Quickly Dashed Off From Busan

It just ended, thank god, the children’s music blasting out over the field of dirt—no, now it’s beginning again—la kookarracha, la kookarracha…I remember all the places—awkward to fit those syllables in, just try singing it—but it makes no difference, since the echo bouncing off the walls of the city buildings nearly destroys the words, the sound is annihilated as each wave folds back in on itself, so all you get is a roaring reverberation. Out the windows rise the green mountains, one on top of the other all the way up past the ceiling, coated in fog like cake in icing.

The humidity here is such that you don’t really walk so much as swim standing up. After a few steps your clothes are sticking to you, and the sweat’s swelling up in your glands, eager to burst free and soak your chest and your back and your armpits in very dark and very noticeable stains. Your face shines with a recognizable sheen, your hair is damp, your clothes will be stiff and smelly when they dry, all from the lightest exertions.

Dark gray skies and dark gray air threaten rain.

The greatest thing about this rain, besides the sound, is the way people open up their umbrellas as they step up from the subway. As you rise into the outer world the people around you begin readying their umbrellas, holding them up to the ceiling and the sky—the rain begins to drip from the ceiling’s edge, the stone steps are soaked in bubbling grime–soon the people above you press their umbrella’s buttons, and their umbrellas pop open one by one like flowers instantly blooming or explosions in outer space. They bang open. They crack open. But the rain still wets your shoes and splashes your pants—moisture is everywhere, I’m surprised I haven’t seen fish swimming past the windows.

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