I live in Korea, "The Land of the Morning Calm." On most days the sun is just waking up when my alarm goes off. The floor is warm and I'm cozy in bed. I don't want to leave my dreams and the yummy cocoon of covers, but I'm excited that it's a new day. BECAUSE: Everyday I roll over, pick up the bottle on the nightstand, and dump out one of the small scrolls of colored paper. I unroll it, read it by the dim light of another chilly morning in Seoul, and smile. Today it's, "Because I don't know how anybody couldn't love you," and yesterday it was because I'm "willing to sleep with ear plugs," and the day before it was, "because you inspire me." Then I roll back over and snuggle with Judo until he starts snoring. I'm adored and loved, and while it's not all perfect, right now my world feels really good. Lately, my life has been filled with a lot of great moments, enough that I barely have time to reflect and document them before the next one happens. And this is why I don't post as much as I used to.
Adored and loved... in other big news, I went back to the states for vacation and got the chance to spend time with my favorite people on the planet. I've never felt so much gratitude. My family and friends are simply amazing individuals, and collectively--like when my family is all at home together, or when a bunch of my girls are all out on the town for a night--it feels like it's the best day ever. seeing them still makes me question why I live here, so far away from them, but it has gotten easier to swallow. Now, when I'm on my way to the airport I feel a small sense of relief to be returning, instead of that nasty overwhelming thing I used to get over the idea of leaving.
I saw San Fran, and Sophy, and a girl I went to grade school with in a yarn store. I met a guy named Jake who was the missing link in how I know a bunch of people in Seoul. I saw Dada, who put me to work painting the next day, and my mom, who squeezed my tush and immediately started feeding me cheese and matzoh ball soup. I saw my Uncle Mike play guitar in Delaware. I went with my grandmother, who ate rice pudding which I thought was gross but she thought was delish. I saw the Stone Family and their beautiful kids and their really good looking nephew. I saw Gia and J9 and we all went to Ashish's fabulous birthday party where I bumped into Phil, a guy I went to high school with. I brought Eric too, and gave him a nipple, which he named Samantha. Then we went for Pizza and met a really lonely drunk guy from New Jersey who said I didn't know anything about drag queens. I spent so much time with Kiersten and Eleni, and got to go to Eleni's house on New Year's Day for a big Greek family gathering--and felt so grateful, and realized that I love my friends because they are the family that I choose. They are the best! I saw Cindy and her cubicle at the Natural History Museum. I saw Phil and Tisha together, really together, and talked about relationships a little and math degrees a little too. I saw Robert and we played pinball. I saw Ian Love, because he came all the way from Indiana to see me, and that was awesome. I saw Debbie and her beau and we talked about taxes. I saw Andrew and TK, who now live together and are a really great couple. This still baffles me. I saw Kevin, who lives in Eleni's apartment, with Lily, Eleni's pussy(cat). I saw Grace for the first time in a long time. I saw Rose and Jenn and their lesbian posse. I saw Brooklyn, and the LES, Philly, and a bunch of hours go by far too fast.
Going back to NYC was a big head trip. You know, we have history. NYC was my first true love. We were really good together for like 6 years. Blissful. That's one word that would describe me and NYC. And then it got nasty and I started to feel like NYC didn't appreciate me the way it used to. Things got harder, and we grew distant. I moved to Brooklyn, and life with NYC became a daily struggle. So, I left.
Living in Seoul felt like I was cheating on NYC for a while. But, I knew I had to move on. Things weren't easy at first. I'd catch myself nostalgically daydreaming about Liquiteria on 2nd Ave. or the old Lucky's on Houston that had the best fresh juices and smoothies. And then I'd bad mouth Seoul for only having things like Smoothie King--the closest thing I could get to the fruity beverage I so deeply desired--and curse the Addidas that now stands where the smoothie King once lived, and pronouncing that Seoul, no all of Korea, must be insane for shutting down the one place that gave me such fruity pleasure. Id think, "If you were just a little more like NYC, then maybe I could truly love you, but I don't right now."
My heart was still with NYC, but that slowly faded, and I started to live a different life, and see a lot of new places, and discovered a lot of great things that exist outside of NYC. So, when I returned to NYC this time, it was like seeing and old lover, pleased to go to lunch with them and just being happy to see and hear that they are doing well. I remember old good times we had together, but now, I am just pleased to catch up, say hello, and then be on my way.
I happily returned to Seoul and to a smiling, excited, adorable Judo and these: