Chapter 37

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Yesterday, I woke up at 6 a.m. and drank a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Then I read the paper while taking a nasty shit. A 28-year-old Korean woman tried to kill herself by jumping off a subway platform. The train actually rolled over her. Yet somehow she miraculously survived. She's currently in serious condition at a hospital in the city of Daegu.

Depression is a serious problem here on the peninsula. The suicide rate is off the charts. The ROK has severe gun-control laws, so most people accomplish the deed by jumping out their apartment windows. I shit you not. Falling from great heights is the preferred method of death. The big problem is the face culture. Lots of Asians feel too ashamed to ask for psychiatric help.

I called Ken using Facetime. He now has his driving permit. He's real proud that he'll soon be clogging up the American highways. He also registered for next year's classes. His schedule's a bitch. He'll be taking biology, anatomy, AP European history, Algebra II, and English. He's a smart son-of-a-bitch. I really miss the kid.

I drove to work in my sixteen-year-old Samsung automobile. I listened to a song called Rosanna by a group named Toto on the radio. I was grooving up the highway when I suddenly realized that the tune is forty fucking years old. This revelation brought me back to earth like a sack of bricks.

I met my co-workers in the library. The vice principal gave a devotion about Jesus's last night in the Garden of Gethsemane. It's the part when he has doubts and sweats blood. Christ tells us to be resolute in our times of stress. Good luck with that.

Many of the Koreans were in a foul mood.

A few weeks back, a teacher's bid for tenure got rejected. Consequently, the powers that be told him to find another job. Now all the male Korean teachers are furious. In fact, a math teacher with tenure is so steamed over the situation that he just submitted his resignation. Today is his last day. He's quitting before the children come on Monday.

I have many of my own problems. Therefore, I stay out of the soup. Besides, the guy didn't get tenure because he publicly pissed on everything that our school believes in. For instance, conservative Christian Koreans want Uncle Sam to have a presence on the peninsula. Yet this guy would often give anti-American lectures to the students. Furthermore, conservative Koreans don't believe in gay marriage. Yet this teacher was an unabashed sexual libertine. And he would foolishly espouse these opinions to anyone in earshot. I'm surprised that it took the powers that be this long to fire the idiot.

I cleaned up my classroom. This is a huge deal for me. I'm a hoarder. I have papers lying about that are nearly six years old, and I have an email account with over 2,700 messages which I am terrified to delete. Throwing away all that old paper is a real milestone for a loon like me. Lexapro has really improved the quality of my life.

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