New Apartment

The view beyond.

What a ________ apartment this is!

Students, shall we fill in that sole blank, and practice our metaphors, by which we unify our works of art?—and achieve greater harmonies?

Overwhelming. I cannot focus here, for the train is clattering by outside our apartment’s colossal window, rushing to feed the gullet of Busan, that which has given rise to the monolithic blue skyscrapers we see rising outside our vast wall of glass, and to our own home as well within the bowels of this endless tenement. But that is outside and this is inside. My own hunger is to describe the splendor of our great apartment-cathedral, where the pale daylight slants down through the great wide window as if the glass itself is stained with white clouds and blue zigzagging sky. But I cannot. Because it is all too distracting. Too overwhelming.

Sleek and without jumbled friction. You’ve got room to think unhindered here. Yesterday, to think, in staccato Namsanjeong, one had to ride the subway for half an hour, if you wanted to get anywhere wide open, anywhere peaceful, anywhere at all, and you were constantly interrupted (you know) by innumerable commas, and parentheses, too, but here the peace is within and one may pace about and step to the rhythms of the syllables thumped out by our synapses for minute after minute and slide on sleek socks without having to maneuver around chairs, wardrobes, tables, refrigerators, drying laundry, beds, meandering enumerative sentences, or ecstatically pregnant wives—as was life (a living death) back in our former “wan loom” in Namsanjeong.

If our new place is not sleek and without jumbled friction I do not know what is. How different my first two years in Busan would have been if I had started here at the height of it all rather than in the depths of those barren, heartless, lifeless, slums, where I must return, tomorrow in a wizened afternoon, to retrieve a bent-backed, dirt-threaded, straw-wrought, ajumma broom, and a jar of kosher pickles that my wife has absolutely no interest in even tasting back here in our delectable opottuh though they were bought in Brooklyn and compress with maximum fidelity the delicious sourness of that place.

Kim Eun-Ok tries to decide how much she likes our new place.

Here one can stretch out one’s arms and dance and play freeze-tag and try to fly like in Crouching Tiger and actually exercise while going to the bathroom or getting some coffee or munching on cold pickles—unlike in boxy, crowded, jumbled, Namsanjeong.

Fucking awesome. It’s the first place to really call my own, as the last was purchased by my school, and all my habitations beforehand have belonged to colleges or families–never have I been able to freely choose a place for myself, and for my wife and child. So many years of kowtowing confinement have led to this wide-armed spread of life, whereupon entering from the hallway one is treated to widescreened cinematic excellence, as when a baby lion is lifted into full view of the assembled savannah, or an ambitious wall street trader overlooks the glittering metropolis beneath him and realizes, among the black whirling gales of night, that nothing can stop him from conquering it. A flash of ocean sighs between two luxury hotels, and the bells of a buoy sound across the towering cityscape, rising outside the windows with our hearts.

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