Prologue

Prologue

It feels like I have been in this room before. It feels like I am stuck in this room in my dreams. A room full of sadness where crying children are brought to cry some more. Shelves line the walls full of their memories, their recorded logs of displacement and attempted replacement of what has been lost for them. The room is furnished with a large desk of authority against the far wall with a couple wooden chairs that were never built for comfort facing it. I hate this room.

My eyes wander in sadness and search for an escape from what I have just heard.

The last time I was here I was crying my heart out as I struggled to know what was going on. I know this to be true even if I don’t have the memory still. Something inside me tells me there are cries still leftover inside from that experience, from that day. Those screams seek now to join the rest of the surrounding depression this room has known, a feeling I can feel like painted sadness on a wall. It is an overwhelming pressure that squeezes my saddened heart and makes me want to erupt from my chair and run, never looking back. I knew I shouldn’t have come here.

I see a window and look out onto a busy Pusan street, a street I can’t remember walking as a child. Cars whisk by and a Korea from my dreams becomes a moving reality before my eyes.

It feels almost like a movie, but the sights and sounds are as real as the pain I am feeling right now. This pressure around my heart that makes it want to burst.

The window frames the picture of the city of my birth and begins to age with the clouds of my depression until the screen looks like an old fashioned television show.

And then I see her. I don’t know why my eyes are drawn to her, but I notice a woman walking quickly down the street holding the hands of two young children behind her. She looks so familiar, like the glimpse of a memory I can’t remember, and I know that I know her and yet I don’t. The older of the two kids, a young girl, looks around obviously confused by the early morning adventure into the city. She is too far away for me to make out her face and I feel suddenly frustrated by my lack of view, I feel like I must see her. Behind her struggling to keep up with the group is her younger brother.

The mother has a face of determination as she marches by purposefully with a need to see the deed done, whatever deed that may be. Again I have this haunting suspicion that I know this woman as she passes further from my view. I keep watching as the young boy turns his head quickly and shoots a furtive glance in my direction. Our eyes meet and I look at myself in the mirror until he turns away to find his mother suddenly stopped in front of a building.

I can tell they stand in front of a sleeping police station that hasn’t started protecting people yet. The mother seems to gather herself for a second before gathering her family around her. She gently pulls the two children closer in and hugs them while saying words I obviously cannot hear, but somehow I know them in my heart. I can tell she is trying to make the moment last a lifetime that can’t last forever as she abruptly pushes the children away with some last words given forcefully towards the eldest daughter, before quickly walking away. She doesn’t look back, I wait for her to turn back. The children instantly look scared and confused as all they know walks away. I can almost hear their cries and the sorrow of the moment brings me back to my moment and the sorrow that waits for me.

 

 

Chapter 1

I look down through my tears at a trail of tears leading to a photo. My sorrow draws a line from the photo towards the one taped above it. I hear the words again that have impacted me so, that have made me want to flee.

He says that this photo above yours is a picture of your biological sister. Apparently your mother left both of you on a street in front of a police station. After the officers brought you here your mother apparently had a change of heart and came to retrieve just your sister. I am sorry you had to find out this way.”

They are words that will replay over and over in my mind as long as I have a mind to play memories in. My Korean translator was as kind as you can be while shattering the only world I knew. I was eighteen years old and about to go off to college after the summer was over and what was supposed to be a fun vacation touring my motherland had just changed into a life altering trip. I felt like everything I had known about myself had suddenly been erased as these strangers began to tell me about myself.

As an adoptee you often find your life is held between the sleeves of a manila folder. As long as you know what that folder contains your life is less of a mystery and more just different. It is when missing pieces of a puzzle you never knew was missing pieces begin to show up that you find your course in life altered. I thought I knew everything there was to know about myself and my life because I had read that folder and knew what it said. I never imagined how much a single line could mean to me.

I had family out there. Real people. Not the family of your imagination or the family you would stubbornly conceive mentally because every adoptee has done that. I had proof that two people existed that were physically related to me and I finally had an answer to why I was adopted, but it only brought more questions. It brought another feeling, a feeling I was fighting to be fair. Why did I suddenly feel so angry? Maybe she couldn’t have taken care of two children and my sister was older. Did that matter to me? I wasn’t sure exactly how I felt, but I couldn’t deny the growing feeling inside.

