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The International Writers Magazine: Letter From Korea

Dear AR
• Julie McSmith
I’m writing you a letter that I know you won’t be able to read, because you have dyslexia.  Yet, I feel I must write to you. 


Someday I could call and read you my letter.  Will you really believe any of this that I’m going to tell you anyway?  I mean, I know you love the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and all that.  Would it help if I wrote this in a song?  Someday when I come back to visit you I could sing it to you and your aging hippie friends at one of your backyard firepit parties.

Are you still driving around in your open top jeep to all the neighborhood garage sales?  You still have a pirate flag flying from the back of it?  What about your project to transfer all of the parts from that old car you had onto the new frame?  

I wish I could come and visit you in your workshop again and do some woodworking projects.  I loved drawing all of your tools there last year.  Any good finds at the garage sales lately in town?  Man, we do have some good garage sales.  All kinds of antiques and treasures.  The town dump will sure be an archeological find for the archeologists someday if we don’t all have to move to Mars for some reason or other before then.

I miss our conversations.  How’s Dog?  I guess she’s gone by now.  I mean 17 was pretty old for a big dog like she was, and she really was on her last legs when I left last summer.

How’s your son?  Is he still going to the community college? I still don’t get why he didn't take the full ride to MIT or Stanford or go to West Point since he got in.   I mean, why live a life based on disability pay and enlist in the army instead and then go to community college?  I believe you that he once had the 6th fastest computer in the world in your attic, though.  It must be hard for you and your son to both have Asberger’s Syndrome, but you both seemed so normal to me whenever I met you.  I mean there are tons of unemotional people in the world who don’t have Asberger’s. 

I wish I could come and hang out in your backyard again. You really have all kinds of fantastic finds from going to garage sales.  And all the candleholders around your firepits.  I always feel like I'm in a set taken out of an old Spaghetti Western where you added all the stuff from a hardware store.  Whenever I’m there with you I feel like I'm in some TV show or movie.

Anyway, I’m going to write a song for you.  Will this make what I have to say have any more propriety in discussing things we aren’t supposed to?

A Sci-Fi Song for AR

Last Saturday morn ere the sun rose
On the subway train I sat in repose
Ne’re alone I was but nearly so
Thence it went, that train did go
Until a man he came and sat
Next to me in the empty seat
Where I’d had my bag and hat
Though not once our eyes did meet.

Thought I not twice of it again before
At the next stop I passed out of the door
And then, returning into the next car went
Wondering what that man had meant
To so the rules of space so bent
Then the time was later more
Crowds they came in through the open door
And then I was no more chanced
To be so oddly so romanced

And then soon to my destination came
A destiny thence in a painting from
Start to finish it did become
Sketches of that old haunted dome
Bejeweled and decked with gaudy chrome
I was soon again upon the train
Late in the day, no seats remained
And I stood, grasping bags and books
Paints and brushes, as the train shook

Then it were in my groin it felt
No hand it were, but a feeling of melt
Sudden oozing in my crotch
An odd sensation the mood to botch
Then I looked then at the map
Of train courses there above the door
And on the way my eye was trapped
In a gaze returned, of a man evermore

Holding his girl there he was
Stroking her hair there as he does
For then questions in our eyes did meet
What had happened on this underground street?
Was the same question in his mind?
I think our questions not of the same kind.
And so soon I looked away,
The subway map was too small to read that day.

Just a bit later a seat I got
And so some peace of mind was brought
Yet soon came a man, stepped on my feet
With this footsie thing he wanted me to greet

I mean, really, AR, what a strange day it was on the subway!  Nothing like this has happened to me before or since.  Is there such as e-groping? Was this in the Hitchhiker’s Guide that you are always reading?  That’s not the end of the story though.  Here’s another verse.

Come home I did that day
And found my mail waiting, right away
Here in our mailbox red and gray
I jest not now when I say
It was my nest egg letter’d come that day
And saw I did a notch’d been cut away
The envelope’s bottom had seen some play
So neatly done I may really say

Then get this, AR, later on,

In the evening after light had gone
Logging into my accounts I did seek
To check my nest egg, poke in my beak
And see the same amount therein
Though I tried and tried I could not login.
Changed they were, my passwords all,
First I thought my memorie’d had a fall.
Yet written down the were right there
Saw them plainly as I stared
Bank accounts, same problem, too
Double double toil and stew

Yet the next day dawned bright and clear
I shopped online did I and it so appeared
Naught was not as it was not ought
And so several things then I bought
But pay not I could until the time
That I bought some clothing red and ripe
My Internet would not take nickel or dime
So it was, this Internet pipe

This message I got all the time:

Fix red form field mistakes as typed
Yet none were red, no mistakes there were
Check out only with a red shirt for sure

AR, isn’t this all crazy?  Are you still watching those old Betty Boop cartoons when you’re not listening to physics lectures on youtube or playing with your bandsaw or your jeep?  God grief, I never wanted to say that I could commiserate with a cartoon character from the 1930s, especially not Betty Boop.  I mean it’s funny stuff, but she’s kind of a dingbat, a flake. Oh well, I suppose that’s why it’s so funny. Ha ha ha.

© Julie McSmith May 2014
JulieSmith0110 at
Currently I work as an English teacher at YBM in Seoul, South Korea.

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