Upon returning to the park at the base of the mountain, I decided to rest my body and sit on one of the benches overlooking the rest of the park. I sat there for a while and just watched several small groups of Korean people going about their routines. Some were drinking from the fountains, some were reading books, and some were even walking their dogs. Everyone in the park was pretty much minding their own business, so I opened my small green backpack (which I always take with me to the mountains) and took out a book to read. It was a book about ancient and modern philosophies. I read for over an hour. As evening began to settle in, I put my book away and was about to get up and leave when I suddenly noticed a young Korean couple sitting on a bench about 40 feet opposite me. The young man, who couldn’t have been older than 25 years old, had a handsome, slender face and short black hair. The young woman, about the same age, was absolutely stunning. She had big brown eyes and long, straight black hair that went down past her shoulders. They both had medium builds with heights near 5 feet, 9 inches, and they both had perfect features. My very first glance at them told me the entire story. They were holding hands and looking deeply into each other’s eyes, completely oblivious to me, everyone else in the park, and the rest of the world as well.

I wanted to leave, but I found that I could not take my eyes off them. They just sat there looking at each other as moments went by, lost in each other’s gaze. The young woman moved her hand behind the young man’s head and began to gently caress his hair as she drew his face closer to hers. They then proceeded to softly rub their noses together like two deer in a mystical forest. Without a care in the world, they rose from their park bench and started dancing slowly, moving their bodies in perfect rhythmic harmony to the music of their own souls. The young man had his hands around her waist while his head rested comfortably on her shoulder. She had her eyes closed, and her cheek was pressed lovingly against the side of his head as she continued to caress his hair and his neck. I couldn’t believe that I was even watching two individuals. Every movement they made was in such perfect harmony that I truly wondered if I was witnessing the movements of two bodies occupied by one soul. It was clear that they were no ordinary couple. They were inseparable.

As I kept watching them, I was drawn further and further into their world. I was like a welcome visitor who was allowed to observe the beauty and mystery of their love. The softness of her loving caress and the bewildering depth of her soul-penetrating brown eyes created the soothing bed of feathers upon which his spirit rested. I could hardly blame him for submitting to her eyes…eyes that exerted impelling yet pleasing dominance over the rationality of his thoughts, the changing seasons of his emotional being, and the vulnerability of his human heart…for those eyes could halt the wildest ocean storm. I could see that it was a cosmic impossibility for him to escape the magnetic force of those luminous, sad brown eyes…eyes that contained his entire world…and I knew that he would experience infinite languishing if he were separated from her. And if they were never together again, he would remember her sweet fragrance…and it would bring a waterfall of tears.

I could no longer escape. I was hopelessly drawn in by the unique and powerful aura that encompassed this eminent couple. In some strange and mysterious way, I was able to obtain a full sense of how deeply these two felt about each other. All the hidden secrets of the world, from the blue skies above to the depths of the oceans below, did not concern this young man. He would give them all up just to hold her in his arms for but a brief moment. And she as well, would cast away a glorious lifetime of experiences, with every promised moment of individual happiness and indeed the very feeling of soaring through the stars above, just to hold him close and calm the rhythm of his beating heart.

While I was in a state of being completely absorbed by this couple, a strange feeling slowly overtook me. It felt as though some hidden essence from within me rose from the pit of my stomach, tugged gently at my heart, and sent small mild waves of tenderness throughout my entire being. I could feel my chest tighten a little bit as a small lump began forming in my throat. Suddenly, my eyes began to well up, and my lips began to tremble. I had to look away for a moment…I had to regain my composure or else they would realize that I was watching them. I tried to focus my thoughts on rational things to calm myself down. Anything, anything…my weekend plans, my goals for the future, my favorite books, my favorite movies…anything! All of a sudden I heard innocent giggles of joy. I looked up and saw the two of them laughing delightfully at a couple of small puppy dogs that were blissfully playing and pawing at each other in a small patch of grass nearby. As the puppies continued tumbling around and pawing at each other, like young puppies often do, I kept watching the young couple. They chuckled at the two puppies for a few moments…and then…their eyes turned slowly toward one another…and they embraced each other in a kiss that could make the sun rise.

