I bused to Provo on Tuesday and Wednesday to ask about housing and jobs (both are searchable while logged in to the BYU website). On Wednesday’s ride down, I started feeling ill, and my limbs were weak as I deboarded. On the ride home, a certain girl came and sat in front of me. After some time, I noticed her reviewing a letter she had been writing, and before I looked away, one word on the page jumped out at me…: "Mongolia". I refocused on the page and read something about how she was going to Mongolia… and in another place, about somebody’s boyfriend also going to Mongolia. I tapped her on the shoulder to ask her about it…
Her name was Sister Call; I forgot the first name. She would be going to Mongolia as a missionary. She was a student of nursing. I told her about my intended visit; our travels will not overlap. As I remember, she will enter the MTC in early July, prepare for 12 weeks, and then fly out in the end of September.
I hope I didn’t get her sick…
I skipped work on Thursday, calling in the night before, although I felt somewhat better Thursday than I had Wednesday. On my way to work today, between the #39 and #200 buses, I dropped by the bathroom of that burger place on 39th and State on account of gut irritation. The men’s room was locked, but the women’s room was empty… and I didn’t have long till the bus came. The glance of a random early-morning customer made me think twice about the girls’ room, and in that second thought, I imagined the potential for legal fault. After a minute, the guy came out of the men’s room and in I went.
Just as I hurried out the restaurant doors, the bus flew past.
Unclear on routes, I opted for the train and #17 bus, which, though scheduled for later, somehow arrived at my corner slightly earlier than the next #200 bus (the one I’d just missed plus 15 minutes, by the schedule). I was about 16 minutes late to work, missing the pre-shift kids and maybe an on-time kid or two.
An envelope came yesterday which I just opened. It’s from BYU-Idaho. Congratulations, and that; you’ll be an asset, increase our assets, and that. I already marked the "I will be attending BYU" box on the application site… but now I have to cross-check the study programmes one last time, and maybe see if God will direct me anotherwise.
It was Tugsuu’s former teacher and fellowpassenger (Battulga Tumurdash) that first confirmed to me that there were language schools in Mongolia as we gave him a ride from the airport… on… Tuesday, January 16, 2007 (thank my old journal). This year… (hm, also on January 16, this time a Friday), I started searching those schools on the Internet. I contacted two or three and chose the one (called "Friends") whose response was the most considerate. Their representative, Uranchimeg, explained (or tried to) over a few e-mails the details of their programme, including a price of $400 per month for both study and room (the tugrug, of course, has sky-rocketed, so I’m losing money on these old American prices). After buying the tickets (United, Air China, and Delta) from www.flycheapabroad.com, I mentioned the arrival date to the representative with the vague hope of being offered a pick-up from the airport. Today I opened an e-mail from her with that very offer.
Hm. Looking back over old journals, it seems like my creativity is all behind me… I can hardly preach any more… and I don’t seem to care about things any more, like before… Either I’ve finally gained an abundance of patience, or imbecility has slowly crept upon me…
Here, anyway, are two old poems (one lyrical, one allegorical) that I once considered reposting. You can guess whom they were about.
…I do miss her… but not sadly. And I do pray for her, that she have strength.
So, the poems, though they were applicable at the time, no longer indicate my feelings.
(The first, of course, was my song after… you know. I’ll resist the urge to replay the song file itself. [Oh, forget it. It may be the last thing I ever make… Here it is yet again.] The second, written earlier, about a flower seeking to express itself, arose from a strange conversation we once had… and in fact uses some actual quotes and paraphrases from our chat.)
(2007 January 12, Friday)
I can’t think, so tell me what to think
And I can’t feel, please tell me how to feel
And I can’t stay if you don’t want me to stay
But I can’t go because I’ve got nowhere to go
With this love
Got nowhere to go, oh
I can’t tell what’s been happening to you
And I can’t change the past ’cause it’s too late
And I don’t know what we might’ve been someday
But I can’t stop asking why you had to give away
Give it all away, oh
Then I think your fairy tale is ending
Then I feel that what you’re chasing isn’t real
Then I’ll stay and maybe when you wake up
You will find me still
The Flower who Lost her Petals
a poem by Steve Foster,
for his friend
(2006 September 25, Monday)
One day a boy a flower found,
So colorful and rare,
He instantly admired it,
And couldn’t help but stare.
"Please let me take you home," he said;
"You’ll bring my mother cheer
With all your pretty petals; yes,
We’d like to have you near."
"Oh no," she said; "A flower picked
Is quite as good as dead."
"But you won’t die," the boy replied.
"I’ll plant you there, instead!
I’ll put you in the choicest spot
In all our garden, there,
And water you, and talk to you,
And take such special care!"
The flower blushed; it flattered her
That he should want her so.
She asked, "What makes you think that way?
I’m rather plain, you know."
"But no, you’re such a graceful thing,"
He said. "It’s clear to see.
He said. "It’s clear to see.
Your many lovely petals here
Look wonderful to me.
Your place is in a garden, yes,
Not here among the weeds;
The only ones to love you here
Are worms and bugs and bees."
She vainly blushed again. "But what,
If I should lose this one?"
And yanked one of her petals out.
He gasped, "…What have you done?"
"One petal less," she mocked, "And now
Your words become untrue?"
He thought, and shook his head, and said,
"I’m still amazed by you;
I’ll take you home." But yet again,
She pulled a petal out.
"Do you still want me now?" she asked,
Pretending then to pout.
"Yes, yes," he said; "It’s you I want,
But stop this silly game.
I think you’re lovely to me still,
But please… just stay the same."
But it was not enough, to her;
She had to test him more,
And said, pulling the next one out,
"Do you like me as before?"
And one by one, her petals fell
Amid the boy’s protests.
And when the last was gone, she asked,
"Do you still think I’m best,
Or do you see how plain I am?
You see me now, how bad?"
The boy looked hard at her, and said,
"At first… you made me glad,
But now you’re just a stem, you see;
No better than the rest.
With petals, that was what I loved;
That ‘you’ I liked the best.
But now…" And as he turned and left,
She said her thought out loud,
"He can’t accept the way I am;
But of myself, I’m proud."
Then looking down, she saw herself,
Who first had been undaunted:
A spindly stem with petals none–
A self she never wanted.
Learn from this tale; the world is full
Of pretty flowers who
For different reasons like to think
Their ugly side is "true",
And like to pull their virtues out,
To show their "self" instead;
But flowers with their petals gone
Are quite as good as dead.