I picked Miss Belambini up at Cedar Park Elementary, where she was a teacher. Her car was in the shop through the week.

“You’re a lifesaver,” she told me as she got into my pickup. I had seen her only one time before, and she had been wearing a lowcut evening dress, with her face rouged and the upper halves of her breasts exposed. Today she was dressed in a skyblue sweater and white pants, her cheeks colored only by the day’s smiles and shouts. But apparently her faint lipstick had given her away: “My kids bugged me since morning bell—Miss Belambini is going on a date tonight! They told me I was lazy not to go home and put on more makeup, and I told them I couldn’t because of my fenderbender yesterday. But they’re so smart. I swear, I couldn’t keep a secret from them if I wanted to.”

I found her more attractive at that moment than I ever had. When she asked if I didn’t want to drop her off at her apartment to change, I told her there was nothing she needed to improve. She blushed appreciatively. Continue reading


Scoliosis settles into my spine in the wilted gaming chair, each thread stifled with the essence of Shin Ramyun and second hand smoke. Sometimes I wonder if spending any and all of my remaining hours away from school of hagwon or home in these types of places will result in lung damage. For roughly one thousand Korean won ($1.10 CAD) an hour you can smoke, drink, and binge eat cuttlefish chips in the comfort of a PC Room lit by the plasma television screens and gaming consoles. I’d bet everyone in here is near-sighted and that they were long before coming here, like I was. I squint at natural sunlight, and this is the only place I feel like a real person. I once saw a pro gamer have a more domineering man switch a catheter out during a League Championship he won after a nearly thirty hour match. I wonder if his transcendent focus is comparable to those who fast like Siddartha and most K pop stars. Continue reading