Saturday, November 12, 2005

Feels Like Heaven

Or not.

Today wasn't so good. Not at all. It wasn't utter CRAP, just it wasn't so good.

I woke up about 2 hours before I HAD to wake up feeling like I had a gremlin in my chest chewing my lungs to bits. I got a bit dizzy with a coughing fit so bad I thought I might puke blood. This was after 6 hours of rather deep sleep, so it was a cruel awakening. I'll tell you, though, I don't know what is in that green/brown bag of sludge my pharmacist gave me that I heat up in boiling water, but it WORKS! It reminds me of Buckleys back home. What's their slogan? Something like "Tastes like HELL dipped in CRAP, but it works!" I think the sludge is even more effective, as I was drowsy with that and 2 more of the green and white pills within 15 minutes of taking them. My chest-fire subsided. I got a couple more hours sleep. I went to work. I continue to be a trooper.

Today was another day I was sensitive. Hyper sensitive, I suppose. If I haven't said it here before (I may have, I just can't be asked to go back and read every post) but I certainly have written home that an average day here is a challenge. It is. The fact I can't speak the language is a constant reminder of where I am. When I'm not feeling well, forget about it. Every little thing bothers me.

I've heard that things that annoy you in other people are important, particularly because they're actually MIRRORS as to what you need to work on in your own life. For example, if someone's jealousy bothers you, it is, in fact, because your own feelings of jealousy are an underlying issue in your own character that needs to be examined. What do you think?

If that's the case, then through my feelings I can surmise that I must be the most oblivious, self absorbed, whiney, noisy, bullying bitch ever. Those are some of the things that bothered me today. More so, actually.

I got through the day at work, barely. I'll write about that in another post because I want to try to be kind and gentle, and I'm not feeling it tonight. I will mention that in one of my classes, when the kids were all speaking Korean amongst themselves and I was feebly telling them to cut it out, a mini argument broke out. Granted, I couldn't understand it, but I definitely knew what was going on when finally Tony closed the argument with a flipping of his bird right up to the cheek of his adversary. I gave him a "yellow card."

Earlier in the day I ran to the grocery store under the school to get something to munch on and 3 little boys followed me hoping I'd buy them something. (I did, a 15 cent pack of gum each.) While we were in the supermarket aisle, an old woman tried to pass, and said something to the boys. I don't know what it was, but it wasn't kind - I could gather that from the harsh tone she said it. As soon as she turned her back, Paul, one of my actually quite kind students, flipped her a double bird. The other 2 boys laughed, and I gave Paul a little thump on his chest with a stern look and a "HEY!"

The thing was, I was presented with probably about a dozen situations today where I was tempted to do the same thing: flip people off. Sometimes it was a secret flip off, sometimes a blatant right-in-your-face-up-yours, and a couple times it was even a teeth-biting-lower-lip enthusiastic-arm-pump double eff-you eff-off give 'er kind of thing.

But I didn't.

Walking, after work, downtown, I had 3 people cut me off. Like, I was walking a straight and steady line and they just cut in and forced me to come to a stop, lest I plow into them. Not a tete a tete collision, I'm talking where you're just on your jolly way and someone else saunters in your path diagonally. They should see you there, (and in fact, I think they did) but they don't alter their pace or their directive. It's like a challenge (read that in French.) I don't know if it's oblivious or purposeful. Either way,....

Is it the universe sending you a signal to slow down? Is it the universe testing your patience to not let your flip-off fly?

When the fourth obstacle, in the form of a older guy with his swinging umbrella held behind his back with both his arms, veered out of his way to crack me in the ribs I gave up. I knocked him over and gave him forty fingers complete with a commentary on why he sucked. Then I stomped up and down on his umbrella.

I didn't, actually.

I did pull off my route to sulk in the darkened doorway of a not-yet-opened nightclub and smoke a cigarette. When Fiction Factory's "Feels Like Heaven" played into my ears from my MP3 player, that was all she wrote. I turned my back to the cars and the pedestrians and let my fat tears roll down my cheeks for a few minutes.

Almost all the time, my life here is not enough. Yet sometimes it is just too much.

Later, at WalMart, a family pulled up at the cash register behind me. The middle-school aged girl saw me all at once, and turned to tug on her mom's shirt. As she did so, she raised her arm to point directly at me. By the time she and her mother turned to look at me I already had my arm raised and finger pointed back at them. They smiled, and I smiled back.

But I didn't mean it.


Anonymous said...

Hang in there...I think we all go through these cycles and the bad things tend to get emphasized or intensified when we're feeling bad or down.
Now go water those rabbits.

Kevin Kim said...

Or cook and eat the rabbits, which might be kinder.

Dude, there's a position opening up at Sookmyung University. Check it out on Dave's ESL Cafe. It'd be cool if you got in... you'd be working across the campus from where I am, AND WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE COOLER THAN BEING FIVE MINUTES' WALK AWAY FROM SOMEONE YOU'VE NEVER MET IN PERSON??????



Anonymous said...


If that's the case, aren't most of us walking popsicles then? (The exceptions being lonely job folks like forest rangers)

Jelly said...

Haha, Nomad, I get what you mean, but I think Kevin used "cool" as in "right on" or "aahhiight" or "gooood" rather than a temperature gague.

And you likening us to popsicles implies that we all live close to people we don't know.

And my clarifying it all implies I'm a smart-ass know-it-all.

Just so we're clear.