Thursday, June 08, 2006

6.08.06, [Short Story, by Machine] One Night in Seoul as The Ideal Life

[Dear Readers: OK, the blog title above mine, I admit. As blog editor-on-occasion I have also added a few brief but necessary explanations in the following piece, usually about Korean terms, which clarifications appear in brackets “[“ and “]”; one or two names have been altered to keep the innocent in your ignorance; and note that everything in this story really happened. It’s crazed, but I shit you not. Also, I still need to discuss the author's identity, not in philosophical terms — but maybe that too — but as he would like it to known on the blog. Since he has posted Comments here and there, though not will nilly, under the nom de guerre "Machine," I will follow suit. Please enjoy, the lenght is worth it (and not wood scale jokes on that last remark). Too, I think it's safe to assume the narrator of the story is in fact Machine, since I too am in there, playing myself, and all the characters for better or for worse are real.

Franky Scale: 7-8, in spite of Zion!

-Mr. J]

“Korea Fighting” by Machine

Its 2:10 pm and I just got home. I can barely see my computer keyboard due to a impenetrable fog that has settled in front of my eyes, and my hands are trembling uncontrollably, most likely due to the “roofie” that Rico slipped into my tequila last night at The Loft. I’d like to thank Walter and especially Mr. Jones, who hung with me to the bitter end when others wouldn’t. Id also like to extend my gratitude to Walter’s West African friend, David, who waited until I was outside the Flexx Club before vomiting all over some extremely pissed off Nigerians and getting the holy ghost beat out of him. I’d also like to accept thanks from the City of Seoul, for single handedly revitalizing the economy of Itaewon last night over a period of 13 hours, and from Mr. Jones, for supporting his graduate education.

I don’t remember much about last night, and I hope that I never will. I woke up about an two hours ago in what appeared to be a jail cell, the only sounds reverberating from a vibrantly throbbing fan that sliced through the thick morning air like helicopter blades over the deep jungles of Malaysia. I had no idea how I got there or where I even was. I was somewhat relieved, when I realized that it was Jones sitting on the corner of the bed, smoking a cigarette and chatting to no one in particular with a crazed and satisfied look on his face.

“What a fucking night, man . . .” “Let’s go,” he mumbled, staring off in space. “They are going to kick us out of here soon, and the girls are getting anxious.” I must have nodded my approval, because Mr. Jones helped me out of bed and put my backpack on my shoulders. “You see that cat?” he asked. Again, I simply shook my head no and hoped that I would soon recognize where we were, as we were now walking through a well-cared for courtyard garden.

“What cat?” I barely croaked out. “The cat that shit in my mouth,” Mr. Jones guffawed loudly and slapped me hard on the back, loosening my bowels. I know what he meant, however, because my mouth felt like an baby turd wrapped in feathers and cotton had flown into it, and was starting to spread itself down my larynx and inevitably into my lower intestines, where it would begin a furious effort at massive reproduction and eventually my death.

Somehow, Mr. Jones led us out of a maze of alleys that would rival any Moroccan medina into daylight, where we were joined by two lovely young local women who seemed to know who we were. Well, actually, they weren't that young. Or lovely. But I’m pretty sure they were women. I instinctively checked to make sure my wallet was there. It was, but all that remained of the 200,000 won that I had hit the streets with last night was several credit card receipts, three crumpled 1,000 won bills and some sort of hieroglyphics written in blood on a canceled check from Montana John. One of the receipts was for the Itaewon “Knight Rider” yôgwan [very cheap, motel like, four cement rice-papered walls, one fan if you’re lucky, & one jimmy cap if you’re really lucky, “if”…] that I had apparently just woken up in. I stared at the girls.

“You sleep good?” the big one asked. She had the eyes of Dr. Gold and the girth of Rruke when he’s retaining water. She gently stroked the head of a stuffed teddy bear that was peeking out of the top of her purse. The bear still had the sale tag on it. She saw me surreptitiously eye and smiled. “Thanks so much,” she bowed. I was starting to realize that once again I had sunk into the deepest depths of what the Italians prefer to call “Il Inferno.” Thankfully, I had company.

