Tag Archives: addiction

Here, Use My Eyes

“An unexpected and unknown visitor allows you to see a familiar place as if for the very first time. I’m thinking of the meter-reader rooting through your kitchen at 8 a.m., the Jehovah’s Witness suddenly standing in the living room. ‘Here’, they seem to say, ‘use my eyes. The focus is much keener. ‘” – David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

For the second time this week, there was a loud, insistent pounding on my door, followed by the always-a-pleasure “Have You Ever Seen A Lassie?” doorbellphone. This sudden barrage of loud and obnoxious sounds always scares the piss out of me, if for no other reason than proximity. I am usually seated on my bed, which is about six paces from the front door, and even though it is only about six paces from the door, I somehow NEVER hear the knocker coming and end up jumping out of my skin when the attack begins. Continue reading

Black Tar

In retrospect, Korea may not have been the best choice for me and my addiction problems.

I have this student and he yearns for my attention. He yearns so freaking hard I can see the tendons in his neck straining. I imagine he waits all week for the moment on Wednesday when he gets to march into my classroom, bypass his seat, place himself approximately two feet from my face (Me? I’m always doing something harmless like sitting and looking cheerful*), points at the cup gripped in my hand and begins to recite what he has been waiting to say since last we saw each other: 커피!  커피! 커피! 커피! 커피! 커피! 커피! 커피! 커피! 커피! 커피! 커피!  커피! 커피!!!!!

You can see that this is irritating even in Korean. But what is he saying? What single word could drive an 11 year old boy into a rabid frenzy every goddamn week?



Because, it seems, this is a habit that only I have cultivated in Korea. Now, you and I know I’m given to bouts of hyperbole (the best hyperbole in the history of human events), but I say this in all seriousness: I cannot live without coffee. In the event that I forget/run out/am robbed of my caffeine, my consciousness retreats below the most unholy of headaches and series of physical spasms that makes this scene from “Trainspotting” look tame. On those hellish days, I run on nothing more than brain stem power. Though my heart beats and my lungs fill, Erin doesn’t live here anymore. The mind recoils at the very thought of this.

So why is Korea less than ideal for the caffeine freak? Continue reading