#3 Pop Song Fiction: A New Hunger Game

“Finish your cake, and we’ll go for dinner.”

At my floor table, we eat the cake as I closely examine the black and white photo that my ajumma neighbor just gave me. Life seems so simple in black and white. I wish Abby and I didn’t know about color and HDTV. But we do. Now we have to live in this hyper-reality. We play games on a new level without the simplicity of PacMan and Mario Brothers. We gotta swing Angry Birds in crystal clear galaxies. She would never be happy with a black and white photo gift, even if I took it and developed it myself. I look up at the Satoji painting on my wall. She gave it to me at the beginning of our relationship. An investment in our future, a future she withdrew from prematurely.

“Yeah, I have good taste. That painting is still hot.” She rises and walks to the bathroom or refrigerator.

At first, the painting was too much, too bright, too wild, too much going on. But it gives me something to look at when she isn’t here. I can get lost in the dream world images– the swirls, the colors, the monkeys flying, the banana floating. The painting is talking about another world that I wish she would runaway with me to. But I know she won’t leave Seoul. She’s investing too much into it. Much more than I’m willing to give of myself to a city that practically snatched me from my mother’s arm and flung me far from morning calm into the wild wild west.

She sits down with her bottle of wine and a glass. Her eyes welcome me into her den of deception as she pours. God, do I want to be played tonight?

“A week early for my birthday, huh? Last year, it was a week late surprise.”

There is silence. I’m getting pissed and bringing up shit, and I don’t even know why. I do know why. I hate her and I love her.

She places her glass down and picks up my fork. Her hand feeds me cake, but her eyes feed me Very Sexy bullshit. I eat them both because man cannot live on bread alone; it is written. A new hunger game is being played in my officetel. Welcome to Sillim.

I look at her wanting to say something deep, but there’s nothing deep about this relationship. She comes when she wants. She leaves when she wants. And I allow it. Shit, I might even enjoy it.

She rubs my face and something cold touches my cheek. I snatch her left hand.

“Oh shit!” she says. I toss her hand down like the trash she is. “I totally forgot. Honestly.”

She tugs her ring up and down, left to right; and, I watch her marital struggle for a second. Then my eyes stare out the window. The sun is setting; its light is flickering on the skyscraper that holds the Jamaica 24 Fitness sign. I sense it’s coming like a werewolf anticipating the rising of a full moon. Sillim is about to get crazy, and Abby has set it off in my officetel.


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