My Mind, An Overnighter

I might never have seen Ok-jeong again if I hadn’t stalked her out at Spa Shopping. She manned (womanned?) a tiny Levi’s kiosk with a rotating host of female co-workers. To avoid getting her in trouble with her boss I would occasionally buy some overpriced item that she thought would look cute on me. Sucker. For several years after I had a bright yellow shirt and a pair of Khakis I bought from her. An ink pen leaked into the shirt pocket and ruined it. Inside the pants in the back was a patch that read, “This pants was once loved by an American hero and gives you now a good sensation.” I don’t have those pants or the patch anymore, but I still carry the “MY MIND, LEVI’S” keychain she gave me:
My favorite kiosk mate of hers was called Young-sook. She had been drinking at Miss Yang’s bar the night Ok-jeong took me for a walk and the power went out. Young-sook was on the tall side, and slim, she wore her wavy black hair long with short bangs. She didn’t have the typical flat back side like most Koreans who grew up sleeping on the floor; in fact she had a nice hump for a rump. She once remarked how people thought she had a “Western ass.” I had to concur. When I would visit the Levi’s Corner she would just stand there laughing without even covering her mouth. I laughed too.

Once I showed up at Spa and Ok-jeong was not there. Young-sook was there alone. We made a bold and secret plan to meet on the sly. I can’t even remember how it came up, but Ok-jeong never knew about it. We went out a couple times. She came to my apartment a few times. She gave me a stuffed teddy bear that I took to bed with me every night for a long time.

One night I rented a car and drove us down to Haeundae Beach where we sat in a 포장마차 and shared raw sea cucumber and a couple bottles of 소주. The 소주 was working and Young-sook told me she had the next Friday off from Spa and she could tell her parents she was staying with her sister up in Yangsan so we could stay out all night and play…if I wanted.

Ummm. “OK.”

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