Working on this experimental style, collaborative, blog-novel has been really fun and I want to thank “Dr. Loser” for putting it together and PhatDog187 for making that wonderful “Street Novel” in Seoul that brought back so many memories. Here now is my final contribution to the story, but be sure to read the first 2 parts on those other blogs first (they all link together):
Just Eric – Finale
Stacy was pushing a big sucking kiss into my lips and cheeks that was making a really gross wet smushing sound so I gently pushed her off me. I’d lied to Stacy months ago in order to dump her gently so I could pursue the North Korean Princess, who was standing behind me and must have been giving me a very disappointed look. According to the story (that I only started to remember then) I was going to leave Korea and move back to Canada, which would have been happening right around that time, so this explained her surprise appearance and gift. She’d never acted this affectionate in public though, so I was really freaked out, especially with the North Korean Princess, who I wanted to impress so badly, standing right there. Stacy still kept trying to suckle my face so I walked her out of the classroom doorframe and into the hallway where a ruckus of kids spun around in an energetic and misconceived flurry of activity.
The kids were circling two men but I was having a hard time actually seeing what was going on since Stacy was stuck to my face with extra strength. I did see the North Korean Princess walk by with an angry swagger and go into the washroom, un-phased by the scrambling group of kids who parted to give her an unobstructed path. Then I caught a glimpse of the men in the centre of the skirmish and it was my friend, the teacher Ken, wrestling with the CEO of the DIP Cool Schools. That really seemed bizarre, how could that even be possible? Then, pushing through the screaming cyclone that surrounded the fight, the COO from the head office came at Ken from behind and kicked him in the balls. Crumpling, Ken let go of his grip on the CEO and fell to the floor, then the CEO and COO started pummeling him with punches and kicks.
Stacy finally unlocked from my lips, letting go so that she could bend down and grab that gift bag off the floor. I took that opportunity to push away and get over to the fight. I needed to be careful not to offend the CEO of the company but also get him and his lackey away from my friend. In the background, I saw the North Korean Princess come out of the washroom doorway followed by a very scary looking man. He was stocky with forearms protruding like steel pipes from the rolled-up sleeves of a military green shirt. His face was darkly tanned and slashed with a scar that cut horizontally across his face and right under his eyes, like he was watching you while submerged in a pool of water. The North Korea Princess very resolutely pointed at me but I mistakenly assumed she was jealously pointing past me to Stacy, so I turned around to warn her and then someone punched me in the eye.
You are Steven, an American living in Seoul who used to have a pretty nice office job that let you get away with just about anything. Then this new guy Eric came along and he pretended to be your friend, stole all your ideas, got a promotion that should have been yours, and personally had you fired. Eric probably thought that he’d never see you again since he was supposed to be so high up on the food chain and you were then unemployed, but as they say: you always see the people you fucked over on the way up when you’re falling ass first back down, or something like that. You were both lowly cool school teachers at that point and you were going to get your revenge – and it wasn’t just going to be the punch in the eye that he so deserved but you were rilling up all of the teachers at the school against him too. They all hated teaching the gibberish he created anyways so it wasn’t hard. When you had his job, all the teaching materials you created at the head office for the cool schools was so inoffensive that nobody ever threatened quitting because of you. You just followed those dumb orders of the company and did what they wanted. This Eric though, he tried to make everything better and you thought that made him a total idiot. He should have just been content with finding a nice girlfriend and settling down. But instead he had to go and fuck it up for everyone. On your mark, the teachers let all of their students into the hall at the same, time who whirled around in a sugary frenzy and filled up the place with wild laughter. Eric was out there, caught up in the pandemonium, unaware that you were approaching him from behind.
I turned around and got punched in the face. I couldn’t see who it was but I knew it was him – her boyfriend. He was right to punch me back then. I’d slept with his girlfriend. They’d been dating for over five years and I knew that. Actually, that was the first time I’d ever been punched or done anything like cheat, either on my own girlfriend or with someone who had a boyfriend. I knew that he wanted to marry her, so I was being a real dick. She was easily the most beautiful girl who had ever paid any attention to me though and it felt so good. But what was I doing? My actual girlfriend at the time was already way too good for me. So even if I’m making all this up, and he never found out about what I was doing, confronted me, or punched me, I deserved it and writing this story is my awkward way of getting my comeuppance without really admitting anything.
In 2006 it was kind of cool to be like that here. I’m not proud of it but I also shouldn’t deny it. Just like being a teacher inside those English classes, it felt like I was allowed to do whatever I wanted back then. The students wanted to be perfect and I was paid to tell them it was possible. They expected to never make grammar errors or vocabulary mistakes, use proper structure and be completely clear, persuasive and engaging at all times. And on top of all that, they wanted to be able to do it automatically without any real preparation and be completely creative and unique as well. I couldn’t tell them that was ridiculous. It would be like turning down that super beautiful girl who wanted to have sex with me because I was white and had a girlfriend. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and no one should blame me for taking it, in fact, you all encouraged me to do it so I shouldn’t feel guilty. But I do.
And now it’s different here. Everyone is married. They’ve got kids too. Those kids are gonna grow up and need teachers one day. Not teachers like we were. So we’ve got to change. The students are different now too. It’s like they’ve actually figured out how to use English perfectly and quickly. I don’t get it. They can do things that I thought were impossible in 2006 and now if I try I can really help them to improve. Trying, that’s the keyword. And I think that’s what I’m ready to do. All that stuff in the past is just in the past. So why am I still here? Not here as in Korea, but here as in writing this old story? I’m better than this now. I’ve just got to tie it up neatly somehow and then I can move on. What should I say? Oh gee… I really don’t know. I should just make something up that shouldn’t be too complicated and then I can fill up the rest of the space with stuff but what maybe if I just started pressing the keys then alskdnfwiubgeg busdasd asiimubg aiues haderjs fndhfadfwpisf piaspas uhdeobnfaiu sdhfuisat usdffsaob