I can only recall two scenes from last night with any clarity, one being a member of the proud but fallen Azzuri sitting dejected on a soccer field with his head wrapped in what appeared to be a huge nylon sock, blood leaking down the side of his face as the scoreboard behind him flashed “2-1 Korea Win!” over and over again. The other scene is our very own Toly Kim mounting a moving police van and dancing without his shirt with two very underage junior high school girls, while spitting slug after slug of beer up into the air and all over his body in an effort to imitate Seoul’s very own Han Kang [Han River] Geyser. The judges gave him a 8.3.

I was their biggest non-believer, having the audacity to call a 3-1 Italian victory moments before kickoff from my darkened perch at the Loft. The Koreans in the crowd threatened me with violence and incessant drum bashing, but the Italians nodded their headed solemnly, as if they already knew something I didn’t. When the Italian Blue went up 1-0 early in the first half, a few of the blasphemous headed for the exits to beat the traffic. I wasn’t one of them, and neither was Mr. Jones, or Stash and his lovely bride, or Walter, who just happened to show up for the second half, believing that the game was supposed to start at 9:30 p.m. Toly certainly wasn’t, and after restraining him with some old leather straps to keep him from going after that meat head who always plays pool at the Loft, I started to listen to him. I thought he was describing a drug deal gone sour, with his repeated slurring regarding “high” and “speed.” He was right, of course, the Korean’s had superior action in the air, and their speed was to be reckoned with.

The Azzuri could boast of having arguably the best league in the world, but last night, that mighty giant finished a close second. The Italians left soon after, adhering to their strict code of “Omerta.” Harry S. Truman once said that “It ain’t braggin’ if you can do it” while Lyndon B. Johnson, who is known for a trip to the bathroom during his visit to Vietnam in the 60s, when he noted to a Vietnamese legislator at the adjacent urinal that “They don’t grow ‘em this big out here, do they, son?” Well, the Koreans proved them both right last night, in a display of ferocity and anger that would have sent Satan himself scampering into an 8th Circle.

The noise was deafening at the Loft, so I could barely hear Jones when he begin frantically whispering in my ear about “free beer,” “food,” “topless dancing.” Nonetheless, he still managed to get my attention and I followed him outside where several ajôssis [middle-aged or older random Korean male] had gathered around a small black and white TV to watch the game. “It’s cool,” Jones whispered to me. “Ask them for some beer and food, they’ll give it to you, I swear to Jacob on it.” Well, I didn’t have to ask, because with almost no time left on the clock, the Koreans scored a tying goal that raised a roar from the Yalu River to the uncharted islands off of the East Sea.

“Hesus Christo,” Mr. Jones whispered, dumbfounded. “The Koreans seem to think they’re in a soccer game.” A redfaced, older Korean man slapped a beer in my hand and took me by the scruff of the neck closer to the screen.

“Korea!” he blurted out, pointing to the TV. His grip on my neck and upper spine tightened. “FUCKING KOREA!!” I craned my head around to find Jones for help, but he was off drinking soju [foul chemically “fermented” moonshine] out of an ice cream pint sized container he had commandeered from two Base Brats who had tried to steal a beer from the overflowing vat before us. The game had moved into overtime, and I could barely see the screen that my face was being held mere centimeters from. I looked again for Mr. Jones, as my nerve endings screamed for release and my eyes began to bulge uncontrollably. The world was going red and white, and Jones was happily munching on grilled octopus head as the ajôssi kept screaming into my face “Korea Fight! Korea Fight! Korea Goal holy shit Korea score Korea FUCKING GOAL KOREA!!!” And then the night exploded . . .

Of course, events get jumbled after that. My brain can’t seem to recollect anything, and the only messages its sending to me now are the involuntary desires to breathe, pump my blood and drink water, but I’m too lazy to get up from the computer for the last one. I remember sprinting through the streets touching anything that moved. I had been reborn in the downpour of raining beer and dry champagne, baptism by booze, trial by fire. I hugged anything that moved, dwarfs, police, MPs — I kissed working ajûmmas [female equivalent of the ajôssi], babies, the egg burger guy, I danced in the streets, I shouted capitalist, nationalistic slogans, I sang songs I knew and I sang songs I didn’t know. I laughed . . . I cried . . . I grabbed on for dear life to Korean women with huge, pendulous breasts . . . I curled up in the fetal position by the side of the subway station, sick on Tower Burgers and beer (but getting some great upskirt shots), again and again, Walter’s evil, flashing camera lit up the night like a tracer bazooka, snapping digital photos of me in extremely compromising positions that I now must find and delete those photos before English Spectrum’s afternoon edition goes to press.

