2012/07/09 M – Storage Room

My sister put in a video earlier tonight, “Alpine Adventures”, a VHS documentary of some places in the Alps.  We both fell asleep to it, but wavering between awakeness and sleep while catching moments of that beautiful scenery and music was quite heavenly.  When it ended, I finally woke up perfectly refreshed… a welcome change.

We celebrated and ate cake with Shane for his birthday.  To his temporary consternation, I’d double-booked the evening, since Ito Dan had invited me to his place for a kid Braden’s birthday, a former Hong Kong missionary under Van Dam (he missed the subsequent President Chan and the newly installed President Hawks).  I took my mom’s car, staying for about 30 minutes.  I met Dan’s friends there, as well as a Mongolian sister, ‘Tugludur’ (Batdorj) (Mongolia just had its first ‘pioneer trek‘).  It seems Shane and they either walked or drove his car to Subway for his dinner.

On Friday, the Linguistics department (who first referred me to AST, my Korean recruiters) sent another referral (intended for interns) for a two-week teaching job for some high-school exchange groups from China.  There were a few positions in Utah Valley and two here, in Sandy.  Although an alumnus of the program, I finally sent a re’sume’ and introduction late on Sunday night.  On Monday (today), the co-ordinator wrote back immediately offering one of the Sandy jobs; she must have seen only lukewarm interest.  My typing job has not provided any real difficulties yet, but it might be a challenge to balance it with the teaching job.  It will be good for me.

On the fourth, we went to Donna’s and Jim’s cabin up by Oakley.  Only our grandma and their family members came.  I told Brandon about Shane’s and my idea for antler exporting, and he latched right on.  Since then we’ve both been studying it.  My optimism has already faded as I’ve run my analysis; too much competition, too labour intensive, and not lucrative enough.  Brandon is still interested, though, and so is Shane, though they have different takes on the idea.

I finished my document submission to AST’s Seoul office just over a week ago.  I guess I’m waiting for a visa issuance confirmation number; after that, I’ll mail my thing to San Francisco and get a visa, and then I can go at any time.  The Ito mother will be in Japan for the middle two weeks of August, and Dan has asked me to visit with them (Satoshi would also be there primarily).  So, I’m expecting to go on or around the 25th of August.

Myeong-Seon is still muddling through her over-worked teaching job at her ‘Won (Round) Buddhist’ school.  I tried to split with her some time ago, but we effectually made up during the cool-down afterward.  I had claimed uncertainty over our rightness…  Since then, I’ve had a quite long religious chat with her, mostly one-sided, and we’ve gotten along very well otherwise during our week-end talks.  Her age and restraint toward family size may be issues, as well as our same, old religious question.  Amidst the business of her work, she seems to have forgotten her earlier decision in that regard.

Two Vietnamese tried adding me on Facebook; one was already a friend from who-knows-where on Yahoo Messenger.  The first girl was surrounded by half-full glass bottles in most of her Facebook pictures; I could barely stand to look at her vacant expression, though I did pity her.  The second, my ‘friend’, whose looks I once admired, had gotten sufficient attention in her life that she had decided to misapprehend her purpose in the world and unlearn how to fully cover herself, at least by my standards.  Her too I regretfully had to decline connection with.

I started feeling very disappointed in myself after that, thinking about Claire.  She’s more or less gone from my waking and sleeping thoughts now; but I started to consider how empty my interest in her, defining though it was, had been.  Had I really only liked her for her excellent but utterly unimportant face?

…It seemed so.  Or, anyway, that’s the only part that has stayed in mind, whatever else I may have once appreciated about her.  I felt disgusted by the absurdity of it, how willing I was to commit my interest to something that doesn’t even exist, some optical illusion.  I realized then how good my sister, Myeong-Seon, was.  New to the name, she had called Claire my “Cleopatra”.  Myeong-Seon has not enjoyed so many smiles, I guess, and was also a farm girl, resulting in a humility unsurpassed by those in my experience.  I don’t say Claire was proud — she just had a very proud look, as all outwardly beautiful people do, in my eyes.  Anyway, we had nothing.  I had a “something”, but that something itself was nothing — an addiction to a false beauty.  I’m sure she has some beauty, but, again, I missed it — I only caught the mask.

Nevertheless, that false appreciation was a great motivator.

I say so because it’s gone now.  As quickly as my interest in the 9th ward had renewed several weeks ago, it has vanished away again.  Church is a chore, and I have to focus hard on my reasons for being there.  It was so much easier to get light and warmth from it when my heart was still open to notions of love.  Now I barely want to help with anything, or participate in any activities.  I’ve little energy to talk to anybody, and especially no more use for that sealed-off, airtight Calvert family, a couple of blocks away but a universe apart.  Seclusion feels better, again…  I know it’s all tied to her, having relinquished my memory and undefined hope, having accepted her non-relatedness and her nothingness in my life…  Those beautiful dreams of false friendship roused and mustered me, so, good for them.  I don’t regret that impetus, although it’s gone now.  I’ll do what I can, anyway.  A person can expect to do no more than that.

It seems that their purpose has been fulfilled, those dreams — to show me that I had trusted in a worldly vision; that I could love Myeong-Seon; that she was at least as good as Claire ever was, whom I adored for so long.

My heart’s not quite in it… but, oh well.  It’s not about me.  I’ll wait for higher direction.  As far as I can predict, it will be Myeong-Seon, and we will have our tiny family, one or two children, cut short by old age.  I’ll do whatever I can trust is right…

Claire Brown wasn’t right, and neither were any of her placeholders…  Or, anyway, whether or not they “were” or “weren’t” right, they “aren’t” right any more.

It was surely nice to have hope for something again, however briefly.  It was nice to feel warm again, even in a dream.  Maybe I’ll feel it again later, somehow.

There was a 9th-ward softball game two Thursdays ago; I attended but sat it out, since it was against the 2nd ward, my technical home ward.  (The 9th won.)  After the memorial day, there was another game last Thursday, but I forgot about it till it was about to start, then gave up going.  We lost that one…

I had started biking up and jogging laps at the Skyline track for the “Fitness Frolick”, the 9th ward’s athletic activity later in July, but I’ve hardly physically exercised at all since the fourth.  My energy for it is gone.

Vivian Smith smiled and greeted me two weeks ago when we passed by chance, though without slowing her pace, as usual.  I spied her down the hallway after church last Sunday, but didn’t feel like getting passed by again, so I just… went home.

…I need a long, long rest…

…Well, to be honest, I need somebody.  I don’t know where my heart is, but it’s not in this world…

Is it Myeong-seon?  Is she the one?

It would be nice, as perfect as she is…

…She’s getting stronger, maybe; less reliant.  But I still shudder to think of breaking her wonderful heart, if I have any ability instead to make her any gladder in this world, even just by existing, or by sharing my time, and treating her kindly…

How much I would have given up, if the one my heart chose could have given me such consideration.  Then how could I withhold it from somebody myself?

…But, if it is her…

…I really don’t know it yet…

-Steve Foster

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