Dear Diarrhea,

Jan. 29:   This is not normal for a boy. But I’m going to admit it anyway. Only to you because you are basically me, so it’s like admitting something to myself which doesn’t really count. Or does it? I mean it’s not like admitting it to your mom or dad or older sister or teacher. Maybe to a best friend.  But I don’t really have a best friend. Well, sometimes I think Jerome Thompson is my best friend but then he picks his nose and flicks his booger at me or he trips me or puts a post-it on my back. And he’s always calling me by my old name, which is Suk-Won. I hate my old name. I don’t get why my mom and dad named me Suk-Won. Suk? Come on, that’s like naming your kid Ugly or Fart or Poop. But it really wasn’t my parents’ fault. It was Halbeh’ s fault. It’s Korean tradition for the mom’s dad to name the kid. And Halbeh said my name came to him in a dream, where I grew tall and strong and smart and successful all because my name was Suk-Won. If she named me anything else, I’d be sick all the time. My mom didn’t want a sick kid. Who does? On top of that, she worried I might not be Korean enough, so she let it happen. Suk-Won. The worst name ever. But I guess it beats being called Suk-Lost. When I told my mom I needed a new name because it was a hazard to my confidence, she said OK. Just like that. OK.

“So, what should we call you?”

“John.”

“Can I call you Johnny?”

“No, just John.”

“OK, John, go do your homework.”

Why John? Because it’s normal. No need to be special.

When the teacher announced to the rest of the class that my name from now on would be John, Jerome turned to me and said, “You ain’t no John. You Suk-Won!” Everyone else went along with the new name, except Jerome. “Hey, Suk-Won!” I hate it, but then he always picks me first when we play basketball. He’s the best b-ball player. He’s even better than the sixth graders. And when we play together, there’s no beating us. He can make the shots, but I’m fast. With his shooting and my dribbling, we can’t be beat. And he knows that so he picks me every time. That’s why I think he’s my best friend, sometimes.

All this best friend talk is for girls, so I’m going to stop it.

No more beating around the bush, as my dad says. Get to the point. Here’s what I have to get off my chest. What I came here to tell you is that, that, that….  I like a girl. There. I said it.

Jan 30:   Aigo Maigo.  Just in case you don’t know what that means, it’s what Halmeh says when she can’t believe something. Halmeh is grandma for Korean. Aigo Maigo. I can’t believe I’m keeping a diary. Yuck. I can’t even say that word. Diary. It’s disgusting. I am disgusted with myself. I feel like throwing up writing to you. No offense. I’ve locked my door. I’m in my closet. I’m under a blanket with a flashlight. Who am I hiding from? Noona. In Korea that’s what younger brothers call their older sisters out of respect. For me, it’s more out of habit, a bad habit, than respect. I got roped into it as a baby, and it stuck like an old booger dried up on your shirt. Luckily, noona sounds a lot like noodle brain, so I’m ok with it for now. But if she found out I was keeping a di-, di- even the first syllable is death. Die. Dia. Diarrhea. Aigo Maigo, this is my diarrhea. 

Published in: on March 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm  Comments (2)  
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