[I wrote this letter during the last days of my time in EPIK. I thought I would never publish it, but now that my return home is on my doorstep, this feels more relevant than ever.]
Dear Brain Twin,
Here’s a modern, old-fashioned letter. Intercontinental epistolary, digitized and publicized, and given our frequent Kakao chitchats, perhaps a bit irrelevant. But anywho – here’s to old timey ways, and hipsterism, or whatever.
So nowadays, I’m about 2.5 weeks from the end of my contract. Dizzying, like standing on the glass floor section of the CN tower and staring at the tiny ant people, which I remember struggling and crying against when my mom picked me up and made me stand on it. I feel the same way now, only instead of my mom it’s just Big Bad Time and instead of glass floors it’s looming end-dates and applications and get-the-fuck-outta-here’s. I wish I could say I’m excited and eager like you were at this time, but to put it frankly, I’m just terrified.
Every day seems like an exercise in “pretend nothing is happening and nothing is gonna change.” I’m sitting at my cluttered desk (all of its drawers still crammed with my stale snacks, hair ties, and mismatched classroom cut outs), listening to oldies and watching the clock tick down to nothing o’clock.
My sister visited, which was a cool. A whole month. She spent half of it travelling around Korea while I dragged myself to work every day. Do you know how hard it is to wake up for work when someone else is in the house on holiday? It’s the worst. If you disliked work before, it was enough to spark an internal crisis. I felt like a cat stretched across a bathtub, but it’s gonna happen, it’s gotta happen, so it did happen. At some point I realized that work had become bearable only because there were no reminders of something better. Coming into work to desk warm, 8 hours of imprisonment, made me feel frantic and sick to my stomach.
On the other hand, outside of work, things were so much fun. I felt excited to show Cat around, to show her all the good things about being here. What we eat, see, do. I took her to eat oyster pajeon with Alex and Jae Young, excited for a platter of cheap raw oysters, only to find out that they were out of season.
“Don’t worry!” said Jae Young. “Just stay until winter, and we can have oysters together.”
“Haha, yeah….” just laugh…but honestly felt I could cry.
Yesterday I heard they’re planning their wedding day early, “because our friends our leaving, including you.” But…I’ve bought my ticket already. I leave two weeks before the date.
Sometimes I’m excited to come home, to see you and everyone, and to do and eat and see all the things, work on my stamp store and stuff. But sometimes that excitement trails off into a wisp, and I’m left thinking…then what? You’ll be gone. Why stay on?
Okay, so I move onto somewhere else. Where? Do I really want do pick up my life again, and hope I don’t drop any pieces on the way? Do I go back to Korea, where things turned out to be…pretty all right, I guess…?