Friday, February 24, 2006


I'm posting this because I feel awful.

Small things first, the dentist was as I thought it would be: horrible. He did indeed come at me with a giant needle and the nurses did indeed hold me down. They yanked part of my tooth out and then drilled me. The worst thing was I didn't know what they were going to do and the second worst thing was they tipped the chair so far back (I was in a lying position) I had a recurring overwhelming feeling of falling back. -Like when you're just about to fall asleep and all your muscles jerk at once. As they worked on me, tears slid out of the far corners of my eyes. Two nurses mopped them up once the dentist was done with me.

Here's the clever quip I thought of after the fact: even though I was terrified and pretty much a baby about the whole ordeal, they must have been pretty impressed, and wanted to coronate me, as they told me I will need a crown. Queen Me.

After leaving the dentist, I had a good cry in the stairwell.

I went to work. I had already been there, 2 hours early, telling my boss I was headed to the dentist, and getting her to call ahead to warn them a waygook saram was on the way.

I knew today was going to be a challenging day, as the boss was meeting with the K-teachers to divvy up classes and assign texts. As I arrived to work, early, I was surprised to see no meeting going on. My co-worker hadn't shown up yet.

The minutes ticked by, and finally the bell rang, and still, no co-worker.
My boss took her classes.
As the first class ended, and there was still no co-worker, and no phone call, panic set it.

It was panic in general, because having a K-teacher not show up is unheard of, especially Elizabeth, who's never missed a day in 3 years and 3 months at our school. She's super-responsible, and will call if she's even a few minutes late for being early. It was panic personally because she's my best friend in Korea, and I knew if she wasn't there, there was something awful going down.

After the day ended, with no word from Elizabeth, my boss and I and her young son took the bus downtown to try to find her apartment. I was the only one who had ever been there before. We got all turned around, and walked for so long, but finally ended up right in front of her place.

The lights were off and there was no answer at the door. We knocked on the neighbours' apartment (her friends) and they joined us in our concern. We finally called a locksmith, who took about 15 minutes to get into her apartment.

We found her on her living room floor. She was barely breathing and there was a suicide note written (in Korean) lying on the desk above her. I was the first to notice the note, and asked my boss, "What's that?" She read it and said, "I can't understand it." (I think she was in shock.) A few moments later, the woman-neighbour picked up the note, read it, and started to wail.

The whole scene was horrific. My whole day was horrific. More than horrible, goddamned horrific.

The ambulance came. The papramedics checked her eyes with a pen light and then grabbed the skin on her chest and screamed at her. Elizabeth weakly lifted her hand toward the paramedic. Response to pain. Good.

They took her away in the ambulance with the lights and the sirens.

I walked up the street, found the first bar I saw and had a shot of Henneseys with a beer chaser. Then I cabbed it home. The cab driver kept turning around and saying "What?" to me because I had developed Tourettes and busted out with soft compulsive "fucks" and "goddamits."

I post this now because I'm freaking out. (I really am.) I post it now because I will take support in any manner and any fashion it comes. Bring it. If you pray, pray for my friend. I'll support her best I support me. It's a chain.



milgwimper said...

HUGZ from afar. I will be praying for you and your friend. Hang in there, and it sound trite but really just keep going. Things will get better! HUGZ

eva said...

Dear J,
You have had an absolute horror of a day and I so feel for you!
But remember from now on things can - and will - get better! They really will!
I will be away from my pc for a few days, so even if I can't send more messages you will be in my thoughtsm and so will your friend.
Take care! Be kind to yourself!

John McCrarey said...

Oh Jenn, what a nightmare. Elizabeth is very fortunate to have such a caring friend. What if you had not gone to her house or given up when you couldn't find it? Please take comfort in the fact that you were there when she needed you most.

You will get through this and be stronger for it. Damn, it sure puts the tooth ordeal in perspective...

Joel said...

Hang in there. You'll be in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Big hug from a foreigner in Korea.
Hang tough. Tomorrow will be another day, and things will be better then (whether you believe it now, or not).

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Jelly, I'm sorry to hear of this. It's good that Elizabeth has such a close friend as you, and I hope that better days come soon. I'll keep both of you in my thoughts.

Jeffery Hodges

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It's Me, Maven... said...

I got ill reading this; I can imagine how much more intense it is going through this.

Sending good thoughts of love and support for you and your friend.

... and your tooth, too.

Charles said...

More support here. I'll be thinking of you and your friend.

HRH Julie, IQWM said...

i'm so sorry that you had such a shit day. i'm not always good at prayer and such, but what i have, i'll send upwards for you.

be gentle with yourself for awhile. you'll need it as much as your friend will. i don't know you at all, but you and your friend are in my thoughts.

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