I lost some sleep over it all this week. Then, I had to just move on.
Then another one, this week, I found out may have been lying all about his sick family situation to get my sympathy and time. It was my mother who actually figured it out first.
When I realized she was right, she asked me: "Are you mad?"
Then I spoke in Korean. We rarely speak in Korean, but I always believe that emotions are best communicated in a person's native tongue.
So I said, "No. Just disappointed."
She said, "I knew Korean people who used to play that kind of game to get everyone to feel sorry for them."
I said back in Korean: "It makes sense. That's what they think they have to do to survive."
And that was the end of that conversation. I took her to eat at a local Japanese restaurant. I ordered two pieces of giant clams and scallops. It tasted good.
She ordered miso (soybean paste) soup and rice.
I asked her, "Can we get the miso made from scratch?"
I remember, my grandmother came from Korea once and made it from scratch. The whole soybean mixture ferment.
She said, "You know how much work it is to make that?"
"Well, I'm trying to eat better."
I told her about how much time it takes to buy local fresh vegetables and oysters and honey and milk.
She said, "Well, now you know how much work it is to really take care of yourself."
On my drive back, I remember one boxer I helped do rather well on the SAT. He got a full scholarship to college, then dropped out, most likely got into drugs. I remembered another one that went back into a full speed addiction. I didn't say anything about it to my mother.
We just talked about whether I should teach English in Japan for a break.
She said, "Why would they hire you? They have enough white people taking those jobs."
I chuckled inside. I thought to myself: My English must not be good enough.
"Well, what about China? Mandarin is important to learn."
"They might hire you there. They all want to learn English anyways."
Then she asked, "And what about your pets?"
"Well, you could take care of them."
"What a bad son. Always giving your mother more work to do."
* * *
The entire experience taught me what parents really go through when they're children fall into an addiction. It's rather painful to watch.
As I went running yesterday in the hills, the thought crossed my mind, how come I haven't died of a broken heart yet? I guess I keep enduring: Must be the Korean blood in me. I thought, Maybe, I have the power to come back from the dead.
It was at that point, I saw an owl staring at me. It jumped off the tree, spanned its wings, and flapped its great wings in the air and glided through the air to the next tree. I caught up with it. It stared at me again. Then it jumped off the tree and flew high into the hills.
During that run, I told myself: Well, I think it's time to move on. After I finish my cases (65% done), I think it's time to plan my sabbatical (that's a year off to rest).
I don't really know where I'll go yet. I don't even know if I have enough money to survive. I might have to pick up some Arbeit ( アルバイト); it's Korean or Japanese slang for temporary work. It's actually a borrowed word from the German word for work: Arbeiten. Arbeit and travel and travel and arbeit.
Mom says I should become a chef. Maybe . . .
Certainly, I need to improve my foreign language skills and food knowledge.
Since I've been encountering a lot of sick people and disease lately, here's a line of Scripture that comes to mind: "Your will to live can sustain you when you are sick, but if you lose it, your last hope is gone." Pro. 18:14 (GNT)
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