Never ever been a blue calm sea/ I have always been a storm

Stevie Nicks

Dateline Seoul: Saturday Afternoon

Andrea gets off the second leg of the flight to Seoul around 14:30. She has quasi-slept, faded somewhere into her subconscious anyway, for an hour and a bit. Andrea is not a heavy explorer of her subconscious, more like she knows where it is. On the flight, up there under an ocean of ozone, black window spiders jousted with a velvet gloved countess and bunches of green grapes for supremacy of the space. That was all fine, she was essentially sober, Mr. Brown had been rendered comatose by hour one, and as she rolls into customs she feels, if not exactly happy, at least ready. Ready for the industry conference and its banalities, ready for the Lotte Hotel downtown with its wall of kimchi options at breakfast, ready, even, for a puleun or two. Maybe. We’ll just have to see.

The conference “event” is set to kick off at 8 Wednesday morning, and Andrea has no intention of being on time. Events, by and large, are well planned and poorly designed. They are programmed to run and be completed, and the narrative arc conception is, well, bad. The Seoul event would be no different. “An event should be eventful,” someone once told her, and Andrea has held on to that guy like a tailsman. Also, sometimes when an event lacks eventfulness, well, you gotta inject a little of that yourself. She giggles at the thought; the possibilities were many. She got game, our girl. Watch the f*** out boys.

(Jump cut on account of a lazy writer. Sorry Andrea, you just lost several hours. That’s the breaks baby.)

Dateline Seoul: Saturday, 22:47

Andrea is on the STREET. Can’t learn it in the office, gotta learn it on the STREET. Monsieur Puleun 1 is strolling with a feathered friend on the boulavard. Site of a protest from earlier in the day that Andrea missed. Another peanut tantrum? Korean scandels are unrivaled in their bizarre and byzantine nature. And, the assassin chick of the brother of the NK head dude wore an LOL shirt. So 2017. Check the video. Check the record/ check the guy’s track record. (Le) homo sapien sapiens, them’s bizarre. Puleun 1 sees Andrea; she sees him. Opportunity presents itself–Andrea, she needs a token, a takeaway, a reminder that she was here at all.  At the “event” site no doubt volunteers are cross-stressing before cross-dressing. She couldn’t care less—that’s all paid for by the company. Event spaces are super permeable. So is the puleun. Andrea swings into action.

“My friend, do you know how to get to Sungnyemun?”

“Yes I do. Go with me?”

Andrea pondered. On the one hand, well, you know. Street guy? Seriously? And on the other, well, she is on vacation. A. B, she has her needs. Not what you are thinking brother. Andrea’s needs are a little more, well, esoteric.

“For a little while. Let’s walk.” Andrea slips her arm under his and feels him thrill to her touch. Hooking, hooking is easy. She’s a natural, it’s pretty clear.

Sungnyemun is a no. Sungnyemun can wait. Andrea steers P1 toward the Lotte, before having second thoughts. That’s not the move girl, too predictable. Someone is always watching Mr. Mulder. She needs to re-frame.

“Let’s get a room,” says Andrea. Yes, it’s a high-level cliche, up there with “what’s your number,” and “baby, what’s your sign.” Cliched, therefore effective. The effect on P1 is immediate. Where, he asks? Right here, she says, pointing to a boutique environ that looms over the couple. An art hotel. Sure.

P1 pays with a card as the desk clerk smirks. I didn’t have to come to Maui, but then neither did you. Fast feel, he feels her material. Matters progress, fast. Bloodrush, bloodbuzz, and she is not immune. And yet, Andrea is playing a deeper game, the most dangerous one perhaps. Room ingress and second base. Time for her to make a move.

“Baby, I have to use the bathroom. Freshen up.” The meta-historical language of the female has a beauty all its own. Le floraison is off for our young suitor. Sorry pal. Hit the bricks.

But it’s not that simple. Andrea’s needs have been stimulated, not met. She emerges from the bathroom, face washed, mask of determination.

“Baby,” she says, “I need to go to the shop.”

“Room service will provide.”

“Room service is asleep at the wheel; I’ll be right back.”

Famous last words. Andrea carries a a tote bag–the remainder of her belongings are back at the Lotte. In the bag rests a white robe from the art hotel as well as a sampler of cosmetics from the bathroom. Not because she needs any of these items, more like, well, she wants them. She blows P-san an air kiss, the least she could do, a good trade. P1 collapses on the bed with a sigh. You get what you get P1; we won’t be seeing you again. With her would-be down for the count, Andrea takes a final, critical, step. She pockets the key, an actual metal object (!?!), and slides out the door. Now, remember the room is in his name. The robe, the robe is gone. As is the key. These are with Andrea. And Andrea is back at the Lotte in her PJs. Someone’s always paying for that banter baby.

to be continued…

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