Saturday, October 22, 2011

My One-Eyed Mother



My mom only had one eye. I hated her, she was such an embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market.She collected little weeds and such to sell, anything for the money we needed she was such an embarrassment.There was this one day during elementary school. I remember that it was field day, and my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school..."Your mom only has one eye?!" and they taunted me.

I wished that my mom would just disappear from this world so I said to my mom, "Mom, why don't you have the other eye?! You're only going to make me a laughingstock. Why don't you just die?" My mom did not respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it felt good to think that I had said what I'd wanted to say all this time.
Maybe it was because my mom hadn't punished me, but I didn't think that I had hurt her feelings very badly.

That night...I woke up, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mom was crying there, so quietly, as if she was afraid that she might wake me. I took a look at her, and then turned away. Because of the thing I had said to her earlier, there was something pinching at me in the corner of my heart. Even so, I hated my mother who was crying out of her one eye. So I told myself that I would grow up and become successful, because I hated my one-eyed mom and our desperate poverty.


Then I studied really hard. I left my mother and came to Seoul and studied, and got accepted in the Seoul University with all the confidence I had. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. Then I had kids, too. Now I'm living happily as a successful man. I like it here because it's a place that doesn't remind me of my mom.

This happiness was getting bigger and bigger, when someone unexpected came to see me "What?! Who's this?!"... It was my mother...Still with her one eye. It felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. My little girl ran away, scared of my mom's eye.
And I asked her, "Who are you? I don't know you!!!" as if I tried to make that real. I screamed at her "How dare you come to my house and scare my daughter! Get out here now!" And to this, my mother quietly answered, "oh, I'm so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address," and she disappeared. Thank good ness... she doesn't recognize me. I was quite relieved. I told myself that I wasn't going to care, or think about this for the rest of my life.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Love Letter by Franz Kafka



Last night I dreamed about you. What happened in detail I can hardly remember. All I know is that we kept merging into one another. I was you, you were me. Finally you somehow caught fire.

Remembering that one extinguished fire with clothing, I took an old coat and threw it on you .

But again the transmutations began and it went so far that you were no longer even there, instead it was I who was on fire and it was also I who beat the fire with the coat.

But the beating didn't help and it only confirmed my old fear that such things can't extinguish a fire of love .

In the meantime, however, the fire brigade arrived and somehow you were saved.

But you were different from before, spectral, as though drawn with chalk against the dark, and you fell, lifeless or perhaps having fainted from joy at having been saved, into my arms.

But here too the uncertainty of transmutability entered, perhaps it was I who fell into someone's arms, maybe in yours .