“Its coooooollll, maaaaaaaaannnnn,” Walter gave me his million-dollar smile. “Let’s get outta here . . . maaaaaannn, this is my boy David,” he introduced a quiet young African man who seemed to be quaking in trepidation like a scared rodent, cowering in fear under its master’s bed on the fourth of July. “We going to go get some at King Club, baby!” Walter announced to the streets, both fists raised in the unmistakable sign of a conqueror. He suddenly leaned over and began breathing heavily into my face, “But first, me you and Jones going to go over to that Flexx Club.” Walter lowered his voice noticeably . . . “I gotta bottle there for us.”

I really can’t remember much after that . . . strange visions of Flexx Club and a Peruvian waitress named Marta . . . a stone cold Russian girl who refused to smile, dumped a cola on Mr. Jones’s head and threatened my life, even after Walter busted out several jokes in amazing Russian with just a hint of a Ukrainian accent . . . I remember doing a Cha Cha line dance in an empty King Club with nos. 1-3 while Toly cheered me on and drank my pellucid soju slushi . . . I can barely smell the scent of samgyôpsal [thick grilled strips of baconlike swinemeat, dipped in salt, wrapped in lettuce, good for the heart] and eggs during the daylight hours when Mr. Jones insisted on eating breakfast behind some strange church that wasn’t there the following morning . . . I can see someone shooting a roman candle at my head, and Stash taking him down from behind with a leg sweep . . . I can hear the patter of barefeet and gun fire at 8:30 in the morning in a permanently darkened Russian club where the clocks were always set on 2:50 a.m. and powerful Russian girls in jean skirts on dangerous Crystal Meth and steroid cocktails argued over Jones and had to be separated by Koreans smaller than them, while I sat at a table with two deaf mutes, one who offered to exchange his ajûmma into my slavery for just once dance with my “date” . . . I definitely can see my date, tricking me like the trick I am into, buying a frigging teddy bear for 30,000 won like the GI Sucker I always swore I wouldn’t be . . . and . . . and . . . .

And I can still see Mr. Jones. He is sitting on the corner of my bed, fully clothed, puffing on a cigarette made from newspaper and dried tobacco seeds, pensively staring out the door that had probably been open all morning displaying my handphone and wallet whilst I slept undisturbed by the whirring robotic fan and the explosion of breaking bottles throughout the morning, slowly turning his head to look at me and say, with all honesty and truth:

“Man, did you see that fucking game last night?”



spacely said...

Hello mr blogger... I don't understand your blog but that is no never mind... I don't understand alot of sometimes seems like people are on drugs when they write them to me because I don't think the same way. I have just a simple mind and I hope atleast my favorite brother appreciates it (my mind). Maybe thats why he named me spacely.

Mr. Jones said...

I'd rather be on drugs than on Cheebus! ;-) (Dear Machine, you'll have to ignore an occasional tomato from the crowd--at least it is a supportive tomato, no?) FYI, Spacely, not the best comparison to be sure, but more flattering to Machine, but maybe you should take a peek at a Ulysses by Joyce or a Sound and the Fury by Faulkner — it's not about drugs in any way, it's about narrative technique. Just the way the LDS temple ceremony uses literary technique, in their case, allegory; it's not because they're on drugs. Mr. Machine would do the temple ceremony thing, too, if only he could, but they always stop him at the door. -Mr. J.

[disenchanted princess] said...

hmmm, reading this story makes me wonder how the hell i ever let you (mr. machine) into my condo! maybe i should have done a background check first . . . =)

Slarry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
david said...


I put dem k's there to space me down, but yes stride and glide, and yes the way we consume today's today's post is what is what it what it is!

box is. boxes. box's. bock's is. and all that. it might mean. but does n't it contain.

how that stride glide up the down the street, you know, and all the what they used to call diference, what bigger diff could there be, all my dears, than this?

some time, O yes,
some time they we'll see
night come quiet and loneliness over the night.

through our trees
night's winds rustle dry leaves

O soft of a new moon!

Machine said...

Wrong, Princess...I should've done a background check on you before entering your palace.

Spacely, MJ you are both right, the tale is definitely told by an idiot, but it is also full of sound and fury and, in the end, most likely signifying nothing to anyone but myself, Mr. J and hopefully, a few select Itaewon/Seoulites...Nonetheless, the story is true and a precious, not-so-guarded memory of mine...