do you know what it’s like to be me? especially on sleepless summer nights when i lie first on my stomach, then my side then my other side then my back, when everything is slightly warmer than i would like and my mind won’t stop working so i’m forced to think about life and time and words and stories and languages all at once-- isn’t it strange how we grow up? i think i can’t wait for it, but i’m terrified nonetheless. how come days were so much longer when i was little? what happened to happy early mornings, apple-picking, playing in the long green grass, drawing circles in the carpet, climbing the rugged trees, when every day was magical, and i went to my dreams every night with anticipation for the next day lingering like some beautiful breeze? now sometimes i feel like i’m slipping from some grasp or something is slipping from mine and i find myself counting the hours until the day is over. (because then i can rest, but then i start thinking like this, and that doesn’t really work, does it?) is steadfastness the same as perseverance? does allure mean the same as charm? bear is a bear, but i can bear burdens too. perhaps a bear will bear the winter by sleeping, and only vines bear grapes. why is it that when i make a new line in a poem or a story it makes a sort of point? is it the silence implied, a pause-- that gives new emphasis, fragmented like broken glass? because those shards make the light dance in new patterns, in a way it could never have done before. how is it that words work, somehow accepting meaning and preserving it, so it transfers from my head to yours sometime? i’m able to tell you what i think. isn’t that miraculous? i don’t even understand how thoughts work in the first place. translation plagues me. i wonder how you can move a phrase from one language all the way into another and it means the same thing. what are these concepts below the words, that everyone can understand? and does it really mean the same? it’s too hard-- what shall I assign to hyanggi: smell, aroma, odor, fragrance, perfume? because they’re not all the same. who decided that e, ie, ae, ee, eo, ei, ea, y, oe, ey, and i can all represent the same sound? if you ask me, i think that’s rather mean. writing is a lovely thing, but sometimes it scares me. what if my words are stupid, and have been all along? i can’t tell, because i put them together, and i never like to think i’m stupid. what if the characters i create don’t like me? small wonder i can’t sleep at night. can you imagine what it’s like to be me? i’ve never known anything else, but i’m starting to have a feeling it might be kind of ...weird.