My thoughts were interrupted by a gentle hand on my shoulder. A reminder once again that I was sitting in the office at the orphanage I had been adopted from when I was three years old. The starting place of my journey in life until this revelation which know showed that path to the past was much longer for me than I had previously known.

The director of the orphanage placed a second book in front of the eyes I only wished to shut them. As he flipped through the pages I could tell, even though it was written in hangul, that it was some type of guest log from the numbers and what looked like addresses with them. He finally arrived at the page he was seeking and dragged his finger until he reached a box near the middle of the page.

“This your mother’s entry when she signed out for your sister. Her name is Kim Ie Soo and she listed her address as well which is procedure for signing out a child.”

The words “she listed her address as well” instantly stood out to me and I starred at her name. I said her name to myself, not daring to speak, and I instantly wondered if she was still living there with my sister. Was it really that simple? Could I find the answer to my personal mystery within a few moments of discovering it existed? The hope must have shown on my face because the director paused before hurriedly speaking again in broken English.

I can take you there.”

He then turned to my translator who worked for the motherland tour I was on and quickly had a conversation with him in Korean.

I hesitated. I didn’t know what to do. It is a hesitation that ended up meaning the world to me even though I didn’t know it at the time, and it is an action I will regret for the rest of my life. In that small window of doubt my tour guide quickly climbed through and took control of the situation before I knew what to say.

He shook his head for the both of us as he explained that “that isn’t the way it is done through the organization” and that we would need to return to the rest of the group and discuss the matter with the director.

 

 

Life is a blur when you don’t give a shit.

-OM

44.1

@smokendust

1

I put my thoughts out on the wire and watch them expire past the date someone has set. They set on me as I settle into be something that was never meant to be. Can I be what I was meant to be as I press against what is set on me. I struggle with the need to be what I want or seem to want to be it seems.

I’ll be.

Be what I can be.

-OM

44.1

@smokedust

The first and last Company Field Trip

Anger: I am so glad you organized this field trip for the group Jason. I hope I finally get to use this battle axe.

Jason: Watch where you swing that thing moron. I told you this was a fantasy “play” adventure. You can’t really kill anyone…

Anger: Stop ruining shit.

Hard work: I’m so glad I finally get to see what everyone is like outside of the box! This is going to be awesome! I brought my notebook in case we need to take any notes for our next trip which I am scheduling now.

Anger: Who invited this fucker? He makes me angry.

Happiness: Everything seems to make you angry brother. I brought my guitar to sooth the melodies of your soul!

Anger: Man… fuck! This trip is starting to suck.

Drunk: You know we passed several bars on the way here. I saw one advertising two for one atomic hurricanes. I dunno what the fuck that is, but it sounds delicious. I vote we go there for our adventure.

Jason: Like you don’t have your belt flask on you? You are useless…

Drunk: You know the first step in the program is to not be judged by your friends I think.

Anger: That isn’t a step turd bucket. God, how are we related again?

Jason: We should keep going. They said there might be some surprises along the trail… so one of you go first.

Anger: Flying true colors huh Mr. Fearless Leader. My ass!

To be continued…

Daily

I only hope the guys don’t hate me. I left them on that boat and I was like… “fuck that boat.”

I’m on land watching the boat just shake, rattle, and roll with the wind. Glad to only see one ping every two hours, it’s a process to learn. But I’ll learn it. For now.

Do boats ever sink?

I can still see it.

Damn I hope those guys don’t hate me…

Jason

44.1

@smokendust

The Rundown

What have I been up to…

So I wear two hats at work, which really isn’t as cool as it sounds. It sounds like your neck breaking under the pressure of obligation and RESPONSIBILITY.

It sucks.

But we do what we gotta do right? We grow up, we chase that elusive dollar, and we give up childhood dreams and take on the mantle of adulthood.

It takes a lot of…

and that was a Christmas gift! It is all gone… sorry Linda!

So, Work…. and it deserves the capital, that’s been keeping me from blogging.

That and…

Be easy WP. I won’t post as much this year, but I’m around. But that’s life.

I’ve been reading silently, just like other readers read. Keep posting, keep caring. You never know who is reading your words for encouragement.

-OM

44.1

@smokendust