Now I lead the most pleasant existence: when I woke this morning the entire wall was packed with bright white clouds, it looked as if the whole apartment building had flown up into the sky. The boy was screaming, Kim Eunok was caring for him, and actually we had switched off last night sometime between two or three in the morning—I had stayed up with the hungry young monster as he woke and screamed and chugged enough milk for a full-grown hippo about once an hour, hour after hour, and my wife and I had switched off after her aching boobs woke her from her nap. She started pumping them, and the regular wheezing and beating of the strange, pink, breast-shaped machine which she used to accomplish this task, eased me into an exhausted and dreamless sleep.
I ran this morning with my camera and took dozens of pictures of Haeundae Beach and Camellia Island as the sun burned off the fog. The early morning heat and humidity drenched me in sweat after a few minutes, and flushed my flesh to such a deep shade of crimson that I looked like a peculiar kind of devil, holding an ipod in one hand and a bulky black camera in the other, rather than the usual pitchfork.
The glossy green leaves and rotting pink lemonade flowers blurred past me, I thought of how everything I have written for my novel is so idiotic that I must start myself on some new project about contemporary life rather than interstellar colonization, I dreamed of making music videos, and stopped to snap pictures of glassy half-unfinished skyscrapers rising from the canopy of tropical trees and fog, and then my thoughts drifted to my students—one of whom is the successful owner of a clothing store, a woman who is seemingly juggling a dozen rich handsome young Korean men at any one time, and wrapping every last one of them around each of her pale marble fingers; then there is another ambitious young woman who is fighting to escape to the West; and finally, four young children, two twins among them who want to play heads-shoulders-knees-and-toes endlessly, and then two sisters whose irreverence is equaled only by their really amazing ability to speak English. I do not teach English in South Korea so much as talk to people who have either studied a great deal or not at all.
Interacting with so many people on such an individual level excites me: I can see deeper into the world, and discover things I never would have imagined otherwise.
Today I will write, read, edit, attempt to put the baby back to sleep after he wakes up, and post advertisements around the neighborhood and possibly the rest of the city, and hope to god that we can get between five and ten new students within the next few weeks, so as to break even, at least, and lose the financial anxiety that hangs over everything that I do now. We have about three months left until the money from work and all the bonuses I wrangled out of my school runs out; if we aren’t making $2000 a month by then, I’ll have to find a new (and I shudder to say) regular job.