Jane S. Kim

Stoned

Jane S. Kim

Han and I are sitting on the bed, listening to music.

“I think you should hear this song.”  I switch on the stereo and let it crackle.  The sound of tiny bells ring out.  “This song is the one.”

I love Han very much.  I’m thinking this music will tell it so.  I lean back on the bed and close my eyes.  I feel like a big piece of ice twisting in the light.  The sounds turning me, reflecting.

Things are not as important as they seem or feel.  This is something I’ve been telling myself lately but I’m cheating the situation.  I know it’s a cowardly move.

Hemingway wrote that if you do not break, you will be killed impartially.  The brave, the gentle, and the very good will be killed without a moment’s regard.  Courage lies in never being weak: it is no good being mended in places that have already been broken.

Han is slumped against the wall, backside to me.

Like so many other men I’ve known, Han longs for Hong Kong.  He longs to lose himself in his days of being wild.  In New York City, we are alone together and I hang around his neck like an albatross.  A sad and strangled face, faking strength by silence.