the group for dinner.
And I think that’s where it really settled in– I mean, the doubts and things. I ended up at a table with myself, Sam, Cindy and YJ. The first thing was that we were at a different table from the rest of the group– but I think that mostly happened because of space constraints, but Sam was thoughtful enough to put me at his table since the number of English speakers was limited.
And I think there was the begining of all my sorrows.
It became apparant that I was the extra wheel– it was painfully obvious that, despite having many Korean friends, that I didn’t speak enough Korean to hold a conversation. Sure, I could feed off the smiles and the laughter, but ultimately, I might as well have been watching television alone in my apartment. I was at a diagonal from YJ so even when she tried to clue me, some of the sound was lost over the grill and I could only nod and pretend that I’d heard what she’d said.
Sam and YJ were right there– next to me, within feet– and yet, I’d never felt so insignificant before. It’s not their fault– I think it’s really that I’d grown accustomed to being in English speaking environments. This is just my colonialist outrage crying out when it doesn’t have it’s spoiled expectations met.
After dinner, we went to a coffee house, but they had some business to take care of.. I was at their table, but they all started working on some church project in Korean. I spent the hour or so drafting story ideas for a new piece I want to work on with Nimbus, and when the meeting was adjourned, everyone decided that it was late and it was time to call it a night.
By this point I was pretty tired– running basically on fumes– and having sat through an hour of simply time killing only to disband, well, it bothered me. It felt that I had been cheated or something.
By this point I think I was so sleep deprived and exhausted that I may as well have been drunk. I probably wouldn’t have been good company. I wasn’t thinking straight– I was getting uncharacteristically emotional.
We parted ways, I walked the long walk across the empty parkinglot to get to my ride. I fired it up, and then suddenly had the urge to see YJ again. I knew in general which way she lived, I just didn’t know exactly where. I drove around the streets near the cafe trying to find her– and, beleive it or not, I found her. As I passed by, I raised up a hand to wave at her, but she didn’t notice. I just drove on by, and asked myself, “What the fuck was I thinking?”
I drove around for another 15 minutes. Taking lefts and rights. Eventually, decided to call it a night, set the GPS on “Take me Home” and made my way back to my apartment.
It was one of those nights where there were enough things on my mind that I couldn’t really get to sleep, and, further, it’s one of those times where I just didn’t want to sleep. I was still living in denial about the end of the weekend, and dreading the new semester and the handful of new students that Monday would bring.
So, how does one start a relationship with someone with something as complicated as a language barrier? It means a lot more than just than just not talking about certain things. It has to do with being able to connect parts of who you are.
In some some sorta strange initiative, I’ve redoubled my efforts to learn Korean. I’m going to be reading stories about Dragons and fat chickens and making friends that I use to teach my 8 year old kids English, except that I’ll be reading them backwards through the Korean translations. Reading these things isn’t enough to really put me up to the level of Korean guys, who have an obvious advantage over me if only because of Korean speaking ability. But well. Let me have my dillusions, and we’ll see what strange places they take me.
I think this is a recurring theme in my life.
I see soemthing I want to get to.
I don’t really know how to get there.
So I figure that “From A to Z, I’ll probably need to pass a few points. So, I know I can probably get to X. Lets try that.”
So right now, yeah. From A to Z, I’m just doing something remotely related– X– and seeing how it goes.
It’s tuesday now and I feel better about things.