Chapter 54

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Yesterday, I woke up at 6 a.m. and drank a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Then I read the paper while taking a nasty shit. An American English teacher in Seoul was arrested for assaulting a taxi driver. This thirty-four-year-old woman kicked the poor man several times in the legs and stomach. She admitted her guilt to the powers that be but blamed the driver for taking a wrong turn. If I were king of the world, I'd have this trollop caned and deported. It's a good thing that nobody listens to me.

I drove to work with Rice-Boy Larry. I asked him to wear his seatbelt. He gave me problems, so I threatened to call his mother. He immediately backed down. Everybody is afraid of the Dragon Lady—even some of my coworkers. And rightly so. The woman is an absolute loon.

I went to a staff meeting at 8:25. I can't remember a word that anybody said. I smiled and nodded for the entire fifteen minutes. I'm wonderful that way.

I wore another one of my cat-girl sweatshirts. The weather is still frigid on the peninsula. Everybody loves my new wardrobe—teachers and students alike. I felt special.

The morning classes went well. In high school, we read Wine on the Desert by Max Brand. It went over quite well. In middle school, we read Charles by Shirley Jackson. The kids liked that story, too. I enjoy my job. It's better than being an undertaker.

I went to lunch. We had some type of noodle soup. Noodles are huge in Asia. The soup came with rice. Rice is also huge in Asia. I didn't care for the food, so I struck up a conversation with my co-workers. I do my best to be sociable. I still feel a little guilty about last week's outburst. But calling Paul and King David a couple of queers is a bit outrageous.

I drove home at 5 p.m. When I opened the door of my shack, The Dragon Lady actually smiled.

I said, "Are you in a good mood?"

She said, "Good mood? Are you da stoopid man?"

"So you're not in a good mood?"

"Why you ask? Is dat da norma conversation?"

"It's normal in America."

"Well, it not da norma in Kolea."

I ate dinner and went into the bedroom. I watched television by my lonesome. I didn't want to be around my wife. Sometimes, she drags me down like a brick tied to a parakeet's foot.

I called for Larry. He appeared in the doorway.

I said, "Do you want to watch Supernatural?"

We're both big fans of the show.

The Dragon lady heard me and came rushing into my private space.

"Supa-nat-u-rah?" She frowned at me. "Are you da daddy? He must do da homework. Dis not Amerlica. He must study da math."

I apologized. The only thing I truly crave in life is peace. It's not easy being married to a high-conflict personality.

Later that night, I found her sitting at the kitchen table. She was practicing her English.

I said, "Let me say a prayer for your health. Plus it might help kill a few of those demons lurking in your soul."

The Dragon Lady went crazy. She took my phone and called the Pastor. She told him that she hadn't found the demon joke the least bit funny. She also said that I had no training to become a member of the clergy—making all of my spiritual judgments null and void.

After that, she set up a little bed in the living room. She informed me that she'd never sleep with me again. Trust me. I wasn't crying.

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