Incident

The only difference between Wooseong Jung and me is that I am Wooseong Jung. Here the task is to write about qualities or characteristics of me with a past incident but not to describe or identify the quality. I thought about what I could write. I studied the example. I pondered in my sleep. I considered it once more. Alas, I cannot write anything about me. It is not that I am a boring person. Maybe I am. Definitely I do not agree to this notion. However, I cannot write anything about me that explains my personal traits. I do not want to exemplify myself. But better yet, I do not know who I am.
Identifying and describing my quality is an extremely difficult job. Who am I? Why am I here? And what characteristics do I have? What incident that says one thing of me? I am uneasy when people say they know me. What do they mean by that? Of course, their perception of me formed from the past encounters. But do they really know me? Even I do not know who I am.
The time is floating. I cannot grasp or feel with my hand. There is nothing near to feel. As I reach my hand to something, it goes away. Yet it is not fear but anxiety. What will happen of me? The air is mystic and sky dark. Then I see the medieval castle, which resembles something out of the Disney fairy tales. It is night. And the murky cloud engulfs a moon. With night ambiance I can see the road that leads up to the castle at the top of the mountain. This is not the animated movie I had seen. I do not feel Sleep Beauty or Snow White is around here. I think they are long since dead. Besides I did not rent the movie tonight. But I am in it. I am not afraid, I tell myself. I do not wonder what is up in that dark castle. However I see this narrow road to the top. I do not look back from the castle. Intensely I furtively gaze at one of the windows. I do not know why. I have to look somewhere. I do not want to look down or back. Forward is only way for me. I somehow know this is the road I must take on. The journey to the top looks hard. But I have to. Somehow I have to. I step on with my right foot, as I usually do when I start to walk.
There is nothing in front of me. No, it is a lie. There is air. Cold air. I do not see a castle far away. I blink my eyes. I see the cloud around me. It looks as if I can touch. I swerve to the right and left to balance myself. I am now at the top of the castle wall. I am about to fall. But I manage it okay. This time. Now I realize I am at the castle I saw earlier. I am walking at the wall of that same castle. The castle did not move or change in anyway. I know I just am here at the top now. It is not surprising because I started to walk to here.
To the left side is the safe walk-a-way, only three feet down. I can just safely step down. To the right side is nothing. Sorry, it is a lie again. There is dim moonlight showing me that there is really nothing there, except that dim streak of light. I can fall down there forever. Now I am really afraid. My heart trembles. Presently I sing a song. I do not remember what but it is from a kindergarten music class. I just hum. I cannot enunciate lyrics because all my energy is concentrated in balancing myself. I must walk through this. I do not want to step down to the safety. There must be a big reward when I complete this, I encourage myself. If you remember the medieval castle wall, it is not flat. The wall is laid like a stepping bridge stone, so that a soldier can safely shoot an arrow to kill raiding enemies between raised stones. I do not know why, but I have to jump to the next stone. It looks dangerous. I extend my left foot to the next stone and thrust with my right one, as I usually do when I walk-jump.
There is nothing in front of me. There is nothing below me. No, again, as I usually am accustomed to lie about this, this is not a truth. There is wind. Cold wind. Not normal one. I wonder why it is so cold and chills my face so rapidly. I realize that I am falling down. It is not fear but anxiety. I am not afraid of falling down but only hitting the bottom. I shout, " Mom! God! Buddha! Christ! Confucius! Whoever or whatever please help me! I don't wanna die."
Presently, I reach a terminal velocity. I do not gain anymore momentum. I compose myself and wipe out my tears. No, I do not cry but it is my instinct to wipe tear in a time such as this. I know some time has passed by because I am quite used to falling down. For me, getting used to something requires long time and my free-fall is as if a thing I frequently do before. I am still falling. The ancient Greek hero from the mythology who made a wing out of candle is flying right by me. I try to talk to him but I do not know his name. Besides his face is grief leaden. He must be flying after his son, whose wings melted down when he neared the sun. His son is dead for sure.
I still fall down. Now it gets boring. Nothing around me. But, you see, I am a chronic liar. I see something below my feet. It is that castle! I am getting near to that castle. This time it looks more beautiful. The sun shines upon it. The rainbow shines and white birds fly around it. From the sky, I can see it is next to the blue sea. It looks amazingly beautiful. I am awe struck. Quick I must think. I am worried. I am anxious. I cannot hit the castle in this speed. I would die. I do not know what to do. It is anxiety that fills me with sense of an "everything-will-be-fine" attitude. I want to run away from the impending doom. My right and left legs run fast in the mid-air, as I usually do when I try to run away.
I wake up. I see the white ceiling. I feel my blanket. It is 4:34 am. Ha, this recurring dream! I do not know what to make out this dream. Maybe it is a good sign. Maybe this is one incident that describes my quality.

Willie Jung
November 7, 1997
Incident that Describes One Quality of Me

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