Friday, February 20, 2004

The first notes begin here...

At his bar mitzvah, she was there. Officially, they had broken up long before, yet there she was. As always, the focus of everyone around her... what a beauty. And chasing Chester? Running after him, from room to room, around tables and down the halls. He had always been fast; she had no chance; actually, in more ways than one. His party line was, "Girls are ickey." Perhaps it had something to do with the social restraint within Korean culture. His family was very traditional. I never knew what to do when I entered his house. I was just there to pick him up, popping my head in to say a quick hello to his mom. Such a kind, and genuinely good person. She made the fried wontons that would make that asian chef on t.v. drool with envy... regardless, I was just saying "hi" and in a minute, we'd be out the door. So I'd stand there, uncomfortably wondering if I should take off my shoes... I doubt a rubber sole had ever passed the entryway. But there I am. The brutish and clumsy american, tromping around on their clean carpet with my dirty shoes. But what option did I have? If I stopped to untie and remove my shoes, and whatever social graces that entails, I wouldn't even have time to say hi before it was time to sit down and put my shoes back on so we could leave... Maybe that's why I tie my shoes loosely now. Slip 'em on, slip 'em off. It's a rare day that I actually have to lean over and tie a shoe. Now the process is so fast that there would be no question. Walk in the door, toe to one heel, other toe to other heel, and they're off. Couple of frim pushes and they're back on. I could roam about the house freely, without making their tradition look tedious and without making me look like a clod.

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