Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where's Jin??!

Saturday started off rather innocuous.  We all met in Gangnam and started off with beer and Jagerbombs.  The conversation was light.  Then Jin showed up.

Jin's been having a hard go.  He quit the company to get what promised to be a better job.  Within six months his department had closed and Jin found himself out of work.

His girlfriend of 6 years dumped him, instead shacking up with the head of Jin's old department who had simply been moved into a new position.  Then a couple of weeks back his father passed.  As the eldest son, he needs to look after his mom.  She's broke and since he has yet to find another job, he's dealing with a pile of stress.

He was quiet when he walked in.  Some of the others plied him with beer and shots, which seemed to loosen him up a little.  He became more jovial, and even started throwing some barbs around.  I've always liked this group, since there aren't many thin skinned folk among them; teasing and taunting is fairly common and done in jest and fun.

As Jin became more animated, Min became darker.  The soju, whiskey and beer were flowing fast at this point, yet no one seemed to notice that Min sat there a black hole sucking in all the joy.

He'd always had a thing for Jin's ex, and has been cold towards Jin since the split.  Why I have no idea.  What I heard later was that when Min started throwing little quips the mood definitely soured. 

I wasn't paying too much attention, being at the other end of the table sharing war stories.  When the table went crashing down, all conversation ended.

I'm still vague on the details, but it seems something was said about useless dangling bits of flesh.  Tempers flared.  A table was thrown.  The two were restrained and then Jin stormed off.

Some tried going after him but he had melted into the crowd.  Everyone knew the details of Jin's life, and an urgency grabbed a number of people as they tried calling him, then called friends to see if they knew where he was. 

Everyone was pissed at Min.  He was nonplussed, a complete dick, and when pressed went off on a tirade about how useless Jin was.  Several of us told him it was time for him to go, which he wisely did.

Things came to a head when a text message was received by Ju Yeon about an hour later.  Jin said he loved them, but it was time for him to know the river.  He was by the Banpo bridge.

We quickly piled into taxis and sped down to the Han.  We thought the worst.  We all got out of the cabs and ran around yelling out his name.  When we found him we didn't know if we should get mad or laugh.

He was sitting on a mat surrounded by snack food and soju bottles.  We did the only thing we could do: got some mats, beer, soju, and sat down.

We drank until sunup, a dozen of us, laughing in a way that mocked life and death.

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