I was subdued gently by their harmonious, exquisite happiness…swept away by their captivating, youthful companionship…and settled gracefully within the easy confines of my own solitary existence. I realized that I had become hopelessly lost within the sweetness of the moment. And when I found myself again, sitting silently on my lonely mountain bench, I reflected on my own situation, I looked deeply inward, and I calmly and quietly asked myself a very serious question…

“What if this couple were suddenly blasted off the face of the Earth by some unknown, truculent entity and hurled ridiculously across the Universe and directly into a black hole only to be spewed out into a horrifying reality dominated by ugly, vengeful, man-eating spider-fish monkeys?”

I stared at the dirt by my shoes and pondered this question with much concern. When I looked up at the couple and saw that they were still holding each other, I found that instead of being “captivated” by their “companionship,” I was actually quite annoyed with them. I was annoyed with them because it dawned on me that they had never even given serious thought to this question. It was as if they weren’t even worried about it at all!! I became more and more pissed off at them. Who the hell did they think they were, anyway? Were they so damn special that it could never happen to them? Did they have some kind of special “divine” protection against the spider-fish monkeys? As these questions ran through my mind, my frustration at their lack of concern for this issue turned into a deep, cold anger. I asked myself, “What would happen to their precious love if they were actually cast into the world of the spider-fish monkeys? Would they still hold each other so close if they were being relentlessly pursued by multitudes of seven-foot tall bloodthirsty creatures with eight giant spider legs, monkey torsos with monkey arms and monkey hands, and football-sized fish heads with razor-sharp teeth?” And I answered myself, “Yes, of course they would because they’re just so damned better than everyone else!”

Much to my surprise, I suddenly began to wish that they WERE being chased by spider-fish monkeys. “YES,” I said to myself. “That would put a swift end to their”…I suddenly realized that they were both looking at me, both with perplexed and somewhat concerned expressions on their faces. But I didn’t care. I was furious, and I was going to let them both have a piece of my mind. I got up and threw my green backpack on the ground. I pointed at the young man, and in a language he didn’t understand, shouted,

“You foolish young lover!! Will you retain that lethargic, tranquil, love lost countenance when you come face to face with those merciless, unfeeling fish eyes…fish eyes that crave nothing more than to trample you with spider legs and feast on you with monkey hands before swallowing your soul deep down into a cold, fishy, dark, watery abyss of insubstantiality?”

Then I pointed to the young woman, and in a language she didn’t understand, shouted,

“And you!! You hopeless ‘love stricken’ young woman!! Will you still hold this young man close to you with the deepest, most secretive depths of your passionate love when he confronts that spidery, fishy abomination with all the courage and bravery of a four-year old girl? And will he still retain that cherished place as the true love of your eternal heart when you see him run away…screaming wildly and urinating himself uncontrollably …as those eight spider legs dance gleefully after him?”

Needless to say, the young couple took their leave from my presence…with a very hurried pace. And I thought to myself, “Yes, that’s right. You’ll both be moving a lot faster than that when the spider-fish monkeys are after you.” I could see it vividly in my own mind. The couple is stranded in a vast desert: no food, no water; no plants, no trees; no beautiful rivers, no magnificent mountains; no little puppies, no pretty flowers…and no hope…just spider-fish monkeys.

I had no doubt in my mind that the very first spider-fish monkey they encountered would immediately attack the young man. Why? Because he is bigger and would provide more food. Also, he will run faster, which would make it even more fun to catch him. I could see it happening…

