At the Nongso Parking Garage, you step off of the bus and into another dimension. It’s nestled between farmland and the red light district. I’m convinced it’s the weirdest place in Korea. You see bus drivers unwind. They take their shirts off for some reason. You witness comradery between the 1127 drivers. Almost all of them smoke cigarettes. Sometimes you can see a bus driver drive their car home after their shift. It’s like watching Mini-Mouse pull her head off backstage. Or seeing Jackie O pick a wedgie.
I’ve been spending a lot of time here lately. I wait fifteen minutes to transfer buses to get to Korean class. The class is twice a week and for free. Given the quality of the class, it’s too expensive. I eat a package of soybeans as I wait. It’s 10 grams of protein and only 100 calories. It will prevent me from binge eating later. I want to shed visceral fat so Bo doesn’t keep beating my ass in jiujitsu.
This past Tuesday, I was approached by a man. Not your dapper Busan man that manspreads on the subway and wears cool loafers. No. He was almost a creature. His eyes were light — cataracts. He muttered something to me but I was listening to jazz. I hate jazz. But it distracts me from the feeling of wasting my dissipating youth at a fucking bus station. I stared back, not removing my headphones. I furrowed my eyebrows and popped soybeans into my mouth, one at a time. He put his hand out. The universal symbol of “give me some of that shit.” His nails were like Halloween. This is what vitamin and calcium deficiency for 70 years looks like. That’s not his fault though.
I dropped 4 soybeans into his hand, utilizing gravity so I didn’t have to touch him. He said something again. I stared. He kept his hand torso-level and bent down tongue first to pick up a soybean. He did not break eye contact.
“Why doesn’t he use his hand to put them into his mouth?” I thought to myself in horror.
A concerned bystander rose to his feet as backup when things started getting weird. Oh, no. He just got up to get on the departing bus. I was on my own. The creature bent down tongue first again to pick up another soybean. I regretted my generosity.
Next month I will be participating in my second NaNoWriMo! I will not be blogging during that time. But I still love you. Wait for me.