Saturday, March 11, 2006

I Hate the Toe

It's Friday night. (Saturday, technically, but let's not haggle.) Fridays rock, don't they? This week was pretty uneventful, but kind of stressful nonetheless. Elephants in our midst.

I've just finished soaking my toe. Stupid toe. Ever since I slammed it into a mass of concrete well over a year and a half ago and had to have the nail ripped out completely by a doctor, it's given me problems. It's like the stupid toenail didn't know how to grow back in properly - so it hooks in on itself on one side. I should learn to just leave it alone when it's feeling ok. If I cut it,...or even LOOK at it, it gets infected. Then 10 children step on it and anger it more. I just soaked it in a mix of hot water and mineral salt and I stuck a needle through the top to release a mass of puss and blood. Yummy.

Earlier, I went shopping with Elizabeth. We talked a bit, but not much. Not enough. But that's ok. We rode the bus into town and talked smalltalk - classes and school. We got to the big department store and ordered dinner, bebimbap for me, and mushroom spaghetti for her. Then we sat down to eat. Finally I looked her in the eyeball, and said "so, what happened a couple weeks ago?
She said "You know what happened," and then recounted our boss's version of events.
These days she can't sleep without sleeping pills. She drank soju that night and took too many sleeping pills. But "it was mistake."
"It was an accident?"
"Yah."
"What about the note?"
"It was a kind of journal entry. I listed some of my bad points."
"Oh."

Toe the line.

We were silent for awhile.
Then I again looked her in the eyes and said "I don't believe you."
She said,...
Well, I can't remember exactly what she said, because I was a bit pre-occupied trying not to cry. (Actually, I can remember, she used her lack of English skills as an excuse - which is fine. It's a convenient excuse, my co-workers can make themselves understood just fine when they want to, but say "I can't express my mind," if they don't feel like talking about it. I should really teach them the expression, "It's none of your goddamned business!")

I pulled it together, and told her she didn't have to tell me anything she didn't want to, but I'd rather not be lied to. I was there. I told her it had been traumatic. (Realizing she might not know that word, I reiterated, "It was bad.") I told her I was worried about her,...I am worried about her. If she wants to talk I'll listen.

We were quiet awhile.

I said, "So what did you do during your week off?"
She said, exasperatedly, "You're like a detective!"
"I'm not a detective, I'm your friend."
(I had expected her to say she'd rested and recuperated and went to church 700 times.)

So she then told me something I didn't know. She wasn't at home, she spent some time somewhere, and neither our other co-worker or the boss knows about it. I won't come out and say it, but it kind of sounds like "Bent-All Craw-Spittle!"

It's all such a strange experience; I hate being lied to. I especially hate it when the lies are meant to re-arrange what I witnessed first hand. I hate this whole thing. Let's pretty up the ugly. Let's slap a big pink bow on the unmentionable and not even talk about the stupid bow.

Half way through our shopping trip I asked her if she was taking medicine now, and she confirmed she is. That makes a lot of sense, considering how she's acting. She can't hold a train of thought, she's monotone, bumping into things, and just not quite (nearly) "all there." I wonder if it's some bi-polar medication. Regardless, I'm glad to know she's getting some help, even if it makes her a bit,...well....

She's not here, really, but yet she is. She's just toeing the line.

2 comments:

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

What about going in for pedicures? Perhaps a good pedicurist might be able to remedy your toenail situation? Isn't Korea the homebase of the nail care industry?

Glad you're reaching out to Elizabeth. Still sad you were traumatized by it, by being there, and seeing the truth, even if Elizabeth isn't willing or able to admit it to herself.

You're a good friend, being there for her. Give it time. She'll come around, hopefully.

don said...

love to read about your life in Korea, mention a little about temp. and weather Don/fondulac