“Running desperately through the sand, the young man tries to escape the eight-legged monster. Any thought or concern for his lovely female counterpart now completely vanishes as the unholy beast looms larger and larger behind him. He runs faster, he screams louder, he cries harder…and then he trips… Clumsily, he tumbles to the ground, face-first into the hot, unforgiving sand. Just as he tries to get up, he is trampled by the creature and knocked around hopelessly within a violent hurricane of spider legs. He lies on his back, bruised and bleeding. The spider-fish monkey bends down gracefully, all eight spider-legs shift appropriately to accommodate its upper-body, as it grabs the helpless lover off the ground. Clutching him firmly with powerful monkey hands, the creature brings him closer and closer to its ugly fish head with its cold, dead fish eyes. It opens its fish mouth and bears all of its razor-sharp, prehistoric fish teeth. The doomed lover tries to utter one last pathetic little sand-choked scream as his face is brought closer and closer to those horrible fish teeth from Hell. He can smell his own cold, fishy death right in front of him as the spider-fish monkey opens wide and then… … …”

Ok. I’m going to stop here because I realize that this lovely bit of fiction is starting to show you how demented I am. But since it is already embarrassingly apparent that I either have numerous, irreversible psychological problems or I am just a profoundly hopeless asshole, I may as well provide some insight into the inspiration I used to create this wonderful little work of art. The cute couple I observed was not actually in a mountain park. I observed them on a bus as I was going to some Korean city the name of which I cannot spell, pronounce, or even remember. (Whatever city it was, I had a good time) The couple was sitting in the seats just in front of me, and I was sitting in one of the seats in the very back of the bus. My seat was elevated, so I was easily able to observe them. They were a couple of teenagers, and it did truly seem that it would have taken a couple of pry bars to separate them. In other words, they were the closest couple I had yet seen in Korea.

I could tell immediately that I was gaining some “writer’s inspiration” from watching them. But before I wrote this, I had to ask myself, “Do I really want to devote and exhaust my artistic abilities describing the most romantic couple on the face of the Earth only so that I can heartlessly plunge them into a black hole and have them devoured by imaginary creatures?” After a thorough questioning of my morals and personal values, and after much soul-searching, the answer was…ABSOLUTELY!!

After all, wouldn’t they do the same thing to me if they had the chance? Let us consider this very seriously by asking ourselves the following rhetorical question: If it is completely possible that I, as a single person, can observe couples who are happily in love and then sacrifice a tremendous amount of precious time and energy constructing an imaginary world in which they meet their humiliating doom…is it not also completely possible that they would observe me and construct a similar (if not worse) fate for me? After a considerable amount of personal reflection on this matter, I would have to say that the answer is…ABSOLUTELY!!

And why, you may ask, would I do such a thing to them? Because I have nothing better to do…and I think it is tremendously funny.

And why, you may ask, would they do such a thing to me? Because secretly they are really bored with each other, their public displays of affection are nothing more than a deceptive mask they wear every day that ironically fools only them into thinking they actually like each other, they have nothing better to do…and they think it is tremendously funny.

But far be it from me to claim that romance and true love do not exist. For I have no doubt in my mind that every couple that stays together has a hidden spark deep down that will burst into a flame of passion at just the right moment. And I always pride myself on being able to see the positive things in life. So after I was delightfully granted the opportunity to observe those enchanting young lovers on the bus, so romantically enthralled within each other’s warm and caring embrace, I thoughtfully formulated 4 ways in which I could use the inspiration I so blessedly received from them. I could:

A) Devote my time and energy to helping others and improving the lives of those around me by engaging in socially meaningful activities.

B) Improve my personality so that I could spread blessed cheerfulness to others and strive to awaken the beautiful radiance of many smiling faces.

C) Absorb myself in a captivating, spiritually enlightening book that would enhance my knowledge, bring out the best of my spirit, and transform my outlook on life in such a way that I would embrace each and every morning as a new opportunity to change the world in my own small, humble way…


D) Ruthlessly cast this couple into an ugly world full of horrible, repulsive creatures that would cold-heartedly tear down the sweet fortress of their love by frightening the young man so bad that he urinates himself and runs away terrified, only to be trampled on and then eaten by razor-sharp, prehistoric fish teeth.

I submitted myself to a lengthy personal struggle as I sought the inner-truth that would guide me on the right path… and a big, beaming smile broke out across my face as I began to see the light.

With a sparkle in my eye,
an overwhelming amount of joy in my heart,
and a sweet little tear of happiness rolling down my cheek,

I chose option D

The End


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