Dedicated to Enoch Cho
It was my cousin, my sister and I. We walked out of the small deli and headed for my cousin’s home. This was one of my few trips to visit my relatives in Korea. I could still count my age with my fingers. Nine. It was hot and humid in the countryside and in the night if everything was quiet, you could hear the waves nearby, but it wasn’t night right now. The walk back was long and arduous because I remember feeling the jutting rocks digging into the soles of my slippers. Walking on this path required concentration, because it was narrow and was elevated above the muddy rice fields. The next thing I knew, a commercial whitecolored truck was coming our way. My sister commanded confidently to move to the side. So as the truck passed by (I don’t know—I think the rocks hate me), I fell into the rice fields. “Here, give me your hand,” my cousin said, and so I got pack up on the path, my other hand holding the bag of candy high above my head, undamaged. They took it so it wouldn’t get dirty and so I walked home, my feet making music with the semicrusty mud.
“It’s ok. It’s ok,” my mom repeated. She wiped off a tear off my eyes. It was hot and humid outside and I was naked standing on a tub getting bathed by mom. I was staring hopelessly at my cousins staring through the window who were shrieking with laughter, my green chewing gum bouncing inside their teeth.